Ewe milk in Downland Lamb Force keeps lambs healthy

Lambs reared on Downland Lamb Force milk replacer have achieved a £5 a head price premium.

The product had appealed to Rob and Lucy Atkinson because it is made from ewes’ milk. They run a flock of 800 ewes at Richmond, North Yorkshire, and had discovered the Downland Lamb Force at their local Downland Franchise Green’s Farm Supplies.

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They fed it to their lambs and the results were evident when they sold a group of Beltex x Mule lambs at Thirsk Market. The lambs were sold for £5 a head more than the price average that day.  The Atkinson’s also topped the market with their cade lambs.

They have also sold cade tup lambs off the farm and achieved a top price of £500 per tup.

The Atkinson’s farm 1250 acres at Beck Hill Farm, an enterprise that includes 1800 pigs, 1000 acres of arable, 200 store cattle and 800 ewes.

They have doubled numbers each year since they bought the farm in 2009. They plan to double numbers again this year and their ultimate goal is to sell 100 tups at markets across the north of the UK.

The couple lamb 70 pure Beltex and Texel ewes in February followed by Mule x Beltex ewes in March. Last of all, in April, 100 Swaledale x Leicester ewes and 150 Mule x Texel hogs are lambed.

All ewes are scanned prior to lambing to identify the animals carrying triplets and twins. “It is imperative to ensure that all lambs get the best start they can. They will then go onto thrive,’’ said Rob.

He starts the cade lambs off on Lamb Force from a bottle. When numbers increase, they are fed through a shepherdess feeder.

Rachel Clarry, Downland Marketing, said ‘Lamb Force can easily be fed through a shepherdess feeder’. She said the ewes’ milk in Lamb Force kept lambs healthy. ‘Lamb Force is also made with four vegetable oils and plant extracts to minimise clostridia bloat and scour in lambs,’ she said. ‘Orphan lambs are often prone to these problems as they have not received enough colostrum at birth’.

27th February 2015