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Author Topic: Are we feeding our weaned bottle lambs too much creep?  (Read 2980 times)

Lindseystrib

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Wales
    • Facebook
Are we feeding our weaned bottle lambs too much creep?
« on: June 07, 2015, 08:24:44 am »
We have15 bottle-reared lambs that are now approx 10 weeks old. They are in the field (with older ewes & their lambs) on poor pasture (our land needs a lot of improving, so we don't have lovely fields just yet). We are feeding them approx 1lb of creep per day per lamb - and they look quite fat & bloated - but seem very well.

Are we overdoing the creep - or is there something else going on? They were wormed about 1 week ago.
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GrannyAching

  • Joined Apr 2015
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Are we feeding our weaned bottle lambs too much creep?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2015, 09:38:54 am »
I think it depends what you are trying to do with them by which I mean are you trying to finish them really quickly or just giving them a bit extra because they have been bottle fed and you think they need a bit of help now they are weaned (are they?) and on not brilliant grass?

For intensive finishing the pellets are given ad lib.

There is a lot of debate about whether it is ever economic to feed creep to lambs born after March.

I do encourage all my lambs to learn to eat from the trough. As soon as they start investigating the ewes feed, I substitute lamb pellets for some of nuts and then I offer the lambs a trough in a hurdled off area by sticking it half in and half out before moving it all the way in. I do this because me flexibility in terms of when I sell them because, like you my grass is variable (and this year's a nightmare). 

So I hope this helps a bit!

Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Are we feeding our weaned bottle lambs too much creep?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2015, 09:44:06 am »
Ok so we feed rationed hard feed with Cade lambs and the field lambs wont have ad lib until they ve had both they're jabs.    D

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Are we feeding our weaned bottle lambs too much creep?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2015, 09:49:13 am »
1lb per head sounds reasonable to me.  Not too much but enough to make up for not having mum's milk on tap.

If the grass is poor quality they have to eat more bulk to get the same nutritive value out of it, so their tummies will look very full because they are!  So long as they slim down overnight, before they start eating in the morning, have a good covering of flesh (feel their ribs and backbone, you can't always tell by eye), and aren't too 'loose' ;) at the back end, I wouldn't be worried.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Lindseystrib

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Are we feeding our weaned bottle lambs too much creep?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2015, 11:44:57 am »
Great - thanks everyone. Think we will cut them down a little bit & keep an eye on how they grow on.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Are we feeding our weaned bottle lambs too much creep?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2015, 12:52:58 pm »
Personally I wouldn't cut them down unless they are rolling fat.

If you reduce the creep, they need to replace that nutrition from grass, which means bigger bellies yet...  :o  And/or, losing condition.  Hence mine get more creep when they are on poor grass, less when they're on better grass.

When I say 'creep', mind, mine are getting a 16%-17% ration suitable for tups and lambs, not a high protein feed designed to push them on.  So one other option would be to replace the creep (if it is a high protein, expensive lamb creep) with Champion Tup Mix or similar, which will help them get enough nutrients without blowing up but be cheaper for you.

If you do reduce their hard feed, do keep an eye on their condition score - if they go backwards, I'd give them more cake. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Liz Kershaw

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Are we feeding our weaned bottle lambs too much creep?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 10:30:38 am »
How do I assess my grass quality?

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: Are we feeding our weaned bottle lambs too much creep?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 01:08:28 pm »
If anything you will cause problems by not having it adlib. They may not actually eat more over 24hrs it can even be less than if you ration it! I would say create a creep and keep it full

 

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