Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: What to do  (Read 3463 times)

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
What to do
« on: April 04, 2012, 05:35:10 pm »
I've had my lambs outside and today all seemed okay apart from one little boy who is looking a bit tucked up.  I put lamb macs on them all but this boy lies down a lot and doesn't seem to follow his mum, or be aware of where she is.  However every time I pick him up his mum comes over and he struggles to get down, bleats and runs off to suckle.  He doesn't feel cold.  I'm not sure if he's getting much, haven't actually seen him latch on yet but he does butt her hard!  He has passed yellow droppings though so he must have got colostrum.

I've tried giving him a little extra Lamlac but he doesn't seem interested.  I feel he needs to come into the warm and be fed but it's proving impossible to separate his mum from the other ewes (I'm on my own at the mo).  If I bring him in a bottle feed him tonight, would that in effect make his mum reject him, or would he be okay to go back with her in the day?

I'm in a bit of a quandary as part of me says leave him with his mum and the other part says bring him in in case he gets hypothermia and dies in the night, I would feel terrible then!  Think I would rather raise a cade ... what do you think?
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: What to do
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 05:41:59 pm »
To bring the dam in with the lamb, which is what you need to do, hold him low to the ground where she can see him and slowly walk backwards towards either your trailer or the shed you are putting them in.  Try to get him to bleat so she follows.  It can be frustrating and time consuming but ewes will usually follow their lamb if they can both see and hear them.  If he won't bleat then you have to make the mehmeh sound, as Adam Henson so wonderfully demonstrated on his farm.  If she runs off back to her mates then you have to start all over again.
If you bring the lamb alone in, his dam is likely to reject him, and it does sound as if the pair is not sufficiently mothered up yet to be out.  If he is passing yellow dung then he is feeding, but probably not enough, and the nights are too cold.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: What to do
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 05:45:36 pm »
Can he see?  It might explain his not following his mum about / moving much.

Does mum not come to him when he cries?  Usually you move the ewe by carrying the lamb - just above the ground, she won't look for him at your chest height! - in front of her.  (Many apols if I am telling granny how to suck an egg  :-*)

If she won't follow her lamb, is it practical to get them all in, then chuck out all but her and her lamb?

FW just posted  :wave: - yes, try to get the ewe in with him, if you can.  If he's hungry and it's cold, he'll struggle.  Otherwise, if he's not moving much, could you make him a box with straw and maybe a hot water bottle to keep him warmer overnight where he is?  Open-topped so mum can still find him and smell him?
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

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: What to do
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 05:46:24 pm »
Failing that is it possible to bring them all in, then sort them out?
I can simply NOT move any single one of mine, they are like the borg! But as a flock, no problems!
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: What to do
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 05:47:06 pm »
Failing that is it possible to bring them all in, then sort them out?
I can simply NOT move any single one of mine, they are like the borg! But as a flock, no problems!

Sally beat me to it! ;D
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: What to do
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2012, 06:13:59 pm »
It's not very feasible for me to try and get them out of the field where they are on my own, as the stable they could go in is right across the yard and there are all sorts of places they could escape to, I can envisage bedlam.  If I had help it wouldn't be so much of a problem but I'm on my own till tomorrow.

Watching them today the dam has gone off to graze and he's been bleating but she's taken no notice.  Then later on, she was baaing for him and he wasn't replying!  Lack of communication somewhere ... He has had sticky eyes but they seem to be opening a bit more this afternoon.

Anyway I just went out to check them again and to make a decision whether to bring him in if the ewe had left him, I couldn't find him and went down the field where he was running around with his dam and sister and suckling strongly!  I've opened up another paddock which has lots of shelter, and will check again later, and if he still looks poor I think I will bring him (try to lure his dam as well but if that doesn't work will resign myself to bottle feeding).  If he looks brighter and is following his dam, I will leave him and cross fingers!

It's Sod's Law that this year is the first time I've decided to lamb outdoors, all the previous years when I've brought them in the weather has been fab!  ::) ::)
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: What to do
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 06:18:42 pm »
You mention he has a sister, have you tried picking BOTH lambs up together to see whether the ewe will follow?

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: What to do
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 06:21:09 pm »
Yes I will try that later, if I can do it without the whole flock following!  ;)
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: What to do
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 06:55:37 pm »
How old is he - just tube him this evening! If less than 4 days old I would be tempted to mix up half colostrum and half lamlac (slighlty thinner than it says on the tin, so he doesn't get the runs), as to quantity, depends on how big he is etc. Has he ben ringed recently?

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: What to do
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 07:13:03 pm »
Anke no he hasn't been ringed yet, a job for tomorrow.  He's 2 days old.  As for size, well he's bigger than his sister and a 'normal' looking lamb but not been weighed.  I've never tubed before but have the equipment - I assume you tube warm?  And how much would I give him in one go?  I have both Lamlac and powdered colostrum.
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

humphreymctush

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • orkney
Re: What to do
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 07:14:17 pm »
a temporary open fronted shelter in the field would help. I make one out of straw bales and tin sheets each year. Too low for the ewes to get in and/or with verticle bars at the entrance that the ewes cant squeeze through.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: What to do
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2012, 08:58:13 pm »
Anke no he hasn't been ringed yet, a job for tomorrow.  He's 2 days old.  As for size, well he's bigger than his sister and a 'normal' looking lamb but not been weighed.  I've never tubed before but have the equipment - I assume you tube warm?  And how much would I give him in one go?  I have both Lamlac and powdered colostrum.

I would probably give between 100 and 150 ml, but if you haven't done this before it may be easier to try and do it with someone helping to get all the bits and pieces to you... <i think the Tim Tyne book describes it quite well.

MrsJ

  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: What to do
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 09:01:09 pm »
We have one that mum won't allow to feed.  His sister is allowed to suckle, but not the ram lamb.  Mum seems to still care for him and comes running if he bleats, sniffs him, stays with him, but no food unless we manage to distract her with some sheep nuts.  His sister is very affectionate towards him and they cuddle up together so at least he stays warm.  We managed to get all three into the barn and are bottle feeding the boy 4 times a day at the mo.  Time consuming, but worth it if you can.  I always think it's better if you can keep them together.

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: What to do
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2012, 09:21:12 pm »
Well update this evening is I went to check last thing and couldn't see any of them, then found all mums and lambs in the sheep shelter (even the flighty Herdwick) at the other side of the field, with ram lamb suckling strongly!  So I decided to leave well alone - it's definitely not quite as cold tonight and the wind has dropped, so I am cautiously optimistic  :).  The sheep shelter has solid sides and is out of the wind, it looked like the mums knew what was best for them  ;D :sheep:.  So fingers crossed ...
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: What to do
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 09:37:40 pm »
Sounds like a good decision  :thumbsup:

 

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2022. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS