2015-03-16  facebooktwitterrss

Ewe Colostrum No Better than Whey Based Alternative

Surplus lambs fed a colostrum alternative made from whey protein concentrate went on to match the performance of those fed ewe colostrum for the first 24 hours of life, according to findings from trials at University College Dublin. Furthermore mortality was nil.

The UCD trial featured 30 surplus lambs from the University’s 350 ewe flock, and split in to two groups. Half the lambs were fed ewe colostrum at 50ml/kg birth weight at one, 10 and 18 hour intervals after birth whilst the remainder were each fed at the same intervals, one, 50g sachet of Volac Lamb Volostrum (three, 50g sachets over 18 hours). All the surplus lambs were reared artificially on Lamlac ad libitum via a Ewe-2 feeder from 24 hours, and weaned at just over six weeks of age.

“UCD research shows that Volostrum is the ideal alternative to ewe colostrum,” Dr Jessica Cooke.

“UCD research shows that Volostrum is the ideal alternative to ewe colostrum,” Dr Jessica Cooke.

“The two groups of lambs recorded identical pre-weaning growth rates and nil mortality which highlights that when ewe colostrum is in short supply, as is often the case with multiple births, triplet lambs can be successfully artificially reared and achieve high growth rates,” explains University College Dublin’s Dr. Tommy Boland.” See Table 1.

Table 1: Lamb performance: ewe colostrum v Volostrum

Colostrum fed lambs

Volostrum fed lambs

Birth weight (kg)



Pre-weaning growth rate (g/day)



Weaning weight (kg)



Source: Dr. Tommy Boland

The Irish findings mirror precisely earlier research findings from Harper Adams University in Shropshire, whilst over 30 farm studies have concluded that farmers were satisfied that Volostrum was very effective as a first feed for lambs.

Volac’s Jessica Cooke adds: “These findings reflect the fact that Volostrum, as a colostrum alternative, supplies a readily available source of nutrients and energy to get the young lamb up and on to its feet in those critical first few hours.

“ The alternative is based on high quality un-denatured whey proteins which have been processed under low temperature conditions that maintain the integrity of the biologically valuable globular proteins essential to the young lamb. “In fact a 140ml feed of ewe colostrum would provide 28g protein, in comparison to a 50g first feed of Volostrum providing 38g protein.”


Related Links
link NSA Member Rewarded for Recruitment Effort
link NSA Highlights Cross-Compliance Penalties
link Challenge to Sell More Lamb
link Charollais Index Updated to Reduce Days to Slaughter

Stackyard News xml