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Author Topic: orphan soay lamb  (Read 2877 times)


  • Joined Oct 2008
orphan soay lamb
« on: May 08, 2012, 11:20:45 pm »

My lambs are 2 weeks old today,the first week i kept them in due the weather and then they went out at a week old all has been fine until now,on feeding them last night i noticed that 1 lamb was away from the others but once they saw me and the bucket they were all back together,went to fed them this morning and noticed the same lamb on its own at the bottom of the field but again they all came running and were reunited  but i just had this feeling something wasn't right,been watching through out the day and its been playing with the others lambs,on dinner time tonight it was left on its own again,the lamb has clearly lost weight,caught the lamb and in the hope mum would go mad she wasn't at all bothered,let the lamb go to her to see what was going to happen she sniffed it and then as it went to take a drink butted it away,i sat watching for about half n hour and the same thing,this lamb is a twin,the ewe is fine with the other lamb,given that the lamb is 2 weeks old it has been feeding but im not sure whats gone wrong,the ewe was a very good mum always calling for the lambs.
So right or wrong as the lamb has lost weight and the weather is forcast heavy rain overynight i have caught it again and brought it in,i have to say it was very easy to catch,the lamb was screaming all the way down the field and not a single ewe or lamb replied,i had some lamilac and bottles so have made up a bottle and there was no problem in him talking the milk straight away sucking he would have took the whole bottle if id have let him, I've let him have 150mls is that about right?
Hes sitting in a dog cage at the moment curled up and quite happy.
Tomorrow do i find another orphan to keep him company and i can put them out together in a small area or do i try to return him to the others and hope i can catch him to feed him.
Any advice




  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: orphan soay lamb
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 12:46:01 am »
Ewes will often favour one twin if they haven't enough milk for two.  Demand increases as the lambs grow, so it can happen that a twin is ok at first but then struggles after a few weeks.

If it takes milk from a bottle, then yes top it up.  If you can catch it one or two more times, you'll find it'll run to you looking for the bottle (every time it sees or hears you!) 

It'll probably be getting a little bit from mum, so maybe aim to get half a ration into it over a 24 hour period and see how it does?  (Check the packaging for the milk replacer you're using to see what a ration is, some of them it's up to 1L, some up to 1.5L - and I guess a full ration for a Soay would be no more than half that, so your lad may need no more than 250-350ml top-up a day.)
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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 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: orphan soay lamb
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 08:56:25 am »
Agree with Sally.....leave it with mum and offer a bottle! Taking it away totally will just cause problems. The fact its running around and playing with the other lambs means its healthy and happy!
www.berry land

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009


  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: orphan soay lamb
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 01:04:54 pm »
With my little one, I kept her with mum and topped up when needed, fortunately for us, mums milk came in with gusto and I haven't had to feed for over a week and it's getting hard to tell the lambs apart (she as the size of my mitten when she was born  :love:).
I think if they can be kept with mum it's better for all involved as even if she's only taking a few sucks from mum, then at least you don't need to worry about mum's udder/mastitis. If you take little one right away then you would need to keep a close eye unless the other lamb is sucking from both sides.
If you're lucky mums milk might take off again and then you can put the bottle away :thumbsup:
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but passive.

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