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Author Topic: Ewe rejecting one lamb of twins  (Read 1060 times)

PK

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • West Suffolk
    • Notes from a Suffolk Smallholding
Re: Ewe rejecting one lamb of twins
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2021, 01:51:59 pm »
I was about to post the same question when I saw Womble's. We have a first time mother who lambed twins last night. Is totally accepting one but is aggressively rejecting the second (i.e. full on head butt, not just nudging away so not safe to leave the lamb in the pen). As far as immediate management is concerned, she is the last to lamb and so there is no other ewe to adopt. I have held the ewe several times to allow the rejected lamb to suckle but once I let go she immediatedly kicks, butts etc the lamb away. Do I perservere or reconcile myself to bottle feeding?

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Ewe rejecting one lamb of twins
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2021, 02:50:20 pm »
That's up to you, PK!

Last year I made an adopter out of a piece of plywood, which I then attached to a hurdle pen. It was surprisingly easy to do - only took 15 minutes. The picture below came from another forum, and is the one I copied. In my case, the ply I had was thick enough that it didn't need any reinforcement.





"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Ewe rejecting one lamb of twins
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2021, 02:52:08 pm »
Very difficult when they hate one of their own lambs  , things to try -  spray cheap smelly after shave / perfume  over both lambs  especially bum  and head area then spray up her nose  or  get  a large but not to deep bucket and cut a hole in the bottom just big enough to go over the ewes head behind the ears  and not to deep so that she cannot see the lambs except when in front of her but she can still eat grass or nuts and drink water  or   get 2 small halters ( you can make easily out of big bale string ) tie one to pen side right and one to pen side left so she can't turn round but still eat & drink or  buy or make a headlock to go across a pen corner / front
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 02:59:33 pm by shep53 »

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Ewe rejecting one lamb of twins
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2021, 02:58:12 pm »
Ewes here would smash that in minutes , make them out of 3"x !.5"  rails  here with one upright  having 3 holes top and bottom to allow for different size sheep heads /necks in the slot

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Ewe rejecting one lamb of twins
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2021, 03:05:33 pm »
My experience on the large moorland farm (lambing 520+ ewes each year) was that you could usually - but not always - get acceptance of the second lamb after 3-7 days of supporting feeds and giving the lambs access to a creep area so they could get to safety, but that a very high proportion of those "less favoured" lambs would end up pinching off other ewes and/or being completely abandoned a few weeks later.  Some died and it was usually not possible to know if that was as the result of an underlying weakness detected by the mother or as a result of inadequate milk.

So my conclusion was that it was worth the effort of supporting feeds for approx 3 days but usually better to cut your losses and rear as a pet after that, and that any LFL (less favoured lambs) needed a mark to identify them as LFLs, and who their mum was, and a very good eye kept on them, both in terms of were they getting enough food, was the mum still mothering them properly, and were they pinching from other ewes.

I also thought, if the time was available, it was worth teaching them to take a bottle in the first few days.  Then if they later had to be removed for their own safety or health, or to preserve the health and milk supply of the ewes they were pinching off, they would usually take to the bottle without issue.  Whereas it can be a bit of a challenge getting older lambs to take to a bottle if they have never used one before.

I know some people say you shouldn't bottle feed a lamb as it will stop it feeding off its own mum, but I have come across this exactly one time only in 15 years, nearly 7,000 lambs, of which something like 300-400 would have had at least one bottle feed.
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

PK

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • West Suffolk
    • Notes from a Suffolk Smallholding
Re: Ewe rejecting one lamb of twins
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2021, 05:36:54 pm »
Thanks all for those suggestions.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Ewe rejecting one lamb of twins
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2021, 05:39:47 pm »
Ewes here would smash that in minutes , make them out of 3"x !.5"  rails  here with one upright  having 3 holes top and bottom to allow for different size sheep heads /necks in the slot


Hence my comment. I made mine from 16mm ply, and is plenty sturdy enough.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

silkwoodzwartbles

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Ewe rejecting one lamb of twins
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2021, 08:36:36 pm »
@Womble, has she lambed and what did she have? And most importantly, if it's twins, is she loving them both?  :fc:

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Ewe rejecting one lamb of twins
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2021, 01:14:24 pm »
Hi @silkwoodzwartbles , I don't want to speak too soon, but she lambed three days ago, and still loves and feeds both. I don't think we did anything differently this year, so either it was random, or she's learned that she has two teats for a reason!!  ;)
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Ewe rejecting one lamb of twins
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2021, 03:13:22 pm »
She's read this thread and knows what was looming if she didn't take both  :roflanim:

silkwoodzwartbles

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Ewe rejecting one lamb of twins
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2021, 08:17:33 pm »
Wahey, great news  :thumbsup:

 

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