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Author Topic: Four teats  (Read 4625 times)

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Four teats
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2018, 02:01:38 am »
I lost a boer goat kid last year, I thought it was feeding, goat had double teats, must have been latching onto a blank teat, I realised too late, despite tubing she died that night  :( .
Yes, I was sickened as well. Easy to think 'I should have...'. Sometimes we learn the hard way, I know I'll be on the ball in future.
Good luck with the others, maybe one will have triplets that you could foster onto this girl. :-)

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Four teats
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2018, 09:59:58 am »
Sorry about that. Have you been able to get another lamb onto the ewe?


Lambing is a roller coaster I'm afraid. Highs, lows and everything in between. You never stop learning and especially with small numbers as you can get something different every year. Helping out somewhere with a bigger number of ewes can be helpful.


Let us know how you get along with the others.

cambee

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • High Peak
Re: Four teats
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2018, 11:15:35 am »
Hi no we haven’t had any more lambs yet and the next one isn’t due until tomorrow. I think that’s probably too late for the ewe to bond with a spare. We are checking her for mastitis but we were advised not to milk her as this just delays the drying up process. So we will await yet another potential problem there! We then have to think do we breed off her next year bearing in mind we only bought her as a shearling last year so it’ll be quite a loss if we have to cull. Also,we have her twin sister in lamb so we will have to make sure the same problem doesn’t arise with her. We have 2 with prolapses now probably brought on by charging round the field being terrorised by a dog. I’m not sure Ryelands are built for sprinting. So yes, we’ve been learning a lot the hard way. At least we will never be taken by surprise by 4 teats again.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Four teats
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2018, 11:39:04 am »
I've successfully adopted lambs onto experienced ewes four days after they lost their own lamb, so if you do get triplets tomorrow it might be worth trying one lamb on your bereaved ewe.  Make sure it gets a good feed of colostrum off its own mother in the first two hours, though, so it has a good start (and knows what a working teat feels like ;) )

For your future reference, it is very normal to get spare lambs off local farmers when one has a bereaved ewe early on - there's probably a facebook page for your area, or call your nearest sheep farmer and ask if s/he has any or knows where you might get one.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 11:40:42 am by SallyintNorth »
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

cambee

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • High Peak
Re: Four teats
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2018, 01:34:37 pm »
Sally we are ringing round trying to find a Cade lamb. What did you do to get your ewe to accept the new one?

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Four teats
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2018, 02:44:17 pm »
Some ewes will just take another lamb but it isn't usually that straight forward. Skinning wont be an option now so your best bet is a lamb adopter, which I appreciate you may not have. So either make something or pen them together with safe areas your lamb can get into. You need a lamb that wants to suck and is quite determined. Pop your finger in it's mouth to see if it sucks. If you haven't an adopter you will have to keep putting the lamb on.




shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Four teats
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2018, 06:11:48 pm »
You can buy or make from wood a simple head yoke    to hold the ewe  or tie her up with a halter / dog collar , some try  a cone made from a bucket or a big dog one

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Four teats
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2018, 08:00:50 pm »
Sally we are ringing round trying to find a Cade lamb. What did you do to get your ewe to accept the new one?

An experienced ewe who’s lost a lamb will often just accept a replacement. She may need you to support the first feed or three - by which I mean gently restrain her while the lamb suckles. I like to put them in a small pen, with a creep area where the lamb can get away from her if she’s aggressive, then to restrain her for a feed I just need to position her with her head in one corner, hold her chin cupped in my hand and lean my body against her flanks, my legs spread to hold her steady against the side of the pen. If I need to steer the lamb, I’ve got one hand free. 
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

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Four teats
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2018, 10:34:51 pm »
I wouldn't stress about trying to adopt another lamb onto the ewe, just keep her with only straw(preferably) or hay (if no straw available) and water in a pen (especially if the others are being fed concentrates) and she should dry up pretty soon. If you are bringing in another lamb that's either been rejected by its own dam or something similar (any cade will be compromised to some extent and really young lambs do not travel well imo), you may give yourself more problems that you can deal with, especially if more ewes are due to lamb. Any lamb coming onto your farm from another is going to be a biosecurity risk...

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Four teats
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2018, 01:50:23 am »
That’s not my experience, Anke.

On ex-BH’s farm, like others round about, all lambs would get adequate colostrum because they’d be checked and topped up if necessary.  If the ewe could manage triplets with help, we’d assist, and have a healthy lamb to use if one of ours, or a neighbour’s ewe was bereaved.  We’d also split twins if a neighbour had a bereaved ewe before he had any spare lambs of his own.

Amongst the farming community, farmers would mostly try to get a ewe rearing a lamb because she would often be so depressed if she didn’t have a lamb that she’d succumb to other issues. The vet would always encourage us to give a foster lamb to a ewe that had had a bad lambing and lost her lambs “to give her something to live for”.

Farmers also probably don’t want ewes being unproductive or they may get overfat and not get in lamb, or have issues, the following year.  That is less of a problem if the ewe has an issue that means you wouldn’t breed from her again, of course - but even with ewes that are going to be culled, BH and the other farmers around there would sooner have them rear a lamb first.

Yes the lamb could bring disease, which if you don’t know your neighbours and how they farm could be an issue. In BH’s case of course all the local farmers knew each other really well (and we knew which farms we would take a lamb from ;) ).  However a day old or three day old lamb that’s healthy enough to be fostered (you always take a strong lamb, it might need to be quite assertive to get its milk for the first few days) is unlikely to have any diseases, especially if the donor farm vaccinates its ewes.

