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Author Topic: Thrifty twins  (Read 473 times)


  • Joined Aug 2014
Thrifty twins
« on: March 20, 2017, 09:11:13 pm »
I have a first time Mum with twins, the lambs are feeding constantly and she never seems to have much milk, I have been topping them up however they are very reluctant to take from the bottle.
They have that hunched hungry lamb look but could I be missing something else given their reluctance to take from the bottle? I would hate to force feed them if they are actually getting enough from the ewe. They are 6 days old now.


  • Joined May 2013
  • Proper Gloucestershire !!
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 09:26:14 pm »
Is the ewe feeding well? Any problems with lambing? did she cleanse properly. Is her temperature normal?


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 10:01:00 pm »
Is she actually producing milk each side? Do both teats feel soft between your fingers with no cord in the teat?


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 10:46:01 pm »
What breed? In or out? What do their tums feel like? Have you checked the ewe's udder? When they get up do they do the lamb stretch?


  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2017, 12:28:54 am »
Thanks for the replies, Mum is feeding well, was a text book birth. She is up to date with fluke and worming. I haven't checked her temperature, will do that in the morning.
They are ryelands and still inside.
Her udder is small but her teats feel normal, there is milk there just not lots of it, however the fact that they never stop feeding I wouldn't expect there to be!
Both lambs are much smaller than others born at the same time, their tummy's don't feel hollow which assures me they are getting something however their lack of bounce and slight hunched appearance plus the fact they are constantly feeding makes me think they are not getting enough.
They don't stretch when getting up.
I have had to top up lambs before and have never had them try to reject the bottle like these two, which makes me wonder?


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2017, 08:11:48 am »
Get her outside on some spring grass  :) my ewes with twins were on just shy of 1kg 18% nuts per day but now they are out on grass they are on half that and have more milk.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2017, 09:20:11 am »
Have you taken the temperature of the lambs?  Are they scouring?  Are they bleating a lot and bunting at the ewe's udder to get more milk?  If they're getting sufficient milk they shouldn't look hunched up and if you lift them from lying down should stretch themselves out.  Something else, such as joint ill, could be indicated.


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 02:51:37 pm »
no cord in the teat?

I've not come across that term before. Is that the waxy plug they have before they start milking, or are you referring to something else?
Experience is what you get just after you needed it.


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2017, 07:47:10 pm »
Nope, not the waxy bit.
Sometimes a ewe can look like both quarters are absolutely fine but lambs not doing so well....if you gently squeeze the teat, rolling between your fingers you can feel  like a cord running down where the milk should be and on further inspection no milk.
You can't always draw milk from a healthy bag if the lambs are taking it so feeling the cord ( my term!) is a quick indication that she's only firing one side!


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2017, 08:03:51 pm »
From everything you describe ,she just doesn't have enough milk , just because the lambs wont take a bottle easily doesn't mean their not hungry just that  it's to different to mam and they are not starving .  Even hungry lambs can be very difficult to get onto a bottle or  when fostered onto a new mum some refuse to suckle for a while


  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2017, 08:43:43 pm »
Assuming it s hungry lambs from a lack of milk, given they are twins then worth offering a bit of lamb creep from 7 days onwards as even if she starts to let down more seems quite possible she will fail to keep up with demand.  Others more experienced may find it easier than I do but getting some lambs to take from a bottle can take a lot of perseverance. If they are clearly hungry even a bit is better than nothing.


  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2017, 08:53:36 pm »
Thanks for all the replies, my conclusion is they are hungry as they are well in every other way.
They have been out in the field for a few days now and are looking much better.
I have been topping them up as much as I can however It appears the ewe is providing enough now, they are full of life and no longer hunched and haven't had any bottled milk for a couple of days.  Fingers crossed!


  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2017, 08:07:13 am »
I always tube feed any iffy lambs that look a bit under fed in first couple of days ...  Once or twice a day to keep their strength up ..... Tubing much easier than bottle for reluctant lambs.

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.
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  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Thrifty twins
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2017, 01:44:55 pm »
The fresh spring grass should help boost milk production  :thumbsup:



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