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How to maximise lamb health

Find out how to maximise lamb health with Provita Animal Health

Almost 50% of total lamb losses occur in the first 48 hours of life, with a further 11% coming to an early demise 2-14 days post-lambing.

Reports show that estimates of pre-weaning mortality range from 10-28 % and that most of the mortality is in the first three days of life across all breeds and production systems.

Deaths at or around birth can lead to the loss of up to 15% of lambs born in lowland flocks and up to 25% of lambs born in hill flocks.

Newborn lambs require 10% of their body weight in colostrum within the first 24 hours of life, after which the gut is no longer able to absorb the antibodies that help prevent disease.

45% of early lamb mortality is caused by E. coli scours (Diarrhoea/Watery Mouth ), 20% by starvation/hypothermia and 8% by pneumonia.

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Several sources of UK lamb mortality data over the past 30 years find average mortality rates of 12-23%. There is significant variation in levels of losses between farms.

For instance, 15% lamb mortality has been reported in Welsh flocks, and a UK wide study found a range of 4-21% in lowland flocks.

Provita Animal Health are biotechnology animal health innovators engaged in developing and manufacturing animal health solutions specifically for lambing.

Provita Animal Health

Twin Lamb Disease TLD

Provita Ewe Two is a fast-acting, high energy drench for sheep with 24 different minerals and vitamins specifically formulated for suspected Twin Lamb Disease (TLD) and/or ewes needing extra support at times of stress.

The early clinical signs of TLD include disorientation isolation from flick, becoming increasingly dull, depressed and easily caught.

Ewe Two is used at these earliest signs to supply a fast-acting glucose energy (propylene glycol) to increase blood glucose levels quickly.

Ewe Two 500ml provides 10 feeds / 50ml per ewe. This can be repeated after 4 hours and again after 24 hours if required. Ewe Two contains propylene glycol, a rapidly-acting source of glucose, to increase insulin levels by 200–400% within 30 minutes from the rumen.

Ewe Two also contains highly beneficial minerals and vitamins – Selenium, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, Cobalt, Iodine, Iron, B Vitamins, Zinc, Manganese, and Methionine for correction of common deficiencies associated with TLD due to poor feed intakes.

Importance of colostrum

Farmers across the UK and Ireland rely on Provita’s concentrated colostrum powder, which is supplemented with added egg powder, beneficial bacteria and vitamins to provide lambs with a complete colostrum application at birth.

The product supplies either supplementary 25g or substitute 50g of natural colostrum, which is absorbed into the bloodstream provided it is administered ideally within 6 hours of birth.

Vitamins A, D3 & E are important for the newborn lamb and are included to counter common deficiencies in newborn lambs.

High-level easy-absorbable energy is provided by the substantial levels of lactose and oil for instant and slow-release energy to the newborn lamb, therefore, helping to get up and suckle quicker.

An easy-mix formulation sealed in a foil sachet for freshness and preservation of nutrients which uniquely also provides beneficial bacteria to the calf to help physically exclude harmful bacteria from attaching to the gut wall and improve digestion.

Pack sizes include 12x50g, 500g, 1.25kg and 2.5kg with a special offer of a free gift.

Optimised gut health

Even with support from maternal immunoglobulins, lambs still exhibit high mortality rates, and hence implementing early, and effective supplementation of the gut commensal population with Provita Lamb Response is of critical importance.

An enhanced commensal gut microbiome will boost lamb survival and reduce digestive disturbances in the gut, thereby reducing diarrhoea incidence by virtue of the anti-pathogenic gut-based action of probiotics.

Provita Lamb Response is a beneficial bacteria-based oral supplement that acts preventatively to augment the newborn lamb’s gut commensal population with protective bacteria, thereby generating gut health and preventing the establishment of E. coli by boosting immunity.

This product also supplies protective egg proteins and vitamins A, B, D and E to enhance gut health further and to stimulate metabolism and growth.

Lamb Response 100ml provides for 90 lambs.  For best results, give to newborn lambs, also use after a digestive upset or antibiotic therapy

Energy for lambs

Provita Jump Start is an oral supplement high in energy, minerals, and vitamins to boost newborn lambs and get going quickly.  Jump Start 100ml provides for 25 lambs.

Young lambs can be very susceptible to hypothermia, loss of energy, and Vitamin E and selenium deficiencies.

Therefore, by supplying egg proteins, energy (glucose) and trace elements such as Vitamin E & Selenium immediately after birth, will not only kick start the metabolism of the newborn lamb, but will also aid its survivability.

Provita Jump Start will give these benefits because it contains fast-acting (propylene glycol) and slow-release (sunflower oil) energy and a complete trace element pack to counteract any deficiencies in newborn lambs.

Jump Start will act in synergy with the beneficial bacteria found in Lamb Response.


For further information about Provita Animal Health and its products: Contact Eoin Kelly 07739099230 or George Shaw 07841926219.

Alternatively, you can visit the company’s website here or email – [email protected]

*References available on request.

Co-written by Dr Tom Barragry PhD, MSc, MVB, MRCVS and George Shaw MPharm MPSNI.

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