Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Making up Lambs milk  (Read 585 times)

Timmy T

  • Joined Feb 2021
Making up Lambs milk
« on: February 24, 2021, 12:38:56 pm »
Should we be making up lambs milk feeds as you would for a baby? Should we use cooled boiled water for the milk and sterilise bottles and teats with Miltons or will cleaning with good old fashioned hot soapy water be ok?

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2021, 12:52:57 pm »
I just use warm water as it comes out of the tap for mixing milk. You could sterilise every time but I just rinse out thoroughly with warm water straight after use and leave to dry on the side. Once in a while put bottles through the dishwasher  :roflanim:  we moved to a shepherdess type feeder for pet lambs now. It is much easier than bottles if you?ve got more than a couple of lambs.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2021, 12:54:13 pm »
We have always done it as you would for a human baby - lambs are susceptible to gut bugs just as much as humans.  You will however find that many people don't sterilise properly.  I don't know if this has been researched, so you have to make your own decision.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2021, 12:55:44 pm »
I always wash everything thoroughly with scalding hot water immediately, teats thoroughly with hot soapy water every time and scald before use, everything with washing up liquid at least once a day (usually after final feed), and sterilise with Miltons or similar every day or couple of days when the lambs are very young, moving onto maybe every 4 or 5 days, and eventually weekly, as they become more robust.  More cleaning and more care about not sharing teats if any lamb is under the weather, of course.

Using freshly boiled (cooled to blood heat or lower, or it can affect the vitamins and other constituents) water for making up the milk is a good idea, but I can't say I do this myself :/
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

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2021, 01:02:01 pm »
What ever you think is best personally i just mix hot / cold to the right temp and then when older only cold , for cleaning i just use hot water and a long brush to get inside the bottle  and teat .  A lamb will suck and nibble everything so ingesting all sorts of microbes,bugs which will build up its immunity

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2021, 01:21:51 pm »
I didn't ever sterilise my human babies' bottles, though by the time they were on bottles/cups they were also crawling all over the house and garden...


I don't sterilised my lambs and goat kids' bottles either. After all they don't live in a sterile environment and graze(or at least nuzzle the grass) from day one. Just a wash with my normal washing up liquid and rinse with the hot water from the tap.


The reason you loose bottle fed lambs is that they often don't get enough (or indeed any) quality colostrum, which you cannot compensate for with sterilising bottles.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2021, 04:18:06 pm »
Yes there are bugs in the environment and yes a lamb which got a good dose of colostrum will do better than one which didn't.

But milk is a fantastic growth medium for those bugs, so the concentration of bugs that you could be feeding back to lambs, straight into the abomasum, in milk fed from unwashed or unsterilised bottles, would be significantly higher than they would find in the environment.  Plus, whatever they lick and suck on in their pen, those bugs do not go into the abomasum, where all the milk gets digested, along with a lovely growth warm medium, as is the case if the bugs are in the milk feed.

Bottle lambs are at a disadvantage in the first place, and are a heck of a lot of work.  Just seems a bit bonkers to me to not improve their chances by handling their milk and feeders carefully, and making reasonable efforts to not introduce additional bugs as you feed them.

But each to their own.
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

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2021, 06:33:05 pm »
My point maybe poorly made was that lambs are not human babies ,they are born  onto the ground  and then stand and suckle a teat that may be covered in anything including fecal , so cannot be compared with a human baby   and while i said i keep bottles and teats clean ( our babies bottles always used Milton )its what ever makes the person feeding happy .

Timmy T

  • Joined Feb 2021
Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2021, 06:41:06 pm »
Thanks folks. We sterilised everything first, then have been using v hot soapy water and rinsing in boiled water from the kettle. Will use Miltons every 3rd day or so. Making milk up with kettle water, just to be safe for the first couple of weeks.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2021, 07:05:52 pm »
The only time we've had problems with water making up milk was a couple of calves we hand reared, we mixed the milk from a water heater fed by a borehole and the calves got crypto. I've fed hundreds of lambs with milk mixed from water out of a mains fed tap and never had a problem. If I had to wait for a kettle to boil and cool 10 litres of water I'd be there all day  :roflanim: 

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2021, 11:51:12 pm »
Thanks folks. We sterilised everything first, then have been using v hot soapy water and rinsing in boiled water from the kettle. Will use Miltons every 3rd day or so. Making milk up with kettle water, just to be safe for the first couple of weeks.

Try cleaning inside the teat with dry salt after every use, just to be on the safe side. It is otherwise difficult to clean the inside with a brush or just a rinse, and the bacteria growing in decomposing milk can be lethal to young lambs, and babies.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
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Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2021, 07:38:01 am »
I must be lazy and lucky!   .....  sterilise bottles before first use then just wash in very hot water after that .... unless they get left lying around with milk in .... then they would be sterilised again. 
No problems so far!
Linda

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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2021, 11:46:53 am »
Scalding hot water dissolves milk fats, so in general most nasties get washed away if you use scalding water immediately after feeding the lambs, and drain everything properly.

One of the things in my mind when we are advising a first timer bottle lamb rearer is that they probably will lose a lamb or several, and although one never gets blase, it is, for many people, just agonising the first few times.  When it does happen, it is very reassuring for the distraught novice lamb-rearer if we can all say, "You really did do everything right, there is nothing here you can blame yourself for," and so on.  So for that reason alone, I would always err on the side of caution when advising a novice.  Plus, novices do make mistakes and not notice things a more experienced hand would spot, so the more things they do extra squeaky-clean right and which don't leave room for luck to be needed, the better their chances of getting some successful outcomes.
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

Timmy T

  • Joined Feb 2021
Re: Making up Lambs milk
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2021, 09:43:31 am »

One of the things in my mind when we are advising a first timer bottle lamb rearer is that they probably will lose a lamb or several, and although one never gets blase, it is, for many people, just agonising the first few times.  When it does happen, it is very reassuring for the distraught novice lamb-rearer if we can all say, "You really did do everything right, there is nothing here you can blame yourself for," and so on.  So for that reason alone, I would always err on the side of caution when advising a novice.  Plus, novices do make mistakes and not notice things a more experienced hand would spot, so the more things they do extra squeaky-clean right and which don't leave room for luck to be needed, the better their chances of getting some successful outcomes.

Thanks for this, Sally. We are well intentioned amateurs when it comes to hand rearing these lambs and just want to do our best by them, just as my wife's horses, dogs and chickens are looked after!

 

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