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Author Topic: Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?  (Read 4903 times)

sokel

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jun 2012
  • S W northumberland
Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?
« on: May 02, 2014, 10:16:35 pm »
Our friend has had to take 2 x 4 week old lambs off the ewe because of Mastitis. These 2 have never been handled since they where a few days old .
They are now with us  ::)  You have to Physically catch them  first  and they are NOT impressed with a bottle teat getting put into their mouths  :-\ .  They are eating creep , hay and seen drinking water
any ideas how to get milk into them as at the moment I am sure its more stressful for them trying to give them a bottle than not having it   
Graham

Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 11:43:46 pm »
a challenging situation, when they are so imprinted on theyre dam at that age, perhaps put a lamvac red bottle holder with a few bottles for the them to try by themselves, and perhaps if they are drinking water maybe they will drink a little milk.  i agree for liekly to get aspiration and distressed if it becomes a fight but sitting with them and giving them some closeness will get them to start accepting you.  they may just accept it.  good luck x

Mammyshaz

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2014, 11:54:19 pm »
If they are eating ok and drinking, then popping a bucket of milk in place of water may be a less stressful way if they accept it.
 Just a thought from a non- livestock keeper  :eyelashes:

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2014, 01:03:58 am »
I've just had to do exactly this with two of a neighbour's lambs.  I kept them in a lambing pen in an enclosed area with other sheep and lambs around them while they got used to me and the bottle.  This minimised the stress as it takes only a second or two to catch each of them each time - no chasing about. ;)

At each feed - which I did 3 times a day - I caught each lamb, put its bottom into a corner of the pen, stood astride it restraining it between my calves, offered the bottle - put it in the lamb's mouth and did the usual things to encourage it to drink.  I didn't worry about how much it took, if any, as each was eating plenty of cake and hay, and drinking water. 

The first lamb took to it within 24 hours, and was coming to me for the bottle by the third day.  The second did start to drink a little by the third day but it took nearly a week before it seemed to actually want the bottle, and it had to be caught for another couple of days after that.  Now of course they are just like any pet lamb and would follow me to John O'Groats  ::)

I think the key things are to minimise stress - so the small pen where it's very easy to catch each lamb, don't be stressed yourself and don't make it a fight.  Be relaxed about whether they take the milk or not.  At 4 weeks if they're eating cake and hay, they will survive without milk if they have to, they'll just do a whole lot better if they get another 3-4 weeks on milk.  So no need to be stressed ;).  And if you can have them in their small pen with other bottle-fed lambs around them that would be even better, so they can see the other lambs getting fed by you and not being frightened of you.

Leaving a teaty bucket up with some milk in for them to investigate is also a good idea and may well work.
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

sokel

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jun 2012
  • S W northumberland
Re: Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2014, 02:43:40 am »
Thanks for the replys.  Sally we have put them in a pen with  other lambs either side of them. The ewe lamb is the worst of the 2 she try's to hurl herself over the top. 
As it happens we have the brother to these 2 here, he has been here since 2 days old and is the biggest and friendliest lamb we have.
Maybe tomorrow the 3 can go in together and they may learn from him as he will  down his bottles   Given by hand or on the bottle rack. He even comes in the kitchen if your not out quick enough  ::)
We also have Cassie casserole one of our rescue lambs from last year who was attacked by a Rottweiler when tiny so has a very strange action on one of her back legs
She just wanders about the place as can't keep her in the field. She spends a lot of time up by the lamb pens waiting for a head scratch or any titbits going. She loves the lambs like they where all her own so again seeing her trust us may help them to trust us
Graham

Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2014, 05:55:45 pm »
Cassie sounds wonderful, I'm sure she will help :) x

sokel

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jun 2012
  • S W northumberland
Re: Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2014, 09:06:00 pm »
This morning we didn't get  much into them if anything at all, we put their brother with them and  this afternoon we got half a bottle into each of them and tonight we just put the bottles onto the racks they must have seen what their brother was doing and within seconds they where both latched on and took 1 1/2 bottles each   :thumbsup:
Graham

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2014, 07:50:49 am »
Brilliant  :thumbsup:
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

Mammyshaz

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2014, 07:51:04 am »
Great news  :thumbsup:

sokel

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jun 2012
  • S W northumberland
Re: Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2014, 11:05:32 am »
Quick Picture of the Boy. they will now take the bottle from me as long as I stand quiet and don't move
Graham

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2014, 12:47:32 pm »
Awww, bless.  :hugsheep:

Glad you got him to come round  :thumbsup:
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

Emmam

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Getting an older lamb onto the Bottle ?
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2014, 09:18:27 pm »
Great news. :)

 

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