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Prevention of lamb diseases through proper new-born management

Solution name:Prevention of lamb diseases through proper new-born management

Aim:To give the appropriate instructions for the care and management of lambs immediately after birth, in order to lay the foundations for the protection against specific diseases and the proper development of lambs.


Proper management of the new-born begins before birth and specifically the last weeks of pregnancy. During this time the fetus is gaining weight and proper nutrition of the mother is very important in order to gain the maximum possible weight until lambing. Furthermore, the udder of ewe starts preparing for the production of colostrum. Therefore, the right vaccinations of the mother is very important for the supplementation of the colostrum with the necessary immunoglobulins (antibodies).

Topic: health/management

Production:  Dairy / Meat

Animal Category: Adult / Lamb / Replacement

Issue: Flock health plan

Level of Solution: Knowledge, Practical

Country: Greece






How to implement it

Certain actions after delivery are important for the life and good health of the new-born. These include:

  • The breath control.
  • The treatment of the umbilical cord.
  • Drying of the newborn. We let the mother “dry” the newborn.
  • The colostrum intake during the first 2 hours after birth is important for lamb survival. The correct vaccination of the mother is prerequisite.
  • The marking of the new-born. It must be done immediately (number on the ear) after birth and the mother’s and lamb’s numbers must be written in a notebook or an individual card.
  • Selenium (if used) should be given in the first hours of a new-born’s life.
  • The installation of the special ring for the tail cutting (if applied to the farm) can be done after the 1st 24 hours.
  • Newborns who stay with their mothers until weaning usually imitate their mothers’ habits and do not need any training for solid food or water intake.
  • Udder of ewes should be checked during suckling period (to prevent mastitis).
Expected benefits

Proper new-born lamb management contributes to good health and proper development. New-born lamb mortality is decreasing and we have more lambs for slaughter or for the selection of replacement animals on a farm.

Prerequisites and/or limits
  • Suitable space for mothers and new-borns (no air currents, good ventilation and clean space)
  • Proper vaccination of mothers
  • Trained staff in the proper management of lambing period and in the care of new-borns immediately after delivery
  • Equipment for the tail cutting (if applicable), suitable disinfectant solutions for the umbilical cord and the spaces, the necessary vaccines (following the recommendations of the veterinarian) and selenium (if used).
Information Source / Usefull links
  • Εκτροφή προβάτων και αιγών: Τι πρέπει να ξέρω; ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟΣ ΓΕΩΡΓΙΚΟΣ ΟΡΓΑΝΙΣΜΟΣ – ΔΗΜΗΤΡΑ, Ινστιτούτο Κτηνιατρικών Ερευνών, Θεσσαλονίκη 2017 ISBN: 978-960-98079-2-0
  • Θ. Τσιλιγιάννη. Διαχείριση νεογέννητων αρνιών. Τι είναι σημαντικό να γνωρίζει ο προβατοτρόφος; (2017)   τεύχος 18:12-17.      

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