Scottish compounder Davidsons Animal Feeds has launched Rapid Start, a new concentrate feed formulated to promote early lamb growth before weaning. The company suggests that early lamb sales can attract the highest prices of the season, so it is vital to get lambs on the right track for growth and early finishing.

Rapid Start contains 18% protein, along with ammonia chloride to reduce the risk of urinary calculi, even at increased intakes. Dr Andrew Pine of Premier Nutrition describes the product as: “the ideal feed for young lambs – formulated to encourage early feed uptake and optimise their genetic growth potential while maximising the efficiency of nutrient use”.

Steven Turnbull, sheep specialist at Davidsons Animal Feeds, comments: “Our new Rapid Start pellet is perfect for the job of creep feeding lambs when at grass with their mothers pre-weaning. Specially formulated to grow a powerful frame, we estimate that lambs on Rapid Start should have up to 20% greater bodyweight at weaning. Many will have the potential to be away finished even before weaning.

“But Rapid Start is not simply a high protein, high energy product. It provides high spec vitamins and minerals required by fast growing lambs, and we have worked to make it highly appetising to increase uptakes by using Davidsons’ unique intake stimulant.

“We are delighted with the potential feed conversion ratio offered by Rapid Start and believe that it is the ideal product for our customers looking to finish lambs, early, quickly and profitably as well as growing the perfect pedigree stock.

“Official market prices for summer 2017 show that producers received up to £24 more per head for typical 40kg lambs sold in June / July compared with those sold in August. If market prices follow a similar trend this year, then feeding March 2018 born lambs with Rapid Start could be the best way to achieve the premium early summer prices for finished lambs.”

Rapid Start is available direct from Davidson Animal Feeds as bulk, blown or bagged deliveries throughout Scotland and the north of England.