Spring has officially sprung. The days are getting longer, flowers are blooming and soon the fields will be full of new life.
The agriculture side of our business, Carr’s Billington, produces and delivers over half a million tonnes of animal feed to more than 1000 farmers across the UK. Our specialist team of nutritionists formulate feeds in line with the latest research and development, constantly updating our range to make sure our customers get exactly what they need.
With lambing season starting, here is what our specialists had to say about how Carr’s Billington products can help give lambs a strong start in life.
“In lambing season, colostral fat is vital for new born lambs. Our Carr’s Billington SUPERSTART contains whole natural colostrum and colostral fat collected from Scottish farms.
“Colostrum is a complex biological liquid formed in the ewe’s udder prior to lambing. It contains a large number of essential ingredients that are important for getting lambs off to a good start, such as globulin protein, colostrum fat, nutrients, growth factors and growth hormones.
“While the main function of colostrum from the ewe is to provide globulin protein to her lambs, the other major function is to provide energy. The most important nutrient that enables this is colostral fat, which provides a unique source of energy that allows new-borns to maintain their body temperature.
“At birth, approximately 5% of the lamb’s body fat is “brown fat” which metabolises colostral fat to produce energy in the form of heat. New-born lambs, especially those that have had a difficult birth and those exposed to cold, wet, or windy weather, are at risk of suffering from hypothermia, and so colostral fat is their best source of energy.
“The ingestion of colostral fat also has long term benefits, as it initiates fat metabolism pathways in the liver that are important for long term growth, and it also carries the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
“Ensuring lambs have rapid access to a quality source of colostrum at birth is vital for their survival. If the ewe is unable to provide sufficient quality colostrum then a colostrum supplement must be considered, which should deliver globulin protein to the lamb while still maintaining naturally high levels of colostral fat, growth factors, hormones, vitamins and minerals critical to lamb survival.”
To find out more about the range of feeds and compounds we offer, head over to our website where you’ll find the solutions to all your farm feed needs.
Ahead of lambing season, we spoke to one of our customers – Lucy, from Cumbria – about her experience as a sheep farmer.
Hi Lucy, what was it that got you into farming in the first place?
I grew up in the countryside as a gamekeeper’s daughter, so naturally I had a love of the outdoors from a very young age. During my childhood, I lived on a mixed farm (dairy, beef & sheep) in Cumbria, which is where my love for agriculture really took off.
I loved everything, from milking the cows and lambing the sheep, to helping at hay time and attending the young farmers events and agricultural shows. The early mornings and sleepless nights never bothered me as I’ve always been a hard worker, I love the feeling of doing a job right and well to the best of my ability.
How did you get into the agriculture industry?
I knew I wanted to work with animals, so after school I pursued a career in veterinary nursing while always keeping my hand in the agricultural industry.
I’ve now been a veterinary nurse for over 25 years, working with small animals, farm animals and horses. I’ve got a young family of my own and also manage to fit in my flock of over 50 sheep too.
Why do you love Carr’s Billington products?
I use my local Carr’s Billington store for my supplies, sundries and animal health products. It stocks a good range of products that are competitively priced.
I always buy Bacto-Col Plus lamb colostrum replacer. I have used this product for a few years now, and love how easily it mixes with no lumps, which is a massive help when stomach tubing it into a lamb in the middle of the night – there’s nothing worse than it blocking the tube in the middle of the night when you are already tired!
Are you a Carr’s Billington customer? We’d love to hear from you! Send us a message on our Instagram about your favourite Carr’s Billington products for a chance to feature on one of our #FarmFriday posts.