Steps to Achieving Lambing & Kidding Success

Joanna Schroeder

LOLLF_Sheep Photo_082614Lambing and kidding season is around the corner and Tom Earleywine, director of nutritional services for Land O’Lakes Animal Milk Products, says this time can determine long-term success. He suggests planning in advanced to ensure optimal care of your next crop of lambs or kids. To help achieve this, he suggests several tips for success:

  1. Set goals. Before the first newborn hits the ground, analyze past flock or herd performance and set goals. Setting tangible goals and determining a path for achieving these objectives can help you build on past performance.
  2. Create a colostrum feeding strategy. Colostrum, or the first milk of the ewe or doe, is the first protection newborns receive against environmental pathogens and bacteria; however, not all ewes and does are able to produce the quality or quantity of colostrum required for early protection.
  3. Determine which newborns should be fed milk replacer. Feeding a milk replacer can help provide consistent nutrition to the entire crop, especially those that the ewe or doe is unable to care for. The option also allows dairy producers to market ewe’s and doe’s milk.
  4. Select a species-specific milk replacer. Research milk replacer options and select a milk replacer formulated specifically for sheep or goats. Lambs and goats require different nutrient levels than other livestock, so milk replacers created for other species may not provide adequate nutrition. For example, the fat content of sheep and goat milk is much higher than cow’s and the lactose content is lower. Selecting a milk replacer that provides these higher nutrient levels can better help newborns meet their full potential.
  5. Create a schedule for newborn management. The plan should assist and monitor lambs and kids from birth through weaning.

Earleywine understands that there are many different options within the tips to help lead you to a successful lamb and kidding season. For more information, visit:

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Land O'Lakes