A healthy sheep or sheep can be raised only if the lambs are properly fed. As they grow, the youngsters should receive all the microelements necessary for development, vitamins and other substances. The article will give recommendations on how to feed lambs of different ages and those that grow without a mother.
What to feed the lambs at home?
Photo of a lamb with a lamb on pasture
Knowing how to feed lambs at home, you can develop a full-fledged diet and contribute to the rapid development of individuals, their growth, increase productivity.
- Milk is the basis of the nutrition of any lamb at first. Without it, the animal simply will not survive. At the same time it is possible to replace sheep milk, the main thing is to provide all the necessary nutrients.
- Juicy feed includes grass, silage, roots, melons.
- Rough feed (haylage, straw, hay).
- Concentrated feed (feed and grain).
- Minerals and vitamins (premixes, salt, bone meal, chalk).
In the diet of any lamb should also be in abundance of clean fresh water, without which no living creature would survive. Change it 2 times a day or more often, as needed. The main thing is that it is at room temperature.
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Every 2-3 hours a newborn lamb drinks mother's milk
About half an hour after birth, healthy lambs get to their feet and look for maternal udder. Udder give only clean, washed.Important! If a lamb lacks mother's milk (it may simply be not enough), you need to feed it separately, otherwise it will slowly grow, get sick, and even a lethal outcome is possible.
Every 2-3 hours a newborn lamb drinks mother's milk, then sleeps. If the supply is not enough, it can be understood by behavior. When the lamb restlessly rubs against the mother, the udder sucks continuously, the young growth is fed.
How to feed a lamb?
For feeding use cow's milk
When the mother has little milk, the lamb does not eat up, he needs an additional power source. For feeding use cow's milk. But it is not exactly the same as in sheep, so you need to use supplements such as fish oil and chicken eggs, which are simply added to cow's milk. The resulting liquid for feeding is heated to 35-39 degrees and only then it is poured into a bottle and given to the lambs through the nipple.
Depending on the age of young stock, the feedings differ.
- Up to 10 days of life this feeding is done 4-5 times a day in an amount of 100 g.
- From 10 to 20 days you need to give 200 g of milk 3 times a day.
- From the 20th day they feed no more than 2 times - 300-400 g.
Feed should be introduced gradually, watching the reaction of the young. And for a long time they can not be given, otherwise the lamb will be difficult to switch to normal food.
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Photo of feeding motherless lambs
When for some reason the lamb cannot drink the mother's milk after birth (it is not there, the female has died or is sick), you need to find a suitable alternative. Experienced breeders always keep another female in the adjacent stall, who has milk, in order to transfer the lamb there in time, if necessary.
Colostrum is the most important food for the lamb within 48 hours after birth, if it does not receive it, it is likely to die. It is colostrum "includes" the immunity of young animals, its protective mechanisms and contributes to the activation of organs and systems - their normal operation.Important! If the female is healthy and alive, but does not want to give the baby colostrum, you need to gently milk it and give the lamb yourself!
When there is no milk from the mother of the lamb, you need to take substitutes and artificially feed the young. The colostrum needed for the lamb can be bought on another farm - in the first 2 days of the animal's life you need to give it at least once!
After the first risk is passed - the lamb has survived, you need to start feeding it with milk, sheep, cows or goats in case of emergency. They give milk in a feeding bottle with a nipple, which is sterilized each time, and the liquid itself is heated to 35-40 degrees.
- In the first week, the lamb is fed every 2.5 hours, so that the total amount will be 6 feeds.
- From the second week the number of feedings is reduced to 5 times a day.
- During 3-6 weeks they feed 4 times a day.
- From the 7th week you can transfer the lamb to 3 meals a day.
Milk stops giving at about 2 months if the mother does not. From this age, the lamb can easily do a simple meal, the main thing is that it was of high quality - this will reduce the risk of disease.
Features feeding from a week old
From a week old, the lamb needs to start producing high-quality hay.
From the week of age, in addition to mother's milk and additional additional feedings of cow's milk (if necessary), the lamb must begin to produce high-quality hay. They give it in the amount in which the lamb can eat - that is, without restrictions. It is hay that allows the rumen to develop correctly in the lamb's stomach.Important! Hay must be fed high-quality, because it is not very rough, useful and quickly digested.
Mineral food does not interfere with a week or maximum from 10 days of life. These include chalk, salt, meat and bone meal. They contribute to the proper development of the skeleton, building up the muscle mass of the animal.
To properly develop the teeth, and the stomach worked without failures (diarrhea, constipation, frequent problems of lambs), it is possible to introduce from the 10th day into the diet a little willow, aspen, birch branches. They are soft, healthy, well digested, contain many nutrients.
Meals from 2 weeks
Succulent feed - a pleasant innovation from 2 weeks
From the 14th day of life, the diet of the animal varies greatly. How to feed lambs 2 weeks of age? Juicy food - a pleasant innovation, which must be given gradually and very carefully introduced into the diet. Each new type of grass, vegetable is given in small quantities, and the body’s response to it is traced separately. This helps to avoid diseases, unpleasant consequences for the animal.
Succulent lamb food:
- greens - in small quantities;
- carrots, beets - crushed before serving;
- potatoes are better to give boiled, also chopped;
- dried apples.
From 15 days you can gradually begin to give concentrates, such as rolled oats and wheat bran. Up to a month per individual need 50 g of such an additive to the diet. From 2 months, 100 g is given, from 3 to 200 g and for lambs older than 4 months - 300 g. Rolled oats are served in the form of a liquid porridge.
How to feed a monthly lamb?
In one month, the lambs usually start to feed
In one month, the lambs usually begin to feed. Vegetables and root crops are given every day more and more (by 9 g), as well as greens - by this time you need to start teaching the lambs to eat fresh grass. The amount of milk produced should be less so that the nutrition is balanced, and it will be easier for the animal to completely separate from the mother over time.
Be sure to give at this time mineral supplements. If illness or lung disease is noticed, you need to contact a veterinarian. If there is no disease, just a weakness, he can prescribe some kind of premix mineral or vitamin.
Two month old lambs
Usually lamb is kept with mom for up to 4 months
At 2 months, the lambs already have a developed and well-functioning stomach, so you can gradually transfer them to normal, full-fledged feeding for the sheep. And yet, most breeders continue to keep them close to their mother for up to 4 months, because the longer they are with her, the better and faster they develop.
At four months, it is recommended to completely separate the lambs from the uterus and hold them separately for a while. Lambs can be released on one pasture together with the uterus, only after 3 weeks of separation. From this period, the feeding of young animals is no different from the diet of adult sheep and sheep.
What can not feed the lambs?
Lambs are not an adult sheep or a ram, they have a weak stomach, they need constant care and healthy milk, so any food should be introduced into their food gradually and under supervision. But, in addition, there are a number of products that are prohibited for young animals at any age, even when they begin to switch to full feeding - in 2-4 months.
- Bulrush, horsetail, sour cereals (rush, sedge) as a juicy green food will not work!
- Poisonous herbs are dangerous by nature.
- Sugar beet leads to diabetes.
- Bread, pastry for sheep is prohibited.
Adhering to the correct diet for lambs, you can get healthy, young offspring. The main thing to keep in mind is that up to 2 months lambs need breast milk, and if not, then they need to be replaced. And only from a week old can one begin to introduce simple food for sheep in parallel with milk.