Gimmer lambs: To feed or not to feed?!

Ryan Whyte – Commercial Feed Manager and Sheep Specialist at Carr’s Billington – offers valuable advice on cost-effectively feeding and preparing your gimmer lambs for sale.  

A hot topic in the farming field right now is the viability of feeding gimmer lambs ready for sale, given the higher-than-normal input costs we’re facing as an industry.  

So, the key question we’re facing, is can we feed to develop growth, frame, and bloom at a cost that benefits margins? Is it worth creep feeding lambs?!

Mule gimmers, gimmer hogs, ewe lambs or hoggets are breeding stock typically bred and raised in the uplands in the first part of the year, for lowland farmers to crossbreed fat lambs from in the second part of the year.

The young female breeding lambs are usually fed from weaning – around this time of year – to ensure they are in prime condition for sale in the next few months. With weaning can

come a level of stress that can impact on growth rates. We want to ensure young lambs are going forward well and without a cost that eats too much into our profit margin.

To feed or not to feed, stacking it up

Here at Carr’s Billington, we’ve made trough or snacker feeding not just affordable, but a must, for maximising your breeding stock returns this season, and we’ve done this without compromising our formulation.

Feeding half a kilo of our newly formulated gimmers lamb feed daily for 8-weeks, from weaning to sale, will only cost you from £10.64 per lamb. We’ve formulated our sheep feed prices per tonne to make economic sense.

This Carr’s Billington feed is available as an A-MAIZE-ING GIMMER LAMB COARSE MIX or as a GIMMER LAMB NUT, this is a cost-effective and high-quality prime sheep feed mix specifically designed to achieve growth, frame, and bloom in gimmer lambs:

  • Soya offering a quality 16% protein for high level skeletal and muscle growth.
  • Maize that is high in energy and starch helping to promote a healthy bloom.
  • Minerals that promote optimum bone structure and growth.
  • Sugar beet pulp offering a balanced source of high energy and digestible fibre for a good frame (GIMMER LAMB NUT only).

Here’s how the price of lamb creep feed stacks up, with Carr’s Billington:

Feed cost per tonne £375
Feed cost per kilo £0.37
Feed rate (kg/day) 0.50
Feed cost per day £0.19
Feed cost per week £1.33
Total cost (8-week period) £10.64 per lamb


GIMMERS can also be fed at rate 0.75kg/lamb/day for a total of £15.75 for an 8-week period.

How to stay a step ahead of lamb growth and development:

  1. Keep on top of any feet problems that can cause stress, reduce trough visits and time feeding at trough, and affect overall performance.
  2. Look out for the signs of parasites (scouring and dirty back ends) that can impact feed conversion efficiency and treat as quickly as possible.
  3. Consider drenching with Superselco to boost vitamin and mineral levels to support the immune system against weaning stress.

View upcoming gimmer lamb shows and sales on the NEMSA website.

For specialist advice on preparing your gimmers lambs for sale, please call or WhatsApp:

Yorkshire & Derbyshire – Ryan Whyte on 07801 564024

Northern England – James Chapman on 07808 092556