Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Feeding Cade lambs while pregnant  (Read 3303 times)


  • Joined May 2017
Feeding Cade lambs while pregnant
« on: February 10, 2018, 08:14:30 pm »
I have a question for everyone regarding pregnancy and feeding tame lambs.

We have 4 tame lambs that are all about 4 days old. Iím currently 34 weeks pregnant. Can I feed them? Iím aware that there are dangers with being around sheep that are lambing but I was under the impression that itís the cleansing etc that was the main cause of the infections. Normally my fiancť that feeds them but unfortunately he is unable to do the lunchtime feeds. If I take precautions ie wearing latex gloves and thoroughly wash my hands etc after handling them will I be ok? As far as Iím aware the sheep were vaccinated with heptivac prior to lambing. 


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Feeding Cade lambs while pregnant
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 08:25:52 pm »
More a question for your doctor....heaven forbid you take advice from someone on here and it ends badly.

Itís definitely for you to weigh up the risks. Many people have lambed while pregnant with no problems but Iím equally sure the ones who havenít would say itís not worth the risk x


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Feeding Cade lambs while pregnant
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2018, 08:55:56 pm »
Could you not get a Shepherdess feeder, therefore they shouldnít need tending to aside from filling it twice a day? They will grow on better too on ad lib milk.


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Feeding Cade lambs while pregnant
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2018, 09:02:21 pm »
I would say absolutely not. The NHS advise is quite clear. Google it. The infections that you maybe at risk of catching are not generally those Heptavac cover. Not only should you not have any contact with young lambs but your fiance needs to be absolutely certain that he doesn't put you at risk either by his dirty clothing for example.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Feeding Cade lambs while pregnant
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2018, 09:22:19 am »
Whenever our vet's wife was pregnant he changed his working clothes before entering the house and put them in the washing machine himself.  If you prep the feeds could someone else feed the lambs and clean the kit afterwards? 


  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Feeding Cade lambs while pregnant
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 04:39:25 pm »
It really isn't worth the risk. In a few days time they should be able to recognise the bottle in which case a simple rack system is very cheap to buy (a lot cheaper than a shepherdess). If you are really stuck for the first few days before they learn to go to the bottle themselves can't you find a friend or neighbour to help?  Mostly people are falling over themselves to feed Cade lambs.


  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Feeding Cade lambs while pregnant
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2018, 09:52:14 pm »
Try catching up on last Fri episode of the Archers.Very strong storyline at the moment concerning Pip wanting to help our with lambing.Pip is in early stages of pregnancy.It's lacking in technical detail but the big message seems to be.....NO NO NO.Pip has been assigned other jobs on the farm


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Feeding Cade lambs while pregnant
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 03:30:59 pm »
Definitely nowhere near lambing or aborting ewes - the biggest risk is infected birth materials / fluids.   And yes, these bugs can be carried on clothing, so those in contact with the pregnant mother must also be very careful about not wearing the same clothes in her presence and so on. 

One of the animal team here is currently pregnant so we have been looking into it too. Iím not enthralled by the prospect of having to shower and change all my clothes every time I want to go to the farmhouse, I must say!   But weíve only 9 in-lamb ewes so it shouldnít be too arduous.

As to bottle-feeding a four-day old cade lamb, Iím sure my colleague would do it, but with suitable rigorous personal hygiene, just in case.

However, we are a small holding, no young cats, no history so far of lamb abortions (though we did have a cow with a mummified calf a year ago), and any cade lambs would be born here and weíd know their history.  We might feel differently about cades from elsewhere :thinking:

Oh - and heptavac doesnít cover the abortion bugs, by the way.
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


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Feeding Cade lambs while pregnant
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 04:29:04 pm »
No !!!!!!


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Feeding Cade lambs while pregnant
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2018, 10:54:46 am »
Clearly the abortion risk is the main one but actually you can catch other things. I don't see any grey areas with this just a big NO.


  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Feeding Cade lambs while pregnant
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2018, 09:50:16 am »
Firstly, congratulations on your pregnancy!

I personally wouldn't. You're looking at Toxoplasma and Chlamydia mainly. They aren't covered by Heptavac. Yes the risk of infection is highest in the cleansing but you have to remember that those lambs were covered in those birthing fluids just 4 days ago. I don't know how long birthing fluids remain infective but I'd have wanted those lambs to be out and about in the fields a bit before I went anywhere near them, and that to me would include the bedding they've been on and the clothing that was worn by anyone who handles them. I would ask on a local smallholding group, neighbours and friends if anyone could feed some cade lambs for you. You could even bake them a cake or make something inside ready for them when they finish.

I'm currently pregnant and as we were planning for it we won't be lambing this year. We looked at getting some cade lambs in to fill out meat requirements but decided against it because of the handling I'd have to do. We're going to look at getting a few cull ewes instead. I am being ultra careful with the handling of the sheep even though they are not in lamb, wearing gloves more often than I normally do, changing clothes when I come inside and rigorous handwashing.

Good luck,

9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way


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