Lambing Supplies Checklist

The arrival of new lambs can be exciting and busy, so the best way to guarantee a smooth lambing season is to ensure you are well-prepared in advance. In this blog, we will review the essential supplies that every shepherd should have on hand before the arrival of any lambs. 

Notebook & Pencil

Have a notebook to record all contact between ewes and rams, and use a gestation table to calculate approximate due dates. Knowing roughly when to expect lambs to be born allows you to ensure you have all supplies on hand at least a week before due dates. 

Use this notebook to keep track of other things, such as ewe and lamb ID numbers or colors, any health issues you have noticed, etc.

Lambing Pen

Ewes and their newborns should have an isolated pen away from the rest of the flock for the first several days after birth to allow a safe place for them to bond. The pen should be at least 5’ x 5’, and bedding should be kept clean and dry to prevent infection, especially after lambs are born. 


Keep bright flashlights or headlamps nearby if your barn does not have great lighting. If a lamb arrives at night, you’ll need a good light source to assist the ewe and her newborn.

Heat Sources

Newborn lambs are susceptible to hypothermia, so several methods to warm a chilled lamb can be vital to survival. Hair dryers, warming boxes, and heat lamps are all great ways to get a lamb warm after birth when used with caution. You can also place a lamb’s body in a plastic bag with its head sticking out and sit it in a warm water bath to quickly raise its body temperature without affecting its smell.

Digital Thermometer
Monitor lamb’s temperature to ensure it isn’t too cold or sick. A normal temperature for a lamb is 38.8°C to 39.4°C, if the temperature drops below 37.7°C, the lamb is hypothermic.

Towels and Paper Towel

Lambs are born covered in amniotic fluid which the mother ewe should clean off. While this is important for their bonding, you may need to assist the ewe and help get the baby dry using towels or paper towels to prevent the lamb from getting cold.

Bulb Syringe

The use of a bulb syringe may be required to suck any amniotic fluid out of a newborn lamb’s nostrils after birth to allow it to breathe.

Iodine Spray or Dip

Whether or not you decide to cut a newborn lamb’s umbilical cord using sterile scissors, the navel can serve as a pathogen pathway to a lamb, and it is vital that the area be kept clean. Use a 10% iodine spray or dip solution to keep the area disinfected, and make sure that the lambing pen has clean bedding. 


Keep some OB lubricant on hand in case it’s needed. This can be helpful to lube up a thermometer, getting a lamb’s head unstuck during birth, or lubricating your arm and any needed birthing tools if the ewe requires help while giving birth. 


Keep boxes of long and short gloves to use when handling lambs and ewes to prevent bacteria from entering your body. Be sure to use different gloves when handling different sheep to avoid the potential spread of infection.

Colostrum & Milk Replacer

Lambs need to nurse during the first 24 hours of their life to receive the nutrients and antibodies from the ewe’s first milk, called colostrum. Before a lamb can nurse, you must strip the wax plug from the ewe’s teats and ensure her milk flows. If a lamb is rejected by its mother, or if you have a lamb that is too weak to nurse, have powdered or frozen colostrum that you can warm and feed to them as they must receive this vital colostrum within their first 8 hours of life. It is also a good idea to keep a lamb milk replacer on hand in case of a rejected lamb that may need to be bottle-reared. 

Feeding Supplies

A flexible stomach feeding tube and large syringe can feed weak or cold lambs that can’t suckle on their own. Additionally, keep bottle-feeding supplies on hand, including lamb bottles and nipples, to feed stronger and able-to-suckle lambs, such as a triplet or rejected lamb. 

Needles & Syringes

Have a variety of sterile needles and syringes to be used to administer any injectables or vaccines as recommended by your veterinarian. 

Injectables & Supplements

Injectable vitamins A, D, and E with Selenium may be given after birth, as well as injectable antibiotics or vaccines per your veterinarian’s recommendation. Additionally, it can be beneficial to keep a propylene glycol solution on hand to help an exhausted ewe regain her energy after birth. This is especially helpful for ewes who have given birth to twins or triplets. 

Elastrator Rings and Tool

If you plan on castrating ram lambs not intended for breeding, you will want to make sure you have elastrator rings and the appropriate elastrator tool to castrate within the first week of the ram’s life. The same rings and tool can be used to dock a lamb’s tail. Unless you plan on leaving your lambs with their natural long tails, they will need to be docked within the first few days of their lives.

ID Tags & Applicator

Animals intended to be sold and shipped must have registered CCIA tags which can be purchased from an authorized dealer. You may also want to tag your lambs using a different tag to use as an on-farm ID. Use your notebook to keep track of animal ID’s!

Marker Crayons or Spray

Identify your animals more easily by marking your ewes and lambs with colored ID-marking crayons or sprays. Use this method to keep track of twin lambs, mother and lamb pairs, banded ram lambs, etc. Keep notes of your ewes and their lambs in your notebook.

Get prepared for lambing season with a trip to your local Feeds ‘n Needs! Our stores carry a variety of essential supplies to ensure that you can be well-prepared for the arrival of new lambs! Our Experts will be happy to help you find what you need!


Disclaimer: Feeds ‘n Needs is not qualified to give medical advice or recommendations; please consult your veterinarian for any concerns, vaccine recommendations, etc. 

Feeds'n Needs Team