Karen Hallam farming 1,100 ewes with husband Steven, Egton Bridge, Whitby
We’re using the ECO Feeder for the first time this year and I’m very impressed. It’s enabled me to rear 200 lambs at once on the one machine, they’re a real even bunch and the fact it keeps the milk at a constant temperature encourages young lambs to keep coming to drink.
We’ve been hiring an automatic feeder for years, however with Volac’s interest free offer this season, we decided to bite the bullet and haven’t looked back since. With higher scans – 197% for the Swaledales, over 200% for the Mules and 170% Cheviots, we’ve had more surplus lambs than usual, and the machine has proved spot on, it’s never missed a beat.
Up to 16 lambs can feed at once, that’s twice as many as on the automatic feeder and the ECO has brought massive time savings. Every day I spend a few minutes thoroughly checking the lambs and then the machine for how many litres have been drunk, and top up with milk replacer. Every five days I clean the machine – it’s an easy job that takes about 40 minutes.
The lambs take to the machine very quickly. I initially train them on bottles, then pop them on to a machine teat and 99% latch on straight a way.
We’ve weaned our first lambs at five weeks and they’re on target to reach 30kg for the lightweight market from 12 weeks.