Colostrum cru­cial for new­born lambs

Irish Examiner - Farming - - GENERAL FARMING -

En­sur­ing that new­born lambs re­ceive ad­e­quate sup­plies of colostrum is cru­cial. Firstly, it is a dense source of en­ergy and nu­tri­ents. Se­condly, it is a source of ma­ter­nally de­rived an­ti­bod­ies that pro­vide lambs with pas­sive im­mu­nity. Lastly, it is a lax­a­tive to help clean the di­ges­tive tract.

The stan­dard rec­om­men­da­tion is that lambs re­ceive 50ml per kg within the first six hours of life, and 200ml per kg within the first 24 hours. Where ewes have in­suf­fi­cient colostrum, an al­ter­na­tive needs to be sought. There are a num­ber of ar­ti­fi­cial colostrum prod­ucts on the mar­ket. Cow colostrum is an­other al­ter­na­tive; how­ever, it is rec­om­mended to mix it from a num­ber of cows, to avoid anaemia. In ad­di­tion, cow colostrum should be sup­ple­mented at a higher rate (30% more) than rec­om­mended sheep lev­els. Even when do­ing this, al­ways try to en­sure each lamb gets some of its own mother’s colostrum to fa­cil­i­tate trans­fer of pas­sive im­mu­nity.

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