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20 Dec

10 Top tips for Lambing

Posted by admin

Please see below 10 excellent tips for lambing. 


1:  Body Condition Score: For lowland crossbred ewes increasing BCS from 2.5 to 3.5 can increase scanning percent by 20-40%. For a hill ewe a BCS of around 2.5 is more realistic.

2:  Housing: House and feed according to scanning results. Lambing pens should be dry, draught-free and well-ventilated providing adequate space per ewe. 

3:  Colostrum: Good quality colostrum (50 g/litre or more of Immunoglobulin-G (IgG)) should be provided at 50 ml/kg live weight per feed at birth and every six hours thereafter in the first 24 hours.  Hygiene during collection, transfer and feeding of colostrum is critical to lamb survival.

4:  Navel dip: Treated with 10% iodine solution as soon as possible after birth (within 15 minutes) with a follow up dip about four hours after birth encouraged. 

5:  Milk replacer: Choose one to suit your feeding system, lamb type and growth goals.  Ensure it is mixed correctly (temperature, concentration & volume) and consistently to reduce stress and nutritional scours. (20% concentration means 200g powder to 800ml water to make a litre).

6:  Starter feed: Provide ad libitum access to a good quality starter (16/18 % protein) offered from day 3 or after the colostrum phase to kick start rumen development. Little, fresh and often is the best approach and all feed refusals should be fed to older stock.  

7:  Water: Ad libitum access to fresh, clean water at an easily accessible height should be provided from birth. Together water and starter intake drive rumen development pre-weaning.

8:  Roughage: Offer good quality straw in a rack (avoid long green hay as this can lead to depressed starter feed intake, delayed weaning and pot-bellied lambs).

9:  Hygiene: Implement procedures for buildings, feeding equipment and personnel and evaluate hygiene management on a regular basis in addition to observing lambs for any signs of ill-health. One third of lamb losses occur due to infections so focus on colostrum and hygiene.

10:  Weaning: Lambs should be 2.5 times their birth weight (9 – 10 kg) at seven weeks of age and consuming 250 g of starter feed per day for successful weaning.

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