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How do I stop surplus lambs chewing feeder teats?

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How do I stop surplus lambs chewing feeder teats?
By Lamlac - Volac 28 days ago

Top Three Tips

1. Choose the right teats

Lambs will learn how to suck quickly. As soon as lambs are sucking strongly you are swapping to using the tougher teats (red) as they are more robust to deal with more forceful sucking and any chewing.

2. Use the correct number of teats

If you use too few teats, this can lead to the lambs being unable to suckle often enough, and then sucking too fast and forcefully when given access. Look for a maximum of 10 lambs/teat for ad-lib systems - 6-8 is ideal.

3. Keep the milk supply flowing

It is important that milk is always available when feeding surplus lambs ad-lib. There is a far greater chance of the lambs chewing the teats if they are not receiving the appropriate amount of milk or if the milk has run out when they need to feed.

Final Note...

Wean your lambs at the right time

Weaning lambs at the correct time is important because they start to develop teeth quickly and teat chewing becomes even more destructive. For successful weaning, lambs should be:

• A minimum of 2.5 x birth weight

• A minimum of 35 days old

• Consuming 250g of solid feed a day.

It is likely that these 3 requirements will not happen at the same time, so aim to achieve at least two before weaning lambs

Offer lambs dry feed water

Not only are concentrates, roughage and water essential for rumen development, a fresh and continuous supply of concentrate and straw (in racks) also helps prevents boredom and satisfies the lambs desire to nibble and chew.

Reduce the temperature of the milk

It is recommended that new-born lambs are fed milk at a temperature of 30ºC, however once they are drinking well, the temperature can be reduced to 18 – 20ºC. This will help to prevent lambs gorging on the milk, and also encourage the intake of dry feed and roughage – taking the focus off the teats!

Ensure bedding is dry, warm and inviting

This will encourage lambs to relax and be content.

Source: LamLac