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Author Topic: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her  (Read 2600 times)

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« on: April 10, 2016, 09:34:14 am »
Having problems as per title above, really would appreciate some opinions from you experienced lot!

I had a ewe lambed twins on Thursday, first lamb seemed ok, second born dead, ewe lambed on her own, no help needed. After an hour or so, first lamb still hadnt stood, seemed very weak so gave him some kickstart, turned ewe over and encouraged him to suckle draped over her hind leg. Did this at regular intervals but by Friday it was apparent that lamb had problems with hind legs and still couldnt stand. Took him to the vet who found no feeling or circulation in hind legs so sadly he was euthanised.

Coincidentally on Thursday evening I had bought a pair of newly born orphan ram lambs, so since losing the original lamb on Friday Ive been trying to foster the twins onto the bereaved ewe. Ive got them in a pen next to the ewe so that she can see and smell them. Im taking them into her pen for her to feed which she will allow although mostly I need to hold her still - maybe I should mention she is a first time lamber. If the lambs are left in with her she is butting them away, although not too violently and she is starting to talk to them.

My question is, is this worth persevering with or are twins too much to foster onto her (she seems to have loads of milk)? Any thoughts or experiences gratefully received. Thank you.

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 09:36:08 am »
It sounds hopeful so I would persevere!

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2016, 09:42:37 am »
yes I agree with Devonlady. It sounds like youre making progress so I wouldnt give up now!
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 09:43:43 am »
Can you rig up an adopter?  Or feed her cake in a bucket 4 or 5 times a day and put the twins in to suckle while her head's down.  Milk her off between times and bottle feed the orphans.  Once her milk passes through them they'll smell right.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2016, 09:53:36 am »
If you can carry on as you are, it sounds hopeful.
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

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2016, 01:29:49 pm »
Thank you so much for the reassurance! Ive now made a little pen in the corner of the ewe's pen that the lambs can get into if she gets too rough. I think she's still looking for her own lamb, every time I go in she sniffs me all over in an accusatory manner and gets quite upset in her pen, hopefully that will settle soon.

Im going in every time I pass the pen (at least every 2 hours) to hold her still and let the lambs suckle, hopefully mimicking what they would be doing out in the field and mostly she only needs me to hold her head and talk to her while the lambs feed so fingers crossed! Marches Farmer, do you think I still need to milk her off and bottle feed the lambs if theyre able to suckle this often? Theyve got nice round tummies and are pooing for England!

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2016, 01:53:10 pm »
So lovely to read threads with what look like happy endings!  Very encouraging  :sunshine:

shotblastuk

  • Joined May 2013
  • Proper Gloucestershire !!
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2016, 03:09:25 pm »
Try putting a dog near them. Sometimes the defence/protection mechanism kicks in.
Keep perservering. The satisfaction is immense if you suceed. :fc:

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 06:34:13 pm »
Try putting a dog near them. Sometimes the defence/protection mechanism kicks in.

My usual caution... The presence of a dog can cause some ewes to go all red mist, and attack everything nearby - including the lambs.
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

shotblastuk

  • Joined May 2013
  • Proper Gloucestershire !!
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2016, 07:34:49 am »
I've never experienced that behavior from a ewe but I'll bear it in mind :thumbsup:

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2016, 09:28:21 am »
Interesting tip about the dog. Problem is that our sheep are so familiar with our own dogs, they really dont see them as a threat! I might try it with my daughter's dog though if she brings it over. 

On the whole I think we are making progress, ewe is allowing lambs to feed while she has cake although I havent seen her let them feed otherwise. I am holding her for a feed about 10.30 pm and when I go in about 7.30 am lambs are waking and doing that lovely stretchy thing and have round tummies so they may be getting a bit of milk overnight. Ill press on!

Jukes Mum

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2016, 10:39:34 am »
Well done you  :thumbsup:
I'd be cautious about the dog as Sally says. If things are going it the right direction, then just keep doing what you're doing  :thumbsup:
Don’t Monkey With Another Monkey’s Monkey

jward

  • Joined Dec 2013
  • Stockton-on-Tees
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2016, 05:57:08 pm »
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. I'm in exactly the same situation, but 5 days on and she's still not accepting them, so I'm anxiously waiting for the next two ewes to lamb to foster them on that way.

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2016, 02:00:22 pm »
We have success!! I had a hunch the lambs were feeding when I wasn't watching as they didn't seem so hungry every time I went to the pen so as it is such a lovely day, turned them out in the little paddock by the house and all seems well! Phew!!  Thank you so much for all your support and advice, really helps when you aren't sure if you're doing the right thing  :thumbsup:

Brandi

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: Bereaved ewe - trying to foster twins onto her
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2016, 03:37:09 pm »
 : :wave: i hope that you are rightly proud of your achievement! What a great outcome for everyone  - and a lovely photo to sum it all up

 

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