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Author Topic: Any tips for persuading a reluctant lamb to bottle feed?  (Read 29673 times)

tricetra

  • Joined Feb 2013
Re: Any tips for persuading a reluctant lamb to bottle feed?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2013, 08:23:29 am »
Hi,

I know this sound really silly but have you a placid ewe that you could strip some milk off, it maybe he would drink real ewes milk and then you could start to dilute it with your powdered. It may just be down to taste.

Just an idea.

SWT-Flying Flock

  • Joined Mar 2013
    • Flying Flock Blog
Re: Any tips for persuading a reluctant lamb to bottle feed?
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2013, 08:44:45 am »
Try holding him on his back like a baby and covering his eyes. If you plan to lift lambs from triplets its worth training the lamb at birth to suck the bottle really, even if you want to leave it on the ewe for a while, it will remember. Good luck.
Unique in Scotland, check out Scottish Wildlife Trust's Flying Flock and Herd of conservation grazing sheep and cattle. http://swtflyingflock.wordpress.com/

Blacksheep

  • Joined May 2008
Re: Any tips for persuading a reluctant lamb to bottle feed?
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2013, 06:57:59 pm »
Gave in after he chewed straight  through the tube this morning!! He is back out with his mum and looks like she is taking him back ok. We will monitor her carefully as I don't want her udder damaging with the 3 on her now. Will probably take him off again in about 10 days, at 5 weeks old, and have him just on creep then.     
He was taking a small top up drink from the bottle before being removed from mum, so don't think it is the taste so much as he wants to be with his mum. Will see if the other 2 can be persuaded to top up from the bottle out in the field, both are very friendly.
We normally try and get triplets to take a supplementary feed from when they are very young however due to my broken leg at the start of lambing, and initially being in a non-weight bearing cast some things haven't happened this year as OH had to manage the first 3 weeks alone, and with so many sets of triplets  not easy to have time to give then so much extra attention, pleased we got a couple of lambs fostered onto single bearing ewes though.  Most have taken to the bottle immediately or almost immediately, always one though!

crazy_bull

  • Joined May 2012
  • Huntingdon
Re: Any tips for persuading a reluctant lamb to bottle feed?
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2013, 10:18:55 am »
My tips would be:

Consider bottling triplets from day 2, leave them on the ewe by all means but top them up morning and night with a bottle. One of the three is bound to take to the bottle better than the others, this will be the one you take off at 2 weeks old if you still want to, or you can continue bottling on the ewe (they get quite tame and come to you in th efield if they are hungry) by 3-4 weeks old they will be on creep feed so less of a worry (if you creep feed)

Leaving a lamb till week 2 without introducing a bottle is always going to be a challenge as they have become too used to a nice warm teat not a funny tasting rubber thing (insert jokes here)....

Other tips:

- Add a bit of honey to the teat to encourage the lamb to suck,

- Cover their eyes with a spare hand to mimic the act of nussling unther the ewe.

- Tickle its bum (not literally it's bum, but it's back end) it mimics the ewe's encouraging nussles.

- Swap the picked up lamb for another of the tiplets (no good if the lamb has been away for a while as it will be rejected) the other may suck better.

 C B

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Any tips for persuading a reluctant lamb to bottle feed?
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2013, 10:25:30 am »
crazy_bull, the OP had done all of those things; the lamb was the only triplet taking the bottle while still on the ewe.  Just one of those things sheep do to us to make us demented  ::)
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Blacksheep

  • Joined May 2008
Re: Any tips for persuading a reluctant lamb to bottle feed?
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2013, 01:48:26 pm »
Update - the ram lamb has been back out with his dam and his sisters, however due to the severe weather, loads of snow here, we thought it better for his dam to manage with 2 and brought him back in again yesterday.  He is now taking the bottle!  Not a lot at the moment but has been sucking it properly and taking some at every feed, so hopefully will build up the amount...and then it will be time to wean him off milk!!

 

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