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Author Topic: won't suckle from mum and only from bottle with resistance  (Read 2519 times)

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
won't suckle from mum and only from bottle with resistance
« on: April 09, 2011, 06:39:25 pm »
Any one got any thoughts about how to get the lamb to want to be hungry, born Thursday at 8pm :(? His mum has lots of milk and we are expressing her a little to keep her flowing and comfortable. He refuses to have a go at her udders and he cannot miss them they are exposed and enormous. She is a first timer, and had a hard labour and did not get the picture and left the lamb so we had to go in and warm it up and give colostrum from bottle, before it died - and we did wait until we had to. Good bonding between them he's just not interested in feeding from her and only has the bottle because I force him to wake up and take it. It sounds mean but he is drinking about 2oz ever two hours (we use hers too) but other than pouring it directly into his stomach (which I have not done) he just refused to accept anymore than that. He is very thin but can stand and hold his head up and fight back against being fed - when he wants but is very different from the lamb just born earlier this afternoon who is moving about and suckling well.
Voss Electric Fence

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: won't suckle from mum and only from bottle with resistance
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2011, 06:55:15 pm »
Difficult with out seeing the lamb , if  he is sleeping a lot could be slightly premature which maybe why it was a bad lambing lack of hormones , i have one a week old some days it will suck  alot  then next time a little only now starting to wake up always top up via tube and keep very warm

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: won't suckle from mum and only from bottle with resistance
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2011, 09:06:03 pm »
So do you think we should tube him?

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: won't suckle from mum and only from bottle with resistance
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2011, 09:26:00 pm »
Hi ya, sorry to hear of your troubles...I don't have any experience with (possible) premmies!

 I would imagine that if he was premature he would have a little less wool than normal, perhaps you can find clues on the internet. As Shep has said warmth would be a priority, whether it is because he is premature, or because he is not feeding well. So, have you got one of those lambmacs? if not a sleeve from a jumper cut with a head and leg holes, or if he is very small the jumper with a lambmac over the top would keep him very cosy. Are the ewe and lamb still inside?

If it is a case of just not a good feeder, then i would tube feed him, its actually not very difficult (good descriptions of how to do it in books and on internet). Using the bottle will not help him to eventually suck from Mum. You could use a squirt of 'kick start' ten minutes before you hold Mum and encourage him to feed from her, then feed using the tube. The same company also do a colostrum 'intensive care' version which you warm and then give a small squirt. Persevere with trying to get him to feed from her, it took me three days to get the ewe twins to feed properly and enthusiastically from their Mum. Her udders were so full and low they could not find the teats which were ten inches lower than they should be!!! I did all of the above to keep them going until they learned how to suck from her!  

How difficult was the birth, was it really long. what was his position/ Could he possibly have been oxygen starved? that may explain a bit.
Has he passed dung of any description. If so, you could assume that his digestive tract is fairly patent.
Has he passed urine?
I am trying to think of any other questions which may shed light!...do he appear to be in pain at all, eg if you gently palpate his tummy does he protest or really try to escape?

I am sure that someone may be able to help more...Good luck, dont give up on him yet..
Emma T
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: won't suckle from mum and only from bottle with resistance
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2011, 09:29:15 am »
We have given him since his birth a couple of doses of kick start and colostrum and a bit of her milk/colostrum. He has passed both urine and poo. He is 'dressed' in the sleeve of one of my old jumpers. I had lamb Mack's in case it was wet but as they were plastic and I thought a nice warm woolly might be best. They are both inside still, in a pen inside a barn on straw that is cool enough for mum but with sun shinning in. Throughout the night we fed him and he has been his usual sleepy uncooperative self  :-\  At 1/2 8 this morning fed him again (same sleepiness and then settled down to express from mum. We tried to get him interested and no-go. She was also getting a bit cross with him and kept nudging him towards the milk bar. Then suddenly the penny dropped! He barged, yes barged (and not falling over to snooze as previously) and started straight on target, tail wagging and head butting for more for all he was worth. :yum:;D. so all looks so much better on this wonderful sunny morning. Also last night one of the others gave birth, all on her own, easy peesey and a good mum with another healthy chap. Hopefully if his brother keeps drinking we will be able to let them out in 24hrs?

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: won't suckle from mum and only from bottle with resistance
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2011, 09:31:38 am »
Sorry forgot to say thank you Shep53 and Pikilily for being there in my excitement, joy and sleepyness.

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: won't suckle from mum and only from bottle with resistance
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2011, 10:17:23 am »
thats great! glad to hear he has got the message.....now, ONLY top him up, if you need to, AFTER he has fed from Mum. Then he is getting as much as he can from her and stimulating her to produce more! In a way i would be tempted to let him go a bit hungry so he is chasing her for the food, as long as he is doing that!

It seems that all is well, he is pooing and peeing, so thats good, and Mum is encouraging him to get on with his part of the bargin, so she has not given up. Keep them in for a few more days, the weather is going to go downhill again. Dont ring his tail or castrate him untill you are sure he is totally good (bearing in mind the time limits) Ringing the tail is not so bad, but the castration is more painful - so i beleive. 

Well done all of you  ;D ;D ;D
Emma T
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: won't suckle from mum and only from bottle with resistance
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2011, 10:41:35 am »
Hi thanks for that advice Pikilily. Just one question if I may? His brother stayed outside last night. mother would not follow him - in doors not as close as we thought! she is being very protective and a good mum he is looking straong and sturdy. We live in the south west and they are hardy Portlands so is it ok to leave him out, seems ok at the moment?

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: won't suckle from mum and only from bottle with resistance
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2011, 12:41:26 pm »
Dry + cold weather are no problem to a lamb full of milk , continous rain is the killer , so shuold be fine. glad the other lamb is going strong

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: won't suckle from mum and only from bottle with resistance
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2011, 01:05:33 pm »
hiya, if the latest addition is staying outside with his mum, because she wont come inside, i would pop a lambmac on him. they make a huge difference. We are forcast for cooler rainier weather over the next few days. At least you wont have to worry too much... if i had to choose I would rather have my lambs a little too warm than too cold! the macs also, apparently, give some protection against preditors eg foxes!

In a few days time you will be wondering, and in awe, at the lambs going from strength to strength running their mothers crazy around the paddock!!

Enjoy!
Emma T
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: won't suckle from mum and only from bottle with resistance
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2011, 04:17:55 pm »
Hi P many thanks for that a good idea - I have enough of them to last me several lifetimes. I kept the rest of the sheep in with her in a small orchard, more safety in numbers but admit I found it hard to sleep, in-between feeding the other little one with worry. But she just would not have it. She was secretive about giving birth and kept hiding him and butting him away from view. She is a little more relaxed now, but not enough me thinks to come inside.

I let the other mum and the poor sucker out today in the sunshine and she was happily eating the grass, oddly he was trying too... talk about running before you can stand up straight. He is sleeping a lot again and not pestering her for milk, or much else. I know he is still a baby but so different from the other one. I think I might have to resort to having a go at tube feeding, hopefully that will fill him up a bit and generate a sense of hunger later? she is still grunting and pushing him to get on with it, when he bothers to stand up/move about. But he generally just stands to her side. My Portlands are seldom vocal at the best of times! However, he is warm, clear nosed, clear eyed, can hold his head up, stand, wiggle his tail and resist being fed, so still hope. Just perverse!

 

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