Colostrum Feeding

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If preparing for lambing isn’t challenging enough, this year’s weather and the impact on feed and fodder costs means good productivity and therefore profitability is more significant than ever. 

It all starts with a successful and healthy lambing and ensuring that a new-born lamb gets a suitable amount of maternal colostrum is the most important part of the lambing routine. Maternal colostrum provides crucial immune cover against diseases and supplies vital energy, vitamins and minerals to give the lamb the best start in life.  

At birth a lamb has no circulating antibodies and is therefore very prone to succumbing to the constant threat of infections. Maternal colostrum is nature’s way of immediately supplying antibodies during this vulnerable time providing passive immunity from these challenges.

There are three golden rules to follow when considering maternal colostrum, simple but critical principles to ensure a lamb gets the best start and continues to thrive. It’s easy to overlook colostrum during a busy lambing time, but following the rules protects the lamb and flock performance.



The Golden rules are:-

Quality: It must be high in energy and antibodies, sometimes young ewes or those in poor condition cannot produce colostrum to the standards required.

Quantity: a lamb needs at least 210ml/kg. Again, some ewes can struggle to produce enough.

Quickly: the sooner the better after birth but at least within 24 hours. Weak or cold lambs can struggle to feed and therefore miss the benefits at cost to their health.

All lambs should receive some maternal colostrum, but if this is limited or the lamb can’t adequately feed then supplementing with a high-quality colostrum supplement such as Nettex Ultra Concentrate is important.

It has been popular in the past to source additional colostrum from goats or cows. Colostrum supplements were considered lacking in the crucial components that make colostrum so effective. Unlike many other colostrum supplements however, Nettex Ultra Concentrate mimics ewe colostrum as it is derived from full fat, cow colostrum and ewes milk. It provides colostral fat a rich energy source best suited for the lamb’s needs, essential proteins and unique growth factors, hormones minerals and vitamins. These are the essential building blocks required for a great start, and are therefore critical to lamb survival.



Sometimes standard milk replacers are used in place of colostrum but this is not satisfactory. Normal milk does not contain crucial antibodies and has much lower levels of the fat and protein so important for the survival of the new born lamb.  

Nettex Ultra-Concentrate is easy and practical to use on farm, easily mixing with warm water which also protects the vital proteins before feeding.



Following the 3 Golden Rules of colostrum is crucial to giving lambs the best start, improves survival and sets them up for the growth that underpins flock productivity.