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Benefits of Housing Sheep For Lambing

The Benefits of Using a Polyhouse For Lambing

Polyhouses are designed to allow much-welcomed light and warmth into them. This not only improves food conversion rates but creates a healthier, drier environment which is less susceptible to bacteria and fungi. The notion that a polyhouse is a poor man's livestock house is certainly no longer the case. Advances in structural design, developments in covering materials and improved engineering techniques make polyhouses a modern and inexpensive alternative to traditional livestock housing. Our customers use our structures for hay/general storage as well as a dry place to house sheep before and during shearing, making them a year-round investment. They are becoming increasingly popular for calf housing and poultry sheds, as well as housing for dairy herd, beef cows, goats, pigs and alpacas.

  •  Short-wave radiation from daylight creates warmer and drier housing conditions - reducing bedding costs.
  •  Increases natural light - lower energy requirements.
  •  Warmer environment increases food conversion ratio - lowering the feed cost and reduced incidents of twin lamb disease.
  •  Content livestock - improved welfare and lower lamb mortality.
  •  Polyhouses are more economical per square metre than traditional buildings.
  •  Natural light keeps potentially harmful bacteria, fungi, moulds and odours at minimum levels.
  •  Light provides natural vitamin enriching sunshine and warmth for livestock.

Sheep Polyhouse Layout Tips

A well-designed sheep house is labour efficient, provides a healthy environment for sheep and lambs and makes the best use of space. Consider the layout of pens, penning, passageways, meal troughs, individual pens, lambing equipment, ventilation and lighting (if required). A well-designed layout should mean less work, taking into account jobs such as feeding, bedding, moving new-borns, mothering-up, watering, cleaning out and veterinary tasks.

  • When deciding on housing sheep for lambing, ensure sufficient space is available for lying and feeding. Competition for space can contribute to serious health and welfare problems, as nutritional and social stresses increase in the run-up to lambing.
  • The length of the forage feed face and trough space are more important than the overall space allowance, ensuring all stock have access to forage and concentrate without unnecessary struggling or competition.
  • Ewes that are lame, sick or affected by foot rot should be separated to a hospital area. This allows for special attention and prevents any problems from spreading throughout the flock.
  • Set up pens for ease of management in terms of cleaning, stock handling and movement.
  • Ensure water bowls/troughs are designed and located to minimise fouling and freezing.
  • Set up feed troughs so waste feed can be removed easily and regularly. 

Sheep Space Allowance

The space allowance and group size for housed sheep should be determined according to age, size and class of livestock. Some examples of current good practice, with adequate ventilation and well-bedded on straw indoors, are set out below.

Sheep Housing Space Allowance

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