The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: Remy on April 17, 2012, 09:00:14 am

Title: Cades not taking much milk
Post by: Remy on April 17, 2012, 09:00:14 am
The fostering didn't work out with the ewe so I had to move the cades and bottle feed them.  They've never been very keen to take it, so I left some creep feed in with them as well.  It's been about a week of bottle feeding but they've never taken more than 100ml each time, and even then not very keen.  One now takes a little more (maybe 150ml) but isn't eager about it like my other orphans have been; the other one has practically stopped bottle feeding.  I have seen her eat creep though and neither of them look starved.  They have access to grass too so I guess they will be nibbling on that.

What age would they be able to survive on grass only - at the moment they are 2-3 weeks old and I don't want to put them with the others till I know they are getting enough to sustain them, as once mixed with the rest of the flock I'd never get to bottle feed again due to interference from certain others lol!
Title: Re: Cades not taking much milk
Post by: Fishyhaddock on April 17, 2012, 12:20:01 pm
Hi Remy - am interested in this one as we have one ewe with mastitis and only one udder working. Am topping up with bottle feeds am and pm and sometimes the lambs (5 days old) are taking 100mi and others 200ml.
Someone will be along with their views / experience soon....
Title: Re: Cades not taking much milk
Post by: Sylvia on April 17, 2012, 12:47:39 pm
They have tiny bellies at that age and little and often is the way to go :)
Title: Re: Cades not taking much milk
Post by: Moleskins on April 17, 2012, 11:23:28 pm
Are these your Gotlands ?  I'm having more or less the same with one of mine, a triplet take off, couldn't mother it onto a ewe so bottle feeding but it's sometimes a battle of wills to get 100ml into her at one go, though that's getting better now and we're sometimes up to 200 ml. I think she sneaks a quick drink off her mum if she can get away with it !
Title: Re: Cades not taking much milk
Post by: SallyintNorth on April 18, 2012, 03:06:10 am
They need milk up to about 5 weeks minimum, really.  They may be able to survive from 2-3 weeks without but they'll never really thrive.

Try making the milk a bit cooler or warmer; try a vitamin jag or drench to stimulate appetite; be very patient but persistent - I like any wholly bottle-fed lamb to be taking at least 150ml three times a day; after a few days when they're allowed to be difficult then they will get given 150 ml per feed whether they like it or not.  Or occasionally I try leaving them with no food or water, skip one feed, then see if the milk tastes better...  It often does!  (Cruel woman, they cry - but if the silly thing's going to die if it won't feed, sometimes they need tough love...)

Title: Re: Cades not taking much milk
Post by: Moleskins on April 18, 2012, 09:55:17 am


 150 ml per feed whether they like it or not. 

As I say, with mine it's been a battle of wills, and at times I've felt I was literally force feeding the lamb,
Sally is quite right when she says it's tough love. Without it they are going to die and mine had the bottle
put in its' mouth and held there until it drank.
One tip I've found is that if I hold the bottle with my right hand and put my left index finger on the side
of the lambs mouth it will take my finger in and then all I have to do is swap finger for teat.
Whilst holding the lamb with your knees  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Cades not taking much milk
Post by: Remy on April 19, 2012, 07:55:24 am
Yes I do all that lol! No these are not my Gotlands, they are some orphans I got in to foster onto a ewe that lost hers.  Anyway one of them is now swigging it back like her life depended on it, the other takes a little but eats a lot of creep, and I now have a hypothermic lamb who's mum wouldn't take him back who is hungry but not yet got the hang of the bottle so he has to be 'force fed'!
Title: Re: Cades not taking much milk
Post by: Crazyboutdaanimals on April 19, 2012, 08:18:07 am
the lamb having lots of creep could be full, i agree with moleskins if the lamb dont want it dont give it too her, we have had to do that with a lot of our orphans, and usually they take the bottle once they have missed a feed and have no creep
Title: Re: Cades not taking much milk
Post by: horsemadmummy on April 19, 2012, 10:49:39 am
maybe i have been lucky but this time round (last year I did 4) I am feeding 12. 

Have bottles in racks of 4 so that I can monitor what is going on but I think the competition makes them jump on a teat a stay there. 

in first day or so though i act as a mummy sheep and it seems to work that way!  lamb ends up underneath me while I am crouching in pen (i suppose its like being under their mum) while I hold bottle .  it looks funny but I nudge their back end/side gently to encourage them and it seems to work.  give them 24 hours and they seem to devour whatever is put in the bottle along with the rest of them.

plastic racks are a god send as i can feed them all in about 10 mins which is great as they are on 5 feeds a day for first 2 weeks.
Title: Re: Cades not taking much milk
Post by: Remy on April 19, 2012, 10:54:30 pm
Well all three have suddenly cottoned onto the idea of suckling from bottles, and can't get enough  ::).  Trouble is I now don't have enough hands  ;D
Title: Re: Cades not taking much milk
Post by: SallyintNorth on April 19, 2012, 11:44:23 pm
Well all three have suddenly cottoned onto the idea of suckling from bottles, and can't get enough  ::).  Trouble is I now don't have enough hands  ;D
;D  One in each hand, one between your knees  :D