Skip to main content

A Planning Calendar for Sheep Herd Health and Management

This calendar is designed to handle the management phases of pre-breeding (45 days), breeding (60 days), pre-lambing (90 days), lambing (60 days) and pre-weaning/lactation (60-80 days) and post-weaning (30-50 days).  The calendar is not intended to fit all situations and adjustments should be made to accommodate your management program and schedule of events.  The left column is blank so that you can write in the month you start a particular management phase and the dates you plan to conduct specific practices.  For example, if your flock is on a spring lambing (February) program, pre-breeding would start about July 15.  Place July in the top left column for pre-breeding and the other management phases should fall in place.  If you have a fall lambing program (October), place March in the top left column for the beginning of the pre-breeding phase.  The recommendations listed in the second column are standard recommendations and should be followed by all breeders.  There is adequate space to write other recommendations or your own management program.  The third column is for other information you may want to include such as a reminder about when to deworm, shear, fertilize pastures, market lambs, etc.

 

You might consider reading the following fact sheets and discuss flock health programs with your veterinarian before filling in your calendar.

ANSI-3852 – Ewes for Market Lamb Production

ANSI-3853 – Managing the Ewe Feed Supply

ANSI-3854 – Feeding and Managing Lambs from Birth to Market

ANSI-3855 – Electric Fencing for Sheep

ANSI-3856 – Starting a Sheep Enterprise

ANSI-3951 – Consideration in Wool Marketing

ANSI-3860 – Sheep Health and Management Guidelines

 

The breeding chart provided with this calendar can be used to determine the estimated lambing dates.  These dates may be recorded in the “Remarks” section of the lambing record.

 

Sheep Health and Management Calendar

 

Table 1. Sheep Health and Management Calendar

Date Suggested Health or Management Practice Additional Practices
Pre-breeding-45 days Rams—Conduct a breeding soundness examination to include semen evaluation and soundness of teeth, eyes, feet, legs, sheath and testicles. Shear, deworm and start feeding rams.Start flushing ewes—feed 1/2-3/4 lb. grain or graze high quality pasture.

Deworm.
Vaccinate for abortion diseases (vibrio [campylobacter]/Enzootic abortion [chlamydia]).
Identify all ewes with paint brands and/or ear tags.
Determine ram to ewe ratio to be used. (see fact sheet #3860)
Put out teaser rams—two weeks before breeding.
 
Breeding- 60 Days Turn in rams. 
Use marking harness. 
Record breeding dates. 
Observe matings. 
Rotate rams as needed.
Feed rams (especially ram lambs).
Check rams and ewes for internal parasites.
Deworm if necessary.
Breed ewe lambs after most of the older ewes are bred (minimum seven months of age).
Ewes bred on Sept. 9 are due to lamb Feb. 1
Pre-Lambing - 90 Days Daily observation of flock.
Build and repair lambing pens.
Clean lambing area.
Assemble supplies needed for lambing.
Shear ewes or tag (shearing around dock, crotch and udder).

Pregnancy test ewes.
Start feeding ewes 1/2-1 lb. grain per 100 lb. body weight six weeks before lambing starts.

Vaccinate ewes for enterotoxemia and tetanus two to four weeks before lambing starts.
 
Lambing - 60 Days Be familiar with sheep obstetrics.
Be available to assist with lambing problems.
Apply iodine to lambs’ navals.
Strip ewes’ teats.
Get lambs to nurse.
Keep ewe and lambs in lambing pen 1-3 days.
Identify lambs.
Provide creep ration.
Observe ewes and lambs daily.
Deworm ewes, dock lambs, and castrate ram lambs.
Separate ewes with singles from those with twins or triplets.
Feed ewes 1-2 lb. grain/day plus high quality forage.
 
Pre-weaning/Lactation - 60-80 Days Vaccinate lambs for enterotoxemia.
Continue feeding ewes 1-2 lbs. grain/day plus high quality forage.

Remove grain from ewes’ ration.
Wean lambs.
 
Post-weaning - 30-50 Days Sort and market cull ewes.
Self feed lambs a complete growing and finishing ration.

Market lambs at an average of 100-110 lbs.
 

 

Sheep Breeding Chart

 

Table 2A. Sheep Breeding Chart

 

