NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Creep for bottle lambs at 3 weeks ?  (Read 1252 times)

devonlad

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Nr Crediton in Devon
Creep for bottle lambs at 3 weeks ?
« on: March 19, 2017, 04:17:48 pm »
Hi all- apologies if this is going over old ground but despite scouring previous posts on the subject I cant find the precise answer to my question.
we have ended up for the first time, with twin lamb orphans. We'd been supplementing them (both ewe lambs)since birth as it was clear that mum wasn't up to the job of feeding them both. Gradually, what milk she had dried up and earlier this week it became clear that they were almost totally reliant on the bottle. a couple of days ago we took the decision to have mum put to sleep. Mastitis and strong suggestion of TLD, left us little choice
The girls are 3 weeks old today, currently thriving and are now on 4 feeds a day, totalling about 1400 mls- they are out in the field with the rest of the flock by day and we bring them in to the shed every night.
not sure they are doing much other than investigating grass and hay, but I have read that beginning to offer creep can be done quite early and this can reduce the time spent on the bottle. We will be keeping them here, as we have promised our neighbour's little lad who does much of the bottle feeding that we would do that. so growing quick isn't especially important. all we need to know is whats the healthiest thing for them
Voss Electric Fence

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Creep for bottle lambs at 3 weeks ?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 06:31:24 pm »
The reason that creep and forage is feed from an early age is to develop the rumen at an early age so that they can be weaned at 6wks old  plus suffer less weaning check as you keep creep feeding, if they were suckling mum and nibbling grass they would not develop a rumen  until 8-10 wks of age and would keep suckling until  10-12 or 16wks of age .   So depends how long you wish to bottle feed and you could give a bit of creep when inside overnight

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Creep for bottle lambs at 3 weeks ?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 09:19:26 am »
I agree with shep53.  Creep being available may help them grow at a steadier rate as they'll be able to pick at it through the day, rather than get their protein in four milk feeds.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Creep for bottle lambs at 3 weeks ?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 12:45:04 pm »
Milk can cause bloat in older lambs hence why the recommendation is to wean at 6 weeks- keep them on milk much longer and you run the risk of bloat/red gut. It's sudden and normally the first thing you know is the lamb is dead. So in order to wean the lambs by 6 weeks they should have creep introduced from 7 days of age. They will start nibbling by a couple of weeks and by 4 weeks should be eating a fair amount- then you can cut the milk down gradually to wean at 6 weeks. That's how I've always done it over the years and the only lamb we lost to bloat was the day before I was due to cut their milk down. When they are completely weaned I introduce grass slowly, they don't normally go out to the garden until 8 weeks of age and then go to the field a few weeks after that. It seems to work well. This is the first year I've not had any pet lambs (yet!) as we are breeding for the first time but have reared 15-20 pet lambs a year for the last 4 or 5 years up to now.

 

Are we feeding our weaned bottle lambs too much creep?

Started by Lindseystrib

Replies: 7
Views: 2848
Last post June 18, 2015, 01:08:28 pm
by Me
Bottle fed lambs - on scrubby grass. Will creep be enough?

Started by DonkeyGirl

Replies: 4
Views: 751
Last post June 28, 2017, 05:18:02 pm
by Anke
2,5 weeks old lamb who doesn't want bottle

Started by Vossa

Replies: 3
Views: 209
Last post May 10, 2019, 10:33:40 am
by SallyintNorth
Feeding creep to lambs

Started by Faye.Lear

Replies: 3
Views: 1017
Last post April 01, 2016, 01:47:44 pm
by Marches Farmer
creep and grass - orphan lambs

Started by plumseverywhere

Replies: 8
Views: 3078
Last post March 19, 2012, 08:54:04 pm
by plumseverywhere

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS