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Author Topic: Ewe not bonding. Lamb not feeding  (Read 1423 times)


  • Joined Jun 2017
Ewe not bonding. Lamb not feeding
« on: June 04, 2017, 08:16:14 am »
Hi. Ewe had twins about 6-7 hours ago. First twin was breech and died. Second is ok. Ewe was most interested in the dead lamb but did lick off the healthy one and took a slight interest. However lamb has been unable to feed as ewe knocks her away and when close enough the lamb can't find the teat. We have enclosed them and fed the colostrum to the lamb, first off our fingers then attaching the lamb. Have done this a couole of times but I think it's time to bottle feed. Ewe is not knocking her away any more but still has no interest and won't bleat when baby calls. I am thinking it's time to bring the baby indoors and bottle feed as she can't snuggle up to mum and the temps are below freezing as we are starting winter here in Australia. It's nearin dark here so would appreciate some prompt help. Thanks


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Ewe not bonding. Lamb not feeding
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2017, 09:09:19 am »
Pen them up together. Milk the sheep and give to the lamb. Then keep putting the lamb onto the sheep. Top up with bottle if necessary. Can take a lot of time and patience. Good luck.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Ewe not bonding. Lamb not feeding
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2017, 09:15:00 am »
Can you get someone to hold the ewe and help the lamb to latch on?  If she's a first-timer it may take a while for her milk to come in and she may not quickly realise that the lamb suckling takes away the discomfort of a full udder when it does.  Is she in a barn or shed protected from the cold?  Can you find an old sweater or blanket and cut up a rectangle to fit the lamb like a jacket, with two holes at the front to take the legs?   If you can keep the lamb going for a few hours with top-ups of milk you may well find the ewe will settle down.  If you take it into the farmhouseshe's very unlikely to  accept it.  The breech birth may have caused pain and swelling - can you give her a dose of whatever painkiller your vet recommends?


  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
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Re: Ewe not bonding. Lamb not feeding
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2017, 11:01:26 pm »
Not an expert at all, just made it through our first time lambing with 4 ewe.

We had a similar situation with a ewe this year, although the first lamb lived and she was very interested in that one. We turned her at two hours to latch the lamb on as he wasn't latching on when we held her still and put him to the teat. He has fed ok since then. We kept them penned up in a 4x 6ft hurdle pen for about 4 days, then had them in a 6x 6ft hurdle around a shelter for a further 3 days. The lamb is still distant from mum, he wanders off and she isn't good at calling him back but they do find each other, he does feed from her and he is doing well.

Good luck with yours, you may still be able to have mum raise him.

9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way


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