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Caring for Bottle Lambs

How much milk replacer should I feed the lamb?

After the initial colostrum feeding, lambs should receive about 15% to 20% of their body weight in milk replacer daily.
Example: 5 lb lamb X 16oz/lb= 80 oz X 20% = 16 oz daily.

Divide the above daily amount by the number of feedings in a 24-hour period. (See the suggested feeding schedule below.) Increase the amount as the lamb gains weight and gets older. As you do this, increase the time between feedings.

How often should I feed the lamb?

For the first 24 hours of life, give the lamb colostrum. Feed it every 2 hours if possible through the first 24 hours of life. In the next 24 to 48 hours of the lamb's life, begin gradually mixing the colostrum or colostrum substitute with lamb milk replacer. By day four of the lamb's life, it should be receiving nothing but the lamb milk replacer according to the schedule listed below.

Follow the schedule listed below after the lamb is over 24 hours old:

Day 2 through 3: every 3 hours
Day 4 through 7: every 4 hours
Day 8 through 21: every 6 hours
Day 21 through 35: every 8 hours
Day 25 until weaning: every 12 hours.

Don't overload the lamb's stomach by giving it too much milk at one time.

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you give the lamb cow's milk. If you can't get lamb milk replacer, use goat's milk until you get lamb replacer.

Source: Laura Lawson's book, Managing Your Ewe and Her Newborn Lambs

Recipe for home-made lamb milk replacer

Lamb milk replacer is expensive and in some areas, very difficult to acquire. Here is a recipe that you can use to make your own. Lambs love it!

Things You'll Need:

1 gallon whole milk
2 cups buttermilk
1 can evaporated milk (NOT condensed milk)
whipping cream
baking sode
  1. Pour 3 cups of the milk out of the gallon jug. Put it aside; you won't need it.
  2. Now pour the evaporated milk and the buttermilk into the jug.
  3. Fill the rest of the jug with the whipping cream.
Click here to learn how much of the milk replacer to feed and how often.