Advice on raising poddy lambs

Bottle feeding: Abigail van Eyk from Shalimar Park Merino Stud, Walcha, feeding a poddy lamb - the first of many for this season. Photo: Stephanie van Eyk.
Bottle feeding: Abigail van Eyk from Shalimar Park Merino Stud, Walcha, feeding a poddy lamb - the first of many for this season. Photo: Stephanie van Eyk.

Are you raising a poddy lamb? Sometimes ewes can be unwell, abandon their lambs, or don’t have enough energy to support multiples, like triplets.

According to the North West Local Land Services district vet, poddy lambs need warmth, a clean environment and good food.

Heat lamps and a safe spot out of the elements are essential. Straw or shredded newspaper make a good, easy clean up bed!

Small, constant feeds are needed. Colostrum from mum on day one if you can, but milk replacer is readily available, just make sure it’s alright for sheep. Do not feed lambs cow’s milk.

Follow the instructions as directed by the brand of milk replacer.

From one week old, let them have access to lucerne hay and sheep pellets. The minimum age to wean onto concentrates is four weeks, but leave it a little longer if you can.

Lambs can go to their mob once they have been weaned and are happy eating what the rest of the sheep are eating, at around 6-12 weeks.

As with all lambs, poddy lambs need to be marked, vaccinated, tagged, tail docked and  castrated, before returning to the weaner mob.

A common problem can be scouring (diarrhoea) so consult your private vet to manage.

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