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Winter Lambing
Lamb survival: The first 24 hours…
Tips for healthy and productive lambs

If we can get the lamb through the first 24 hours, its chance of survival is greatly increased. Below are a few things that will help the lambs and the shepherd survive cold weather lambing.

Newborn lamb processing video
The navel of newborn lambs should be dipped to stop infection. Watch how Premier’s shepherds approach this essential task.
  • Create a routine that makes every minute count, beginning when you first walk into the lambing barn.
  • Ewes have a wax plug in their teats. In cold weather that plug can be difficult for weak lambs to suck out. So grab each ewe that lambs and strip out each teat to make sure there is plenty of milk for the lambs.
  • The next step is to take the temperature of each lamb. Your body temperature is 98.6°F, and the lambs’ temp should be 102°F. If you put your finger into the lamb’s mouth and it feels warm, he is fine. If his mouth feels cold, you have a lamb that is in trouble.
  • For any lamb that is warm, all you need to do is to dip the navel into Triodine-7 to help stop infection and they should be fine.
  • The cold lambs need help right away. First try to get the lamb to suck for himself. If he will not, you will need to tube feed. We prefer a 140 cc syringe and plastic tube. (In very cold barns, the red rubber tube is better as it will stay flexible.) The 60 cc syringe is too small and must be refilled several times in order to get enough milk in the lamb. We usually mix two measures of NurseMate® First Milk Supplement to 8 oz. of lamb milk replacer.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: If a lamb cannot hold its head up on its own, do not tube feed. Many lambs die because they are too cold and weak when being tube fed, and they drown from the milk. You must first warm up the lamb. Put a heat lamp over the lamb until he can control his head. Then it’s safe to feed him.

Heat lamps and carbon fiber heaters are a great source of warmth when needed, but do not overdo it. When a healthy lamb gets cold, he needs to get up and eat to stay warm. They can become too dependent on heat lamps.

To make sure the lambs have a good start, some shepherds will tube feed every lamb that is born with NurseMate® Colostrum Supplement. Or, you may want to use Nutri-Drench™ (this is not a substitute for colostrum), a product that works well to start all lambs. One pump to each lamb will give them a boost to improve their chances during the first 24 hours.

If your barn temperature is below freezing and you need to be away, put a lamb cover on each of the newborn lambs. It will help them to adjust to the cold before losing too much heat. When you return to the barn, remove the cover and the lamb should be fine.

So remember:

  • ✔ Feed the ewes well
  • ✔ Strip out every teat
  • ✔ Take the lambs’ temperature
  • ✔ Tube feed when needed
  • ✔ Give each lamb a pump of Nutri-Drench
  • ✔ Dip all navels in Triodine-7

Enjoy lambing season! It does not need to be stressful.

Auto-feeding LAC-TEK Machine for lambs and goat kids
The LAC-TEK feeding machine mixes a small amount of milk at one time. The result is less spoilage and waste.
Auto-feeding LAC-TEK Machine
We love this unit! You will too, if you have a large group of orphans. Premier has used this auto-feeding machine on our farm with over 100 lambs. It is much less work to feed and clean than milk buckets or bottles. At weaning, kids/lambs are of equal quality to those raised on a mother.

Simply attach the unit to a hydrant for water access (can also be used with a reservoir and pump). Milk replacer is stored in a hopper above a mixing chamber. A sensor indicates when to add replacer and water. Mixture flows partway through tubes via gravity. Sucking by lambs/kids pumps the milk to the nipples.

It comes with 3 nipple holders and 6 drinking stations. Premier carries replacement parts, including spare nipples. 6 month warranty.
$50.00 manufacturer rebate when purchased between Jan 15, 2019 to Feb 28, 2019. Offer valid only for units sold in USA, must be redeemed by May 1, 2019.
Feed and Mineral Supplements
Proper nutrition is an essential part of any preventative health program
Sheep Trace Mineral Premix
Sheep Trace Mineral Premix — $13.50
New! A fortified trace mineral premix for sheep. Mix 5 lbs of premix with 50 lbs of livestock salt. Offer free choice to the ewe flock year-round to promote increased hoof health, enhanced immunity and growth rates.
Lamb Finisher Trace Mineral Premix
Lamb Finisher Trace Mineral Premix — from $8
New! A nutrient dense mineral supplement for all stages of lamb development—from starter to finisher. Mix 5 lbs of premix with 1 ton of lamb feed. Contains high levels of zinc and iodine for hoof health.
Sheep & Goat BlueLite
Sheep & Goat BlueLite — $33.50
A readily available source of energy, vitamins and nutrients. Administer in the water or feed when sheep and goats are dehydrated as a result of weaning, sorting, handling and lambing or kidding.
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NEW! Premier has partnered with Pipestone Veterinary Services to offer advice from our combined group of sheep experts. From fencing, grazing, feeding, lambing, health, genetics or general sheep care, we are here to help.
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