Sorry you’re getting conflicting advice, cambee!
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

cambee

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • High Peak
Re: Four teats
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2018, 06:27:20 am »
No thankful for all views as learning so much. Well we decided to go the Cade route because we wanted to avoid any potential problems with the shearling and as we are up every 4 hours anyway checking the pregnant ones it’d didn’t seem such a hardship. We asked our shearer and local farmer and he knows we are new to this. He rang a couple of the farming clan and we had a Cade within the hour gratis and from a healthy flock of Suffolk mules vaccinated etc. So at the moment the ewe is not accepting him and he’s in a box next to her pen being lifted out every 4 hours to feed. He’s a scrawny little thing (possibly our mistake as the farmer offered us 2, one was bigger and maybe we should have took that one). Just hope she bonds with him eventually. And btw with him suckling well now her proper teats are large and the false ones tiny. Obviously the dead lamb wasn’t a strong suckler as the real teats and the false ones stayed the same size.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Four teats
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2018, 08:08:38 am »
You might have to take some milk off the ewe to get the teats to a manageable size if they have got big through not being emptied. Don't be frightened of getting tough. Tie the ewe up and leave her with the lamb so it can look for the teat. Keeping it in a box next to her and lifting it in and out isn't likely to work.


An other option you have if you think this shearling isn't going to take the lamb is to keep going for now until the others lamb and put it onto one of those, if the opportunity arises. You could do that at lambing, covering the foster lamb in the birth fluids, so it is more likely to be excepted.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Four teats
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2018, 08:53:31 am »
Keeping it in a box next to her and lifting it in and out isn't likely to work.


This is not my experience.  It may take a while, but I’ve only ever failed to get a ewe to accept a lamb a very small number of times (out of hundreds.).

Personally, I don’t recommend the ‘getting tough’ option.  In my view, if you can keep things calm and gentle, the ewe will eventually settle and accept the lamb. If you build an experience of unpleasant things happening to her whenever the lamb is brought in, that can result in more aggressive behaviour for longer.

Generally, even with a tricky one, after a few days, the lamb smells of the ewe and she will start to accept it.  I have had it take a week a few times and once it took 10 days, but in most cases a few days is enough for it to be safe to leave the lamb in the pen with the ewe, and one day you’ll come in and find them curled up together.   

If you can make a spot in the pen where the lamb can get away from the ewe, you can start to leave it in the pen with her once it’s strong enough.  Keep within earshot at first, so you can intervene if she does start to get aggressive with it.

Some people recommend bringing a dog near to the pen, and the ewe switches into protecting mode.  In my experience, it can make the ewe go all red mist and beat up anything she can reach, including the lamb, so if you are going to try this, do it with caution.

This possibly all sounds a bit as though it’s giving the ewe a traumatic time and make you wonder if you’ve done the right thing.  But one day you’ll have that ewe and lamb out in the field and she’ll be absolutely devoted to that lamb, and then you’ll know you did the right thing.  :hug:
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

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Four teats
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2018, 08:51:44 am »
Make an adopter for your ewe- we made one last week out of 4x2ft piece of marine ply, cut a 4inch slot down the middle for the head and then a piece of baton that goes across the top and screwed up once the head is in. A hole in each corner and tie it to a hurdle pen in the corner. Food and drink in the front and the lamb in the back, she can’t but it away then. I’ve a ewe that rejected her lamb on Thursday, we made the adopter on Friday. She’s being stubborn but let’s the lamb feed when she’s in the adopter. Keep her in it for a few days, it will be much more effective that putting the lamb to suck and keeping it separately.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Four teats
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2018, 09:10:30 am »
Keeping it in a box next to her and lifting it in and out isn't likely to work.


This is not my experience.  It may take a while, but I’ve only ever failed to get a ewe to accept a lamb a very small number of times (out of hundreds.).

Personally, I don’t recommend the ‘getting tough’ option.  In my view, if you can keep things calm and gentle, the ewe will eventually settle and accept the lamb. If you build an experience of unpleasant things happening to her whenever the lamb is brought in, that can result in more aggressive behaviour for longer.

Generally, even with a tricky one, after a few days, the lamb smells of the ewe and she will start to accept it.  I have had it take a week a few times and once it took 10 days, but in most cases a few days is enough for it to be safe to leave the lamb in the pen with the ewe, and one day you’ll come in and find them curled up together.   

If you can make a spot in the pen where the lamb can get away from the ewe, you can start to leave it in the pen with her once it’s strong enough.  Keep within earshot at first, so you can intervene if she does start to get aggressive with it.

Some people recommend bringing a dog near to the pen, and the ewe switches into protecting mode.  In my experience, it can make the ewe go all red mist and beat up anything she can reach, including the lamb, so if you are going to try this, do it with caution.

This possibly all sounds a bit as though it’s giving the ewe a traumatic time and make you wonder if you’ve done the right thing.  But one day you’ll have that ewe and lamb out in the field and she’ll be absolutely devoted to that lamb, and then you’ll know you did the right thing.  :hug:


These types of post will always get a range of options and experiences because different people will find what works best for them. And the end of the day the OP will have to do the same but at least they have got something to work with.


Once a sheep is in an adopter you could argue it is less stressful than being caught up several times a day to have a lamb put on them.


There is more than one way which might work for you. Time can be a big factor in deciding what you are going to do. Tough doesn't mean you have to get rough or mean with a sheep or any animal. You can be tough and calm.


I have seen sheep suddenly find maternal instinct when they see the dog going past. It doesn't have to be a set up, confrontational exercise.


One method doesn't necessarily work every time but experience is learning to adapt when needed.


















 

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