Ewe milk in Lamb Force keeps top class lambs in top class condition

Giving lambs the best start in life is a priority for an Aberdeenshire pedigree sheep farming partnership which sells 100 tups annually.

Melvin Stuart and his parents, George and Agnes, run a flock of 140 pedigree Suffolks ewes and 30 pedigree Texel ewes at 260-acre Milltown of Birness Farm near Ellon. Artificial insemination is used across the flock with all the Suffolks served to a pedigree tup.

Melvin Stuart and Fran Locke

Ewes lamb from January 1st and lambs are immediately tube-fed 120ml of ewe colostrum. If the ewe doesn’t have colostrum, an artificial product is used.

The lambs are bottle-reared for one week before they are introduced to Downland Lamb Force Ewe Milk Replacer. This product, which the lambs receive ad lib from a machine, is made with ewe milk unlike other lamb milks which are made with cow’s milk only.

The ewe milk is a byproduct of the product of Roquefort cheese, also known as the king of cheese, and is full of protein including antibodies against common sheep diseases. The flavour and smell of the ewe milk is also highly attractive to the lamb.

Melvin says one of the many advantages of Downland Lamb Force is that it mixes well. “It mixes better than any powder we have ever used,’’ he says.

The milk is fed warm for four weeks but cold for the following two weeks to prevent lambs from gorging on it.

Murray Stuart

After weaning the lambs progress onto an ad lib ration of creep feed.

The lambs perform well on this system and are in top condition to be sold as tups at Shrewsbury, Kelso and Thainstone markets from July onwards. Females are retained as replacements.

17th January 2017