Best way to rear Orphan Lambs

neilo

Member
Location
Montgomeryshire
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.
Highlanders, and I suspect all strong maternal breeds, are similar. No chance at all of fostering an odd one on, if they’ve lost a single or you take it off before they’ve seen it, you might well get 2 fresh ones on, but that’s about it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GTB

neilo

Member
Location
Montgomeryshire
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
I disagree. I give a tasty coarse ration to my machine lambs, in order to encourage creep intake ready for a 5 week weaning. I’ve seen no difference in losses on different creep feeds, but that 5 week weaning, after doing them well, is critical IME.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GTB

andybk

Member
Location
Mendips Somerset
I disagree. I give a tasty coarse ration to my machine lambs, in order to encourage creep intake ready for a 5 week weaning. I’ve seen no difference in losses on different creep feeds, but that 5 week weaning, after doing them well, is critical IME.
na tried it always , one loss with redgut and the profits gone out the lot ,and they never get it till the last few days pre weaning , a coarse ration is ok , but the protein content before the rumens working is a waste , as it gets in hind gut through the groove , which is where it causes the gas issue mixed with milk , they get prot from the milk powder (24% ) , i weaned a few week ago at 5 weeks old (triplet and mum died ) backs fat as butter off the cold milk , nibbled a bit of hay and rolled barley through , thought they were bound to check even on MVF best creep (with soya) at weaning , but they sailed away , good as the best singles now , i certainly wont worry about prot in creep pre weaning ,just need digestible fibre to get rumen working

http://www.lamlac.co.uk/assets/000/000/159/V01_A2021_Lamlac_Product_Sheet_050914_LR_original.pdf?1479119099
 
Last edited:

neilo

Member
Location
Montgomeryshire
I’m not worried about the protein in the creep, one way or t’other. All I want is a tasty creep to stimulate intakes, which a nice molasses coarsed ration will give over rolled Barley.
As posted above, i’ve Seen no difference in losses from feeding different creeps, but I have seen big differences in post-weaning checks from low intakes before weaning.

Losses from Redgut seem to hit from 5 weeks, regardless of creep fed or vaccination strategy IME. I just concentrate on getting them as ready as possible for 5 week weaning these days.
 

Gator

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Lancashire
Always try and and foster any spare lambs onto a single or one that' had a deadun. Had good results with wet fostering if you can catch it in time. Give some away foc to other farmers if they need any and they do the same if I've none spare, works both ways(y)

Keep them on a ewe 2 feeder till needed(y)
 

CornishRanger

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cornwall
Fostering, particularly wet fostering is the way forward imo, as long as you have a suitable lamb to foster on, you want to "match" ewes own lamb as close as possible for best results.

My mate has taken a single away and foster on a pair of tame lambs which reduces the number of ewes that reject one. He was also telling me that he has a mate who puts 1ml of formalin in every litre of tame lamb milk, and has "never saw red gut ever again"
 

Longlowdog

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
I give my sooky pen lambs a quality creep blend mixed with chopped dried grass from virtually day one. When lambing is prolonged the first in the pen may stay in considerably longer than 5 weeks. I don't loose them to gut problems and they are indistinguishable or better than their peers at 3 months. I use Downland ewe's milk derived powder. Ad-lib till the youngest is five weeks then gradually cut down and served cold till the lambs are clearly eating an appreciable amount of dry food and a run out on to grass and then they get chucked out onto good grass. All pets get their vac's, Bacox and wormer at the same time as their peers regardless of how long they have been inside
 
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
What breed of goat. Anglo Nubian milk should be far better than Saanan (like Jersey compared to Holstein).
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
What breed of goat. Anglo Nubian milk should be far better than Saanan (like Jersey compared to Holstein).
There white???, Boar? Or is that the meat breed? I think their trying them next? Could’ve been a Saanan, they hand milk 4-5 to show children how it’s done etc...
 
There white???, Boar? Or is that the meat breed? I think their trying them next? Could’ve been a Saanan, they hand milk 4-5 to show children how it’s done etc...
Yes the white ones are Saanan. Very poor solids compared to most goats.

