Guidance on setting up in free-range egg production, from the initial planning application to flock management
Lambing season is here
With the New Year just starting, for sheep farmers lambing season is either here or just round the corner.
It’s important to ensure that your lambing shelter allows for efficient management of both in-lamb and lambed ewes, creating a healthy environment for the flock. Whether you’re currently lambing in the open and looking for a shelter or thinking of replacing an existing building the benefits of lambing in a polytunnel are clear.
Hygiene – During lambing harmful bacteria are created by the flock and young lambs are at most risk of picking up infections. Having a space that is well ventilated where it is easy to muck-out and maintain cleanliness is essential.
Penning – Individual lambing pens are best practice as they allow the ewe to bond with her offspring post lambing. They also give the lamb’s time to harden before being transferred to group pens or turned out to grass. A polytunnel provides an adaptable internal environment where penning can be easily introduced to allow efficient management of the space and flock.
Stocking density – Housing must allow all animals to lie down, ruminate, rise, turn and stretch without difficulty. During the lambing season, ewes with lambs at foot have a minimum space allowance for 2.0 – 2.2 (sq m). Specifying stocking density with a polytunnel is an easy process, due to their modular construction additional bays can be added to allow for a vast range of flock sizes and penning arrangements.
Polytunnels are fast to erect and can be installed directly onto a grass field with little to no ground preparation. Sheep Polytunnels, traditionally have white polythene covers, this creates an internal environment full of diffused natural light, providing great visibility. Once tensioned and fixed to the structure the polythene forms a highly resistant shell protecting the flock in adverse weather. A steel frame, formed of a single-span hoop structure creates an open and easily adapted internal environment. Livestock mesh, forming the first meter of straight side breaks winds and allows air to flow into the building – providing excellent ventilation.
Our range of Cheviot sheep houses provide the perfect environment to house your animals, delivering a comfortable and easily maintained environment for you to work in. Call 0808 256 3210 to speak the sales team for more information and prices.