March 17, or St. Patrick’s Day signalled the beginning of the busy lambing season on many mid-season lambing flocks.

At this time of the year, coinciding with the busy lambing season, the number of foster ewes and pet lambs that appear for sale increases.

For some farmers, the idea of buying a foster ewe to rear a lamb or buying in pet lamb(s) to put on a ewe is a good idea, that may work in their favour; however, it could also bring its own problems.

Buying in foster ewes or pet lambs can pose a potential health risk to your flock and there is no worse time to bring this risk on your flock than at lambing time, when many abortive agents and other health issues can spread like wildfire in a lambing shed.

If the need arises to bring in a foster ewe or pet lamb to your flock, if possible, try and source them from a flock you know the health status of, in order to reduce the risk of bringing in any unwanted diseases into your farm.

At the end of the day, the health status of your flock of sheep is only as good as the worst flock you buy sheep from.