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Author Topic: Pet lambs not eating creep feed  (Read 1416 times)

Paul and Caroline

  • Joined Apr 2014
Pet lambs not eating creep feed
« on: June 10, 2017, 05:01:58 pm »
Hi

We have 2 pet lambs aged 8 weeks who are not 'co-operating' with our weaning attempts and will not/cannot eat creep feed. I have to say at outset that they appear to have suffered a degree of brain damage at birth and have very poor coordination and eyesight. They came to us with a large number of pet lambs all of which Are now fully weaned and on pasture, thriving well. The two I am talking about have not grown very much but took the bottle well and we ndid have hope that we would be able to wean them in due course. We have resorted to hand feeding them pellets (not particularly successfully) and they will not entertain hay or grass at all. They are not in distress and seem quite happy but one in particular is beginning to lose condition. We are giving them just 400ml of milk but are aware that this cannot go on much longer.  We desperately want to get their Rumens active. We can't bear the thought of watching them slowly starve to death but we don't want to give up on them and pts unless there is absolutely no other option - can anyone come up with any suggestions to resolve this dilemma??
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GrannyAching

  • Joined Apr 2015
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Pet lambs not eating creep feed
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2017, 07:13:56 pm »
If you really think they are brain damaged but they are progressing albeit slowly they might just need longer on the bottle. If they are not curious about their surroundings so they are not sniffing bedding/creep then you really have a problem and PTS might be the only "kind" option.

With difficult lambs in the past I have sprinkled milk powder on the creep feed in the hope of encouraging intake with of something with a familiar smell/taste ( many pig creep brands contains lots of milk).

I would also recommend a bag of maize flakes - they really like these.

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Pet lambs not eating creep feed
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2017, 07:28:12 pm »
I'm still bottle feeding a runt who is 8 weeks.  Sometimes they don't fit the perceived plan!  It is eating creep now though so hopefully over the next week will be weaned.


I personally would keep bottle feeding, they maybe are taking longer to develop IN the past I've put a bit of "ration" in the creep to tempt them (the sticky stuff with all the tasty bits in it).
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

Gemma417

  • Joined Feb 2017
Re: Pet lambs not eating creep feed
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2017, 01:43:10 pm »
I would keep bottle feeding them for a while but with my cade lambs or lambs that have lost alot of condition i put milk on the pallets and leave the pallets to soak up the milk, this makes the pallets soft and easier to eat, it also adds extra smell to the pallets to interest them.   I usually offer them this when its time to bottle feed them and try to put the teat near the creep so they get the smell of milk on the creep when there hungry.   If they do start eating the creep mixed with milk then you will soon get them eating it without the milk mixed in it.   Good luck. Keep us posted with how it goes.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Pet lambs not eating creep feed
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2017, 08:48:21 am »
To me, it's not so much the rejection of creep feed that's a problem, but that they also won't eat hay and straw, so will not be developing their rumens.
I would therefore be looking at giving them some really fantastic smelling fine hay, or the sort of forage mixes that you give problem horses. Again those that smell so good you could almost eat it yourself. :yum:
Then I would put one or 2 of the healthy cade lambs back in with them and just leave the extra yummy forage down for a while for them all to eat. Leave them without anything else (apart from water) for a whole day and see how they get on. They won't starve to death in that time and it's amazing how a bit of hunger refines the appetite. Hopefully when they see the healthy lambs tucking in they will follow suit.
Also, I would maybe get a mineral bucket for them. One with molasses in, which again should smell attractive. Sheep use smell quite a lot to help them select food.
 
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Paul and Caroline

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Pet lambs not eating creep feed
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2017, 08:36:35 pm »
I would keep bottle feeding them for a while but with my cade lambs or lambs that have lost alot of condition i put milk on the pallets and leave the pallets to soak up the milk, this makes the pallets soft and easier to eat, it also adds extra smell to the pallets to interest them.   I usually offer them this when its time to bottle feed them and try to put the teat near the creep so they get the smell of milk on the creep when there hungry.   If they do start eating the creep mixed with milk then you will soon get them eating it without the milk mixed in it.   Good luck. Keep us posted with how it goes.

I have a sad update - we were getting very concerned with the smaller of our two little Ines and took her to the Vets for a proper opinion. She was not eating solids and in the vets opinion was probably never going to so we felt the kindest thing to do was to pts before she started suffering. We were both so sad to arrive at this conclusion but recognised it was not about what we wanted but all about making the best choice for her - on the positive side her 'brother' seems to be slowly but surely eating the pellets and we have him out on grass during the day......

 

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