Abstract Perinatal lamb mortality is one of the major factors in impairment of productivity on sheep raising enterprises around the world. In this study, perinatal mortality on one of the largest sheep raising enterprises in Peru was measured over a 10-year period. Between 1971 and 1980, a total of 603 694 lamb births was recorded. Mortality during the first 3 days of life was 36.94/1000 births and for the period from 4 to 30 days mortality was 5.87/1000. Non-infectious conditions predominated as causes of mortality. The weak lamb syndrome, accidents, injuries and starvation were the leading causes of mortality. Diseases of infectious etiology were second in importance, but may have been under-reported. Variation in mortality between years, did not appear to affect the patterns of mortality by cause. Approximately 86% of mortality occurred in the first 3 days of life. During this period, nutritional, environmental and management factors resulting in weak lambs and starvation accounted for approximately a third of total mortality. Infections (22%), accidents (22%), and stillbirths (16%) followed in order of importance. During the remainder of the first month of life, deaths from infections predominated, accounting for 60% of mortality from 4 to 30 days.