Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Orphan lamb stopped taking milk  (Read 7579 times)


  • Joined Aug 2014
Orphan lamb stopped taking milk
« on: March 28, 2016, 10:37:38 pm »
i have a 3 week old orphan lamb who has suddenly gone off her milk. She had some bloat yesterday which after some olive oil and a good massage released some gas.
Since then she has taken less and less milk until she refused anything at the last feed.
She appears happy, runs around with the other lambs still, she has a rounded tummy but it's not hard, just looks a bit tubby!! She may be a little hunched, it's so slight though I can't decide if I am over thinking it.
She is out with 4 ewes and their lambs and one other orphan so nibbling grass and hay. Not yet on creep but planned to start tomorrow.
What could be going on? I would hate to lose this lamb.


  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Orphan lamb stopped taking milk
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2016, 10:55:29 pm »
Hmmmm difficult to say, it could be she has an infection which has indeed caused the bloat, or it could be too much grass/hay. How much are they getting a day? Also is she crappy at the backend at all and does it smell cheesy? Another thing if she does start to take milk again, put her on yoghurt watered down in lukewarm water with a tsp of honey in it, that should help her stomach, then gradually wean her back onto milk keeping it watered down a bit more. When making lamlac I do 125 powder to 1200 ml water, they say a litre of water but i put in the extra 200 ml which helps the lambs keep hydrated a little. Also make sure that she has plenty of fluids, warm honey and water is good. I would put in though that if you're really unhappy with her it would be worth speaking to a vet about it before trying anything! All the best and please do keep us updated on how she gets on :thumbsup:
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.


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Orphan lamb stopped taking milk
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 02:42:54 pm »
How much milk are you giving her?  Is it possible she's getting more at a time than her first stomach can hold?
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


  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Orphan lamb stopped taking milk
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2016, 06:06:13 pm »
Very much on the edge of becoming ruminant.  We ration every thing bar haylage and water when they are getting into other feedstuffs, grass etc. not to overfill them either way.  Try some gentle massag.  Also the trouble with the grass as the mo its so very wet, this can upset theyrre little gut.  Stop the grass til its a bit drier.  I wouldntdilute milk, personally.  Hope lambie improves.


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Orphan lamb stopped taking milk
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2016, 01:23:24 pm »
Are you sure she's not pinching off another ewe?


  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Orphan lamb stopped taking milk
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2016, 02:29:46 am »
Sorry just got back to this, thankfully she is feeding well again. I have cut out a feed and she is looking less 'rounded', she is taking creep in small amounts now too.
I think she was probably taking more milk than she needed on top of the grass and hay.
First time we have ever had to bottle feed lambs so it's a steep learning curve!!
Thanks for your help.


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