Bred - Due

Bred - Due

Bred - Due

Bred - Due

Bred - Due

Bred - Due

  1/1   -  5/26 2/1  -  6/26 3/1  -  7/24 4/1   -  8/24 5/1  -  9/23 6/1  -  10/24           
  1/2  -  5/27 2/2  -  6/27 3/2  -  7/25 4/2  -  8/25 5/2  -  9/24 6/2  -  10/25
  1/3  -  5/28 2/3  -  6/28 3/3  -  7/26 4/3  -  8/26 5/3  -  9/25 6/3  -  10/26
  1/4  -  5/29 2/4  -  6/29 3/4  -  7/27 4/4  -  8/27 5/4  -  9/26 6/4  -  10/27
  1/5  -  5/30 2/5  -  6/30 3/5  -  7/28 4/5  -  8/28 5/5  -  9/27 6/5  -  10/28
  1/6  -  5/31 2/6  -  7/1 3/6  -  7/29 4/6  -  8/29 5/6  -  9/28 6/6  -  10/29
  1/7  -  6/1 2/7  -  7/2 3/7  -  7/30 4/7  -  8/30 5/7  -  9/29 6/7  -  10/30
  1/8  -  6/2 2/8  -  7/3 3/8  -  7/31 4/8  -  8/31 5/8  -  9/30 6/8  -  10/31
  1/9  -  6/3 2/9  -  7/4 3/9  -  8/1 4/9  -  9/1 5/9  -  10/1 6/9  -  11/1
  1/10  -  6/4 2/10  -  7/5 3/10  -  8/2 4/10  -  9/2 5/10  -  10/2 6/10  -  11/2
  1/11  -  6/5 2/11  -  7/6 3/11  -  8/3 4/11  -  9/3 5/11  -  10/3 6/11  -  11/3
  1/12  -  6/6 2/12  -  7/7 3/12  -  8/4 4/12  -  9/4 5/12  -  10/4 6/12  -  11/4
  1/13  -  6/7 2/13  -  7/8 3/13  -  8/5 4/13  -  9/5 5/13  -  10/5 6/13  -  11/5
  1/14  -  6/8 2/14  -  7/9 3/14  -  8/6 4/14  -  9/6 5/14  -  10/6 6/14  -  11/6
  1/15  -  6/9 2/15  -  7/10 3/15  -  8/7 4/15  -  9/7 5/15  -  10/7 6/15  -  11/7
  1/16  -  6/10 2/16  -  7/11 3/16  -  8/8 4/16  -  9/8 5/16  -  10/8 6/16  -  11/8
  1/17  -  6/11 2/17  -  7/12 3/17  -  8/9 4/17  -  9/9 5/17  -  10/9 6/17  -  11/9
  1/18  -  6/12 2/18  -  7/13 3/18  -  8/10 4/18  -  9/10 5/18  -  10/10 6/18  -  11/10
  1/19  -  6/13 2/19  -  7/14 3/19  -  8/11 4/19  -  9/11 5/19  -  10/11 6/19     -  11/11
  1/20  -  6/14 2/20  -  7/15 3/20  -  8/12 4/20  -  9/12 5/20  -  10/12 6/20  -  11/12
  1/21  -  6/15 2/21  -  7/16 3/21  -  8/13 4/21  -  9/13 5/21  -  10/13 6/21     -  11/13
  1/22  -  6/16 2/22  -  7/17 3/22  -  8/14 4/22  -  9/14 5/22  -  10/14 6/22  -  11/14
  1/23  -  6/17 2/23  -  7/18 3/23  -  8/15 4/23  -  9/15 5/23  -  10/15 6/23  -  11/15
  1/24  -  6/18 2/24  -  7/19 3/24  -  8/16 4/24  -  9/16 5/24  -  10/16 6/24  -  11/16
  1/25  -  6/19 2/25  -  7/20 3/25  -  8/17 4/25  -  9/17 5/25  -  10/17 6/25  -  11/17
  1/26  -  6/20 2/26  -  7/21 3/26  -  8/18 4/26  -  9/18 5/26  -  10/18 6/26  -  11/18
  1/27  -  6/21 2/27  -  7/22 3/27  -  8/19 4/27  -  9/19 5/27  -  10/19 6/27     -  11/19
  1/28  -  6/22 2/28  -  7/23 3/28  -  8/20 4/28  -  9/20 5/28  -  10/20 6/28  -  11/20
  1/29  -  6/23   3/29  -  8/21 4/29  -  9/21 5/29  -  10/21 6/29  -  11/21
  1/30  -  6/24   3/30  -  8/22 4/30  -  9/22 5/30  -  10/22 6/30  -  11/22
  1/31  -  6/25   3/31  -  8/23   5/31  -  0/23  

Table 2B. Sheep Breeding Chart

 

