Improving Lamb Survival

1. Save New-Born Lambs.

a. Boost ‘n’ Go.
This stimulates weak newborn lambs to get up and suck the colostrum as soon as possible. It comes as a multidose paste for lambs. Please have some product in-hand to try – it may save a life!

We have had excellent feedback from farmers who have used the product.

Cost per lamb – £0.66 + Vat.

b. Dopram V drops
This is another useful product to have to save newborn lambs. 10 to 20 drops are places under the tongue whist gently rubbing the area. The drug stimulates the respiratory centre in the brain and the results are seen in minutes. The lamb is stimulated to breathe more deeply and quickly.

Both Dopram V and Boost ‘n’ Go can be used together; use Dopram first to get the lamb to revive and then Boost ‘n’ Go once it is sitting up.

2. Improve survival in the first week of life.

On average 15% of the lambs born in the UK die within 7 days. Would you like to improve this? Is a surviving lamb worth spending 50 pence on? Here is some simple practical advice to improve lamb survival and make the most of your labour input.
Indoor lambs are more at risk from poor hygiene, inadequate colostrum and unnecessary lambing assistance. Outdoor lambs are more at risk of exposure and predation. The importance of clean lambing pens, dipping navels and not overly interfering with lambing is well known. Likewise everyone, but everyone, knows lambs need to get colostrum as soon as possible.

Five percent die….
Nethertheless five percent of the lambs born in the UK die from watery mouth every year. Watery mouth is caused by the bacteria Esterichia coli (E. coli), which is present in sheep’s faeces and builds up in lambing pens. Lambs which have not had an adequate intake of colostrum are especially susceptible. We recommend using Spectam Scourhalt, an oral antimicrobial that helps prevent the disease with one simple squirt of medication into each lamb as soon as they are born. Such medication should cost less than 20 pence per lamb. Spectam Scourhalt has been proven to be as effective as colostrum in preventing E.coli infection.

Souring lambs…

  1. Spectam Scourhalt is used to treat the bacterial infection.
  2. Rehydion gel formula plus improves recovery by replacing lost electrolytes and rehydrating the lamb.

Unusually scouring lambs have traditionally not been treated with electrolytes. In all other species electrolyte treatment is regarded as essential to improving survival rates. One reason may be that the older types of electrolyte prevented milk clot formation in the stomach which is essential for milk digestion.

Rehydion gel does not affect milk clot formation in the stomach and therefore does not affect digestion. Lambs can therefore be kept on milk without making the scour worse. Mix 2ml in 100ml of milk and feed in a bottle or give 2ml neat (or in a little water) 2 or 3 times daily and leave the lamb to suck from the ewe. At 7p a dose, the economic benefits are clear. The gel is palatable and becomes liquid on shaking (or warming).

Warm them up…..
What are you doing with weak lambs? Hopefully getting some colostrum or milk into them and warming them up. The normal temperature of a lamb should be 39.2-400C. If lambs can suck they should be put on the teat or given a bottle, otherwise they need stomach tubing be careful you do not give too much milk, 50ml per Kg body weight is recommended 4-5 times a day if necessary. For an average lamb this is about 120ml at a time.