Orphan Lambs

 Key points

  • In high fecundity flocks, about 25 per cent of triplets are either born dead or die before they are 12 weeks of age
  • In severe storms, losses due to exposure and mis-mothering can be higher than this
  • Orphan and triplet lambs, which otherwise would have died, can be successfully reared on fortified cow colostrum and meal
  • The total cost is around $30/lamb (excluding labour). With prime lambs worth around $65/head, it is clearly economic to artificially rear such lambs
  • It is not economic to remove small triplet lambs for rearing. If a ewe is capable of rearing its lambs it should be allowed to do so
  • Artificial rearing requires good animal husbandry skills, and careful attention to hygiene and animal health.
For further information please download the attached PDF