News & Advice

Caring for your Ag Day Lamb or Kid Goat

Jul 9, 2021 | Ag Day, Lifestyle Farmers

Lambs And Kids

Most of the lambs and kids that become available for Calf Club are orphans. Usually the farmer will nurse them through the first few days and then they can be passed over to you. Make sure the animal is healthy with no diarrhoea and has been fed colostrum in the first 6 hours of life.

You may still need to help your lamb or kid as it learns to suck from an artificial teat for the first few days. For very young lambs or kids you will need to provide shelter such as a pen or an old dog kennel, especially for night time. It is a good idea to get a wool cover/jacket to help keep them warm in the early days.

For the first few days as you become friends, it will help to have a small area, so wherever you are in the pen, you are close to your lamb or kid. It can hear your voice and will soon begin to trust you. The best way to become friends is of course by feeding it. Right from the start your lamb or kid will need feeding at least four times a day. You may need Mum or Dad to help out with this while you are at school. If you need to purchase lamb milk formula, mix it with warm water. It is very important to keep whatever equipment you use to feed your lamb or kid completely clean – lambs or kids can get a tummy bug called scours (diarrhoea) from dirty feeding equipment, so clean everything after feeding with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly.

 

How much to feed

After feeding your lamb or kid will look “full”, their tummy will be round and the lamb or kid will be happy, not calling for milk. It is important to mix powders to the correct levels, so make sure you read the instructions on the packet carefully. Be sure to feed your lamb or kid at the same time each day, as it won’t take long for it to know when dinner time is! Bottle fed lambs & kids are at high risk of suffering from a very serious, life-threatening condition called abomasal bloat.  The best way to prevent this from happening is to yoghurtise the milk feeds. 

 

Weaning

Refer to the instructions on the milk formula packet for reduction of feeds. Eventually four feeds will be reduced to three, two and then once a day. Lambs or kids generally remain on once a day milk feeds until after Group Day.

 

Fitting a collar

Collars and leads can be purchased from your local veterinary centre or rural store. When fitted correctly, you should be able to fit two fingers between any part of the collar and your lamb or kid’s skin, and it should not pull off, if the lamb or kid pulls back. The collar can stay on, but as your lamb grows, check the collar regularly and loosen it off as you need to.

 

Ag Day Competition – Lambs And Kids

 

Leading

The Judge will be watching your lamb or kid to see how obedient it is. Your lamb should be leading well and obeying your instructions to turn and stop.

 

Most Obvious Pet

The Judge will be looking at how quickly your lamb responds to your call, and how easily you can re-attach their lead. 

 

Rearing & Grooming

The Judge will be looking to see how well it has been reared (fed, groomed and cared for). You must present the lamb in spotless condition but remember you shouldn’t wash lambs as it strips the wool of natural oils, so clean you lamb by brushing and spot clean any stubborn dirty bits. 

  • Wool clean so there is no debris, or dags.
  • Feet clean – remember to wipe any earth away from its hooves.
  • Clean under its legs and around the outside of its ears.
  • Clean around its nose and eyes.
  • Clean collar and lead.

The lamb or kid has to be well behaved and stand still to allow the Judge to run his/her hands over its body.

The Judge may ask you some questions about your pet – its name, when it was born, what breed it is, and what you have been feeding it.

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