In the Upper Midwest, the majority of winter-born lambs are offered creep feed until they are weaned. Creep diets are intended to supplement the nutrients supplied by ewe's milk. Lactating ewes normally reach their peak in milk production about 4 weeks postpartum. Beyond this daily milk production declines independent of the diet offered. Lambs typically begin to consume creep feed at 10 to 14 days of age. The amount consumed is inversely proportional to the amount of milk consumed. The amount of creep feed consumed by young lambs, 2 to 6 weeks of age, is affected by the palatability of the ration, both composition and physical form. A highly palatable, nutrient dense creep diet enables lambs to meet their genetic growth potential and take advantage of the greater efficiency of gain associated with younger animals. According to the NRC (1985) , young lambs initially prefer ground creep rations to pelleted rations. After 4 or 5 weeks of age, lambs show a preference for pelleted rations. After 6 weeks of age, they should be fed unground grains. However, little current information is available on lamb preference for specific types of commercial and grain-soybean meal based creep diets during the preweaning period. The objective of this research was to examine creep diet preference of purebred Hampshire lambs from 10 days of age to weaning.
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South Dakota State University
Copyright © 1993 South Dakota State University
Held, J. E.; Read, B.; and Slyter, A. L., "Lamb preference for commercial and grain-soybean meal based creep diets during the preweaning season" (1993). South Dakota Sheep Field Day Proceedings and Research Reports, 1993. 6.