Sheep & Goats > General
Thanks for your question. I believe that the following, written by Dr. Dan Morrical from Iowa State University answers your question. If it does not then please respond back. AR Cobb
Lambs go through preference changes in the physical form of the creep diet they like. When real young say under 3 weeks there is a tendency for more intake if the diet is in the meal form. As lambs get older they prefer cracked or coarser processed diets until they move to whole grains at 50-75 days. This is nice to know but how do you use it.
Most producers in Iowa use either milk replacer or soybean meal top dressed on creep feed to get lambs started. The item that Belinda mentioned in her post that lambs are eating hay is typical. Lambs learn very fast from their dams what hay is and how to eat it. I suggest the best quality hay on the farm be in the creep feeder to attract lambs initially.
The other way to get lambs to eat creep quicker is to ensure that the creep environment is the nicest place in the barn. I think of creep areas as baby lamb sanctuaries. By that I mean a safe place for lambs to get away from those nasty ewes. You know the ones that butt every lamb within ten feet of theirs.
The creep area also should be easily accessible by the lambs from several sides with multiple openings dependent on the number of lambs in the pen. How quick lambs start on creep depends on the the lambs size relative to the dam's milk production. If a lamb gets all he wants and needs from milk creep intake is going to be delayed. I think it only stands to reason that mutiples should start on creep sooner because of less milk to go around. This may not be true since singles grow faster and are bigger to start with.
Fresh feed and a good environment are the two most important factors in my book.
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