Sheep (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB5162)

Housing: Space Allowances

  1. 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:



Lowland ewes (60-90 kg live weight)

1.2-1.4 m2 floor space per ewe during pregnancy

Lowland ewes after lambing with lambs at foot up to six weeks of age

2.0.-.2.2 m2 floor space up to per ewe and lambs

Hill ewes ( 45-65 kg live weight)

1.0.-.1.2 m2 floor space per ewe during pregnancy

Hill ewes after lambing, with lambs at foot up to six weeks of age

1.8-2.0 m2 floor space per ewe and lambs

Lambs up to 12 weeks old

0.5-0.6 m2 floor space per lamb

Lambs and sheep 12 weeks to 12 months old

0.75-0.9 m2 floor space per lamb/sheep


1.5-2.0 m2

Shorn Sheep

The Space allowances may be reduced by 10% for winter-shorn sheep. However, no corresponding reduction should be made in respect of the amount of trough space allocated see paragraphs 112 and 113.

Group size

Where possible, pregnant ewes should be kept in groups of less that 50 to allow for better individual recognition and attention at lambing time.

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