Dairy Herd Health and Productivity Service

Pre-lambing sheep tests

Information on pre-lambing sheep tests.


Ideally blood sampling should be done 2-3 weeks before lambing is due to start.

Earlier than this, sheep are not yet in the high risk period and so there is the potential that some energy problems could be missed.

Later than this, the opportunity to make nutritional adjustments for the benefit of the flock are limited.

Which Sheep to Sample

  • Groups of no less than five sheep in each category (triplet, twin, single)
  • Our standard test encourages submission of up to 20 samples
  • Sampling is also of benefit to un-scanned flocks as the same principles apply

Bloods to submit

Please submit one Lithium Heparin (green topped) blood tube from each sheep.

Information required

Please complete a Sheep test input form for each group submitted


For each group we require the following information

  • Number of foetuses (if scanned)
  • Weeks until lambing
  • Breed.
  • Feed for each group including forage access and concentrates provided
  • Average condition score and weight for the group

Tests analysed

  • Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BOHB)
  • Albumin
  • Urea-Nitrogen
  • Magnesium
  • Copper


Transport of Samples

Transport of Samples

Dairy Herd Health and Productivity Service

  • Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Contact details



Easter Bush Campus

Post Code
EH25 9RG


  • 9-00am - 5.00pm