Dairy or/and meat sheep: Dairy and Meat
Source of information: Knowledge, Industry
Level of solution: Knowledge/Practical
Aim: To reduce mortality losses in miss-mothered and orphan lambs.
- Assure the first lambs colostrum intake at maximum 4-6 hours after birth, preferable during the first hour of life.
- Observe lambs and their dam’s behavior immediately after lambing, and look for signs of miss mothering. Observe ewes with mastitis, and isolate their lambs.
- Colostrum should be bottle-fed to the newborn to insure adequate consumption at 38 °C, should not be heated at microwave, because this process will damage the antibody proteins.
- During lambing, colostrum from multiparous ewes, which lambed singletons should be collected and refrigerated or frozen (storage of up to 6 months).
- Feed colostrum during the first 3 to 4 days of life, 150-200 ml/feed, at least three times per day, depending on the size of the lamb.
- Additional colostrum, if available at farm level should be given to triplet born lambs.
- Use of a colostrometer to asses’ colostrum quality before storage.
- Cull all ewes following miss mothering or low milk yields.
Expected benefits: Improved orphan or miss mothered lamb survival.
Prerequisites and/or limits (knowledge, training, capabilities, cost, management, facilities, equipment, etc.)
- Observing miss mothering might be impractical in some farming systems
- In some cases, although the dam-lamb bond is established and strong, the ewe does not produce enough colostrum, this applies especially in primiparous.
- Farmers should cull as soon as possible all ewes which manifest miss mothering.
QUIGLEY, J.D., LAGO, A., CHAPMAN, C., ERICKSON, P. and POLO, J., 2013. Evaluation of the Brix refractometer to estimate immunoglobulin G concentration in bovine colostrum. Journal of Dairy Science. February 2013. Vol. 96, no. 2, p. 1148–1155;
BIELMANN, V., GILLAN, J., PERKINS, N.R., SKIDMORE, A.L., GODDEN, S. and LESLIE, K.E., 2010. An evaluation of Brix refractometry instruments for measurement of colostrum quality in dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science. August 2010. Vol. 93, no. 8, p. 3713–3721;
CHIGERWE M, TYLER, JW., MIDDLETON, JR., SPAIN, JN., DILL, JS. and STEEVENS, BJ., 2008. Comparison of four methods to assess colostral IgG concentration in dairy cows. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2008. Vol. 233, no. 5, p. 761–766.
Tips & Tricks:
|Benefit expected||Increase productivity:
|Is the solution suitable for various production systems||Y|
|If no – for which system||dairy & meat|
|What are the asset costs||<100/lamb|
|What are the maintenance costs||<50/lamb|
|Any limits to its applicability||No|
|How much time is required to prepare and implement the solution||>=1week|
|How many people is needed to implement the solution?||1 person (the farmer)|
|How long it takes to get results?||>=1week|
|How long it takes to see an effect on sheep productivity?||current production period|
|What kind of equipment/tool are necessary?||Bottles or tubes feeders, lamb pens, UV bulbs|
|Does the solution need any specific skill/knowledge or training?||Yes|
|How much time will be required for training||1 day training|
|Is there any particular regulation link to the solution?||NO|
|Does the solution need any particular structure or organisation?||NO|