Raising Finnish Landrace, Cotswold, Border Leicester, and Romeldales, in the Heart of Illinois, as well as working with rescue llamas.

Friday, February 17, 2012

New lambing jugs

 The flock is doing well and lambs are due very soon. I started this entry in January and since then we have tweaked to original design of our new lambing jugs... here is where we are on the project. Lambing jug walls done, first version of the jug doors discarded  on several of the jugs and kept on others, version 2 in the installation phase, aka got one up, while we left version 1 up in one jug, still discussing swapping the third jug door.

 Since we didn't want our jugs to stay up all year round due to wanting to provide the entire flock with a safe place to be if needed, we created our own easy to put up and tear down jug walls that are stable while up. Thanks to a long needed retaining wall project finally getting built here on the farm we wound up with several very sturdy pallets in good condition. We covered each of those with a 1/4 inch plywood to provide privacy a wind block since our barn is open one the side.  We pounded in 2 Tposts in spaced about 10 inches in from the ends of each pallet then slid the plywood dressed pallets down over the Tposts. Voila! Lambing jug walls that will stay up and will be easy to remove when lambing is over, thus allowing us to retain the loafing stall for the rest of the year. We'll simply slide the dressed pallets up and off and remove the Tposts with either the small tractor or if we splurge and get the T post puller bracket that fits on a deadman jack.

Our original design was to create plywood doors on hinges. We wanted something solid to keep drafts off newborn lambs who might get easily chilled. Plywood fit the bill, hanging was easy with just a couple hinges screwed onto the end of the pallets, it was latches that became the issue. We needed latches that are Finnsheep proof (clever vixens!) so originally hook and eyes were suggested but then the worry became could they accidentally cut or gouge an animal. That certainly isn't wanted. The more we looked at the plywood doors the more we didn't like them. Somehow chain link gates kept popping into mind. Drafts on newborn lambs now became an issue. We settled on a typical blue tarp trimmed to size, and bought a cheap grommet kit and affixed the customized tarp to the chain link with zip ties. Now to affix the gate. We hung the gate with " pipe holders" that we found in the plumbing aisle, screwed into the wood on the pallet, latches are a simple chain and clip.

 Voila, bring on the lambs!!


  1. Great Job. Love the explanations of how and why you did things.
    We built new jugs this year also, can't hardly wait to put them to use.

    Happy lambing.

  2. Thanks, Fran. I knew I didn't want to continue using the same system that we had been using, while it never bothered the ewes or lambs it sure bugged me that it wasn't shepherd friendly.

    Happy lambing!!