Always quite fancied a goat, ever tried to teach lambs to use a bottle? Any I can't get to suck, if I can find some real sheep milk they suck straight away.

Thank you Bovine for your comments about wormer resistance.
 

neilo

Member
Location
Montgomeryshire
The mention of goats reminds me.... a Dutch friend once told me that he kept a small flock of pigmy goats to rear his cades. Apparently they just carry on milking, and will let all and sundry suckle. IIRC he was keeping a load of them in a pen, then just dropping the cades in once they’d learnt how to suckle a ewe.
Certainly a cheaper option than milk machines & powder, if it works as reliably as he said. I did look into it once, but was put off by the difficulty sourcing CAE free goats, which could apparently spread mv quite well, or at least fail the blood test for mv.
 
I can`t argue with @Tim W if he can command that sort of price.
I find lambing in April there is little demand from other farmers to `use` any cade lambs. Therefore any new home must be a rearing operation.
So I have kept them (approx. 50 - 60 p.a.) and reared them myself on a mixing machine. You have to be religious and attend to the machine for 1/2 hr each day, and keep the bedding clean and dry. I run 4 pens of different ages while they are little and keep shuffling them round. Only really lose the ones that are going to snuff it anyway (and early on in the process) I let them have a day or two on the ewe before bringing in to shed.
Doesn`t earn a massive amount of money, but I feel I owe it to the ewe (to not have to rear 3 lambs) and to the lamb (to not have to perish) in my otherwise simple and low labour system.

I will add that when we lambed 600 inside, I was not successful with the machine entirely because you were that busy and knackered that the cades were the last thing on the list.
 

neilo

Member
Location
Montgomeryshire
I can`t argue with @Tim W if he can command that sort of price.
I find lambing in April there is little demand from other farmers to `use` any cade lambs. Therefore any new home must be a rearing operation.
So I have kept them (approx. 50 - 60 p.a.) and reared them myself on a mixing machine. You have to be religious and attend to the machine for 1/2 hr each day, and keep the bedding clean and dry. I run 4 pens of different ages while they are little and keep shuffling them round. Only really lose the ones that are going to snuff it anyway (and early on in the process) I let them have a day or two on the ewe before bringing in to shed.
Doesn`t earn a massive amount of money, but I feel I owe it to the ewe (to not have to rear 3 lambs) and to the lamb (to not have to perish) in my otherwise simple and low labour system.

I will add that when we lambed 600 inside, I was not successful with the machine entirely because you were that busy and knackered that the cades were the last thing on the list.
I reckon it costs about £45 to rear a lamb on a machine, staying indoors on ad-lib creep up to finishing at 38-40kg. If you turn them out and wean from creep onto grass, you can shave a bit off that, but they do fall away and take a while to come back to finished condition IME. That still leaves a bit at current prices, more still for early season lambs, and is much easier on the ewe than tryin to rear triplets.

I've got to say that the reason I started using a machine, was when we were lambing lots inside and there wasn't time to mess about with cades, they could be on the machine and left to it. I certainly don't spend 1/2 hr each day with mine. I quickly check them morning and night, thrown some fresh straw bedding in (for picking over) and some fresh creep in a small trough. Apart from a clean out every week, and time of jabbing the lambs with clostridial vaccine etc, they don't take up much time at all. Wean at 5 weeks either by turning the machine off (if they are all one batch) or by removing the older ones to a pen with water and a creep.
 

andybk

Member
Location
Mendips Somerset
Im liking this idea of using formalin in the milk , google seems to back up the theory , though have to watch for someone forgetting to add it for one feed
 

Tim W

Member
Location
Wiltshire
I can`t argue with @Tim W if he can command that sort of price.
I find lambing in April there is little demand from other farmers to `use` any cade lambs. Therefore any new home must be a rearing operation.
.
I would argue that even by giving them away you will be in profit if you factor in all costs
 

Forum statistics

Threads
170,977
Messages
3,905,212
Members
42,726
Latest member
Jsmith2211

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

  • 96
  • 0


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...
Top