Best way to rear Orphan Lambs

kfpben

Member
Location
Mid Hampshire
I have quite a high scanning % this year so trying to think of the best way to rear orphan lambs rather than panicking at the start of lambing.

I have always reared them on milk powder on a shepherdess ad lib feeder. Ad lib creep and barley straw before moving on to a grower pellet. I always seem to have a few (usually the biggest, best looking ones) blow up on me and die overnight. What's the best way to avoid this?

Do folk turn them out at weaning (do you even wean?) Or is it best just to keep them motoring and sell them as early as possible from the shed?

Thanks in advance!
 

daithi

Member
We sold them all last year of the ewe at €20 each it saved a lot of labour and I would recon after you count up all your costs you won't have much more out of the job.
We put natural yogurt in with the milk and it seems to help prevent red gut.
 

GTB

Never Forgotten
Honorary Member
Let your sheep do it.
Wet fostering or adopter crates/stocks spare lambs onto singles. Skin any deaduns.
Ewes will rear triplets if you can give them an extra bit of tlc.
Hill breed ewes hardly ever accept a lamb which isn't their own unless she has a dead single and you've skinned it and put the skin on the cade lamb. They will rarely take a lamb if they have a dead twin which you can skin but most of the time they reject them after 24/48 hrs.
 

andybk

Member
Location
Mendips Somerset
It's the protein that makes them blow.so add lib milk for 5 weeks cold as soon as they will take it just hay and rolled barley as creep then wean at 5 weeks abrupt and best creep you can get
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
SOME ewes will rear triplets. ...and they will have a higher chance of getting sore teats then mastitis
Once I tried a cracking ewe with her triplets, didn’t feed her post lambing, 4 weeks later we had a dead ewe and 3 runty lambs we had to put on the bottle :/

We keep them on milk from end of April until mid July, usually arnt a million miles off fat.

We used goat milk for a few years as it was free off a smallholder within our farm,it kept them alive but were rubbish lambs even after 12-13 weeks! It was free so wasn’t too bad.

Lamlac and pellets is what we do but we need 4-5 lambs on a bottle until mid July because schools come to us and see/feed the lambs
 

twizzel

Member
It's the protein that makes them blow.so add lib milk for 5 weeks cold as soon as they will take it just hay and rolled barley as creep then wean at 5 weeks abrupt and best creep you can get
Agree with everything apart from the barley- keep them on straight lamb creep then put them outside once weaned, eating hay and creep and settled. Found rolled barley for pet lambs a disaster :eek:
 

Tim W

Member
Location
Wiltshire
I have quite a high scanning % this year so trying to think of the best way to rear orphan lambs rather than panicking at the start of lambing.

I have always reared them on milk powder on a shepherdess ad lib feeder. Ad lib creep and barley straw before moving on to a grower pellet. I always seem to have a few (usually the biggest, best looking ones) blow up on me and die overnight. What's the best way to avoid this?

Do folk turn them out at weaning (do you even wean?) Or is it best just to keep them motoring and sell them as early as possible from the shed?

Thanks in advance!
Sell them ASAP ---avoid losing money
 

kfpben

Member
Location
Mid Hampshire
Let your sheep do it.
Wet fostering or adopter crates/stocks spare lambs onto singles. Skin any deaduns.
Ewes will rear triplets if you can give them an extra bit of tlc.
I do all that but I think when scanning is around 200% you’re always going to have some that end up without a ewe.

I don’t fancy keeping triplets on a ewe. I suspect you’d be likely to end up with 3 poor lambs rather than two good ones and a cade.
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
I do all that but I think when scanning is around 200% you’re always going to have some that end up without a ewe.

I don’t fancy keeping triplets on a ewe. I suspect you’d be likely to end up with 3 poor lambs rather than two good ones and a cade.
Last year I did 105 wet adoptions and 30-40 skinnings (most of the skinnings was on a twin where there was still 1 alive so even harder to have success) we do lamb triplets and singles inside mainly though so we can achieve this.
 

Tim W

Member
Location
Wiltshire
Who buys them though? Someone must be making money somehow or other?
Small holders----people with kids that want to rear a few to keep the pony paddocks down---money is not the thing
Any orphans i have i sell for £20+ or if that fails i give them away , guarantee to lose less by giving them away & the lambs prob. get a better chance too
 

wbow14

Member
Who buys them though? Someone must be making money somehow or other?
Heard of a goat farmer who buys unwanted triplets on the cheap and feeds them directly from the goats.

Similarly know of another who keeps his own goats so that he can feed his triplets. 1 good goat can cope with about 4 lambs. They always do quite well.
 

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138: Special episode: Covid-19 impact on the Potato sector

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138: Special episode: Covid-19 impact on the Potato sector

Written by AHDB

In this special issue of the Potatoes Podcast we will discuss the impact of Coronavirus on the Potato Markets. A fresh update on how Covid-19 has resulted in an increased demand on the retail market, while the chipping market has suffered the hardest hit. The uncertainty of the current situation will force businesses to...
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