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Author Topic: Rejected twin lamb  (Read 4977 times)


  • Joined Nov 2008
Rejected twin lamb
« on: April 19, 2011, 04:08:57 pm »
Hi, one of our suffolk ewes (a hog) had twins last Wed night.  She seemed to take to both fine and they were both suckling when we left them.  In the morning, she was butting the smaller of the lambs but tolerated his presence in the pen.  We managed to distract her enough over the next couple of days so that he could feed.  However, this was becoming more difficult so we took the decision to bottle feed him lamlac.  They all stayed in the pen together until yesterday when we put them in the paddock adjacent to the pen.  We were going to pen him at night but he bleated a lot and she got quite agitated so we put him with her and the twin - all seems to be fine and he generally sticks around them, and the twins sleep together.  All good so far. 

My question is (we are new to this hand rearing), in these circumstances (not feeding at all from the ewe), we are bottle feeding a litre a day spread over 4/5 feeds.  Do we need to increase amount and decrease number of feeds after a week?  He is behaving like other lambs so presume he will learn to eat grass in due course - do we then need to supplement him with lamb pellets? We are not aiming to fatten any of the lambs quickly so we were not intending to feed lamb supplement to any of them (we have not done so before and they weaned themselves).  How long would we need to bottle feed him for?

Any advice gratefully received!


  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Wales
Re: Rejected twin lamb
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 04:13:15 pm »
Read the back of the lamlac it gives great advice.

We keep them to a litre but reduce the frequency of the feeds and from 1 week old we put in lamb creep and water (a shallow bucket with washed stones in and some water just to stop them having unwanted accidents). By the time ours are 6 or 7 weeks they loose interest in the milk and would rather have creep hay/grass


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Rejected twin lamb
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 04:16:51 pm »
Thanks - yes the lamlac does give quantites but that is for penned lambs.  The trouble with giving him lamb creep is that he is with all the other ewes and lambs and they'll just eat it all......


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: Rejected twin lamb
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 07:04:30 pm »
hi sheepnewbies,

ref feeding the lamb with the others around...the best you can hope for, if you want to keep them all together, is to construct a pen that the lambs can get into but the ewes cant. That way they get the creep feed and the ewes cant gobble it all up. This will mean all the lambs get the creep feed.

The type of thing you need will have vertical slats close enough together that the ewes cant shove their heads and shoulders thru. If you google it you may see some ideas that will help. You can buy sheep gates with these vertical poles which can be moved wider as the lambs grow bigger.

the next problem you will have is keeping the crows off the creep feed!!

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


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Rejected twin lamb
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2011, 12:16:28 am »
Are you sure he's not feeding a little from the dam?  We don't feed our lambs creep feed, but they do have access to some extra yummy grass which the dams can't get to - they reach it by going under a gate, so you don't really need a complicated set-up - just a gate or hurdles with a big enough gap that the lambs can get under it.  I wouldn't feed milk for much longer than 3 months, by which time the lamb would be grazing summer grass, so I'm not sure why creep feed would be needed at all.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Rejected twin lamb
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2011, 05:16:08 pm »
Thank you fleecewife and pikilily.  I've just seen another thread about creep feeding and I think I'll leave it as our grass is pretty good with all this fine weather - not like last year!  No, pretty sure he's not feeding from her particularly now they are in the field.  He seems fine, smaller than his twin but she does let him lie with them and if he bleats she calls - odd really, if he tries to feed she butts him quite hard - he seems to have learned not to try now....... hopefully he'll pick up the eating grass thing at the same time as the others.


  • Guest
Re: Rejected twin lamb
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2011, 09:30:51 pm »
we had a hebridean ewe that rejected one of her twins, (apparently its quite common in primitive breeds incase they cant eat enough to feed 2 lambs) she was lambing in small paddock with other ewes so we didnt know which ewe had dropped him. so we just handraised him completely, im sure he just went from milk to grass.  (and yes...hes still here..years later)


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Rejected twin lamb
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2011, 01:02:42 am »
I had exactly this with a lamb last year. He was allowed to lie with his mum and sister but she wouldn't feed him ??? I did provide some creep as the grass was so bad - made a cube of hurdles, one on it's end. To start with the top space was sufficient for them to get through, eventually we removed a slat but good grass is better if you've got it.

I let lambs dictate feeding - let them take as much as they want. Feed x4 a day, then depends on how they're doing. If they're starting not to bother each time I drop a feed but do as I've said with the volume.


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Rejected twin lamb
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2011, 08:17:57 am »
Thanks jaykay - yes I'm thinking he could have a bit more at each feed - am doing 4 x day 250ml at a time, but he seems to want more....!


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