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Author Topic: Feeding triplets  (Read 906 times)

Bramham Wiltshire Horns

  • Joined Oct 2014
  • leeds
  • Bramham flock Wiltshire Horns
Feeding triplets
« on: March 12, 2019, 05:44:19 pm »
Hi we had our first lambs of the year today
Ewe did everything herself turns out there was 3 in there ???????After been scanned twins, lambs up and sucking after 3 minutes, going to give some extra colostrum after tea to top
Just got to keep the feed up on the ewe so she doesn't run out of milk
She has lick bucket as well

What other advice could you give
I know I will have to give milk to top the ewe
How much colostrum should I give the lambs I.e just one feed or over next few days before I go onto topping up

Cheers
Voss Electric Fence

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 06:14:51 pm »
Top up with a dose of colostrum (normally 100ml) per lamb once you have seen them suck the ewe, within first 6 hours of life. I leave them to it for the first week, my ewes have enough milk until the lambs are a week old, but after that I turn her out with twins and take a lamb off and rear on the bottle. Lessens the risk of mastitis, doesn’t pull the ewe down as much (she’s already worked hard to produce them- all of my triplet ewes were scanned wrong and used all their reserves to get the lambs to birth), and you end up with 2 good lambs and a pet rather than 3 small lambs despite topping up.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 06:22:30 pm »
Rule of thumb for lambs NOT suckled is  50ml per kg  but since your lambs may have suckled then just check how full their tummies are and how content before giving anything . You can just give 1 feed of colostrum but better 2 0r 3 in the first day then powdered milk .  You may find that only 1 lamb needs constant toping up or non if the ewe is milky sometimes the ewe can cope with 3 for a week or two then the lambs demand is to much and 1 lamb falls behind

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 06:32:37 pm »
I'd remove the weakest/smallest now. Its much easier to get them to accept the bottle at a day or few hours old.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2019, 06:39:19 pm »
I'd remove the weakest/smallest now. Its much easier to get them to accept the bottle at a day or few hours old.


Best leaving on the ewe until 24 hours old so it has enough colostrum  :thumbsup:

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2019, 10:00:54 pm »
I'd remove the weakest/smallest now. Its much easier to get them to accept the bottle at a day or few hours old.


Oooh, I wouldn't!  I'd maybe start topping them up after a few days, so that they're used to a bottle as well as the ewe. But then, if I was going to take one off, I'd remove the strongest one, since that has the most chance of surviving the hard life of a pet lamb.

That said, our Zwartbles regularly raise triplets without major drama, as long as they themselves are well fed, and as long as the lambs are weaned a bit earlier than normal to give the ewe chance to recover.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Backinwellies

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  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2019, 07:24:07 am »
Agree with Womble … remove strongest one after a few days
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Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 08:56:19 am »
Having seen how rough lambs are when shoving others off a teat I will not leave three on a ewe anymore.  I would take the strongest lamb or a ram lamb (provided you do not intend to keep it) as the bottle lamb.

Bramham Wiltshire Horns

  • Joined Oct 2014
  • leeds
  • Bramham flock Wiltshire Horns
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 10:12:41 am »
HI
thanks for all the good advice
i went down at 11pm last night all had fat warm bellies so signs that they have been feeding

same agaimn this morning i will offer bottles of milk and assess over the next few days
Ewe is getting plenty of gub to keep up energy,
i still have a few to lamb so maybe opportunities to adopt on depending how things go

once again thanks for all the advice



landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2019, 10:34:03 am »
I would just mention again the high chance of mastitis if you leave 3 on a ewe. It is such a temptation when you see the ewe has plenty of milk and is coping well, and especially when you can just top the lambs up with a bottle and not have to deal with a solitary pet lamb. But in no time at all the sweet gentle little lambs turn into voracious feeders and the ewe, with the best of feeding, just cannot cope. I have spoilt many a good ewe by convincing myself "this is a good mother, plenty of milk, she can manage." The poor animal, being constantly butted for milk develops mastitis and has to be culled. I would say, the chances of a ewe left with 3 lambs developing mastitis is about 80%. I have had it work; but the triplets never grew as well as a good set of twins, so now I would just keep 2 on and either foster the third, bottle it completely, or sell to someone else. (If the latter, you obviously keep the 2 biggest and sell the smallest!)
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Bramham Wiltshire Horns

