Adequate feeding of the lamb

At birth, colostrum is extremely important for the young animal because it provides disease-fighting maternal antibodies as well as essential nutrients. If colostrum is not available or insufficient from the ewe, the lamb can be provided colostrum from another ewe, ewe or cow frozen colostrum warmed to body temperature.

For the first two weeks of life, lambs need to be fed every 2-3 hours (night meals can be provided every 4 or 5 hours) and then every 4 hours for the next weeks, according to their health status.

For the first several weeks of life, lamb requirements for nutrients are covered by maternal milk. By the time lambs are 4 to 6 weeks old, they may be obtaining as much as 50 percent of their nutrient intake from sources other than their mother’s milk.

Feeding programs of lambs vary, usually affected by the type of production, market options, geographic location, and cost and availability of feedstuffs. Most of the time, lambs born in winter are creep-fed and finished on high concentrate diets, whereas lambs born later in the season are finished at pasture with the ewes. Some feeding programs utilize both pasture and grain.