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Raising Newborns

Ilyse Lamb Photo in Clinic LR(copy)Rearing healthy, young stock begins before they are born with ewes and does being vaccinated with Ultravac® ‘5-in-1’ four weeks before lambing or kidding to ensure protection is passed to the newborn through the colostrum.


This protects against sudden death caused by the clostridial diseases tetanus, pulpy kidney, malignant oedema, blackleg and black disease. Then put the dam in a sheltered, flat paddock with lots of feed.

Once born, the newborn lambs, calves and kids must receive adequate colostrum within 12 hours of birth to help protect against illness; for
orphan animals the colostrum will need to be bottle fed.

Orphan animals should then be fed a good quality milk powder. Follow the instructions closely and avoid sudden changes in the type (brand), quantity or temperature of the milk. The vet-recommended product we stock is Anlamb.

Thoroughly clean bottles and teats after each feed to prevent the spread of infection and provide
plenty of clean water.

From about two weeks of age, lamb pellets or calf meal and hay/pasture can be made available to encourage rumen (stomach) development.

Lambs or kid goats that have come from vaccinated mothers, and have received adequate colostrum in the first day of life, will have protection against clostridial diseases for about three months.

Those from unvaccinated mothers should receive a Lamb Vaccine (or PK/Antitet) at one week old. All young lambs, kids and calves should be vaccinated with Ultravac® ‘5-in-1’ vaccine at weaning (or six weeks of age), followed by a booster four weeks later. This is available at your local Franklin Vets clinic.

Procedures such as tail docking (lambs), castration (male animals) and debudding should be carried out at around two weeks of age.

Once past the newborn stage when grazing grass, drenching for parasites can begin from six weeks of age, using a combination drench, however care is needed to use the right product and use accurate weights as overdosing is common in this age, and can result in death.

If at any time you have any concerns about an animal’s health, contact your veterinarian.

Too often we are contacted when it is too late.