Bottle feeding lambs

Bottle feeding lambs is almost a rite of passage for most farmers of sheep. Whether the sheep has had loads of lambs and doesn’t have enough milk to feed them, or something has happened to the mum it is good to be prepared in case this happens.


  • Clean teat and bottle
  • Colostrum powder and milk powder
  • Iodine spray for navel (Spray navel every feed until it falls off to avoid infection)
  • Thermometer
  • Optional extras: 
  • Lamb jackets
  • Electrolytes
  • Lamb tube feeder (For emergencies: giving colostrum or electrolytes only)


Feeding Frequency

Newborn lambs/kids

Generally, start on 150mls 5 times a day

3 to 7 days old

200mls-250mls 4 times a day

7 days to 3-4 weeks

250ml-300mls 4 times a day

3-4 weeks to 2 months

300mls-350mls 3 or 4 times a day

Over 2 months old

400mls 2-3 times a day until weaning

Hay and or meal should be offered from the first week of life. This helps the rumen develop and can speed up growth rates and the weaning process.  

If you have ever watched lambs feeding in the paddock off their mums, you would have noticed that they have small and frequent feeds. Bloat is common in bottle fed lambs because it is not practical to mimic these feeding pattens. Yogurtising milk is a proven way to reduce the risk of bloating. If you are interested in the recipe, contact us and we can supply this for you.  

We are more than happy to help with any problems you may have with lambs, so feel free to call us to get advice if you are feeling like something is going wrong.  

Remember that all lambs can be vaccinated from 4 weeks of age. Book in with one of our techs to get this done or you can carry this out yourself. We can dispense small volumes of vaccine from the clinic.