Coleraine farmers, Ian and Elaine Young are selling pet lambs to the factory as quick as lambs reared on ewes, thanks to the ewe milk in Downland Lambforce milk.
Ian and Elaine Young run a commercial sheep flock with 190 ewes and Elaine started a pedigree Texel flock last year. The main breeds in the commercial flock are Suffolk, Charollais, Texel and Cheviot.
Ian scans all his ewes in mid-Dec and hopes to be lambing by the 1st of March. Due to off farm employment lambing is kept compact and is normally over in two weeks. The lambing percentage last year was a healthy 176%.
All lambs get adequate quantities of colostrum then go on to a ewe or are fed Lambforce milk replacer feeds using a shepherdess feeder. Ian and Elaine find this a great labour saving device as they don’t need to feed the lambs with bottles multiple times a day. The milk is mixed at 250g of powder/ litre of water to ensure it is the same strength as ewe’s milk. Downland Lambforce replacer can be used in most feeders with a free flow version for Britmix machines available if required. The Young’s source Lambforce through local Downland merchant, Steele Farm Supplies in Ballymoney.
Ian is happy to keep the lambs on the milk replacer for a little while longer to make sure they are set up so they don’t have much of post weaning set back. It is important to ensure lambs are eating ration and have access to water before weaning.
According to Rachel Clarry of Downland, the ewe milk in Lambforce is sourced from ewe milked to produce Roquefort and Bleu d’Auvergne cheeses in France and is carefully dried to maximise the digestibility of the protein and to protect the antibodies in the milk.
In trials carried out with the National Animal Research Institute in France (INRA) the inclusion of ewe milk was compared to standard lamb milk containing a range of acids, essential oil or colostrum powders and was found to consistently produce better lambs with lower mortality, she added.
Lambforce ewe milk replacer is made with four vegetable oils and plant extracts to keep lambs healthy and thriving. Ian even noticed the difference with the Lambforce and said that the milk replacer is very easily mixed with no problems.
Ian was thrilled at the pet lamb performance and at the end of the day his pet lambs were worth a lot more than what they used to be. Ian sends his lambs straight to the factory and was thrilled that the lambs fed on the Lambforce milk replacer did just as well as the lambs on the ewes.
Downland is a national network of independent distributors which supplies a wide range of animal health products under the Downland brand. They are sourced directly from the manufacturer, enabling the company to provide best quality and keep prices competitive.
“Local, independent advice enables us to work closely with farmers customers to help productivity of their enterprises,” says Rachel Clarry, Downland Marketing.
For further information on Downland Lambforce Ewe Milk Replacer visit www.downland.co.uk or call 01228 564498 for further details.