Over the coming weeks producers will be starting to think about grain feeding lambs. Getting lambs onto grain can be challenging, particularly if there was no imprint feeding of lambs pre weaning. The risk of acidosis from some animals gorging grain is a very real problem that occurs far too commonly, causing mortality but most commonly clinical and sub clinical disease. Getting the introduction phase of grain feeding to lambs right has many benefits. The use of Eskalin definitely makes this process easier and it can be added to grain or pellets and its use is recommended.
Eskalin (Virginiamycin) is an S4 antibiotic that prevents lactic acid producing bugs from multiplying, reducing acidosis risk and improving energy availability. Since it is an S4 antibiotic is does require Veterinary approval/prescription. It has a nil withholding period.
Eskalin does reduce the risk of acidosis but does not negate the need to introduce grain to lambs steadily. We would still recommend a minimum of 2 weeks (building up grain component of diet) to get lambs onto a full finisher (90% grain) ration.
Extract from “Livestock Logic Docs, November Newsletter”. This is a free email publication.