 Bred - Due

 Bred - Due

 Bred - Due

 Bred - Due

 Bred - Due

 Bred - Due

  7/1  -  11/23  8/1  -  12/24  9/1  -  1/24  10/1  -  2/23  11/1  -  3/26 12/1  -  4/25
  7/2  -  11/24  8/2  -  12/25  9/2  -  1/25  10/2  -  2/24  11/2  -  3/27 12/2  -  4/26 
  7/3  -  11/25  8/3  -  12/26  9/3  -  1/26  10/3  -  2/25  11/3  -  3/28 12/3  -  4/27
  7/4  -  11/26  8/4  -  12/27  9/4  -  1/27  10/4  -  2/26  11/4  -  3/29 12/4  -  4/28 
  7/5  -  11/27  8/5  -  12/28  9/5  -  1/28  10/5  -  2/27  11/5  -  3/30 12/5  -  4/29 
  7/6  -  11/28 8/6  -  12/29  9/6  -  1/29  10/6  -  2/28  11/6  -  3/31 12/6  -  4/30 
  7/7  -  11/29  8/7  -  12/30  9/7  -  1/30  10/7  -  3/1 11/7  -  4/1  12/7  -  5/1
  7/8  -  11/30  8/8  -  12/31  9/8  -  1/31  10/8  -  3/2 11/8  -  4/2 12/8  -  5/2
  7/9  -  12/1  8/9  -  1/1  9/9  -  2/1  10/9  -  3/3 11/9  -  4/3 12/9  -  5/3 
  7/10  -  12/2  8/10  -  1/2  9/10  -  2/2  10/10  -  3/4  11/10  -  4/4 12/10  -  5/4 
  7/11  -  12/3  8/11  -  1/3  9/11  -  2/3  10/11  -  3/5  11/11  -  4/5 12/11  -  5/5
  7/12  -  12/4  8/12  -  1/4  9/12  -  2/4  10/12  -  3/6 11/12  -  4/6 12/12  -  5/6 
  7/13  -  12/5  8/13  -  1/5  9/13  -  2/5   10/13  -  3/7 11/13  -  4/7 12/13  -  5/7 
  7/14  -  12/6  8/14  -  1/6  9/14  -  2/6  10/14  -  3/8  11/14  -  4/8  12/14  -  5/8 
  7/15  -  12/7  8/15  -  1/7  9/15  -  2/7   10/15  -  3/9 11/15  -  4/9 12/15  -  5/9 
   7/16  -  12/8 8/16  -  1/8  9/16  -  2/8  10/16  -  3/10  11/16  -  4/10 12/16  -  5/10 
  7/17  -  12/9 8/17  -  1/9 9/17  -  2/9 10/17  -  3/11 11/17  -  4/11 12/17  -  5/11
  7/18  -  12/10 8/18  -  1/10 9/18  -  2/10 10/18  -  3/12 11/18  -  4/12 12/18  -  5/12
  7/19  -  12/11 8/19  -  1/11 9/19  -  2/11 10/19  -  3/13 11/19  -  4/13 12/19  -  5/13
  7/20  -  12/12 8/20  -  1/12 9/20  -  2/12 10/20  -  3/14 11/20  -  4/14 12/20  -  5/14
  7/21  - 12/13 8/21  -  1/13 9/21  -  2/13 10/21  -  3/15 11/21  -  4/15 12/21  -  5/15
  7/22  -  12/14 8/22  -  1/14 9/22  -  2/14 10/22  -  3/16 11/22  -  4/16 12/22  -  5/16
  7/23  -  12/15 8/23  -  1/15 9/23  -  2/15 10/23  -  3/17 11/23  -  4/17 12/23  -  5/17
  7/24  -  12/16 8/24  -  1/16 9/24  -  2/16 10/24  -  3/18 11/24  -  4/18 12/24  -  5/18
  7/25  -  12/17 8/25  -  1/17 9/25  -  2/17 10/25  -  3/19 11/25  -  4/19 12/25  -  5/19
  7/26  -  12/18 8/26  -  1/18 9/26  -  2/18 10/26  -  3/20 11/26  -  4/20 12/26  -  5/20
  7/27 - 12/19 8/27  -  1/19 9/27  -  2/19 10/27  -  3/21 11/27  -  4/21 12/27  -  5/21
  7/28  -  12/20 8/28  -  1/20 9/28  -  2/20 10/28  -  3/22 11/28  -  4/22 12/28  -  5/22
  7/29  -  12/21 8/29  -  1/21 9/29  -  2/21 10/29  -  3/23 11/29  -  4/23 12/29  -  5/23
  7/30  -  12/22 8/30  -  1/22 9/30  -  2/22 10/30  - 3/24 11/30  -  4/24 12/30  -  5/24
  7/31  -  12/23 8/31  -  1/23   10/31  -  3/25   12/31  -  5/25

 

Thomas R. Thedford
Former Extension Veterinarian

 

Bill Crutcher
Purebred Flock Manager

 

Joe Hughes
Extension 4-H Livestock Specialist

 

Gerald Fitch
Extension Sheep Specialist

Was this information helpful?
YESNO
Fact Sheet
Minimizing Impacts to Wildlife from Livestock Infrastructure

A guide to the best management practices to protect livestock from outside wildlife in relation to their fencing and water quality.

BirdsHabitat ManagementLivestockLivestock Health & DiseaseLivestock Health, Disease & NutritionLivestock ManagementRaptorsWildlife
Fact Sheet
Stallion Behavior and Management

Considerations and suggestions stallion managers need to know to keep their horses happy, confident and well behaved.

HorsesLivestockLivestock Management
Fact Sheet
Calving Time Management for Beef Cows and Heifers

Descriptions on the types of calving, the different types of abnormal calving conditions and how to handle those situations for a successful calf delivery.

Beef CattleCow-CalfLivestockLivestock Genetics & ReproductionLivestock Health & DiseaseLivestock Health, Disease & NutritionLivestock Reproduction
VIEW ALL
Back To Top