Why creep feed your lambs?

Why creep feed your lambs?

What are the main benefits of creep feeding lambs?  

Cost effective way to grow lambs. Get mouths away off farm quickly to save grass for other stock. Give ewes a better chance/ more time to recover before tupping time comes back around.  

What are the key minerals found in a good quality feed?  

Major minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium for bone and muscle growth.  Trace elements and vitamins like copper, cobalt, selenium and Vitamin E for development and to support a strong immune system.   

When should they be offered to lambs 

The quicker the better; conversion rates are at their best when animals are youngest.  As they get bigger, their conversion rates slow .  

What feed conversion rate should they be doing? (Per kg of creep eaten what should the lamb gain) Lambs can vary greatly with breed and genetics.  Lambs should be looking to grow at 200g DLWG per kilogram of creep feed (conversion rate of 5:1). 

Is it worth the money?  

For 1kg of feed your talking 32p.  Lambs at £4 per kg would give you 80p per 200g.  80p gain from spending 30p so ~50p margin.  Where else can you make that on an investment!  Even at £3 per kg you would be getting a margin of 30p. With all the other benefits of getting lambs away quick, ewes return to condition better and many customers have seen increases in lambing % due to creep feeding lambs.  Its not the risk it once was when the market dropped massively around Highland Show time.  There hasn’t been the drop in the last 3 or 4 years so farmers can creep with confidence, 

How have raw materials, fuel and other key factors fluctuated in the last year?  

We have seen a massive fluctuation in key farm inputs in the past few years with agricultural inflation reaching over 30% at one point.  Inputs have not returned to historic levels but feed, fertiliser and fuel have settled to more manageable levels again.  Feed is back around £60 per tonne compared with the peak prices and fertiliser prices have returned to normal levels. 

Are there any alternatives to creep feeding lambs?  

All depends on the system and farm, some creep lambs through gates onto young grass.  Feeding the ewes after lambing can have huge benefits to lamb growth rates.  Ewes nursing twins have a similar energy requirement to a Dairy cow producing 7000 litres of milk.  Very difficult to achieve off grass alone.  Nutrition is key, whatever system you run and will become more and more relevant with reduction of anti-biotic use.   The correct nutrition will be key, from feeding the ewe, wormer use, minerals supplied etc.  

Are there any health risks to be aware of?  

Clean water and forage must be offered at all times and creeps never let get empty.  Bloat from over feeding or gorging if creeps are not topped up.  Precautions must be taken to prevent urinary problems if creep feeding male lambs.  

Any other overall comments on creep feeding lambs?  

I think creep feeding is as cost affective as ever and is a serious option to maximise profits.  I think creeping singles is as important as twins as these lambs can really hit that early market when prices are at their highest.  Many farmers think it’s a waste to creep feed singles as they are always first to go anyway but in current markets, it will still pay.  

 

Andrew Redpath   

Written by Andrew Redpath

Retail Sales Manager

 

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lamb feed solutions

Earlybite Lamb  Feed

A TOP QUALITY LAMB CREEP FEED OR FOR INTENSIVELY EARLY LAMB REARING/FINISHING 

 

KEY FEATURES 

VERY HIGH ENERGY 

From a balanced source of starch and digestible fibre. Meaning more MJ per kg of feed – to maximise energy intake resulting in improved DLWG. 

CONTAINS EARLYBITE 

A sensory additive to improve palatability and intakes for faster rumen development and better growth efficiency. 

CONTAINS ACTISAF® 

A live yeast to stabilise rumen pH, increase feed conversion ratio, promote fibre digestion and ease transition to concentrate feed. 

HIGH SOYA INCLUSION 

One of the highest quality protein RMs available. 

High in DUP and lysine to encourage better muscle and frame development. 

TARGETED MINERAL FORMULATION 

High calcium and salt levels and tight control of phosphorus and magnesium  to help reduce the risk of urinary calculi. 

COPPER ANTAGONIST 

To help block copper absorption. 

Maze Lamb Feed

VERY HIGH DENSITY LAMB FEED FOR GROWING AND FINISHING LAMBS AVAILABLE AS NUTS OR PELLETS 

 

KEY FEATURES 

HIGH STARCH 

From a high inclusion of barley ‐ to maximise weight gains and conditioning. 

VARIOUS PROTEIN SOURCES 

To maximise microbial protein production which will help with skeletal and frame 

development. Helping to get animals grown well for the finishing period. 

GENEROUS LEVELS OF VITAMINS & MINERALS 

For general health so that live weight gains are maximised. 

*Includes ammonium chloride. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rapid Lamb Feed

A HIGH QUALITY LAMB CREEP FEED 

 

KEY FEATURES VERY

HIGH ENERGY  

From a balanced source of starch and digestible fibre. Meaning more MJ per kg of feed – to maximise energy intake resulting in improved DLWG.  

HIPRO SOYA  

One of the highest quality protein RMs available. High in DUP and lysine to encourage better muscle and frame development.  

TARGETED MINERAL FORMULATION 

High calcium and salt levels and tight control of phosphorus and magnesium to help reduce the risk of urinary calculi. COPPER ANTAGONIST To help block copper absorption.