Product of the Month

Improving newborn lamb survival with January’s Product of the Month:

Lamb Force Premium Colostrum

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,  to match the increase in the ewe’s requirement for energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. The transport of antibodies (scientifically known as immunoglobulin, or IgG for short) from blood serum to the mammary gland begins several weeks before birth and reaches a peak a few days before lambing.  The highly permeable gut lining of the newborn lamb allows for large antibody molecules to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream in the first six hours after birth.  This permeability gradually reduces up until  24 hours after birth and thereafter antibodies cannot pass through the gut lining into the bloodstream.

High quality ewe colostrum contains 50 g/litre or more of Immunoglobulin-G (IgG).  Any reduction in the IgG level in colostrum can mean the difference between successful or failure of passive transfer to the newborn lamb.

 

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.

Lamb Force Premium Colostrum equates to around £1.70 per feed, so weighing this off against the costs of vet bills and possible death, we feel that it is a economical solution to a successful lambing season.

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. Because of this, we strongly suggest that the mixing of the colostrum should be done with hot water as this can positively fight against hypothermia. Mixing instructions on the bag should be followed to get the best for your money and the best colostrum for your lamb.

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.  All lambs are born with a finite amount of brown adipose fat tissue (body fat) within their bodies used to keep warm.  This protective mechanism is a reserve between birth and time the lamb is able to feed.

 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an integral component of lipid membranes which are the units that contain living cells. Newborn lambs are susceptible to vitamin E deficiency because of the small amount of Vitamin E that crosses the placenta.  It is important that colostrum supplies the lamb with sufficient Vitamin E (supplementation of the ewe in late pregnancy), as lambs depend on body fat as the primary source of non-shivering heat production.  Lambs that do not feed within the first few hours after birth will run out of energy reserves to keep warm and will die rapidly if there is no intervention.  Starvation can be caused by factors such as inadequate intake of colostrum, rejection by the ewe, inadequate milk production, injury, illness and/or difficult birth.  These factors can be identified and corrected by careful and regular observations of the lambing pen by the stockperson.

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.

​​​​​​​Downland Product of the Month: Lamb Force 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.

Lamb Force Colostrum with PRO ZEST FORMULATION

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, Downland Lamb Force Colostrum contains colostrum from a source certified EBL, IBR and Johne’s free, giving you peace of mind.

 

Find out more about Lamb Force Colostrum by clicking here.

Find your nearest Downland retailer here.

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