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Author Topic: Ewe colostrum  (Read 4424 times)

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2017, 05:07:00 pm »
Gosh some really diverse approaches on this.  I have used dried colostrum in these circumstances and on the basis that it gave the lamb the energy to get up and feed for itself certainly within the 20 hours when it is suggested the ewe is still producing antibodies in the colostrum. If you freeze some from your ewe how long does it last?
Voss Electric Fence

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2017, 05:14:49 pm »
It lasts fairly indefinitely to the best of my knowledge. The problem that is being ignored is that the open bridges between the inside of the gut and the blood stream are induced to close <2hrs by the presence of protein. So giving fake colostrum can therefore be counterproductive where ewe colostrum could easily have been had. The antibodies from the ewe may still have a local action within the gut after this time but no further

Can I suggest you swap your fake colostrum shot for freezing real stuff?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 05:18:32 pm by Me »

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2017, 05:41:46 pm »
How do I achieve it? On the commercial side if there are triplets born and I decide to remove one I bring it in the house and put it in a clean, dry warm area until I have defrosted some colostrum or milked some off another ewe and I have time to deal with it, then it may go to the pet lamb pen. I don't see having several ewes lambing at once prevents anybody putting a lamb in a warm, clean place if its mother cannot look after it.
We don't normally have this problem as we've culled out triplet-bearing bloodlines and haven't had to do any bottle rearing for about 8 years.  We find first-timers sometimes take a few hours to settle down and a bottle of colostrum provides the lamb with immunoglobulins and energy as well as acting as a laxative.  The lamb is able to transfer antibodies from its gut to its bloodstream for only a very limited time of around 12 to 15 hours after birth but this timeframe still enables it to have a plentiful amount from Mama. 

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2017, 05:59:23 pm »
The most recent cpd I saw said 2 hours after first feed no where near 15. So if you give fake stuff there may not be plenty of time to take from Mama, there are 2 hours. Unless your powdered stuff is as good as real or better what you are doing is potentially counterproductive , what brand are you using?




Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2017, 09:30:11 pm »
Thank you everyone for your replies!!  Hopefully in true TAS style this thread has given lots of info for those following it.  This is now our plan for this lambing


We won't bother buying any powdered colostrum
Any old lasses with spare milk will have some stripped out as soon as possible and frozen just in case we need it.
If we are at the 22am need to go to bed" stage we will just milk the ewe out and bottle feed it to the lambs.


Most of this was a already decided  - I just wondered how soon we would have to milk a donor for it to be still colostrum not just milk.


Landroverroy - thank you for your concern, there are two of us lambing and usually one does the early and one the late shift.  Sometimes though one of us will need the other like last year when I went to help with a tight shearing at 10pm and then we had 10 ewes lamb one after the other with loads of triplets! 


This year we haven't flushed our ewes and have a lower scanning rate (that's good - far too many quads and triplets last year!) so hopefully by 21st April we will be finishing a nice calm stress free lambing !

Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2017, 12:55:26 am »
I would never give powdered colostrum if the ewe has milk.  It's not hard to milk the ewe for a feed for the lamb - even if you only give it 150ml of her colostrum, it makes a huge difference.  But if #1 lambie has drunk her dry and #2 lambie isn't full, and it's 2am, then I'd give milk saved from another ewe if I had it.  Next best, a good powdered colostrum, one that has probiotics.  I find that much better than cow colostrum for the very first feed.

I agree the comment about it being the best first feed colostrum while it's yellow.  Some ewes produce that for 24 hours or even longer, some only for a couple of litres then it's gone. 

Milk from a ewe that lambed within the last 24 hours is best, but there are probably still good antibodies for another day or two.  If I only had Day 2 ewes' milk, I'd probably do half and half powdered and ewes' for that first feed.

Any lamb that doesn't get ewes' colostrum or reconstituted colostrum the first 6 hours is very high risk for not making it.  It may not die straight away but it is very likely to fail at some point in the first few months.  Yoghurt will probably help it get started, I agree, but I wouldn't expect it to make a fat lamb or a breeder unless it got actual ewes' colostrum or a good reconstituted ewes' colostrum.  Vaccinating at the earliest opportunity (I think it's three weeks for Heptavac for a lamb suckling a ewe, but do check) would probably help its chances.
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

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2017, 02:04:08 am »
Thank you SITN.    :thumbsup:
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2017, 09:01:10 am »
We use Lamb Volostrum from Wynnstay, which contains whey protein powder and colostrum powder.  The Veterinary Book for Sheep Farmers by David Henderson of the Moredun Institute (known as the Lambing Bible in the MF household) mentions the time for gut absorption of immunoglobulins as being 12 to 15 hours, as mentioned earlier.
 
