As I currently have a smaller, and slightly weaker twin lamb out of the twins born yesterday, it is with it, it is up and nursing but it’s no where near as strong as its sibling, and I am working with it today to give it a helping hand to get it a stronger start.. I will update on it..
It leads in perfectly to my notes from the seminar in regards to after lambing care..
If self-feeding, a bottle Baby, the idea is 10% of their body weight in their mothers first colostrum, to which everyone in the room looked at the vet, who raised her hands and said, I know, I know.. even if you were tub feeding the lamb, you still would not get that much into them in the first 24 hours..
But what we all agreed was a good recipes for success was that
A) ewes colostrum is #1, milk the ewe (and if your ewes have twins, they will out produce a ewe with single lamb by a extra 400 to 500 grams of colostrum in the first day) so if you are going to do a single milk out to add to your freezer, take it from your in her prime female that has twins, she in fact has more to spare then the single mom does
* (Having said that, I am milking from my single lamb mom, because she is the only other mother that lambed the same day as this female, so I know that the milk is at the perfect stage for the boost)
B) if the choice is milk to get something into the baby, vs waiting a small bit of time for the milking and getting the ewes colostrum.. its better to wait for the ewes milk, because if the lambs belly is a touch overfull, first milk and then colostrum, you can have overspill into their next stomach, which is the leading cause of fermenting milk and baby death by bloating.
c) Powdered Cow Colostrum is useless for the lamb, better to just move over to an approved Lamb Milk replacer as the cow will not help at all.
Yes, Colostrum will keep one year well done in the freezer and of course as we all know, must be thawed carefully and warmed over warm water, never heated, no microwaves.
We all believe that the ph of the milk does have a effect on if they bloat, and I will admit that I faithfully always add my pinch of soda to each fresh bottle I make.. but it would appear that temp of milk and many smaller meals have a far greater effect on the positive side.
Have your well water checked, you can have issues in regards to health if you have to high of a sulfur content. (do your own follow-up on this one)
I clearly under grain my sheep, but I am ok with that, they are in good shape and I rarely have issues, but the recommend is 1 pound of grain per lamb on the ewe. Whole Grain is always better than ground.
Wheat is a “hot” grain to feed to lambs, as its considered a flash fermentor.. They recommend corn as the coolest, safest grain for creep feeder.. Not what I feed but it’s what they recommend.
The normal accepted Ontario sheep death rate (not including wild critter kills) is 15%, I find that interesting that its lower than a number of other breeds percent.
On a side note, in the heavy feeding producers, they are wanting to have the lambs at market weight in 120 days, and the expert says that most are needing vet issued Tetracycline in their feeds to make that happen.. The interesting thing about that statement, is how are they getting the proper withdrawal time in??
I on the other hand, take about 8 months to grow them on mother’s milk, grass, hay and garden produce so as a producer, I never understood that I really sell my costs shorter.
If you are somewhat local, they recommend Snow White Limestone from Perth Ontario as the place to get your limestone supply.
This is something I will be looking into for both the sheep flock and for my own farm, pasture and garden use.
If you have having any rumen issues in the 4 to 6 week old stage, thiamine at the right percents (talk to your ag rep for your feed mix) is proving to have good results.
New studies being done on adding 1g per head, per day of Epsom Salt to the routine for prenatal and post natal lambing for ewe health.
And for today, last but not least, if you are born with a number of big but lazy starting lambs, look to your Selium and give those babies their shots.