NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Best way to look after triplets?  (Read 8598 times)

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Best way to look after triplets?
« on: March 01, 2012, 10:48:13 am »
Bearing in mind that at this time, I am unable to tube feed and unable to rig up a heat lamp;

How best to look after triplets?

 :sheep:  :sheep:  :sheep:
Voss Electric Fence

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 11:25:06 am »
You might find the ewe copes with them well, two of my sheep have had triplets and have brought them all up fine with no interference from me.  Perhaps if one seems not to be thriving, you could try and top it up with formula milk such as Lamlac?
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 11:51:09 am »
Panic not! Sheep are designed to have multiples.....they cope really well and unless there is a reason to raise them fast...ie commercial they will do very well just a bit slower :thumbsup: :)
www.smallholdinginsomerset.blogspot.com
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2012, 12:12:00 pm »
As long as all is well and the dam bonds with all three after they are born, and all three are getting an equal share of milk, there is no problem.

I would add to that to keep a good eye on their growth.  Sometimes at about 3 weeks when their milk demands are increasing, one lamb may start to fall behind a bit and need topping up, but usually the ewe can count to three perfectly well and the lambs learn to share  :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Hazelwood Flock

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Dorset.
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2012, 01:57:08 pm »
Give them a pen with plenty of room...one of my ewes had the first triplet I have ever had in 14 years, and despite having a double pen, squashed one flat! at least she has plenty of milk for the two left!
Not every day is baaaaaad!
Pedigree Greyface Dartmoor sheep.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2012, 02:08:27 pm »
I have found that I don't get equally sized triplets, so right from the start there is one that's different in size. I will always take the third of triplets off the ewe, but that is my personal preference.

I will always tube all three triplets with additional colostrum to make sure they do get enough.

It is easier to get them used to the bottle early on, so if you plan to top up you should start early and they will come to you for their daily bottle on top of milk from mum.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 02:16:47 pm »

If you are leaving all three on mum, here are my tips:

  • if mum is less than condition score 2.5, do not consider doing this without topping up one or more of the lambs using bottled milk - and do this from the beginning, it's hard to get them on the bottle later unless you take them off the mother completely
  • if mum is less than condition score 2, do not consider doing this fullstop
  • give all three additional colostrum if you can and definitely if there is any concern about all three getting sufficient
  • in our case, triplets always get OraJet or Spectam - a preventative dose of an antibiotic - to reduce the risk of watery mouth, scouring, etc
  • give mum extra feed until weaning, or at the very least until the lambs are eating quantities of cake themselves
  • get a ewe-and-lamb cake so that the lambs learn to eat cake as early as possible, copying mum and sharing hers (you can give them higher quality stuff in a lamb-only creep area later, once they've learned to eat it, and switch mum back onto a standard ewe ration then if you want and she's doing well)
  • make sure mum always has plenty of clean water available - she'll need it to produce all that milk!
  • keep the family on your best grass, make sure there's always plenty for them
  • be vigilant for signs of orf and / or early mastitis ( * ), particularly if you have a dry spell and/or the grass is other than thick, clean and succulent

I have and do rear three on their mum but the fear is always that, as the demand increases as the lambs grow, the ewe is pulled down by the workload, resulting in mastitis and more often than not, a broken-uddered ewe, or, even if she manages, she struggles to regain sufficient condition for next year's tupping. 


 ( * ) one precursor sign is lambs bothering mum and her kicking them away - it's usual in the early days while the lambs learn the rules, but in older lambs it can indicate a supply problem brewing, and if not addressed, mastitis can often follow, which may be accompanied by orf on the ewe's teats and the lambs' mouths
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

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2012, 06:20:19 pm »
What breed are they?

I would never let a Wilts attempt to rear triplets, I would take one away instantly. Lleyns and lleyn crosses on the other hand.....

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2012, 07:28:05 pm »
Dad has a ewe that has triplets every year. He leaves them on and tops them up with a bottle - she does well and so do the lambs. To begin with he has to catch them and sit them on his knee and argue a bit about the teat but eventually all three come tearing across the field when they see him.

The bonus is that since mum is feeding them too, he only has to feed morning and night - not every 3-4 hours  :P

Dougal

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Port O' Menteith, Stirlingshire
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2012, 09:07:39 pm »
Best way to lookafter triplets is to wet adopt over onto a single. means that you get away with two pair!
It's always worse for someone else, so get your moaning done before they start using up all the available symathy!

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2012, 09:30:16 pm »
I always intend to do this, but does any ewe consider having a single when i have a spare lamb  ::)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2012, 09:41:56 pm »
I always intend to do this, but does any ewe consider having a single when i have a spare lamb  ::)
O' course not - they'm sheep!    ;) :D

Having said which, one year we had 16 singles and 17 triplets scanned (and 50-ish twins) in our mules - and by the time all 81 had lambed, I just had one spare lamb!  Mind, we had a vet student with us, she had loads of big farm experience and worked the night shift; she got more than half the singles to take a second while the rest of us slept!
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

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2012, 10:42:19 pm »
I have some lleyn x wilts in-lamb ewes scanned thus: 7singles, 35 twins, 6trips, 1quad and 1 quin  :o They are in lamb to a friend of mines polled shedding commercial ram - probably some offshoot of the 'exlana' breeding project. The quads and the quins should be a barrel of laughs.....

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2012, 11:50:47 pm »
I have some lleyn x wilts in-lamb ewes scanned thus: 7singles, 35 twins, 6trips, 1quad and 1 quin  :o They are in lamb to a friend of mines polled shedding commercial ram - probably some offshoot of the 'exlana' breeding project. The quads and the quins should be a barrel of laughs.....
Crumbs  :o
We did have quads one year - all good lambs too.  Our scanner stops counting at 3 - 'three' means 'three or more'.  We have found over the years that not all which scan as 3 then produce 3 (or more) - some of the foetuses don't make it to full term, get reabsorbed.  I think I'd be hoping that for one or two of the quintuplets... ::)
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

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Best way to look after triplets?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2012, 12:42:26 am »
I believe there was some distant use of Barbados Blackbelly in the ram, and they have (and rear) massive litters by sheep standards and also have amazing natural antihalmic resistance. However they are small, bony and mental, I hear.  Plus - take em to mart and you'll probably be bringing them back, seems they are just too outlandish for the buyers.

 

what do I do with triplets

Started by shrekfeet

Replies: 8
Views: 2597
Last post March 25, 2010, 06:25:49 pm
by Kasubakatula
Triplets !!

Started by andywalt

Replies: 18
Views: 6136
Last post January 23, 2011, 06:50:03 pm
by andywalt
Triplets!

Started by Stanlamb

Replies: 7
Views: 2150
Last post March 24, 2013, 09:51:42 pm
by Stanlamb
Triplets!

Started by moprabbit

Replies: 5
Views: 1900
Last post March 30, 2013, 10:54:20 pm
by moprabbit
Triplets

Started by raygezer

Replies: 4
Views: 1344
Last post April 04, 2013, 10:24:01 pm
by Fosterlambfarm

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS