Improving Newborn Lamb Survival

There is no transfer of maternal antibodies across the placenta in ruminants for the developing foetus.  Lambs are born without protection against disease and are reliant on colostrum containing antibodies against pathogens for the transfer of passive immunity.

Colostrum antibody production is dependent on the ewe being adequately fed and supplemented in late pregnancy.  The transport of immunoglobulin from blood serum to the mammary gland begins several weeks before parturition and reaches a peak a few days before lambing.

Colostrum should be provided at 50 ml/kg live weight per feed at birth and every six hours thereafter in the first 24 hours and should be increased by 20-30 % for lambs exposed to undesirable weather i.e. one extra feed.  It is essential that a newborn lamb receives 3 g of IgG after birth.

The three golden Q’s to lamb colostrum feeding are: quality, quantity and quickly.

In addition to providing antibodies which are vital to help protect the lamb against disease, colostrum is a highly nutritious energy source which helps the lamb maintain body temperature and survive.  The two principal causes of early lamb mortality are hypothermia (chilling) and starvation.  The newborn lamb has a large surface area to body weight ratio which makes them susceptible to heat loss.  Lambs born in a cold, wet, windy environment will lose heat at a much higher rate than lambs born in a warm, dry, draft free environment.

Usually maternal colostrum is an adequate source of protection and nutrition for the newborn lamb, however, there are instances when this is not possible e.g. poor quality, inadequate quantity produced, presence of disease and an alternative such as a colostrum enhancer or replacer needs to be considered.

Lamb Force Premium Colostrum Supplement contains essential protein and energy, antioxidants to nourish the developing immune system and vitamins and minerals to meet the requirements of the neonatal lamb during this vulnerable period.

Downland’s ProZest formulation is a balanced fusion of essential colostrum protein from easily digestible and available sources, reducing potential competition for absorption from other non-colostrum protein sources.  The scanning of product batches for colostrum protein ensures adequate supplementary levels are consistently provided to the newborn lamb.    Furthermore, Lamb Force Premium Colostrum contains colostrum from a source certified EBL, IBR and Johne’s free, giving you peace of mind.

15th February 2019