NSA and MSD Animal Health: Getting Ewe Colostrum Right

This webinar was recorded as part of NSA's October 2020 Virtual Celebration of Sheep Farming. NSA and MSD Animal Health Veterinary Adviser Kat Baxter-Smith hosts a very insightful webinar on getting ewe colostrum right, and how to give your lambs the best start.

It is shown that lambs which get sufficient colostrum at birth go on to become healthier and much less likely to suffer from disease and mortality. Kat began the webinar identifying that most lamb losses occur during the first two days of life, and the most likely reason for this is due to poor colostrum management. The webinar went on to consider the various aspects that must be considered to ensure colostrum available to lambs is plentiful and of good quality, these included; Ensuring the ewe is in the optimum condition possible at all stages of the breeding process, from tupping to lambing and lactation; Planning the management of lambing time carefully and taking all possible steps to ensure the lambing environment is clean and hygienic for the lambing ewes and their young.

The key message throughout was really that colostrum is gold. This phrase has been used as an industry recognised hashtag to promote the valuable properties the first antibody rich milk has to offer and this was reemphasised throughout the webinar as Kat explained ensuring sufficient colostrum intake really is the first and most important thing that the sheep farmer can do for the newborn lamb.

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