Protecting the Young Lamb

Written by Dr TB Barragry PhD MSc MVB MRCVS

ALMOST 50% OF TOTAL LAMB LOSSES occur in the first 48 hours of life. Newborn lambs have virtually no immunity and a key organ in developing this immunity is the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome consists of a population of billions of commensal organisms (good bugs) which provide many beneficial effects for the body, and in fact the gastrointestinal tract is now known to be the largest immune system of the body.  A clear immunological link exists therefore between the gut microbiota, the immune system and the presence or absence of neonatal disease. This gut microbiome is almost sterile and is highly underdeveloped in the lamb at birth and thus it is no coincidence that the newborn lamb therefore possesses low immunity and is highly susceptible to infection. Augmenting this gut microbiome with probiotic/beneficial bacteria organisms at birth is one way to help enhance immunity and help prevent E. coli infection. The short window period after birth is a critical time for the neonatal gut to be populated with beneficial bacteria probiotic organisms which will then replicate and promote gut protection and strong immunity.

Lamb with Provita Lamb Response

Any outbreak of neonatal enteric disease in calves and lambs (coliform scours and watery mouth) is the result of an overwhelming imbalance between the environmental contamination pressure and the low immune status of the newborn animal.  An absolute and direct correlation exists between low immunity at birth and Watery Mouth or E. coli infection.

Provita Lamb Response is an oral formulation best given to all lambs to help prevent issues:

– Beneficial bacteria which naturally diminishes E. coli bacteria, enhances immunity, and ‘seals’ the newborn gut. 

– Egg powder which helps provide high concentrations of unique proteins which are more potent than usual colostral proteins – a powerful complement to the beneficial bacteria.

– High levels of vitamins necessary for the young animal’s metabolism and supplies especially vitamin E.

– High energy to stimulate appetite and help prevent hypothermia.