The lamb should be chosen no earlier than 3 days after birth but preferably 5 days after birth, this allows the lamb to have its mother’s colostrum, which gives protection against diseases and is high in both vitamins and minerals.
On occasion lambs have been rejected by their mother, orphaned or are one of triplets, in which case one is removed from the mother as she is not able to adequately feed 3 of them. In these cases, the lamb may not have received colostrum.
The healthy lamb should have a dry small navel, lively movements, and clear bright eyes. If a ram (male) is chosen, he should be whethered with a rubber ring from one week old otherwise he will possibly become aggressive as he reaches maturity. Ensure both testicles are down before releasing the ring.
Basic rearing requires:
- 2 x 10 kg bags of milk powder
- 2 x lamb teats
- Lamb or multifeed pellets
- Collar and lead
Lamb milk powders are specially formulated to meet the needs of your lamb. Lamb teats that can screw onto a coke or water bottle or complete lamb feeding bottles are available from Franklin Vets. Supplement the milk with lamb or multifeed pellet. Keep your lamb moving regularly so it has access to fresh grass.
Vaccination and Drenching
If the mother of your lamb was not vaccinated with a 5 in 1 one month prior to lambing or if you do not know if it was vaccinated, the lamb should be vaccinated with a lamb vaccine (PK/Antitet) from 1 week old.
If the lamb has come from a vaccinated mother and has had adequate colostrum in the first day of its life it will have protection for about 3 months.
Your lamb should also be vaccinated with a 5 in 1 vaccine at weaning (or 3 months) and then given a booster shot 1 month later and thereafter once a year. This vaccine prevents pulpy kidney disease, tetanus, black disease, malignant oedema and blackleg.
A dry, draught-free house or kennel is required. Sudden changes in temperature when it is small can cause pneumonia and it will grow better if kept warm.
Contact Franklin Vets if you have any concerns about your lamb’s health. We are happy to give advice over the phone as to whether an animal requires treatment.