Lambs were offered low (180g DM/d) or high (320 g DM/d) allowances of cold ewe milk replacer until they reached live weights of 9 or 12 kg. Growth performance before and after weaning was compared with that of single-suckled lambs weaned at the 2 corresponding live weights. Growth rates of lambs offered a high milk allowance were greater than for those offered a low allowance and were similar to those for suckled lambs. Low milk allowance groups showed a relatively smaller growth check following weaning. The major factor affecting post weaning live weights was weaning weight; lambs weaned at 9 kg weighed, on average, 18.4, 24.9, 34.8 and 42.5 kg respectively at 12 weeks, 18 weeks, 12 months and 15 months of age and those weaned at 12 kg weighed 20.3, 27.1, 36.3 and 44.7 kg at the corresponding ages. It was concluded that the use of cold ewe-milk replacer and the encouragement of lambs to consume herbage at an early age provided a low cost, low labour method of artificially rearing lambs.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 43, , 37-40, 1983
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