Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: How much milk for orphan lamb ????  (Read 14041 times)

crobertson

  • Joined Sep 2015
How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« on: March 04, 2016, 08:39:56 am »
We have recently taken on 3, 10 day old cade lambs from a local farmer. They were being feed 4 x daily (about 250-300 ml each time). The farmer said put them on to 3x daily which they should already be on. How much would you give per serving, stick to 300ml or up to 350ml ?
They are very greedy lambs and rush their milk, should we stop have way through for a couple of seconds ?

Thanks !

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2016, 09:32:57 am »
It should tell you the amount to fed on the milk bag. Have you started giving them lamb pellets to help themselves too during the day.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2016, 09:53:21 am »
I suggest following the guidance on the milk product you're using.  If they're guzzling it you could check how big the holes on the teats are - smaller holes = slower intake.  Make good quality hay available and creep feed (I take mine in at night to discourage rats). 

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2016, 10:10:52 am »
In total they should be having around 1 litre per day split over however many feeds. As a rule of thumb we start with 5 x 200ml feeds when they first arrive, then the next week go to 4 x 250ml, next week 3x330ml, next week 2x500ml, 2x500ml and then in the final week 2x250ml. Roughly... although ours now go on a shepherdess so drink ad lib until end of week 5 when the feeder comes out and they go on 2x500ml for a few days then weaned by week 6. Put hay in from about week 3 but watch that they aren't eating hay and leaving the creep, if that's the case then take the hay out and get them eating creep as that's the important stuff nutritionally. Watch for bloat too around week 4/5, that can be a bugger, and miss a milk feed if you think they have eaten too much creep. We wean ours by 6 weeks otherwise bloat can be a real nightmare.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2016, 11:13:25 am »
You need to read the bag; some lamb feeds recommend a total of 1L per day (on average) and some 1.5L, so we can't answer for you, unless you tell us which feed it is.

Lambs do drink fast, yes!  You can try the smaller holes to slow them down, but sometimes that just makes them pull harder, and make their gums and lips bleed.  (Silly little bleaters!  ::))

Drinking fast won't hurt them, provided the feed isn't too large for the first stomach, and that it goes into the first stomach.  So if you're increasing the size of feeds (because reducing number of feeds), go up over a few feeds/days to make sure you're not going to overflow the first stomach.  And attend to your feeding technique - the lamb needs to have its nose above the horizontal, but ideally with the neck/front end dipped down - the same stance as it would have drinking from its mother - and, as with feeding human babies, you need to hold the bottle at an angle so that no air gets in with the milk.

If the lambs have been properly brought to this stage by someone experienced, the feeding stance shouldn't be an issue, as they'll have developed the correct reflexes for routing the milk down the oesophageal groove and into the correct stomach.  It's where inexperienced people feed the lambs for the first few days, and don't get the milk routing correctly, that you are more likely to have problems with milk getting into the rumen instead of the abomasum and causing bloat or other issues.

I don't know why I wrote all that out, I should have just linked to jaykay's excellent post on milk routing / stomach use / bloat

All ruminants should have forage (hay, straw or grass) within the first week of life, as it stimulates the rumen - which may not grow properly without this early stimulation.

Whilst I agree that you want them eating creep (mine seem to switch onto it naturally at around 3 weeks), I would never deprive a ruminant of forage. 

Some of twizzel's advice, IMO, comes from the system he operates, being ad lib -> 2 large feeds -> weaning.  If you're keeping them on bottles until you wean, IME you don't have the same problems.  (I've never used a shepherdess, so I can't offer my own experience on that system.)
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2016, 11:56:51 am »
Don't forget to have fresh water available for the lambs.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2016, 12:20:12 pm »
Whilst I agree that you want them eating creep (mine seem to switch onto it naturally at around 3 weeks), I would never deprive a ruminant of forage. 

Some of twizzel's advice, IMO, comes from the system he operates, being ad lib -> 2 large feeds -> weaning.  If you're keeping them on bottles until you wean, IME you don't have the same problems.  (I've never used a shepherdess, so I can't offer my own experience on that system.)

On the back of the lamlac bag it says in big bold letters "do not feed ad-lib forage during milk feeding as it can depress concentrate intake and delay weaning". So ours do get hay, but not until they have started nibbling and showing an interest in creep first.

The only difference with the shepherdess is it provides ad lib milk during those vital first few weeks, the weaning process is exactly the same as when the shepherdess comes out, the lambs go onto the equivalent amount of milk they would be on if they were bottle fed right through.

On a side note Twizzel is a she  ;D ;)

crobertson

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2016, 12:59:01 pm »
Thanks for the replies !

They are on Lamlac which recommends 2-4 feedings per day (we're going for 3) with a maximum of 1.5 litres per day. 500ml seems too much for them in one go !
They easily polish off 330 ml x4 a day so i'll put them on 400ml x3 a day, increasing to 450 and then 500 in the coming weeks.

