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Author Topic: Advice Re. Pet Lamb please  (Read 507 times)

Madmandy

  • Joined Jul 2017
Advice Re. Pet Lamb please
« on: December 09, 2018, 07:53:35 am »
Ok, so I have a 6 month old lamb who was bottle fed and became a pet. He is a wether.
He's been living in the garden since a day old and my mother in law puts him in his shed every night and lets him out in the morning lol !!
The issue now is that he has grown somewhat !! And she is a pretty frail 86 years old and we are all worried that although he is a lovely boy he is a bit like a bull in a China shop.
We do also have a small flock of around 12 ewes of varying breed and age, his mum is in that flock. Some of these had been tiddlings so are fairly calm and will be petted, some are just your run of the mill ewes.

We took him down to them a few weeks ago but he wasn't well received, and he got pretty well pushed around by one in particular so we brought him home again.
My question is what do we do now for the best for him ?
He needs really to go out into the big wide field but will he cope and will they adjust to having him around ? Or do we find him a new home where he can  continue to be a pet for the rest of his life.
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Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Advice Re. Pet Lamb please
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2018, 07:58:52 am »
Yes he will cope fine, give it a few days. I have had one that lived with the goats, and he took about a week to stop shouting at the gate … but he is fine now, still comes to see me when I am in the field, but otherwise lives with the Fock and I cannot distinguish him from the others at a distance.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Advice Re. Pet Lamb please
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2018, 12:02:15 pm »
He's barging and rough now at 6 months.  In a year's time he will be dangerous, especially to your M-i-L, so either he needs to go for slaughter or, as I suspect you would prefer, go out with the flock.  If you are seriously concerned about his being bullied out there, put him with another wether, or his mum, in a pen for a while, even his overnight shed, so he has a pal and learns what a sheep is.  After a couple of days, return them both to the flock, and he will have a pal.  You will just have to harden your heart until he settles in.


The best advice we had when we started with sheep was 'never have a pet lamb'.  We have followed that almost totally, so any rejected lamb is adopted onto another ewe or if there's not one available, the lamb is bottle fed in the field with the flock.  That way it knows it's a sheep, and it's with the flock from day 1, it's not imprinted on a human and it doesn't expect much special treatment.  Baby lambs are so cute and I can see why folk love them so, but in the long term it rarely works for ever.  They are sheep and they need to live in a flock.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 12:06:14 pm by Fleecewife »
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bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Advice Re. Pet Lamb please
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2018, 02:44:35 pm »
Sheep rarely target each other, if one ewe took exception to him he has to learn to keep out of her way, or stand up to her. I'd leave them to it and let them sort out their hierarchy. If he's 6 months old he has a fair bit of growing to do and really needs his own kind for company before he becomes a brat.. Many wether pet lambs in similar situations become far to over friendly and can become a real nuisance.

Bramble&Rose Dairy

  • Joined Dec 2017
  • Warwickshire
Re: Advice Re. Pet Lamb please
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2018, 11:50:14 pm »
If he is out in the field with your other sheep then at least if one does decide to have a go at him he's got room to get away. They will settle down quickly enough once he has found his place in the pecking order. Just be very careful with him if he is being a bit rough with you now at 6 months- I bottle reared a ram lamb in the hopes of having a ram I could halter train, put him out with my ewes and had nothing but trouble. In the end I sent him for slaughter because he became so nasty that he was dangerous and people were getting hurt when we worked the sheep. He knocked me down in the field one day and I was black and blue; kept coming at me again and again and really meant it!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Advice Re. Pet Lamb please
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2018, 10:46:01 am »
Yep, he needs to be with sheep.  Do not find him a pet home or we will be advising his new owner to get him slaughtered when he becomes dangerous.  Sorry to be blunt but we have this conversation several times every year.  Rearing them on the bottle is lovely, but once they’re weaned they need to be with other sheep and learn to be sheep.  Like Fleecewife, we bottle feed ours in the field if we can, and they always know they’re sheep but still come to you.
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landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Advice Re. Pet Lamb please
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2018, 11:03:08 am »
If he is out in the field with your other sheep then at least if one does decide to have a go at him he's got room to get away. They will settle down quickly enough once he has found his place in the pecking order. Just be very careful with him if he is being a bit rough with you now at 6 months- I bottle reared a ram lamb in the hopes of having a ram I could halter train, put him out with my ewes and had nothing but trouble. In the end I sent him for slaughter because he became so nasty that he was dangerous and people were getting hurt when we worked the sheep. He knocked me down in the field one day and I was black and blue; kept coming at me again and again and really meant it!


This one is a wether so does not have all the male hormones rushing through that a ram has. Is likely to be pushy at the worst, as opposed to actually deliberately butting you.
But nevertheless, would entirely agree that he needs to be with other sheep to teach him manners.
Put him in with the others. All animals have to find their place in the pecking order - even humans! He'll soon settle in, and in my experience wethers make the friendliest of sheep so he'll stay tame and sociable. 
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Madmandy

  • Joined Jul 2017
Re: Advice Re. Pet Lamb please
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2018, 10:24:00 pm »
Thanks all

We put him in the meadow with the ewes yesterday afternoon, no bleating from him when we walked away and when we drove past half an hour later he wasn't waiting at the gate so hopefully he'll do well.

 

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