How Important Is Creep Feeding for Lamb Development?
Ensuring the health and efficiency of your flock at all levels is essential to maintaining a profitable farm. One of the most effective methods for this is to creep feed your young lambs – supplementing their early diet with a feed ration – from as young as 2 weeks.
Creep feeding young lambs has many advantages. Lambs with access to creep feed can be weaned earlier and at heavier weights than non creep fed lambs. The overall health of the lamb is improved as creep feeding helps prepare the lambs for weaning, thereby reducing the amount of stress they suffer at the weaning stage. The ewe, now no longer required to produce milk, has lower dietary requirements and can be restricted on grass – a big plus in this year of high fertiliser costs! There are nutritional benefits for the ewe also. Because the lamb was weaned earlier the ewes will have a higher body condition score come breeding season, resulting in stronger, healthier ewes.
The feed conversion ratio in young lambs, the measure of grams of food eaten converted to grams of weight gained, can be as high as 3.5 – 1. However, this can drop to as low as 7 – 1 post-weaning, making for higher feed costs as the lamb gets older so it makes sense to feed your lambs expensive feed rations from early on in the lambs life.
The Sturdy Grande Creep Feeder: An efficient and cost-effective solution to lamb creep feeding from Sturdy Products
The Sturdy Grande Creep Feeder from Sturdy Products Ltd is an efficient and cost-effective solution to keeping your lamb flocks well-fed using creep feed. Manufactured from UV stabilised medium density polyethylene and a galvanised stainless steel frame, it is a robust and hard-wearing unit that will not fade or require painting.
The large 125kg capacity of the Creep Feeder and easy access lid reduces the time investment required to keep the unit filled with nuts or meal. Feed is stored in a covered central dispensing column, keeping it clean and dry while reducing the chances of contamination via bird droppings and lowering the risk of transmission of bird-dropping-related illnesses. The column is designed to allow the feed to slowly creep to the perimeter of the feeder thus allowing lambs access. This design also helps prevent bridging of the feed.
A canopy protects the feed from the rain and offers some shelter for the lambs whilst feeding. The splayed legs on the frame allow for increased stability while the lambs are feeding. The unique design of the frame means that up to sixteen lambs can feed at the same time while preventing the ewes from accessing the feed. The unique moulded lugs allow for neat stacking of the feeders, one on top of the other.
Ultimately, It makes better economical sense to creep feed the lamb when the feed conversion ratio is at its highest than to feed the ewe to produce milk. Lambs given access to creep feeding are happier, healthier and have a higher final weight when sold than creep fed. Because creep fed lambs are generally drafted for market at an earlier age there is also a reduction in the labour costs associated with them.
Contact us today to discuss how the Sturdy Grande Creep Feeder can be best used with your lambs.