Farmers Inevitably Need to Hand Feed Orphan Lambs Each Season

Hair sheep are growing in popularity across the country, including in Kansas. Unlike their wooly relatives, hair sheep have a smooth coat similar to a goat. For farmers raising lambs for meat, hair breeds make sense. Sheering sheep’s wool is a costly, time-consuming chore many farmers do not want to undertake.

Hair sheep are more akin to wild sheep, and there are many breeds worldwide. Popular breeds in Kansas include Dorpers, Katahdins, and Barbados Blackbellies. Closely related to the Barbados Blackbelly sheep is the American Blackbelly. This breed has long, dramatic, curling horns. It is the result of crossing the Barbados Blackbelly sheep with a Mediterranean mountain sheep known as the mouflon.

With more farmers raising hair sheep, lamb milk replacer in Seneca KS, has been in demand. Unfortunately, every season some mothers reject their babies, and farmers end up with orphan lambs that need to be hand-fed. They need a high-nutrition lamb formula that’s easy to mix with water and feed through a bottle.

Orphaned lambs need to be kept warm and hand-fed for at least the first day of their lives. However, they’ll quickly adapt to nursing from a “bucket teat” filled with lamb milk replacer. Within a week, lambs can begin to try solid food. For the first six weeks, offer both lamb milk replacer and solid food. After that, they should be eating only solid food, such as lamb pellets and high-protein grain mix.

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