NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Bottle feeding, turned the corner..  (Read 1462 times)


  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Ireland
Bottle feeding, turned the corner..
« on: April 13, 2013, 03:08:24 pm »
New user, but have been stalking for a while.
Got my first orphan/cade Suffolk X lambs 3 days ago, just 2 but it’s a good starting point for a novice.
They were born to a yearling who had twins and the farm policy is to take away one lamb so as not to rundown the yearling.  Traumatic time for 4 day old lambs, plus car journey and new surroundings.  Little wonder they wouldn’t take to the bottle.  A lot of scanning/searches of the forum for any help, and I found some good suggestions which I tried.  Three days on and they’re sucking the bottles inside out to get at it!!  What seemed to crack it for me was a change of bottle to a 500ml anti vacuum bottle with a smaller teat that ended in a ‘spike’ that I could snip the end off to get the right size hole.  Plus rather than guessing the temp of the milk I used a thermometer, with 40/42 being the optimum couldn’t resist temp.  Probably dropped a couple of degrees before it gets to the lambs though.

So just a big thanks to the regular contributors for their knowledge, you got me over the first hurdle.
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: Bottle feeding, turned the corner..
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 04:50:46 pm »
Well done, lots of them are like this at first, fight like hell and act like you are trying to poison them, it took my week old triplet nearly another week to accept it!  But just got to persevere, they will take it when they're hungry enough.  Others take to it straight away (usually the greedy ones  ;D  ).  The Pritchard teats are the best for lambs (red teat on a yellow screw top), as they are supposed to most resemble the ewe's teat.
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: Bottle feeding, turned the corner..
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 04:56:39 pm »
Well done for persevering  :thumbsup: they do seem to get there in the end. A bit of hunger when left a while sometimes helps. Sounds like they are doing well but piccies will be needed as proof  :eyelashes:
( we all need a  lamby piccie fix  when it's dull outside ).

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Bottle feeding, turned the corner..
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 06:15:17 pm »
We're bottle feeding triplet survivors of quads because the ewe was so run-down by the pregnancy.  It takes the load off her but it's interesting that one will take 300ml, another 150ml and the last needs coaxing to take 50ml - but is clearly doing well of his mum.
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Bottle feeding, turned the corner..
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2013, 08:59:02 pm »
It's so relieving when they finally get the idea  :)  I had 1 last year, and had a couple this year, but once the penny finally dropped it was such a relief! One of mine this year would only take to a pritchard teat opposed to the non-vac bottle teats, it took me a while to get her onto the shepherdess. You wouldn't know looking at her now, she's grown really well in such a short amount of time. Good luck with the rest of your lambs!


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Bottle feeding, turned the corner..
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2013, 04:02:00 am »
Sometimes I think the red/yellow-on-a-coke-bottle type is best for beginners, sometimes I think the soft non-vac type is best.  Truth is, some lambs do better on one and some on the other.

Well done for getting yours going :thumbsup:
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


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