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Practical Lambing and Lamb Care – A Veterinary Guide


Fourth Edition

Neil Sargison, BA, VetMB, PhD, DSHP, DipECSRHM, FRCVS

University of Edinburgh

Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Easter Bush Veterinary Centre


President of the European College of Small Ruminant Health Management

James Patrick Crilly, MA, VetMB, CertAVP, DipECSRHM, MRCVS

Larkmead Veterinary Group


Andrew Hopker, BVM&S, CertAVP, MRCVS

Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Easter Bush Veterinary Centre


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Preface to the Fourth Edition

It has now been fourteen years since the publication of the third edition of Practical Lambing and Lamb Care, and 32 years since the first edition. It has been our privilege to update this important globally relevant resource through the preparation of the fourth edition. In doing so, we wish to acknowledge the excellence of the previous editions and the expertise of their Moredun Research Institute‐based authors, Colin Macaldowie, John Small, and the sadly missed Andy Eales.

In this new edition, we have attempted to maintain the impressive scope of the previous editions, while focusing on practical husbandry and animal health. We have attempted to extend the scope of the book by including goat kidding management. For clarity, many of the principles referred to under the headings of lambing, ewes and lambs are equally relevant to kidding, goats and kids. The principles of goat management are only described separately where they differ.

We have structured this fourth edition to begin with chapters describing general practical lambing and kidding management, and care of newborn lambs and kids. These chapters describe preparation for lambing or kidding, obstetrical procedures and health management of newborn lambs or kids. Lambing and kidding are part of a management continuum, the outcomes of which are determined by interventions occurring throughout the year. Thus, the foundations for a successful outcome are laid long beforehand. We have dedicated three chapters to animal husbandry and health, describing planned reproductive, nutritional and disease management, with reference to preparation for a successful lambing or kidding. This is followed by a chapter describing a practical approach to ensure that individual sick or unwell animals can be identified and treated promptly. Finally, we have included a chapter describing and explaining animal welfare and disease control legislation.

We are grateful to all of those veterinary colleagues and farmers who have helped us to gain the experience and expertise required in the writing of this book, and to our publisher, Wiley, for their support and patience in this venture.

September 2018
University of Edinburgh
Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Neil Sargison
James Patrick Crilly
Andrew Hopker