Creep feed for bottle lambs 2019

shepherdO

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Hi all,

So I have at least one bottle lamb who's currently 11 days old and doing very well on the bottle using homemade milk replacer.

I'd like to get her eating something else so she can eventually be weaned earlier than normal. It's currently a few degrees below zero here during the day (Celsius), and below minus 10 at night - so no grass in sight!

What should I be giving her? I bought a bag of soybean meal today, 46% protein or something like that! It's quite expensive, but I hope to keep it for the season and then freeze what I don't use if I have any left...

Anyhoo, should I just pour a few soybean flakes into a bowl for her, maybe with some other feed thrown in there? Ie, sheep text, etc.? Maybe I should crunch it up a bit?

Thanks for the tips.
ShepherdO
 

mysunwolf

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Be careful with the soybean meal, it can cause scours very quickly. You can mix it with some pellets or cracked corn and leave it out free choice--at her age she shouldn't eat enough to make herself sick. (Lamb pellets by themselves, medicated or unmedicated, are actually my preferred creep feed. My local mill makes a molasses pellet that's about 15% protein.) At 2-3 weeks put out a little bit of chopped hay and a bowl of water for her as well. If she learns to eat and drink well, you can wean at 4 weeks or 25lbs, whichever comes first.
 

Sheepshape

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Chopped hay, silage etc (plus fresh water) can be offered, but I'd stick to lamb pellets which are only about 18% protein over here. She'll probably only mouth stuff for a couple of days.

As mysunwolf says early weaning is possible with a healthy, vigorous lamb who is taking plenty of solids. Personally I wean very slowly and find my bottle lambs are as big if not bigger than their counterparts out with mum. I also leave ewe lambs with their mum until they wean naturally, but remove ram lambs as too as they start to show an unhealthy interest in the ewes (usually between 3-4 months).
 
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