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Managing Surplus Lambs this Lambing Time...

With lambing season either well underway or for most of us, fast approaching, it is important to have a management strategy in place for surplus lambs.

It is vital that within the first 2 hours of birth all lambs receive the colostrum they require with a second feeding within the following 8 hours. Colostrum is full of antibodies which will boost the lambs immune system to give them the best chance of a strong, healthy start to their life.

If colostrum is unavailable directly from the mother, a good artificial substitute can be given, such as ‘Colostrum Lamb and Kid’. This colostrum provides the key nutrients required which are vital to maintain body temperature. It is also free from pathogens and conveniently mixes within 15 seconds!

If lambs cannot receive an adequate amount of milk from their mother, they should be removed and either fostered onto another ewe, or raised artificially. Lambs should be kept in a warm environment and given a high-quality milk supplement to ensure they have the best chance of development and growth.

At Dugdale Nutrition, we offer the Shepherdess lamb milk as it is specially formulated to match the nutritional profile of ewes milk and is formed from sustainably sourced ingredients for optimum digestion within the lamb. It contains 23.5% crude protein and 24% fat, again, this will help to maintain body temperature and focus on the growth and development of the lamb. It also contains NuStart® which is a natural gut conditioner, enhancing natural performance, as well as aiding rumen development to utilise solid food.

Mixing Instructions

Mix 200g of Shepherdess milk powder in 800ml of warm water to form 1 litre of milk replacement (20% solids).

  • Take two thirds of the required water at a temperature of 45⁰C.

  • Add required amount of milk powder to the water and mix thoroughly.

  • Add cold or warm water to make up the full quantity.

  • Whisk lightly and feed at 40-42⁰C.

Bucket Feeding Lambs

Lambs can be fed via three different feeding systems, either bottle feeding, adlib bucket feeding or via a machine. Bottle feeding can be very time consuming therefore it can be useful to train lambs to bucket feed (which can also be easier if there are several lambs to feed).

Bucket feeding can come with many other benefits too, such as;

  • Delivering faster growth rates

  • Ad-lib, therefore there is no limit as to how much each lamb can drink

  • Several lambs can be fed at once, saving time/improving efficiency

  • Milk can be consumed little and often which can minimise digestion problems

  • Relatively low set up costs

The only drawback of bucket feeding is possible contamination and spread of diseases via the shared teats therefore hygiene and sanitation are crucial. It is also important to assess the situation of each individual lamb before committing to adlib bucket feeding as they don’t want to be under achieving- stunting growth performance (in this situation, bottle feeding may be recommended).

If you would like anymore information on managing surplus lambs or would like more details on the products we sell for managing lambs, please contact your DN Sales Specialist...

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