The brown fat reserves the lamb is born with are exhausted quite rapidly, in around 6 hours, depending on the robustness of the lamb and the conditions it's born into, and if it doesn't get energy it won't be able to make the effort to stand, find a teat and start suckling, particularly if the ewe is a first-timer busy fussing around it or not quite sure what to make of it.

I think the ewe should do the work, not me, which is why we culled out triplet-bearers, but sometimes she needs a bit of help to get going.
 

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2017, 01:46:35 pm »
We lamb over three weeks and generally give good quality powdered colostrum within half an hour of birth, unless the lamb has suckled from an experienced ewe in that time.

Do I miss-read this then? You give all lambs fake colostrum within half an hour unless they fill up from an experienced ewe before you get to them - and these are only singles or twins! Hardly the ewe doing the work for you.

There are only three reasons for this 1. Your ewes have a terrible milk problem 2. Your lambs have a birth vigour problem 3. You are convinced that 1. or 2. are the case when actually the sheep are fine ... 4. You are the CEO of Powderlostrum Inc ;)

We just finished lambing our heavily culled pedigree flock of Charmoise, (a breed not over endowed with milk) no lambs were pulled, no colostrum top ups and certainly no powder or Spectam given, no cases of WM and no JI. This is only 50 ewes and ewe lambs so not on your scale but I bet your Southdowns can cope without dried colostrum and if they can't at least you will see which animals need culling. Colostrum should not need supplementing routinely.

15 hours may apply if starved (hence my assertion that triplets etc were put somewhere warm and sterile until colostrum could be provided) this time frame does not apply once you have introduced protein to the stomach, be that dried colostrum substitute or sheep poo sucked off dirty wool. The first feed needs to be large and full of antibodies. Your chosen product does have a higher generic "IgG" content claim than some others which is something, but it will not be nearly as good as the real specific stuff you are substituting.   

I doubt I am going to change your position on this!

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2017, 02:07:04 pm »
I am always happy to consider better ways to achieve our aims, which is why we sit down at the dining table and share a plate of particularly scrummy cakes when lambing's over, to discuss what changes we might make to the Flock Plan to improve things for the following year.  Our aims are to achieve zero lamb and ewe losses between scanning and weaning (tick), not have to bottle feed (tick), have all lambs well mothered up within the first 24 hours (tick) and have a good crop of ewe lamb replacements for ourselves or other folk wanting registered pedigree stock, three top quality ram lambs to grow on for ram hire and the rest to go in the freezer or be sold at market (tick again).  Our Flock Plan is based on our flock, our land and our system, which is why, as I always say, it can be a basis for adaptation, not a handbook set in stone.

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2017, 02:30:23 pm »
I am always happy to consider better ways to achieve our aims, which is why we sit down at the dining table and share a plate of particularly scrummy cakes when lambing's over, to discuss what changes we might make to the Flock Plan to improve things for the following year.  Our aims are to achieve zero lamb and ewe losses between scanning and weaning (tick), not have to bottle feed (tick), have all lambs well mothered up within the first 24 hours (tick) and have a good crop of ewe lamb replacements for ourselves or other folk wanting registered pedigree stock, three top quality ram lambs to grow on for ram hire and the rest to go in the freezer or be sold at market (tick again).  Our Flock Plan is based on our flock, our land and our system, which is why, as I always say, it can be a basis for adaptation, not a handbook set in stone.

Good on you

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2017, 12:36:37 pm »
Geez, all this talk of milking off and freezing stuff makes me tired just reading it. Lol :)

Powdered colostrum for me (the best I can find).  Hardly hardly ever use it though as I never keep any ewes that fail to rear lambs by themselves nor any lambs from ewes who didn't have enough milk.  In my mind rearing lambs is the ewe's job, not mine.  My job is just to ensure the ewes are fed sufficiently that they produce enough good milk themselves :) .

In answer to the OPs question though I thought it was 24 hours, but that time drops the more it is milked out of her.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 12:49:57 pm by Foobar »

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Ewe colostrum
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2017, 01:01:28 pm »

 
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