Franklin Vets Blog

Lamb rearers – Yoghurtise your milk!

May 23, 2019

Alright team, all those getting your wee orphan lambs to bottle raise as of now, this is for you.hand rearing lambs

Abomasal bloat kills up to 30% of bottle-fed lambs before weaning, and this year we are working hard to try and get the number as close to zero as possible!

The cause has been poorly understood for some time, but we are learning more.

Here’s what we know:

  • Naturally fed lambs DO NOT GET abomasal bloat (they drink a few mls every hour)
  • The cause is bacteria in the stomach that eat lactose and produce gas
  • If feeding big feeds 2-3x/day (as opposed to the natural 8x/day), then you are at HIGH risk
  • Yoghurtising your milk is THE ONLY proven way to completely eradicate any risk
  • Adding probiotic yoghurt at the time of feeding DOES NOT prevent abomasal bloat, and may even make the risk higher.
    Lamb with abomasal bloat

    Lamb with bloat

Your options are:

  1. Feed 10-15% of your lamb’s bodyweight (adjust weekly), divided into small feeds throughout the day (6+)
  2. If you cannot do this (most people are trying to work around school and work schedules), then YOGHURTISE!

WE RECOMMEND YOGHURTISING FROM 3 days old! (after colostrum)

Yoghurtising is where you add probiotic yoghurt and set the milk aside for 12-24hrs, so all the bacteria eat the lactose. You are giving your lamb a lactose-free diet.

Download our updated info sheet, complete with a simple yoghurtising recipe.