20 January, 2022
Galloway & MacLeod are a market leader on designing performance driven feeds, formulated for breeding sheep. We work in partnership with Trouw Nutrition GB to create the ultimate feeds to maximise and advance your lamb performance from birth.
When it comes to formulating a lamb creep there are vital building blocks that need to be addressed such as: elevated intakes, promoted gut development and immunity against disease and infection.
With these factors in mind, we have advanced our Omega Lamb Creep Range and in partnership with Trouw Nutrition’s research and development team have put together our new Rumi-Guard mineral package to enable our customers reach the full genetic potential of their flocks.
Nutritional supplementation of young lambs is essential to support their development, health and performance. From the first few weeks of life, feeding a lamb creep helps develop the rumen to assist forage digestibility, passing on vital nutrients on to the growing lamb, ensuring that mineral and vitamin requirements are fulfilled. Careful mineral selection is essential to optimise bioavailability whilst supporting gastro-intestinal development.
The lambing season is one of the busiest times of the year and rearing lambs is a challenging period. Making an informed decision on early life nutrition, regarding both nutrient and mineral supplementation, should be prioritised in order to support strong growth coupled with low levels of disease and mortality.
To maximise lamb creep usage, firstly the lamb’s must be attracted to the feed.
It is therefore imperative that a lamb creep that is formulated specifically for palatability and increasing intakes of the growing lamb. The lamb creep should contain ingredients that vary in taste, smell and texture – sweet tasting ingredients particularly work well.
Often additives are used to promote early intakes such as those found in Galloway & MacLeod’s Rumi-Guard package. The flavouring alters the taste to enhance palatability. Whilst the additive replicates a milk-like smell which encourages the lambs to eat the feed, aiding rumen development by stimulating proliferation and production of volatile fatty acid. Research has shown that this flavoured additive increases solid feed intake and propels development of all four stomach compartments in the ruminant (Gorka et al., 2018).
As a safety precaution, quality lamb minerals should have added ammonium chloride to help minimise the risk of urinary calculi (bladder stones) caused by aspects such as lambs not drinking enough water at certain periods.
To enhance growth rates in any young ruminant it is essential that the rumen is developed as early as possible, this allowing for both forage & concentrate to be effectively digested at an earlier stage. This promoting energy & protein to be absorbed successfully, in turn encouraging larger intakes.
To encourage development of a rumen good sources of fibre, sugar and starch are required to stimulate growth of the microbe population and increase the surface area of the rumen for maximum absorption of nutrients.
However, it is important to note that an oversupply of starch can have adverse effects on this process by causing acute acidosis and so starch sources and volumes fed need to be managed correctly.
During the early stages of a lamb’s development a range of protein sources within a creep are particularly important. These proteins need to both be absorbed by the growing bug population whilst also bypassing into the abomasum, allowing the lamb to absorb into the blood stream whilst its rumen is still developing. We offer both 18% and 20% protein options from a range of bypass and rumen degradable sources to suit different feed systems.
Our Rumi-Guard package contains Levucell Titan SC, a live rumen-specific yeast which aids early rumen development by creating optimum conditions for growth of rumen bacteria. Research has shown that lambs fed Levucell yeast promoted intake and growth rates compared to groups not fed the yeast (Selmi et al. 2013).
Table 1: (Selmi et al. 2013)
Average Daily Weight Gains (g/day)
Control 83 104
+ Levucell 125 185
A major factor that can limit a lamb’s development is illness; to reduce this risk factor, the immune system needs to be well developed to allow the lamb to fight off any infection. This starts with good colostrum being fed within the first six hours of life and the lamb receiving appropriate milk volumes thereafter to ensure it has the energy to combat disease.
A premium lamb creep can help improve the immune system and it is therefore important to consider the mineral and vitamin package you have in your lamb creep.
Ensuring high levels of Selenium and Vitamin E are included to help support immunity and performance by working in partnership to remove toxins from the body. However, one cannot work without the other.
Galloway & MacLeod’s Rumi-guard package contains AO-mix, an anti-oxidant that promotes further oxidant regulation. Avoiding issues such as the reduction of feed intakes, decreased animal production & performance, and elevated susceptibility to disease and mortality.
Research has shown that trace minerals which are easily absorbed in the gut of the animal should also be used. Trouw Nutrition’s range of Optimins are easily absorbed by active transport mechanisms in the body meaning they can transport around the body more effectively which in turn lowers the risk of mineral deficiencies, oxidative stress and competition between minerals for absorption.
The Optimin organic trace minerals also offer guaranteed and consistent premium quality and are manufactured to the highest standards. Optimin chelates have been demonstrated to have stronger bond strength and greater stability compared to others whilst maintaining excellent bioavailability for optimal animal mineral status.
We at Galloway & MacLeod believe there is no truer phrase than “You Are What You Eat” and that the same logic should apply to our livestock. We are, therefore, excited to pair our new Rumi-Guard mineral package alongside the quality ingredients that can be found in our Omega Lamb Creep 18% & Omega Max Start 20% products. We anticipate the benefits our customers will reap from increased intakes, earlier gut development and improved immunity which will all contribute to maximising lamb performance!
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