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Author Topic: Feeding a lamb ad-lib  (Read 2982 times)

JedM

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • East Anglia
Feeding a lamb ad-lib
« on: March 18, 2018, 04:49:19 pm »
Hi, does anyone feed their orphan lambs ad-lib?
I bought an orphan feeding bucket, and when she was a week old, I put her on the bucket.  She got the hang of it straight away, but I was worried she didn't know when to stop feeding.
Within 12 hours of transferring her from bottle to bucket, she was dead.
She was a healthy lamb before this, and was growing well.
Am I doing something wrong?
Thanks

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Feeding a lamb ad-lib
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2018, 05:39:16 pm »
Sometimes they just keep sucking and can overfill the rumen.  Lambs can die unexpectedly from so many things:  watery mouth; coccidiosis; any of the clostridial diseases (especially if the dam didn't have a booster jab in late pregnancy); pneumonia, etc., and it's sometimes hard to decide just what the problem was.  I've never fed a lamb ad lib but I'm sure others on this forum will be well placed to advise you.

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Feeding a lamb ad-lib
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2018, 06:18:45 pm »
I fed ad lib on a warm milk system last year with no problems. They have their fill and then feed little and often.
They all thrived.

JedM

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • East Anglia
Re: Feeding a lamb ad-lib
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2018, 06:42:47 pm »
I think she may have overfilled herself, her sides were bulging. 
Sbom, how does the warm milk system work?  I found out a bit about the cold milk system, and tried that.

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Feeding a lamb ad-lib
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2018, 07:15:28 pm »
I have four lambs on ad-lib cold milk at the moment and they are doing far better than last years lambs on a bottle did.  The oldest is 34 days and the youngest 24 days.
They have now got so that they have drunk up their ration in 5 hours, I refill the bucket twice a day.  They are eating hay, eating creep feed and drinking water.  Once the youngest reaches five weeks of age they will all be weaned.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Feeding a lamb ad-lib
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2018, 07:18:58 pm »
I've never done ad-lib but have always wondered...

Presumably the ideal is to have them on ad-lib from the very beginning? 

How would one get a lamb to adjust from six hourly feeds to ad-lib?  I'm assuming that such a lamb would, indeed, overfill its stomach and make itself very poorly (at best), until it is trained to use the ad-lib.
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

silkwoodzwartbles

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Feeding a lamb ad-lib
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2018, 08:41:13 pm »
My two cades are fed ad lib from a milk bucket and are thriving. First time I've done it and am really pleased with the results  :thumbsup:

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Feeding a lamb ad-lib
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2018, 06:58:59 am »
If I thought a lamb was over drinking at first, I would remove the bucket for an hour.  I have had a lamb fall asleep standing with the teat in its mouth.

JedM

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • East Anglia
Re: Feeding a lamb ad-lib
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2018, 05:56:08 pm »
I think I should have removed the bucket for a bit then. 
She was on 4 feeds every 6 hours, so changing to ad-lib may have been too much of a shock.

It's good to hear of the success people have had with these buckets though.

EP90

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Ireland
Re: Feeding a lamb ad-lib
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2018, 05:26:26 pm »
This year Iím going to use a bucket for the first time, itís reassuring reading these views for me to.

CarolineJ

  • Joined Dec 2015
  • North coast of Scotland
Re: Feeding a lamb ad-lib
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2018, 09:20:46 pm »
The farm on the corner near me uses a Shepherdess ad-lib bucket.  They have to be encouraged onto to it at first by holding them in front of the teat and gently pushing them onto it, but they get the idea after a couple of goes and start helping themselves.  It works brilliantly for them - with 800 or so to lamb, they don't have the time for bottles.

 

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