Rearing and preparing lambs
If available, feed 200 ml of colostrum (ewe, goat, cow) if < 24 hrs old
If no colostrum available, you can make up the following colostrum substitute and divide over 5 feeds during the first 24 hrs:
- 700 ml cows milk
- 1 egg yolk (beaten)
- 5 ml cod liver oil
- 15 g dextrose powder
An antibiotic may need to be added to this – discuss this with your veterinarian.
2) SHELTER / WARMTH:
Often it is necessary to buy a little coat for the lamb.
Keep out of draught
Use FULL CREAM MILK POWDER (from supermarket)
Mix 200g powder with warm water to make up 1 Liter (this gives a composition closer to that of Ewe’s milk, approx. 20% dry matter)
Feed roughly according to the following guide:
|Age of lamb||Amount/feed||Feeds/day|
|2-7 days||100-150 ml||5|
|1-2 weeks||180-250 ml||4|
|2-3 weeks||360-500 ml||3|
|3-4 weeks||500-700 ml||3|
|4-5 weeks||750 ml – 1 L||2|
Actual amounts fed may vary according to the breed and size of lamb.
Small, weak lambs may need to be fed less, more frequently.
Weigh lambs once a week and do NOT feed more than a total of 200 ml/kg/day.
Note that the quickest way to kill a hand-reared lamb is to over-feed it!
- Lambs start to eat solid foods at around 3 weeks of age normally, so the EARLIEST age to wean a hand-reared lamb on to solid concentrates is 4 weeks.
- Offer sheep or calf starter pellets (24% protein) as well as good quality hay
- If early weaning is planned, have the solids available from about 1 week old.
- The minimum age to wean a hand-reared lamb on to pasture alone is 6 weeks. The pasture needs to be suitable – short and have a high legume content.
Rams should be castrated between 1 and 6 weeks of age.
6) TAIL DOCKING:
Consider tail docking lambs as flystrike prevention.
Vaccinate lambs and consider annual vaccination of adults for Clostridial diseases.
Pet sheep need to be shorn once a year, BEFORE blow fly season (when the weather starts to warm up).