Here at Mainsgill Farm we have just started one of the busiest periods of the year, we have over 400 Texel ewes to lamb!

Our top lambing facts!

Did you know?

  • The male sheep are called 'rams' or 'tups' (as us Yorkshire folk call them!)
  • After a ewe has lambed, the first milk she produces is called 'colostrum'. This contains nutrients and antibodies which are essential for the newborns. It is very important that lambs drink colostrum within the first 24 hours to ensure they survive.
  • Once born, each lamb's navel is sprayed with iodine to prevent infection.
  • Lambs are born with long tails, their tails are docked to prevent disease.
  • Sheep do not have teeth in their upper front jaw
  • The average lifespan of a sheep is 7 years.

After a sheep has given birth she moves into an individual pen so that her and her lambs have time to get to know each other. After a day of two, the ewe and her lambs have the same number sprayed onto their wool. This allows us to easily identify which lambs belong to which sheep (difficult to tell them apart!)

They then move into a pen with 3 or 4 other sheep and their lambs. During this time the ewes get to know which lambs are their own by their smell.

After a few days the group are moved on again into a bigger pen with more ewes and lambs. If the weather is good the group will move outside into a field to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine!


The first 100 ewes to lamb are now housed in a large barn with plenty of straw, feed and water. We keep a watchful eye on these sheep as they are all due to give birth very shortly!

All of our ewes are scanned so we know exactly how many lambs each ewe is expecting! We use colour-coded markings which are sprayed on the ewes back!

  • Orange marking... this ewe is expecting 1 lamb
  • Blue marking... this ewe is expecting 3 lambs
  • No marking... this ewe is expecting 2 lambs

Twin births is the most common, ideally each ewe should rear 2 lambs as they do not have enough milk to raise 3.

Extra lambs need to be fostered on to a sheep which has only had 1 lamb, so they all get a fair share of milk!