Sheep (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB5162)

Artificial Rearing

  1. Artificial rearing of lambs requires close attention and high standards of supervision and stockmanship if it is to be successful. It is essential that all lambs should start with an adequate supply of colostrum.
  2. All lambs should receive an adequate amount of suitable liquid feed, such as ewe milk replacer, at regular intervals each day for at least the first four weeks of their life.
  3. From the second week of life, lambs should also have access to palatable and nutritious solid food (which may include grass) and always have access to fresh, clean water.
  4. Where automatic feeding equipment is provided, lambs should be trained in its use to ensure that they regularly consume an adequate amount of food and the equipment should be checked daily to see that it is working properly.
  5. Troughs should be kept clean and any stale feed removed. Automatic feeding systems must be well-maintained and checked daily. Equipment and utensils used for liquid feeding should be thoroughly cleansed and sterilised at frequent intervals.
  6. A dry bed and adequate draught-free ventilation should be provided.
  7. Where necessary, arrangements should be made to supply safe supplementary heating for very young lambs.
  8. Suitable accommodation should be available for sick or injured lambs. This should be separate from other livestock.
  9. Until weaning, housed lambs should be kept in small groups to facilitate inspection and limit the spread of disease.
  10. Where young lambs are being reared at pasture without their mothers, care should be taken to ensure that they have adequate shelter.
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