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Author Topic: Orphaned lambs doing well..but should I be worrying?  (Read 2582 times)

LouiseG

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Appleby-in-Westmorland
Orphaned lambs doing well..but should I be worrying?
« on: May 01, 2011, 02:21:55 pm »
We were given two orphaned Jacob lambs Easter Monday a 2 day old boy and 4 day old girl, we have raised orphans for the last 5 years (but never Jacobs) and always fed Lamlac, this year however we have a goat who is milking very well (nearly 3 litres every morning  :yum:)so have been feeding the lambs fresh goats milk.
They both seem to be doing really well but my worry is the older lamb doesn't drink very much only about 500ml a day, and that is with a lot of effort from us, the younger one downs his bottle every feed in a matter of minutes. they are out on grass during the day and tucked up in the kitchen in a crate at night, they have access to lamb creep and water and are playing at eating bits of grass.
I'm probably just worrying unnecessarily but she doesn't seem to drink enough. Do they need less of it than Lamlac? the bag used to say a litre a day per lamb. As she was 4 days old may she not like the taste of it? she just chews the teat and swallows what happens to fall in, I've checked her mouth and all seems well and she's definitely grown, doesn't seem listless although not as out going as the other one.
Should I be worrying or does she just need less to keep her going?
So many ideas, not enough hours
Voss Electric Fence

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Orphaned lambs doing well..but should I be worrying?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2011, 03:37:13 pm »
I have no experience of feeding goats milk to lambs.  This year I have been using my Jersey's milk and found (a) that the lambs seemed to need more than 1L per day to grow and not get thin and (b) if I did switch them to sheep's milk later, they scoured badly.  I lost two lambs through scouring when I managed to get them adopted onto bereaved ewes, so now I feed 1L of half-and-half sheep's milk replacement and Jersey milk and all has been well.  Mind, I haven't fostered one since I started mixing the milk so I can't be sure they wouldn't scour.

A one-week old lamb who won't drink her milk (of whatever type) does sound worrying.  If she's very small perhaps 500ml is enough; you say she isn't getting thin.  The only other thing that I have sometimes found is some lambs don't like certain types of teat; sometimes one won't drink out of the normal non-vac soft teat bottle but drinks gustily when offered the fits-on-a-coke-bottle harder red plastic type of teat.  (And, of course, vice versa.)

Someone who knows about the relative feed values of sheep's and goat's milk will be along shortly, I expect!
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

LouiseG

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Appleby-in-Westmorland
Re: Orphaned lambs doing well..but should I be worrying?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2011, 04:37:18 pm »
thanks, i'm going to go down to a friends to borrow a different bottle and teat and see if that helps. I'm kicking myself for not weighing them last week but she has definately grown so she must be taking some/enough in?
So many ideas, not enough hours

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Orphaned lambs doing well..but should I be worrying?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2011, 12:54:28 am »
I'm kicking myself for not weighing them last week but she has definately grown so she must be taking some/enough in?


Oh, they'll grow.  But if they are not taking enough in they'll get thin as they grow.  Check that she has plenty of flesh on her ribs, along the top of her spine and on her thighs / gluteals.  If she feels a bit like a skeleton covered in fleece, she needs more food!
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

Freddiesfarm

  • Joined Jan 2010
Re: Orphaned lambs doing well..but should I be worrying?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2011, 05:37:41 pm »
I've got one that was just slow to drink milk.  She was on mum for ages but wasn't doing and now I have taken her away and on the bottle and she has improved as I don't walk off like her mum did.  Took ages for her to start drinking properly and even now she starts off really slowly and then suddenly sucks like mad!  She is eating lots of creep and seems fine in herself.  Just keep an eye, some little lambs are slower to start drinking.

LouiseG

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Appleby-in-Westmorland
Re: Orphaned lambs doing well..but should I be worrying?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 10:16:38 am »
Thanks for the help, the change of teat has helped she now has a bigger one which comes out quicker so she only has to chew it and swallow. She doesn't seem too thin I can feel her ribs and spine but they have a covering of flesh on them not just skin and bones  :).

Thank you again for a brilliant forum   :sheep:
So many ideas, not enough hours

 

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