How best to settle your new lambs in to their new home.

 When you take your new lambs home it is important to have a secure field/enclosure ready for them once you get home. Travelling and moving to a new home is especially stressful for newly weaned lambs so you want to get them settled as soon as possible and used to you.

Even the friendliest and most confident of lambs can get scared and shaken up moving to a new home, they are leaving behind their mums and many of their lamb friends whom they have grown up with. And at the end of the day they are still very much babies and only young, there are many things they have not yet experienced and can easily get scared by new things so its important they can settle and have somewhere they feel secure, and also get used to their new owners as soon as possible.

The ideal situation is where you have either an area inside (eg a stable/outbuilding/shed) where you can put the lambs when you bring them home or a small enclosure/pen/small field preferable with a shelter or access to an outbuilding or similar. We advise people to first put the lambs in a small area when the take them home, and leave them in there for about 2-3 days. They will need access to hay if there is no grass and they will need drinking water. 

By introducing them to a small enclosure it will make it easier and give you chance to get to know them and they you. Let them settle down for a few hours after the initial journey and then start to spend time with them, sit with them, offer then a little hard feed from a bucket and by hand, talk to them and once they start to get to know you you should be able to stroke and scratch them. Some will take more time than others to get used to you.

It is important you spend as much time as possible with them to start with if you want them to be as friendly as possible, if you simply put them out in a huge field and forget about them for weeks they will go completely wild eventually. We suggest you feed them a little sheep nuts/pellets at least once a day but the more time you spend with them the more and quicker they will get to know you. Once you are happy they will come to you when you call and rattle a bucket of food, you can go ahead and let them into a larger field/enclosure, if that was you original intention. And then, you can either feed them in the smaller pen once a day or perhaps bring them in at night, thus they are getting more and more used to you and associating you with food and shelter.

They will continue to relax around you and become less jumpy the more time you spend with them and as time goes on, we have noticed that some sheep can take quite a long time to get to know people where as others settle instantly. A lot of it comes down to individual personality, like people, they are all different and some are just naturally more confident, cheeky and friendly, some are greedy and ruled by their bellies and some are shy, getting pushed our by the other sheep and prefering to keep to themselves. But often given enough time and attention even those shy sheep will get used to you and eventually trust you too.

We are always happy to help and advise so if you have a problem with your new lambs or are unsure what's best to do with them you can contact us any time and we will be happy to help.