Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Lethargic lamb  (Read 6197 times)


  • Joined Jun 2008
Lethargic lamb
« on: April 05, 2010, 07:05:48 pm »
Just wondered if anyone call tell me what might be wrong with one of my lambs.  He is five days old, but his birth went un-noticed for a day as I was in bed ill and my other half was left to look after the sheep and decided to go out for the afternoon!!!  When he returned home  and checked the sheep he did not notice the new lamb so he was left with nine other ewes and their lambs and not penned so he may have missed out on colostrum because all the lambs have been nicking milk off other ewes.  At the moment he looks fine, but is sleeping all the time.  Gets up occasionally, has a sniff and a feed and lies down again.  Doesn't try and run away like the others do when I try to pick him up.  He does not have signs of diarrhea, although I did notice his poo was a bit slimy and loose.  The mother is milking OK although her udder is not particularly large and the lamb does not appear to be hungry.  I am thinking either he has some sort of infection or illness and/or might be reacting to the fact that he did not get enough colostrum.  Can anyone shed some light on what might be amiss here?  Thanks.


  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Lethargic lamb
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2010, 07:12:35 pm »
Have you tried him with some kick start?

I would really advise penning everything up once they have lambed, as you can assure they all get enough to drink and colostrum etc..

I would recommend taking the lambs temperature, as that will tell you if he has an infection. The temp should be between 39 - 40 degrees

Good luck


  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Lethargic lamb
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2010, 08:17:07 pm »
I dunno if he hasnt had colostrum i d be worried to  be honest,  if he has some  i would echo the above, i hope he ll be ok  ;)


  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Lincolnshire UK
Re: Lethargic lamb
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2010, 08:24:19 pm »
Ideally sheep should be be penned with their lambs afterwards so you can check on them. Feel his belly is it full or hollow? Have you seen him feed? if he is hollow bellied try bottle feeding him or tubing him, but only if you have been shown how do do it properly. ask some of the other farmers if they have had any problems.


  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Lethargic lamb
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 08:52:35 pm »
Well so long as he is passing yellow poo, mums udder is ok and firing on both cylinders (check by upending her and making sure!!!), he is not hollow sided, does not have a damp watery looking mouth, is sucking well etc I personally would not worry.....some lambs are more laid back than others! You can get too hung up on lots of things and if things look ok and he is feeding I would leave well alone!
My sheep are lambing out this year and I'm not penning unless pouring with rain, as being primitive types (Ouessants) they get more stressed by being penned than by not!!!

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009


  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: Lethargic lamb
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 09:28:53 pm »
our two cheviots nearly ran to the byre its that wet and missrable. we would have lost all our lambs if we had left them out. the shetlands are just hannging on until the weather improves.


  • Joined Jun 2008
Re: Lethargic lamb
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 09:42:32 pm »
Thanks for the replies everyone.  Our lambs are always penned after birth - this one was missed!!  But he was penned as soon as he was discovered.  He is definitely leaking yellow poo, suckling regularly and there are no other signs of an illness.   His belly feels nice and round so pretty sure he's feeding well.  I'll keep a close eye on him see how things go.  Might get some of this 'kick start' stuff for him to try as I really think he's missed out during the first 24 hours. In the end though, I could be a bit paranoid I suppose, with a small flock thats quite easy to do as each lamb is special.  Cheers!


  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: Lethargic lamb
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2010, 11:47:26 am »
if hev is drinking well then you don't need it. could it have a infection.


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