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lamb creep feeder and weaning?

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Found this online when I did a search for lamb creep feeders, it was on some type of email list:



"You can make a quick & dirty creep feeder out of a standard 16-foot

welded hog or stock panel. Use a boltcutter or hacksaw to cut two

6-inch by 18-inch openings in the panel, cover the rough edges with

duct tape or a length of split garden hose, then bend the panel into a

semi-circle and fasten to a wall of the barn. You may need a couple

of anchors to hold the center section down. Put a small feeder inside

and maybe a bright light over it, add a little leafy alfalfa hay, and

show the lambs where the goodies are."



I can make one of these very easily since I have a panel or two laying around here. Rather than fastening to a barn wall, I would be hooking them up to a couple of fence posts then driving another t-post in the center to hold down the front. Still haven't found out what the standard age for weaning is, though. I may be worrying about a creep feeder when I could go ahead and just wean the cuties anyway. They range in age from 8 weeks down to 5 weeks and are eating well with their mamas, just probably not getting a whole lot with moms pushing them outa the way.

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I built my creeps out of wood. The nice thing about the design is that I can insert it where ever the sheep are, by simply tying it in place (e.g., between lambing panels) with baling twine or with bungees. It's worked for me . . . The directions are on my website (sheep section).


I can't take credit for the design - it was suggested to me by a friend who's been in the business for 25 years.


I put up the creep really early - around a couple weeks after birth. They don't eat a lot then - they're not really ruminants yet - but it gives them a place to lie down without being crushed and they seem to start eating sooner (I also creep with grain not hay).



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Hi Lydia,


It's techinically possible to wean lambs as young as three weeks old. You don't want to do that, though. I generally like to wait until they are at least three months old, and four is better. By then, the mothers are pretty sick of them anyway. If you go much less than 10 weeks, there's a pretty real risk of mastitis in the ewes.


Weaning should be a process, not an event. The ewes will start to wean the lambs on their own sometime around three months. You can hasten the process by having the lambs on creep feed -- the more they can get on their own, the less resistance they will have to their mothers' efforts at weaning.


Start out the creep feeding by putting out a little bit of the same stuff their mothers are getting. As they to where they are eating on their own pretty regularly, you might want to start introducing a higher-energy grain pellet than the ewes are getting, or better hay, or something like that.

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