Early weaning of lambs in a poor season

Government of Western Australia - Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

Type: Webpage
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

Handy introductory article to read if considering early weaning or creep feeding.

This webpage provides benefits and management tips associated with early weaned lambs.

Benefits include:

  • Feed cost savings 
  • Flexibility for ewes 
  • Ewes have a longer time to regain condition before next joining
  • Pastures have a better chance to establish and grow ahead of the grazing stock.
  • Worms

Feed types for weaners can include:

  1. Lupins
  2. Cereal grains
  3. Commercial pellets
  4. Spring pasture growth

The webpage also talks about creep feeding, which provides an alternative to early weaning.

Creep feeding involves the provision of high energy and high protein feed supplements to the lambs while they are still with their mothers. Creep feeders consist of enclosures that are constructed to allow the lambs to access the high quality feed, while denying access to their mothers.

The following tips for creep feeding are given:

  • ‘Training’ the lambs to accept the feed is hastened by feeding some of the pellets initially in a trail with their mothers.
  • The creep feeder should be placed near the main campsite of the flock
  • There may be some risk of soil erosion around the creep feeder, so gravel may need to be applied around the base.
2017 - Australia - Government of Western Australia - Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
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