The frequency of human intervention during lambing was assessed for 708 lambs and 162 ewes in up to four deliveries. In total, 21-8 per cent of the lambs born alive required some assistance at birth and 9-4 per cent were delivered manually. Assistance was required less frequently by twin lambs and ewe lambs, and Scottish blackface lambs required assistance less frequently than Suffolk lambs. Approximately one-third of the ewes were assisted in at least one delivery and 10 per cent were assisted in all their deliveries; however, less than 20 per cent of ewes were assisted more than once. A quarter of the lambs needed some human intervention to suck successfully, and Suffolk lambs needed help more frequently. The lambs born to almost half the first-parity ewes needed help to suck, but at later deliveries the lambs born to less than a third of the ewes needed assistance. In blackface flocks the survival of 100 lambs required 4.6 hours of human intervention whereas in Suffolk flocks 28 hours were required.
- NEONATAL BEHAVIOR
- FARMING SYSTEMS