  • Joined Oct 2014
  • leeds
  • Bramham flock Wiltshire Horns
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2019, 10:39:12 am »
thanks Landroverroy
appreciate that

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2019, 10:53:07 am »
I would just mention again the high chance of mastitis if you leave 3 on a ewe. It is such a temptation when you see the ewe has plenty of milk and is coping well, and especially when you can just top the lambs up with a bottle and not have to deal with a solitary pet lamb. But in no time at all the sweet gentle little lambs turn into voracious feeders and the ewe, with the best of feeding, just cannot cope. I have spoilt many a good ewe by convincing myself "this is a good mother, plenty of milk, she can manage." The poor animal, being constantly butted for milk develops mastitis and has to be culled. I would say, the chances of a ewe left with 3 lambs developing mastitis is about 80%. I have had it work; but the triplets never grew as well as a good set of twins, so now I would just keep 2 on and either foster the third, bottle it completely, or sell to someone else. (If the latter, you obviously keep the 2 biggest and sell the smallest!)

This. 

Sadly, I suspect it is something each of us has to learn for ourselves  :'(

Having said which, the last two years we have managed to keep four lots of triplets without having any full-on pets, but keeping the families together in the field.  Sometimes that doesn’t work; sometimes the mother stops the lambs coming for the bottle.

In three of the four cases, it’s started with topping up all three lambs in the family and pretty soon settles down to one lamb gets most of its feed from us, one gets top-ups from us when it’s hungry, and the third lamb soon stops coming to us and is it’s mother’s favourite.

If the mothers had prevented us feeding any, or if the third lamb had been seen to be bullying the mother for milk at any time, I would have taken the third lamb off. 

Our Lessa (Shetland x Blue-faced Leicester, very milky) just keeps having three, and when it was Shetland cross lambs, a lovely spring and a good (not too dry) summer, she managed just fine with no help except always being on the best grass and having grass pellets if she wanted.  Last year it was Romney cross lambs and a cold spring, and she needed a bit more help early on.  She wasn’t too keen on us topping up her lambs but we kept the family handy until the lambs knew all about the bottle and would come running when called, no matter what Mum said!  When we then had a long drought, we were soooo glad we’d got two of her lambs trained to come for a bottle! 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Bramham Wiltshire Horns

  • Joined Oct 2014
  • leeds
  • Bramham flock Wiltshire Horns
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2019, 11:41:17 am »
thanks Sally

thats the great thing about Forums like this everyone has there own systems that work for the but for newbies like me i can scan the experience from people and adapt to work for us

thanks to all that have inputted

i will keep regular update on this thread to see how we have done

 :thumbsup:

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2019, 12:17:08 pm »
I know sheep have tougher udder and reats, but when my Boer had triplets, they actually bit her teats by trying to hang on when another tried to push in. One expensive vet bill and antibiotics, i now keep a close eye on triplets and remove one when i see them getting rough.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Feeding triplets
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2019, 12:57:47 pm »
While here in Argyll I cannot leave triplets on , not from the mastitis point but from the one lamb falling behind , so I leave them on for up to 10 days  and if no new mother then off to the pets . But I have had 100 triplets running in 2 lots on  1st year seed grass  150mm long  fed nuts twice per day  with the lambs given access to creep feed shelters , weaned at around 10wks    NE mule ewes in the Scottish borders .   Only the odd mastitis or other problem
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 01:32:30 pm by shep53 »

 

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