Should I be giving my lamb baking soda??

Show Sebright

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Hello, I own a show lamb that is about 4 months. He is fed a little over 3lbs a day of show tec feed. He gets purina sheep mineral with clarifly. He gets 2 handfuls of hay a day (one at each feeding). Should I being giving my lamb baking soda? I saw some article that I should be give him some.
 

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farmerjan

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WHY ????? Too much grain can cause problems, but giving baking soda is for acidosis, which can be caused by too much grain...
What did the article say and what reason did they give for it?
 

Poka_Doodle

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I would be interested to see the article. My lambs are only on ShowRite, hay, and one supplement.
Having dealt with acidosis, it was never even suggested to mix baking soda into the lamb's food.
 

Show Sebright

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WHY ????? Too much grain can cause problems, but giving baking soda is for acidosis, which can be caused by too much grain...
What did the article say and what reason did they give for it?
It just showed up on Pinterest. I’ll try to find it. He eats 3-4% of his weight 2 times a day in grain. He is a show lamb.
 

farmerjan

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Show animals are pushed to gain in muscle, which is one of the reasons they are exercised daily.... like people, to build muscle. But they are fed a proportionately excessive grain ration rather than a balanced ration... with the hay as "causing a hay belly" because they are eating more of it to get the nutrients. We get that in holstein steer calves if they do not get enough grain=digestible protein= in their diet. They will eventually "outgrow" the hay belly... but show people are pushing to get these animals bigger more developed faster than they would naturally. The grain causes the acid rumen; acidosis is common in high producing dairy cattle and the rations are specifically balanced with added bicarb to counter act the acidity.
I have never heard of offering it free choice so maybe this study is worth considering. There might be someting to it. Animals that are on feedlot situations are being pushed for fast daily rates of gain....equaling faster finishing and so less time waiting to get an animal to slaughter...equaling less over feed fed....equaling less cost.
 

Baymule

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I offer my sheep baking soda when the grass greens up, especially on clovers. It keeps them from bloating. I give it free choice.

But yours is a show lamb. I have never had a show lamb and the protocol is vastly different. I do know that show lambs can suffer from urinary calculi which are uric crystals in their urinary tract. It can plug up things so that they have a hard time peeing. I give my ram ammonium chloride for a week every so often, just so he doesn’t have problems. He won’t eat it on his feed and is with the ewes anyway, so we mix it with water and drench him . He hates it.

Your best bet is to discuss things with your 4-H or Ag teacher for advice.
 

Show Sebright

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I offer my sheep baking soda when the grass greens up, especially on clovers. It keeps them from bloating. I give it free choice.

But yours is a show lamb. I have never had a show lamb and the protocol is vastly different. I do know that show lambs can suffer from urinary calculi which are uric crystals in their urinary tract. It can plug up things so that they have a hard time peeing. I give my ram ammonium chloride for a week every so often, just so he doesn’t have problems. He won’t eat it on his feed and is with the ewes anyway, so we mix it with water and drench him . He hates it.

Your best bet is to discuss things with your 4-H or Ag teacher for advice.
Thank you. Yes he has something already in his feed to prevent that from happening. He doesn’t seem to mind it or even notice it.
 
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