Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: ponytrap mentioned "Rattle Belly Death" can anyone explain what it is please?  (Read 5690 times)


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • kent
  • observe react administer enjoy !!
    • photos
Hi please can anyone explain what rattle belly is please?

Suffolk x romneys and Texel X with Romney Tup, Shetlands and Southdown Tup


  • Joined Jan 2010
Rattle belly is a nasty bug seen in new born lambs.  It is another name for watery mouth.  Basically, when the lambs are born if you poke their tummies they do make a rattley watery squish sound.  The other thing you may see is that the lambs appear to be drooling.  The first thing I do every morning when we are lambing is just stroke the chin of all the lambs to check them. 

In all likelihood a lamb with rattle belly will die, however if you give them plenty of anti biotics they could survive.  One thing which intensive indoor lambing sheep farmers use in an oral antibiotic given at birth to all lambs called Spectam and this can be used as a preventative measure. 

Rattle belly is not normally a problem in small flocks.


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • kent
  • observe react administer enjoy !!
    • photos
Thanks very much for the info, its good to hear about all the possable events before they could possibly happen in the spring !!
Suffolk x romneys and Texel X with Romney Tup, Shetlands and Southdown Tup


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self
Watery Mouth is caused by lambs getting insufficient colostrum from the ewe. Any compromised lamb is susceptible to it - not only those in "intensive indoor lambing flocks"  >:( (sorry that sort of generalised comment really annoys me!).

Natural yogurt is as a good preventative. The best preventative is to make sure all lambs get enough colostrum.
The SHEEP Book for Smallholders
Available from the Good Life Press


  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Tends to come from the lambs not having enough colostrum, thanks for mentioning Spectam Freddiesfarm, will put that on the medicine 'just in case' list for next year.


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