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Author Topic: Getting a ewe to adopt  (Read 7716 times)

Azzdodd

  • Joined Apr 2012
Getting a ewe to adopt
« on: January 29, 2013, 03:31:55 pm »
One of my ewes lambed this morning a single but has bag & bags of milk I want to try & give her another lamb I have found one but how can I go about trying to get her to adopt? I can't use the skinning or wetting lamb in after birth? Any suggestions would be great

SheepCrazy!

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • www.hawthornsoaysandjacobs.co.uk
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Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 04:11:21 pm »


If you're sure you can't use the skinning or wetting the lamb try rubbing the new lamb at the back end of the ewe as she will be wet there from the lambing fluid and it will transfer some of the ewes smell as well. Also rub both lambs together to merge the smell.

It also helps to stimulate the ewe by sticking your hand inside  (when you remove your hand she will think she's had another lamb) and then present the new lamb to her, put it under the her lamb. If the new lamb gets up straight away your ewe will know its not hers.

If you're ewe is older and more experienced and likes treacle rub some on the lamb, she will greedily lick the treacle and the instinctively start licking the lamb.

Adopting the new lamb will only work if the new lamb accepts the ewe if it has a strong bond with its biological mother and a few days old you run into a whole set of other problems.

Good luck, :fc: if you do it has to be done straight away.


Azzdodd

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 05:23:51 pm »
She lambed this morning & I won't be able to get another lamb till morning? Do you think the treacle thing will work ? Put her in a small pen & see how it goes

Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 05:33:30 pm »
For future reference there is a product specifically for this - it's called "lamb adoption musk" and comes in an aerosol container. It masks the smell of the lamb.
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langfauld easycare

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 05:37:56 pm »
if she wont take it you can easily make a lamb adopter where the ewe will have limited movement and the lambs can get in to suck .i have even done it with a 2 half pallets and a halter . 2 days is usualy enough once its had a few good feeds her smell is on it . prob about 90% success rate . once bought spray lamb adoption musk which you sprayed up the ewes nose and onto the lamb .i thought was crap  :) .feel free to pm me if you get stuck as a few other tricks you can try .  :fc: 

langfauld easycare

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 05:42:29 pm »
sorry supplies :innocent: , mustve been typin at same time.

SheepCrazy!

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Dumfries and Galloway
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Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 05:52:16 pm »
 
The treacle has worked in the past for me with texels its always best to do it straight away though otherwise the ewes instinct is to push away any other competition for her lamb away.

Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 06:09:01 pm »
sorry supplies :innocent: , mustve been typin at same time.

Thats ok - some people think it works - others dont, bit of a marmite scenario - but dont spread it on your toast :excited:
www.suppliesforsmallholders.co.uk - Safe Secure shopping for all your livestock equipment and supplies.
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goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2013, 06:21:02 pm »
Just wanted to say I've read all your replies and what interesting and brilliant info, I'm going to write it down.
 
Also, Azzdodd, I just discovered lamb adoptors at our local timber merchants - they are 16plusVAT so not expensive if you don't have time to make - they're like a fence hurdle or gate and also useful to use as a goat crush for when you have to do their feet.  All the best.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

Hazelwood Flock

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Dorset.
Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2013, 07:25:37 pm »
To be honest if you can't put another lamb on straight away it's not really worth bothering, the single will grow like stink with all the milk to itself  ;)
Not every day is baaaaaad!
Pedigree Greyface Dartmoor sheep.

ZaktheLad

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Thornbury, Nr Bristol
Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2013, 08:14:04 pm »
I agree that it's only really worth trying to get a ewe to adopt another lamb if you can do it straight away and ideally, before the lamb(s) have dried.  You can try letting a dog in to the lambing area with the ewe and lambs in an attempt to get the ewe to protect both youngsters, but having tried on many occasions to get a ewe to adopt, it really is not an easy process and far likely to fail than succeed.  You also run the risk of the ewe rejecting her own lamb in the confusion.  Sheep are far from stupid and they definitely know what you are trying to do - many do not appreciate the interference.  That single lamb will do exceptionally well on its own and you will probably find that after a day or so the udder will not appear half so full as it does just after lambing.  If you do decide to go ahead and try an adoption be prepared with an infinate amount of patience and ensure you have the amount of time available to keep a keen eye on what's happening.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 09:02:52 pm »
I agree that it's only really worth trying to get a ewe to adopt another lamb if you can do it straight away and ideally, before the lamb(s) have dried.  You can try letting a dog in to the lambing area with the ewe and lambs in an attempt to get the ewe to protect both youngsters, but having tried on many occasions to get a ewe to adopt, it really is not an easy process and far likely to fail than succeed.  You also run the risk of the ewe rejecting her own lamb in the confusion.  Sheep are far from stupid and they definitely know what you are trying to do - many do not appreciate the interference.  That single lamb will do exceptionally well on its own and you will probably find that after a day or so the udder will not appear half so full as it does just after lambing.  If you do decide to go ahead and try an adoption be prepared with an infinate amount of patience and ensure you have the amount of time available to keep a keen eye on what's happening.

This
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

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2013, 04:54:53 pm »
I find the best way to get a ewe to adopt is to have the spare lamb ready in a skip bucket or similar and lamb the ewe standing up so the birth fluids go over it (have to be careful to catch her own lamb on the way out!)  Someone holding her head so she can't see what's going on is a big help here.  Then I present her with the adoptee first and let her lick it off, iodine her own lamb's navel so they smell the same and present her own lamb as if the second of twins.  You need to be very quiet and calm and it rarely works with a first-timer as they don't really know what they're doing anyway - a quiet, steady, older ewe is best.  If you need to use an adopter I find it helps if there's a gap at each side so the lambs can wander in and out under her nose.   After they've curled up together a couple of times and dunged her milk they'll smell the same.

Azzdodd

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2013, 01:34:31 pm »
To all who gave advice thanks very much :) she adopted very well I put in a pen with new lamb but abit of treacle on its head an she took to it instantly I let her out a few hours after an all 3 are very happy in the field :) also ended up with another bottle lamb that my old nanny goat has adopted good news all round

ScotsGirl

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • Wiltshire
Re: Getting a ewe to adopt
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2013, 02:54:02 pm »
Wow that's brilliant. I must try the treacle trick as I have a ewe that always rejects. Sometimes she will clean them all then sniffs each and decides who she wants!! Strangely she seems to know which order they came out and picks No1 each time. Sometimes likes No 2 but never No 3!

 

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