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Author Topic: what age can bottle lambs go onto cold milk?  (Read 6326 times)

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
what age can bottle lambs go onto cold milk?
« on: March 06, 2015, 06:16:11 pm »
As the title says really, what age can bottle lambs go onto cold milk?

I was looking on the Internet today and saw someone said 2 to 3 days! Is that right?

Do you gradually reduce the temperature over a few feeds?


  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: what age can bottle lambs go onto cold milk?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2015, 10:06:29 pm »
Yes a couple of days old is fine. Especially if your using a shepherdess as the cold milk stops them gorging & encourages little & often. It also means the milk doesnt go off in the feeder & saves stripping the whole thing down every day for a through clean.  If I was feeding with bottles i'd probably stick to warm milk if possible as you give much more per feed.


  • Joined Dec 2014
Re: what age can bottle lambs go onto cold milk?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2015, 08:17:16 pm »
I'd personally stick to warm milk right until you wean them.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: what age can bottle lambs go onto cold milk?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2015, 08:13:00 am »
If you want to make it as low maintenance as poss with a batch of commercial cades that are destined for your freezer then you can give them cool ( not straight from the fridge cold) milk and reduce the frequency of feeds fairly early o. Many people on this site seem to advocate this no nonsense approach and appear quite content with the outcome.

I keep a rare breed and my current batch of bottle feds are 3 ewe lambs removed from a ewe who suffered nerve damage in very late pregnancy and had to be nursed, lambed and finally euthenised. I lost a ewe and incurred a vets bill but consider my self very lucky indeed to have got 3 live healthy lambs out so I want to give them the best start that I can.

It is not easy for me to go out and find a high quality ewe to replace the one I lost so the value of my sheep is greater than just financial. Also as a breeder, a bought in ewe would not be my bloodline so raising my own sheep to a high standard is important for me .At least one of these ewes will make a replacement for the ewe that I lost and the sale of the other two will cover the vets bill but only if they are all good enough.

Milk replacer and artificial colostrum is no comparison to their mums milk so for me, if warming milk and feeding 4 hourly gets them from wretched, shivering causes for concern to super big strong lambies then I'm happy to put in the time. I have a sheperdess bucket but I have decided to bottle feed this bunch through to weaning. I combine heating the milk with making a cuppa and combine the feeds with checking the pregnant ewes so it really isn't a big deal for me.

Mine take much more milk when its warm with no side effects from eating guzzling their fill with lots of tail wagging enthusiasm and are growing really well considering their shaky start so I'm with Farm vet and Crbecky on this one. 

You will  I imagine, get lots of advice to the contrary and I'm sure both approaches have their place. You will know which one is right for you and your lambs.


  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: what age can bottle lambs go onto cold milk?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2015, 02:48:09 pm »
I've got a feeling that our best ewe is going to go the same way after lambing. She's quite old and is as thin as a rake - carrying twins ::)  - but very chirpy. I can't see that she'll produce much milk for very long and OH isn't going to be able to feed them as often as they need so we are going to go the automatic feeder route with an empty lickey bucket inside our temperature controlled pasteurising boiler which we normally use for canning/apple juice. It just fits :relief:

We'll get the Volac Ewe2 constituent parts (tubing, valves, teats and the like) and then if they don't need it we haven't spent a fortune on a lamb feeder but if they do need it then we have something to hand straight away.
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: what age can bottle lambs go onto cold milk?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2015, 02:58:20 pm »
If on a feeder the milk goes cold from about 7 days onwards, stops them gorging themselves and due to increased milk intake than they would be if on a bottle, they are at more risk of bloat and cold milk helps to reduce rapid fermentation in the gut slightly.

If on bottles it's luke warm, unless they are days old. By the time they go back on a bottle at 5 weeks they go so mad for milk it doesn't matter what temperature it is! but young lambs definitely warmer milk.


  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: what age can bottle lambs go onto cold milk?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2015, 01:45:57 pm »
Ours have warm milk til theyre almost to the end of bottle feeds, weeks away.each to they're own though eh :) x


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