Sheep Milking: What happens to the lambs?

Sheep Milking: What Happens to the Lambs?

G’dday from Fernglen Farm. We are New Zealand’s first SPCA Certified dairy farm and sheep milking company! We believe that producing exceptional sheep milk products goes hand in hand with responsible and ethical animal care. In this blog post, we invite you to take a closer look at what happens to lambs on our farm. At Fernglen Farm, we prioritise the well-being of our sheep and their offspring, ensuring they lead healthy, happy lives. Let’s explore our lamb care practices.

Lambing Season: A Special Time

Lambing season is an exciting and vital period at here. It’s the time when our ewes give birth to adorable lambs, and our team’s dedication to the welfare of these newborns truly shines. We ensure the following:

1. Maternal Bonding: We recognise the importance of the maternal bond between ewes and their lambs and allow our ewes to bond naturally with their newborns, the lambs will stay on their mum until the perfect time for both ewe and lamb. This crucial time ensures lambs receive the essential colostrum from their mothers, boosting their immune systems and providing vital nutrients to get them off to the best start in life. This natural bond between ewe and lamb is something of beauty and we love how our system enables this.

2. Weaning Process: We ensure that the lambs are a minimum of 14kg in weight and 40 days old before being weaned. This allow the lambs time to develop their rumen fully so that when they are weaned onto high quality pasture, they continue to thrive. This is also a favourable amount of time for the ewes as if the lambs are left on for too long, they can become very aggressive drinkers which can lead to really bad cuts on the teats of the ewes, this can cause infection to get in and puts the ewes life at risk. We really find this a win – win system for both the ewe and lambs.

3. High-Quality Nutrition: Just like their mothers, lambs at Fernglen Farm are given the best start in life. We provide them with a carefully balanced diet to meet their nutritional needs, ensuring they grow strong and healthy. They love chichory, plantain, clover and a nice snack of barley grain!.

3. Adequate Shelter: Our lambs have access to shelter and protection from the elements. Whether it’s shelter from the hot New Zealand sun or warmth during chilly nights, we prioritise their comfort.

4. Close Monitoring: Our dedicated team closely monitors all our lambs, ensuring they are thriving. We watch for any signs of illness or distress and provide immediate care when needed.

5. What happens to the lambs when weaned?: We keep replacement stock, both ewe lambs and ram lambs, but we can’t keep them all. Surplus stock will usually be sold to other farmers for breeding or for growing out to eventually enter into the meat industry as traditional sheep and beef farming is done. Here, lambs are not just seen as a byproduct which occurs from us wanting to milk the ewes, everything is valued and no life is wasted to just enable us to be able to collect milk from our girls.


At Fernglen Farm, we are committed to ethical and responsible lamb care in the sheep milking industry. Our practices are designed to prioritise the welfare of our animals, from the moment they are born until they become part of our thriving flock. We believe that healthy, happy sheep make for the best quality milk and dairy products. We are proud to produce sheep milk products that you can enjoy with confidence, knowing they come from a place of compassion and care. Thank you for choosing Fernglen Farm for your sheep milk needs, and we look forward to sharing our exceptional products with you.


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