Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?  (Read 4730 times)

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« on: March 20, 2016, 03:33:45 pm »
Hi
 One of our heb ewes who is a gimmer has had twins but now she looks depressed and is refusing to get up. She has milk but the lambs don't know where to look and the ewe is never up so they don't have a chance. The ewe doesn't seem to want much to do with them and she just sits down all day. We have done every thing we can for her but the thing now is how do I get the lambs on to the bottle? They are on a stomach tube now every 4 hours but I want to get them onto the bottle as soon as possible but don't know how. I have tried to bottle feed them but they just spit it out and wriggle endlessly. How do I get them to eventually take the bottle and at what age should they start to take it? They were born yesterday morning at around 3am.

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2016, 03:49:12 pm »
Leave them til they're hungry then hold the test in their mouths, they will soon take it.

Have you checked the ewe for mastitis? Another lamb inside?

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2016, 04:08:30 pm »
We have had th local farmer round to look at her and he couldn't see another lamb inside her and we don't think she mastitis. Just in ease she did we have given her loxycom, ketosaid, bimoxyl La and some other stuff. We literally just gave her loxycom so see if that helps her. So should I delay the feed by an hour or so to let them get hungrier? 

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 05:24:14 pm »
Have you given the ewe Calciject?  If you just let her go downhill then she will die.  I don't know what Loxicom is so maybe that's the equivalent.  How you are describing your ewe is simply not what you would ever expect of a Heb - they are, as I'm sure you know, the best mothers ever.  If you can treat her and she gets up, then pen the family and leave them overnight - by morning you should find she's fed them.

Trying to get an unwilling lamb to feed is one of the most frustrating jobs I find.
To see if they're hungry, check their bellies and bump your hand on top of their noses.  If their tums are not bulging and they push back upwards against your hand, then they do want to feed.  Put a clean finger in their mouths and see if they have a sucking response.
I would leave them for 4 hours after a tubing before trying a bottle.  If possible, can you sit the ewe on her bum and milk her into a bottle, using a lubricant.  That will be better for the lambs than any formula.
Check that the hole you have cut in the end of the bottle teat is the right size - too small and feeding is too much effort, too big and they drown or choke.
Try squeezing a little milk from the bottle into their mouths, or rub it over their lips and give them the chance to lick it off, before getting the teat back in their mouths (I know, that's the time it all goes wrong and if you're like me you get filled with impotent fury.  You just have to be patient and keep trying.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2016, 05:45:40 pm »
With difficult lambs, I have even resorted to going on all fours before one lol, they tend i find to look for dark places when hunting for milk, keep an eye open for the "milky nudge" and get that teat in there,  try try again, lamb will come, once locked on you've got them.  Also cuddling them and chattering to them can help settle them.  Anyway better go and feed our little monkeys, got twins to feed, one is not quite sure of bottle the other loves it.

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2016, 06:13:29 pm »
Loxicom is the same as Metacam .

Feed them with them sat between your knees facing away from you, and keep your hand gently over their nose. This can help as them as when feeding from mum the udder touches their nose. Leave a little longer than normal and they should feed better. Patience is key!

Give the ewe calcium under the skin, it may help and will do no harm.

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2016, 07:44:20 pm »
Thanks guys. We have given her a lot of stuff so we are seeing how she goes. We had another ewe who refused to get up and we finally got her the 2nd day. I will give her a wee while and feed the land for her so she can recover from this. The lambs will be pet lambs but that is better than dead lambs. Yes fleecewife this is the opposite of what Hebs normally are like. I hope this isn't an ongoing problem this year.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2016, 07:51:42 pm »
I suggest milking her off every few hours if you can.  It'll make her more comfortable, encourage her to cleanse and keep the milk flowing to at least give you a chance to get her to raise the lambs herself.  You could then bottle feed the lambs with her milk.  Some lambs are easy to shift to the bottle, others seem set on showering you with the stuff rather than swallowing it.  Just decide you're going to try for ten minutes at a time and be extremely patient.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2016, 10:37:36 pm »
I had one last year just wouldn't take to the bottle.  I hardened my heart, offered a bottle every 4 hours (this was about a week old, I'd have offered every hour or two with a 2-day old), made sure I got a bit, even if it was only 30ml, into it, then if it still wouldn't drink, leave it, come back in 4 hours.  (A bit longer overnight.)  I thought it would starve itself to death, but in the end, suddenly it drank and it never looked back.

Someone's already mentioned about cuddling and chatting to them.  It really does help; I had one the year before being terribly difficult; every feeding time was a battle.  It was really distressing.  One feeding time I decided to forget about trying to make it feed, and just cuddle it.  After about a minute, the little mouth was questing under my chin...  :relief:

Other things that might help:
  • try a different teat - one of the little red ones you use on a Coke bottle (or similar), or if you're using one of those, try a soft non-vac one
  • try a smaller hole in the end of the teat, or a larger
  • check the temperature of the milk.  I test it across the back of my hand; it should feel the same temperature as your hand - neither cold nor hot, or just a little warm. 
  • try it with the lamb in different positions.  I most usually have them standing, hips between my calves, but some do better laid on your lap, back legs hanging down
As Fleecewife says, stay patient and don't get stressed.  Much easier said than done, I know.
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

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2016, 10:20:02 pm »
Thanks guys. They were born on Saturday and are getting 6 feeds a day through the stomach tube. Would it be better if I cut out the 2am feed and just feed them at 10 at night and then 6 in the morning or is that too far apart? They currently get fed 150ml every 4 hours

K8apple

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2016, 10:29:02 pm »
I have two orphaned lambs now 2 weeks old and I'm really struggling to get them to take a bottle. I leave them for ages - over 12 hours sometimes but they still won't suck. I then relent and tube them, but with the bare minimum so they are hungry next time. How long is it safe to tube them for? They've got teeth and are outside during the day picking at grass and hay!

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2016, 07:58:33 pm »
I hope they are still around :)

I would say 8 hours is a very long time in-between feeds - it too long really at 3 days old especially as they are sound to be still very weak as they still need tubing.

I would risk 6 hours between feeds perhaps after day 5 and they would have to be up and about and feeding naturally and really keen for it with plenty of condition.

I hope they are bottle feeding for you now - I find the nose tickling good.  I hold the bottle with a cupped hand with just the nipple inbetween my finger and thumb - nipple in wards.  You can cup their chin and stroke their nose with your thumb.  If you have them over both legs with legs dangling or under your arm - you can also tickle their back.

Also before tilting the bottle push out some of the air and then turn it upside down and let the air back in - it creates enough of a vacuum to stop the bottle expressing too quick.  Sometime pulling the nipple in and out slowly work and gets them to suck rather than just mouth it.

Barry.

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2016, 08:22:32 am »
Hi thanks for all the help. We just about got them on the bottle and then the ewe picked up and now they are feeding from her with us helping with offering one bottle a day if empty

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: How to get a lamb into the bottle from a stomach tube?
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2016, 08:27:44 am »
Well done  :wave:

 

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