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Author Topic: Lamb gets 'bloat' after eating grass.  (Read 7249 times)

EP90

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Ireland
Lamb gets 'bloat' after eating grass.
« on: May 07, 2013, 10:33:17 am »
Hi folks, yet another challenge...
I have two orphan bottle fed ram lambs at just over 4 weeks old.  They take milk, lamb crunch, hay, no problem and housed inside.  Over the last week I have introduced them to a grass paddock of very short grass (lawn) for just an hour or less, but each time the smaller of the two gets bloat, three times now.  Other than keep him off grass and introducing some cut grass into his lamb crunch any other ideas to get him feeding on grass without suffering bloat?

Alicenz

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Lamb gets 'bloat' after eating grass.
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2013, 10:50:23 am »
Hi,  about 3 weeks ago I think there was a lot of discussion about this.  When the lambs are making a change to grass and they are still drinking milk they often bloat up and it can be really scarey.  Try giving less milk as long as they are eating enough other stuff.  I havent hand reared for a few years so others may be able to tell more.The bloat can kill, so really be very careful about how much milk you give.  They do need grass, but yes introduce it slowly.  Any suggestions anyone...

EP90

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Ireland
Re: Lamb gets 'bloat' after eating grass.
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2013, 11:40:36 am »
Thanks, I did search but probably didnít use the right wording.
At the moment Iím hand introducing grass to their creep feed and will now give them supervised time on the grass.  Iíll spend the afternoon going back through the forum to find the discussion you mentioned.

sh3ph3rd

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Queensland, Australia
Re: Lamb gets 'bloat' after eating grass.
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2013, 06:20:30 pm »
My Damara lamb would always get bloat if she went straight from green grass onto the bottle, or straight from the bottle onto green grass. She'd make a beeline for it too. I fixed it by preventing her from having green grass for at least half an hour before an after a bottle. But Damaras are desert sheep and yours, I'm guessing, are not. Still, might work! Definitely, mixing fresh green grass and milk always caused bloat in her.

Now she won't eat green grass at all. Hay and random preferably toxic weeds and trees, but no green grass. Her breed are classified as browsers like goats, not grazers, and as I understand it many ancient (and some European heritage) breeds are also classed as goat-like in the feeding style.... Your bloaty one may be like that, not really built/bred to graze?


EP90

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Ireland
Re: Lamb gets 'bloat' after eating grass.
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2013, 10:21:56 am »
Great, another suggestion to try, although he (5 week old Suffolk X) was only on grass for less than an hour, it was shortly after having milk so your suggestion may help.  At the moment all is well, eating plenty of creep and hay, creep being sprinkled with increasing amounts of grass to try and acclimatise his Rumen to it !   Next step is to let him out on grass for short periods, half way between hi milk feeds.

Alicenz

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Lamb gets 'bloat' after eating grass.
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2013, 09:55:51 am »
Hows your lamb going?  Check with your vet whether it is worth giving vit B to help his rumen acclimatise.  My vet gave me some for adult sheep who had bloat after going from hay over winter to grass in spring. sorry tired so not much useful info!

EP90

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Ireland
Re: Lamb gets 'bloat' after eating grass.
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013, 11:27:12 am »
Lamb seems (tempting fate here) to be doing ok.  Introduced grass to his creep.  Now heís spending an hour a day in a grass paddock and looking at increasing the time.  I think a good sign was when he starting dropping hard Ďrabbit  typeí droppings instead of the previous softer lumps.  Hopefully this means his Rumen is now probably up and running , although he will still be taking it steady on the grass.  Thanks.

 

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