Yes I've also read that on the bag of Lamlac about no hay, they've had some creep down today and seem interested in having a nibble.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2016, 01:24:13 pm »
On a side note Twizzel is a she  ;D ;)

 :-[  Well, I don't know where I'd got the other impression - my apologies!

On the subject of feeding hay, I go by what I was taught on a Ruminent Health course put on for smallholders by a Veterinary Surgery.  A feed supplier does have a vested interest in getting us to feed the lambs more milk and more creep ;)

As I say, I've no experience of using a shepherdess system, but it seems to me that switching from ad lib, where they'll take it little and often, to a few large feeds, is almost a recipe for bloat.  Especially if forage has been withheld until week three, which, according to that vet, can result in the rumen not developing correctly.

I really don't want to jinx myself,  :fc:, but I hardly ever get bloat in my bottle lambs.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2016, 04:18:02 pm »
Our almost always bloat whilst on the shepherdess during the last week or so I guess because they are starting to take in more creep and have a lot more milk in their tummies (drinking almost double what they would on a conventional bottle system), never had one bloat when on the bottle, hence why we take it out and go back to bottles for the last 7-10 days to restrict milk and encourage them to eat more hay and creep without the risk of bloating up, and start drinking water. Otherwise I think that full ration of milk  being there one day in a shepherdess and weaning abruptly the next with no shepherdess is a little harsh. I think as long as you watch them like a hawk as they get older the risk of bloat is overshadowed by the advantage of ad lib milk when they are very small, I don't like leaving them all night without milk and if something crops up on the farm or you're home late etc you know they still have milk. Horses for courses I guess, I also reared lambs on the bottle for a couple of years too but found the shepherdess worked better for our system  :)  We have had 2 lambs bloat whilst on milk- 1 a couple of years ago the day before the feeder came out, and 1 this week who luckily was fine given a bit of tic and sunflower oil drench. To put it in perspective over the last 5 years have reared in excess of 65 tame lambs.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 04:29:06 pm by twizzel »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2016, 06:16:44 pm »
I completely get that there are advantages of ad lib, and I can see how it works better for you.

However,
We wean ours by 6 weeks otherwise bloat can be a real nightmare.

I don't wean any of mine before 6 weeks, and keep them on longer if I think they're benefiting.  No problems with bloat (again  :fc: I'm not now jinxing myself!), and my orphan lambs go on and do as well (in terms of price realised, whether sold fat at the mart or direct deadweight) as lambs reared on their mams - albeit taking longer to reach top price than some of those reared by their dams.  Which is astounding, really, and confounds BH every time some go off :)
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

crobertson

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2016, 06:53:44 pm »
After doing a bit of reading regarding bloat and cade lambs does anyone add yoghurt to their milk as routine ??

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: How much milk for orphan lamb ????
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2016, 07:48:29 pm »
After doing a bit of reading regarding bloat and cade lambs does anyone add yoghurt to their milk as routine ??

I use half-and-half formula and fresh raw Jersey milk from cows on our farm, which comes to about the same thing.  If I didn't have access to the raw Jersey milk I would probably add a spoonful of natural probiotic yoghurt, yes.  But I'd try to get yoghurt made from unhomogenised milk.

As an aside, I find the lambs do brilliantly on 100% raw Jersey milk after about 2-3 weeks, although they need more total quantity than they do with half-and-half.  But I feed them all half-and-half for maximum flexibility - if I'm too busy to milk, they'll be fine having all formula for a feed or two ;)  And if I have more lambs than I have time (and use of my arthritic hands) to milk sufficient quantity for, then I just mix formula with whatever Jersey milk I've got available.

For the first two weeks, they get half-and-half to make sure they develop the ability to digest both Jersey and ewe milk, so that if they get a chance of being fostered, they can still digest the ewe's milk.  (I learned this the hard way; lost two lambs and nearly a third before I twigged what was happening.)  After that, they can go in any direction.  We had one with terrible orf around her mouth one year, and she did best on 100% Jersey milk because it's a natural antibiotic, and it doesn't sting on raw flesh.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

Orphan lamb coughing during milk

Started by Hillview Farm (15.44)

Replies: 4
Views: 5020
Last post May 28, 2014, 11:40:37 am
by Hellybee
Orphan lamb stopped taking milk

Started by Imafluffybunny (15.27)

Replies: 5
Views: 6999
Last post April 04, 2016, 02:29:46 am
by Imafluffybunny
Cows milk to orphan lambs?

Started by craiglockwood (11.59)

Replies: 3
Views: 19769
Last post March 29, 2011, 01:19:45 am
by SallyintNorth
Goats milk for orphan lambs ??????????

Started by crobertson (11.59)

Replies: 7
Views: 4946
Last post February 24, 2016, 08:08:52 am
by Sbom
Cows milk for orphan lambmy

Started by NewLifeOnTheFarm (11.59)

Replies: 8
Views: 1818
Last post March 19, 2019, 11:39:51 am
by SallyintNorth

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2021. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS