Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: New thread - so sorry no time to read for answer! Bottle feeding lamb enquiry.  (Read 13734 times)

fleurky

  • Joined Mar 2012
Popped into the vet today to pick up rehydrion.  They have it on their system but do not have it in stock.  I'm now  a bit confused after above message.  Is it the same as the dissolved electrolyte tablet?  But with Rehydion you can mix it with milk powder rather than swapping straight back to onto milk? Or is it a sort of pick me up?

I also asked the vet about diluting milk, he said not as the diluted milk cannot clot in the stomach and therefore cannot be digested.  He advised not giving squitty Norris III the electrolyte just yet, but persevering with the milk at recommended mix a bit longer to see if the scour clears.  Touch wood it seems to have done just that, they are both very bright. I think I may have been panicking too soon before, banging them onto electrolyte t the first sign of scour.

Ref the blind one - I think this one might be improving though I notice the hairs below her eyes seem to curl upwrds causing weeping sore eyes. I'm bathing them with salt water and re-alining the hairs - and that helps alot temporarily.  Have you come across this?  In fact I'm not sure they are both blind.  I can walk into the room and unless I speak to them they both just look about blankly - like they know someone is there but dont seem to know who.  As soon as I speak they call and get up (try in Bambi's case).  How do I tell for sure?! If I'm right, it buggers up fostering them onto a single ewe when they are stronger I guess.

Thanks as ever!


jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
The hair/eye thing you're describing is called entropion and there's some info here about it.

Basically, if you pinch the eyelids hard to make them swell (sounds mean I know, but keep reading) it swells and keeps the eyelashes out of the eye. Often they self-correct with a few days of this.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Popped into the vet today to pick up rehydrion.  They have it on their system but do not have it in stock.  I'm now  a bit confused after above message.  Is it the same as the dissolved electrolyte tablet?  But with Rehydion you can mix it with milk powder rather than swapping straight back to onto milk? Or is it a sort of pick me up?
The Rehydion I get is a gel, you add it to fluid at a rate of 20ml to 1L (2ml to 100ml pro rata.)  You add it to water or milk; its presence with the milk guarantees clotting so you can introduce milk again slowly if you want to.  My vet said the key is to mix it fresh into the fliud just as you are about to feed it.  It contains electrolytes, stabilisers and glucose (energy.)

I use Rehydion to feed lambs who need energy / electrolytes but aren't able to take milk (eg if they are scouring, or if they have become very weak for whatever reason and I have reason to think their systems won't cope well with milk just yet), and to assist lambs who have had scour and are recovering to get back onto milk, because I can reintroduce the milk slowly while the Rehydion ensures it clots and continues to keep them going with its own constituents.

My vet actually recommended it for calves (which is what it is designed for), but mentioned that I could use it on lambs and it is now one of my Top 10 Lambing Kit Essentials.  :)
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

fleurky

  • Joined Mar 2012
So sorry not to have replied before now.  Your advice is very gladly received, thanks so much.  I have ordered some Rehydion, thank you!!. 
Up and down with the 3 terrors.
Bambi's walking improved then I suspect she fell and banged a knee so has been limping on that. 
Norris came on really strongly only to come down with a cold/cough on Friday and suddenly go down hill uber fast.  Another trip to the vet confirmed watery mouth.  Damn it.  She's had another shot of anti bio's and is on electrolyte again. next question is this: Vet said put her on for a day. But she is still producing very watery muck.  Do i continue with the electrolyte until clear of squitts or put her back onto milk after a day of the electrolyte.  Assuming former, but maybe a day on the electolyte is enough.  Will she produce a poo if shes only on electrolyte? How do I know she's ready for milk again?
Next question, is there really any chance of her getting over watery mouth? She's still got bags of energy but is she on the slippery slope do you think? Bambi also little snotty but not nearly so bad, though has much less energy than Norris.  Bambi has also had a shot of Spactam and is on electrolyte too just to be on the safe side. 
A third lamb arrived a week ago.  Jonti was ridiculously floppybotty! All legs at 90 degrees to his body, sort of disjointed & totally incapable of getting up, did a  great giraffe impression when stood up.  Tied his front legs together with a pair of tights and he's now tottering about and actually looking tougher than the other two. He's separate from them so hopeful he won't come down with it too.  How contagious is it?  I'm disinfecting and putting down fresh bedding daily.
Sooooo many questions as ever, but as you have all taught me, I'm not getting my hopes up for any of them. (Well not too much!)
Thanks a bundle for your time and knowledge through experience, Fleur K

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: watery mouth, I find that some recover and some don't.  I used to give daily Pen & Strep for up to a week if needed.  I never forced a watery mouth lamb to drink, nor tubed them, as I found it didn't help.  Usually they don't want anything for 24-36 hours when they first get watery mouth, then, if they're going to recover, start to look brighter, walk about and shout for milk.  Some look so bright I put them straight onto milk, some I would give 12-24 hours Rehydion then onto milk.  Always very small meals when starting them back onto eating - 150ml max per meal, not more often than every 3-4 hours, probably not more than about 600ml in 24 hours for the first 24 hours.

Some years you get no watery mouth and others you get a lot; the difference seems to me to be how long the ewes and lambs are indoors and the ability to keep the pens clean.  Strong lambs get it as well as weaker ones, lambs who've had plenty of colostrum within the first two hours of life get it, one lamb in a pair of twins will get it and its sibling won't.  Non-medicinal avoidance is to reduce the number of ewes and lambs indoors, reduce the time they spend indoors, thoroughly clean out between occupants, minimise seepage from pen to pen, put lime on earth-floored pens between occupants or disinfect cement-floors, do not ring males earlier than 24-36 hours.  In our situation, with commercial flocks in the hundreds, we find it best to also use the medicinal preventative of a squirt of Orojet into every newborn indoors lamb as soon as possible after birth - minutes if you can, certainly within the first hour.  And Oroject any weak newborns being brought in from outside, too.

And of course, make sure every lamb gets a good bellyful of colostrum or colostrum replacer within its first few hours.

So much for watery mouth.  Coughs, colds and snuffles are another thing.  Sounds like you are doing all you can - were the ewes on Covexin or Heptavac, and did they have a booster a few weeks before lambing?

Flopbot which rights itself is, I think, a lamb which is really a little bit premature.  Floppiness which does not right itself, and usually gets worse as the lamb gets older and heavier, is, I think, more about mineral deficiencies.  Selenium and copper are the two main ones for skeletal development, I think.  Did your ewes get a good mineral drench mid-pregnancy?  And, depending on their breed, copper capsules, injections or chelated drench?

As with most lambing problems, prevention is so much better than cure.  So, as well as saving those lambs that you can, try to understand where the problems arose and work out how to change your management practices in future to avoid the same problems later on and in subsequent lambings.
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

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
 Just thought I'd add a couple of old remedies for scouring lambs which I learned from an old farmer @30 years ago.
 Instead of antibiotics, put a couple of pinches of garlic powder in the milk. This suppresses the bad bacteria without totally killing the good ones. Apperently Volac used to put garlic in their milk powder about 20 years ago and were well known for reduced scours in the animals that were fed it. (Don't know if they stll do.)
 As previously mentioned, dilute milk is no good for upset stomachs as it doesn't clot. So if not wanting to feed full strength milk give warmed glucose solution (1 dessert spoon/pint). This gives the lamb energy without providing the perfect medium, as milk does, for bad bacteria to thrive.

 By the way, I'm not advocating using garlic instead of Oroject - which is brilliant as a first stage protection for new born lambs. Garlic is useful after the colostrum stage, when you don't want to kill the good bacteria which are developing in the gut. (Don't want to start a personalised argument about antibiotics v garlic. They both have their place and I'm just saying what works for me.)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 11:42:26 am by landroverroy »
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

fleurky

  • Joined Mar 2012
This is all brilliant advice. Thanks do much, as ever hugely grateful. 

The lambs are the bin ends, passed onto me (my own stupid idea - couldn't leave them in the 'lamb box') from a local farm.  I just helped out this lambing season, hence I'm afraid I don't know the ins and outs of the medication he has used on the sheep. It is a relatively intensive set up - 650 ewes with good management and lambing strategy in place.  I suspect its all whistles and bells ref the meds but can't be sure. Lambs are born in large indoor sheds, moved to single pens within half an hour, numbered, rung and put out within 36 hours usually assuming all OK. They are put in clean pens and fresh straw added twice daily to keep then clean and dry until they go out, when their pens are cleaned out again, left to dry then bedded down for the next ewe.  No disinfectant has been used this year as watery mouth on the farm has been rare.  Mine seemed to pick it up a few days after leaving the farm which concerned me somewhat (they are on paper and straw, refreshed daily, next to the boiler in my utility area). Of course being the bin ends chances of each of them being a premature runty triple from a weak ewe and having almost no colostrum are quite high!

This is new but fascinating territory for me. I do know the lambs all have a squirt of broad spectrum anti bio when they are born (within half an hour of), as for the rest no idea. 

I was suprised to find all 3 up and blarting madly this morning, no little corpses.  The two suffering with watery mouth continue to cough and sneeze a little and were starving hungry so in trepidation they have gone back onto milk.  One has produced a sloppyish poo but seems OK, the other no poo as far as I can tell but she worries me.  She is very active and alert, galloping everywhere and constantly desperate for food but is turning to lick her sides and what could be viewed as jovial behaviour could be agitation if her tummy hurts so i assume she's constipated. Is an enema a good idea? Is there any other way to encourage bowel movement?  Where do I even start with this?! (I'm not even going to tell my husband about this latest thought process.)  Do I put her straight back on the electrolyte?  Oh the joys of sheep. 

Just googled Oroject - I have bought a bottle of Spectam Scourhalt and gave all 3 a squirt on Sunday - is this the same thing?  Vet said another squirt if needed it after 3 days - so it looks like she'll have another tomorrow.  Wish she'd poo... gah!

Very interesting about the garlic, it seems a  wonderous thing - I give fresh garlic to my hens if they are under the weather,  it seems to be a real tonic.  Definately try it, thanks!

The vet said she keeps a few sheep and always gives new borns a squirt of runny honey as soon as they are born, the glucose thing again I guess? She said she uses honey because it comes convenienly packaged to slip in a pocket and a lambs mouth.

Thankyou so much! FK

luckylady

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Yorkshire
This thread is so informative.  It has saved me so much head scratching.  Hope your little bambinos are thriving now.  I also had no idea the odds were stacked so high against my little orphans surviving.  Fingers crossed as we are only just entering week two!
Doing that swan thing - cool and calm on the surface but paddling like crazy beneath.

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Hi Luckylady  :wave:

The odds are stacked against these little ones, they don't have the start in life that those able to stay on their mums have but...we can  do somethings to try and increase their chances. I found this after the lambs that were here last year (not ours but used our grazing) - they lost about 4 out of 10 due to a)not keeping them warm b) adding estimated amounts of lamlac to water c) not vaccinating/worming etc and most importantly - they didn't get colostrum in some cases  :(
Our lambs this year have been a cause of much stress and hard work to me because I wanted to get it right! They are ours completely so I was able to rear them following fantastic advice from the good people here.  so far 3 out of 3 are live, well and running with the large sheep in the field! they are about 9 weeks old now and huuuuuuuge!
hang in there  ;) 
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

luckylady

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Yorkshire
 :thumbsup: Thanks plumseverywhere, it really is reassuring to know there is such support from TAS members.  We are just getting over a few probs with troublesome scour in 2 of our 3 orphans but I have an amazing neighbouring sheep farmer who actually phones me to find out how we are doing - they didn't even come from his flock!  My vet is also a friend so he is happy to advise ad lib.  We have one bruiser of an orphan Cyril who is fit and healthy but the 2 smaller little chaps, Amos and Dylan, who were 2 of quads, got off to a slower start.  Getting there now though - long may it continue.  :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:
Doing that swan thing - cool and calm on the surface but paddling like crazy beneath.

fleurky

  • Joined Mar 2012
I so agree with you Luckylady, the advice given here is worthy of repayment in spades. I've lost 7 out of 13 lambs, although 10 of those have been bin ends - no colostrum, weak conformation, no hopers.  I thought initially they were salvagable, but I was being a  bit of a muppet now I know a bit more. 
My zero colostrum lamb with standing problems (Bambi) is doing great, but now I expect the worst as she still coughs! Am prepared for sudden decline. She's now 5 weeks old.  The other 3 are 4 weeks old off of dead ewes so have had a good start at least. I'm hopeful for them. Suprisingly, it seems to be the weaning thats the killer..  Be brutal or you'll lose them. I realised this after losing 2 lambs at 4 weeks which seemed to be thriving - both bottle fed from birth - I wasn't tough enough with their milk v creep I think, they got bloat and that was that.  Very distressing when you learn you could have done something to salvage the situation.   On the plus side I plan to be much better at this next year!
Great site, wihtout it I'd still be scratching my head!
Good luck with yours, keep us posted!
 

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
I shouldn't beat yourself up about the weaning / bloat thing. Not necessarily under your control, they can get Clostridium snd Sarcina bacteria and don't have the immunity to cope.

Apparently live yoghurt, an 8oz pot in each 2 litres of lamb milk, is also good to help with bloat in artificially reared lambs.

I think you're doing a hard job, giving the no-hopers a chance and some kindness  :-* You'll be learning loads and maybe you'll treat yourself to some 'had a great start, likely to live' lambs next year too?

luckylady

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Yorkshire
Suprisingly, it seems to be the weaning thats the killer..  Be brutal or you'll lose them.
Thanks fleurky.  Although not approaching weaning for a good few weeks yet, can you expand on 'be brutal'.  Weaning feedback would be appreciated so I can be armed with as much advice as possible.
PS As you can see I haven't quite got the hang of the quote thing yet!
Doing that swan thing - cool and calm on the surface but paddling like crazy beneath.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
When weaning you need them to be eating aty least 1/2 lb creep a day before you stop the milk.  But they won't always start to eat the cake until they're hungry, so you may have to start reducing the milk before they are really into the creep. 

What I do is cut out one feed, leaving the other two the same size as they were and at the same times.  So the lambs get hungry and start to nibble on with the cake.  Then when I think they're eating cake (rather than just messing about with it), I cut out another feed.  Then, when I'm sure they're eating at least 1/2 lb creep a day each, I stop the milk.

I suspect there are as many ways of weaning as there are TAS members with orphan lambs...  ;)
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

 
Advertisement
 

Bottle feeding a lamb with it's mother

Started by Remy (14.7)

Replies: 7
Views: 5138
Last post April 15, 2015, 10:37:46 am
by SallyintNorth
Lamb collapsing while bottle feeding.

Started by EP90 (14.7)

Replies: 13
Views: 4832
Last post May 12, 2016, 07:16:54 am
by Slimjim
Problem bottle feeding orphan lamb

Started by dennd1906 (14.54)

Replies: 7
Views: 8800
Last post April 23, 2011, 09:51:01 pm
by dennd1906
bottle feeding

Started by The Chicken Lady (11.09)

Replies: 13
Views: 6430
Last post April 16, 2009, 11:00:19 am
by Pigtails
Bottle feeding

Started by ThomasR (11.09)

Replies: 6
Views: 1719
Last post April 07, 2018, 06:58:45 pm
by EP90

Forum sponsors

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

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2021. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS