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Author Topic: How to get a lamb on the bottle  (Read 6564 times)

Stanlamb

  • Joined Oct 2012
How to get a lamb on the bottle
« on: April 03, 2014, 01:28:01 pm »
Hi, another quick question from me!  You might recall that I took two lambs off ewes (triplet and not enough milk) to put on the bottle.  Did that Monday morning.  Lamb 1 is flying on the bottle but I've been bottle feeding him for a fortnight so it's now new to him.  The little ewe lamb was only introduced to a bottle on Sunday evening and is really struggling.  Sun/Mon she actually did suck it a little, now she fights it all the way.  I'm giving her 250mls 4/5 times a day - trying to make it 4 times - and more of it ends up over me than in her.  Am tubing a bit just to make sure she gets some in her tummy.  Reckon she probably only got around 700/800 mls yesterday but could be wrong, it's hard to judge.  I've tried different teats, holding her firmly etc etc but she ends up raspy and wheezy afterwards. 

Any ideas please?  Oh, gave them a little bit of hay just now and they're nibbling it but she still obviously needs the milk.

Thanks

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 01:34:59 pm »
How old are they and what breed?
That might just be all she needs for now.
Is she well and active or looking hunched?

I collected a couple of welsh mountain theaves from a local farm on Tuesday. Two of triplets, about 10 days old and probably taking less than yours but they're lively so no problem.

Stanlamb

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2014, 01:55:41 pm »
Born 16 March so 18 days.  They're from a mule x'd with Hampshire ram.  Looks a bit tucked in behind.  If she was taking it willingly and just had enough then I don't think I'd be too worried, it's the fight and believe me, she can fight.  Oh and she has razor sharp teeth!!

ZaktheLad

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Thornbury, Nr Bristol
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2014, 02:00:03 pm »
Did you give the kick-start a try?  Works wonders in the older lamb too - just to give that extra bit of energy and boost.

gapcap

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2014, 02:02:13 pm »
I share your pain! We sadly lost a ewe 2 wks ago, her lamb was almost 3 weeks old. the little lamb has fought the bottle all the way, its only today, at last, :excited: she actually sucked the bottle quite happily. She has been nibbling a bit of creep. I think she's been kept alive because the milk has just sort of dripped down her throat from the bottle,but I've never managed to get more than about 150ml at a time into her. Its so time consuming and frustating,but persevere ( no choice really!!) I've had to bottle feed older lambs in the past,but never had such an obstinate little blighter as this one. ;D Incidentally she looks well!

Stanlamb

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2014, 03:30:25 pm »
Zak - no, not yet but I am now going to collect a bottle in half an hour!  How many times a day should she have it?  Given that I've only got two hoggets left to lamb and I'm not sure they're even in lamb  ??? then she'd best make the most of it!!

Gapcap - that's reassuring.  They're stroppy wee things when they put their mind to it!

EP90

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Ireland
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2014, 03:47:40 pm »
Similar experience, but I changed to a new born babies bottle and mine took to it straight off after days of fighting a ‘lamb bottle’.  Couple of days then switched back to the ‘lamb bottle’ no problem. Worth a try?

gapcap

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2014, 04:38:59 pm »
 I too tried a baby's bottle, but she wouldn't have that either,so went back to the lamb bottle! But anythings worth a try! Mine has now had 3 feeds today where she's actually sucked, last feed, she actually took the teat into her mouth herself,previously I've had to open her mouth and put the teat in! So there is light at the end of the tunnel, honestly!! ;)

fifixx

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Shillingstone, Dorset
    • Bere Marsh Farm
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2014, 04:57:07 pm »
I'm doing the same with a (goat) triplet who is not getting enough - read today that if you put them between your legs facing away, they take the bottle better.  Tried it and it did seem a tiny bit easier to get her to have some milk! 

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2014, 06:04:15 pm »
Mine was having no more than 50 ml at a time to begin with, and I was having to open his mouth and stuff the bottle and hold it in....  Needless to say is was trying him every 1-2 hours until I felt he had enough to live.  1 week later he is guzzling as much as he is allowed (4 x 350ml). I am sure hunger will win he still doesn't recognise the bottle as something to latch on to through still have to put it in his mouth.

Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2014, 07:16:52 pm »
Baz taughtme a little trick about cupping your hand round they're nosey when they going to suckle,he gently strokes the nose with his fingertips and it does work.  Also watch out for the milky nudge and get that bocky in like Flynn when you see it x


Possum

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Somerset
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2014, 08:36:36 pm »
I use the same method as fifix. I sit myself down comfortably on a stool or bale of straw and hold the lamb between my knees with the head facing away from me. I open the mouth gently with one hand  and slip the teat in with the other. I don't know why it works, but they seem to take to the bottle much better that way.


The other thing that might help is to enlarge the hole in the teat a little bit. Mind you, it sounds as if you are giving about a litre a day which is pretty good. Have you weighed her to see if she is growing?

Stanlamb

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2014, 10:43:43 pm »
Thanks for all the suggestions.  Other half fed them at 6pm and is feeding again now - she took very little at 6pm but got 4 squirts of Kickstart.  Will just persevere - I know she'll come round eventually, it's just so frustrating!  Have tried the backwards feeding thing with her between my knees but she squirms away - headstrong little madam!  Well done to all of you who are getting there or have succeeded!

Stanlamb

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2014, 10:55:29 pm »
If anyone is still reading ..... ewe lamb is now constipated  ::).  She has had 4ml of Liquid Paraffin about 3 times, then I became concerned because she was lying, pushing out teeny drips of liquid faeces but really struggling and straining.  Spoke to Vet who said the Liquid Paraffin can irritate them and give her sugar if she gets constipated again. The thing is, I don't think the constipation is resolved - she was straining away again and only producing drops at 7pm when I gave her a bottle (or, should say, tubed her because she will not take a bottle for love nor money).

What do you folk treat constipation with?  Worried we'll lose her between her reluctance to bottle feed and now her bowels.  She's sniffing at hay but wasn't really nibbling it this evening.

Thanks!

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: How to get a lamb on the bottle
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2014, 05:50:01 am »
The ewes lick their bums to encourage them to poo. Not suggesting you do the same(!) but wiping it with a wetwipe after she's fed may help.

Sugar in her milk will also help, now the constipation has arisen - about a heaped teaspoon in a half-litre bottle of milk I would have thought.

I also feed with the lamb facing away from me, with their body backed into me so they can't escape that way, one hand for the bottle and the other arm round their chest to hold them tight into me. The hand that holds the bottle  cups under their chin to hold them to it that way.

I have a goat, who is about to kid herself any minute, but who forever more will be known as Rowan Wrigglepants - her mother died when she was about 10 days old and she did not want a bottle. She would reverse up and over my shoulder, out from my arm clamp.....somehow we got there.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 05:54:24 am by jaykay »

 

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