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How Much Powder to Rear a Lamb?

How Much Powder to Rear a Lamb

How Much Powder to Rear a Lamb?

For years we have seen demand for 5 and 10kg bags of lamb milk replacer. But if we take a closer look at how much powder it takes to rear a lamb…should we really be buying these small bags?

Firstly, it is imperative that every lamb receives colostrum – within the first six hours of birth and continued for the first 24 hours. A new-born lamb should receive 210ml of colostrum per 1kg of bodyweight. So, for example a 4kg lamb will need 840ml of colostrum, for more info see our Colostrum: The Substance for Success blog.

Are You Using the Right Methods When Feeding Your Lambs? 

How you are choosing to feed your surplus lambs will have an impact on how much powder is used. Lambs which are fed ad-lib from a feeder or heated bucket will tend to drink more and are often harder to wean as they lack the same incentive to eat solid food, however, when managed correctly these lambs are often larger at weaning.

Age  Daily Volume Number of feeds daily  Total milk powder/day Rolling powder total
1-3 days 1L 4-5 200g 600g
4-7 days 1L 4 200g 1,400g
8-35 days 1.5L 2-4 300g 9,800g

So: a single lamb reared away from the ewe to weaning (at an average of 35 days of age) will require a minimum of 9.8kg of lamb powder.

This will be closer to 12kg if using an ad-lib system.

To ensure surplus lambs reach their potential, they should be:

  • A minimum of 2.5 times their birth weight (9-10kg)
  • A minimum of 35 days old
  • Eating 250g of solid feed per day for 10 days beforehand

For more information or advice, contact a member of the Calf & Youngstock team. 

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