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Author Topic: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?  (Read 14740 times)

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Hello all,

I don't want to talk about it too much but we have suffered two more dog attacks within 4 days. Sheep gave been moved away now and the police are dealing with it.

We have lost a last years ewe lamb and now a ewe leaving her four week old lamb behind. She is with my orphan lambs, has cake and hay and we have now added water as she is not taking the bottle.

Can anyone surgest how to get her to accept the bottle? She goes ridged and puts her hear right up, we can get about 100ml down her throat. Don't really want to stomach tube her as she's not unwell but just won't feed :( I know she misses her mum.

Any advice greatly welcome, I'm off for another sob now :(

kelly58

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Highlands, Scotland
  • Home is were my animals are.
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 09:57:20 am »
Sooooooo sorry to hear that HF  :hug:

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 10:08:44 am »
Sorry to hear of your problems :(.


Be patient, he might get the hang of it eventually if he gets hungry enough.  And he might learn from your other orphan lambs.

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 10:15:53 am »
foobar put a post on April 12, struggling to get lambs to bottle feed - SallyintNorth gives a very comprehensive answer if you look back (you can do it in search above).


So sorry to hear about your attacks, really very sorry, messy business, I hope they get caught.
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

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2014, 10:24:21 am »
If she drinks water you may be able to get her to drink milk from a bowl? However I think you are partly struggling because she won't recognise the taste if you are using Lamlac. Have you got a chance of getting some goatsmilk? She may be more likely to accept that?


Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2014, 10:29:51 am »
I think this was the post from Sally that goosepimple was referring to:
http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/forum/index.php?topic=44183.msg413582#msg413582

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2014, 01:33:03 pm »
Firstly, so so sorry to hear that you have had more problems with dogs.  I know how it feels and I feel for you.

Now, the lamb.  100ml at a time for a newly-orphaned lamb isn't bad.  At 4 weeks it'll be eating hay and/or grass, and probably cake too?  If you can get it to take a little milk 3 times a day (and note what I said about giving it some tenderness too - it's lost its mum and doesn't understand anything now), it will come round. 

I've just recently taken on a month-old pair from a neighbour who's triplet mum had mastitis.  The one got onto the bottle on the second day, the other is now (day 5) taking the bottle but I still have to catch it and force the teat into its mouth.   ::)

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

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 06:45:24 pm »
That's it, you have to catch them, tuck them tightly under your arm (bottom into you so they can't reverse) and put the teat in their mouth. They'll still fight and spit. I've found moving the teat backwards and forwards in their mouths seems to help. Keep the bottle highish, so their neck is stretched up, like it would have been feeding from mum. Body heat milk and a teat you've got warm by running it under the hot tap immediately before feeding seem to help. But it can be a struggle.

Very sorry to hear about the grief you've been having  :hug:

madcat

  • Joined Mar 2014
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2014, 09:20:07 pm »
Sorry to hear of dog problems, I could say more but I wouldn't make any friends. I hope the lambs thrive in spite of all this and I hope the police catch and prosecute the dog owner.

BALLOCH

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2014, 09:24:59 pm »
we had 2 lambs loose their mum at 3 weeks old ,both bleeted non stop for 2 days until one lost its voice.One after a struggle one took to the bottle but the other just not interested no matter how much we tried.At this age I don't think stomach tube is the answer.The one that wouldn't take the milk drank water and ate creep feed .Gladly they both made adults and caught up,so don't worry.

langfauld easycare

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2014, 12:33:17 am »
 :wave: i would try for a couple of days if no joy give it the best of food you can and adlib . it should be fine . we used to wean motherless lambs at 4 weeks (directions on milk i have just now say 5-6weeks) and they did fine as long as they had plenty creep.theres no point in stressing you or the lamb for the sake of one or two more weeks on milk

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2014, 08:12:33 am »
I am very sorry to hear that. We had to rear about 20 lambs in 2012 and a few of them were rather difficult to rear.
Thankfully we had a few mothers who had either lost their lambs or aborted and so we adopted them onto their new mothers. A lamb which has lost his/hers mother and will not suckle can be adopted back onto its mother, or another ewe. However it may eventually get used to being bottle fed. My advice is keep trying,don't give up and see what happens. I hope this helps.
Thanks
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2014, 08:14:20 am »
I do agree also with 'langfauld easycare' about creep feeding the lamb on adlib cake.
Anything is worth a try I suppose.
Thanks
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2014, 09:00:36 am »
As I understand it, the rumen isn't fully developed until about 6 weeks, which is why we are recommended to keep them on milk until then.  So although a younger lamb may be eating creep, it won't be getting the nutritional value out of it.

My own experience is that older (3-4 weeks) lambs who won't take the bottle don't thrive as well as those who do.  So I would persevere.  With our lambs, it really is only a very tiny minority who won't ever take to the bottle.  However, several days to accept it is common; a week not uncommon (with older lambs) and I had one took 10 days, I think.

If you can steel yourself to do it, they'll come around sooner if you keep them a little bit hungry.  I have just had to get a month-old pair of lambs onto the bottle for a neighbour whose triplet mum came down with mastitis.  The tup lamb took the bottle on the second feed, his sister was more of a challenge.  For the first three days they had ad lib hay and a good helping of cake twice a day.  Sis was still not taking the bottle so the next day they had just a tiny bit of creep once - but still ad lib hay.  Guess what ;).  You got it - fifth day, she suddenly liked her milk ;).  I still have to catch her and put the teat in her mouth but she guzzles like a good 'un once she has the taste in her mouth.

Oh, and another tip - feed other lambs in front of the awkward cuss.  Let it be hungry and running about you and the other lambs as you feed them.  Let it watch them feed; most lambs will start to sniff about the lamb that's feeding and it helps to give them the idea that there is food here, that it comes from you and those strange hard plastic thingies. ;)
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

langfauld easycare

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: How to get an older lamb on the bottle after loosing it's mother?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2014, 12:09:52 am »
to spend hours . stressing the lamb ,risk of choking ,risk of pneumonia if it breaths in milk you are trying to pour down it throat .stressin you and heart ache just no worth it . if it doesnt take it within a couple of days i would leave it ,as long as its eating well . it will need a bit more creep or will take a bit longer to finish .
 a more commercial point of view you would be as well selling a slightly lighter lamb for say 50 than spend lots hours ,milk powder etc to get an extra 10 or 20

 

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