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Author Topic: Possible Blind Lamb  (Read 14039 times)


  • Joined Jun 2012
  • S W northumberland
Possible Blind Lamb
« on: April 22, 2013, 10:15:21 pm »
We have a lamb here that is on the bottle , we are 99% sure it is blind  :(
When she came we noticed she was different within minutes but as the week has gone on we are convinced she cant see.
She is a very strong feeder but as soon as you pick her up she starts sucking on anything she gets her mouth on ,
She does find the creep and hay and nibbles on both but  when she gets to a sheep hurdle she puts his head through it and tries to continue to walk  :-\
Any idea what her future would be like or if she even has a future?
If she could manage she would have a home for life with a stable and secure paddock to live in and another ewe lamb for company
she is living in a stable at the moment with the other orphans
Any advice would be great


  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 10:37:50 pm »
Maybe she isn't, my orphan tonight was following me about as I did a few joinery repairs and was sucking my fleece, chin and ears - but as soon as I move she follows my ankles/trousers - in her pen she definitely believes she can get through!! Hope she picks up.
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 12:15:26 am »
I wrote this on another thread about my blind lamb:
A Shetland ewe here had a single blind ewe lamb a few years ago (the ewe herself had only one eye but that was unrelated and it's a different story  :sheep:   ;D )  Once we realised the lamb was blind (she ran away from her dam every time she was approached and was quite scared) we penned them up together for a few days.  The lamb wouldn't feed when outside and I was worried the ewe wouldn't cope even in the pen.  We left them overnight expecting a dead lamb by the morning but she was up and bouncing - unfortunately smack into the pen sides which made us all wince.  After a couple of days we put them outside together - lamb stayed close beside her dam and the dam soon became used to her lamb's funny ways.  We thought she wouldn't join in with the lamb wacky races, but she would put herself right in the middle of the group, so she could hear lambs all around her, then run as fast as they did.  She did occasionally crash, but mostly she was ok.   Once she grew a bit older the ewe would wander further afield to graze, and the lamb would follow her scent trail to find her, if she wasn't calling - this meant that even if her dam was only 20 yards away, the lamb would take a wiggly route to find her.  Eventually she was weaned and continued to find her way about but a couple of years later her dam died.  I felt sorry for her as she was now lonely, having relied so much on her dam.  So we put her to the tup  :o .  When her lamb was born we had the reverse of her own birth - she would butt the lamb if she went straight to the udder, so the lamb learnt to bump the blind dam's chest so she could smell her, before going under to feed.
Because your lamb would have another one for close company, like having a twin, I think she would be fine.  They might have to stay together forever, with the sighted lamb keeping an eye (ha) on the blind one.  Our Alice dropped down dead suddenly when she was about 4, no obvious cause, but she had a very happy and relatively normal life.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 12:20:09 am by Fleecewife »
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  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2013, 06:23:41 am »
Hi I am in NZ and have two blind sheep.  One -also called Alice is 6 years old and is the fattest healthiest sheep ever!  She has lived with her mates (all pets) for her life since she was found blinded by pink eye as a four- six week old lamb on a friends farm.  She wouldnt feed from the bottle and was very  dehydrated, but came right with lamb meal, grass and possibly a bit of water from the bottle.  I talk to her constantly when with her, and she became tame and reliant on myself and the other pet sheep very quickly. She calls if she is lost or worried, and listens intently to everything that goes on. I keep her only in safe paddocks, you have to make sure there are no sharp things (such as wire ends on the fence sticking out) holes in the ground and ponds or rivers.  She is incredible and knows her way around her paddock and a couple small ones that she and her friend are rotated into.  I put her in the same one each night with a good shelter, and she finds her way in.  I have also just got a 4 month old lamb with her sighted mother who was born blind, the three of them now are living together) the weather is terrible here and I am keeping her in the shed with supplements and a pile of grass so she does not chill (she has a cover on) until she knows her way around properly and has put more weight on. Just before i got her, she was bumped by some bigger lambs (she is small) and hurt her back making her back legs limp at different times.  With med from the vet this is coming right after three weeks. I am wondering with her if she has a skin over one of her eyes, which i will get the vet to look at once she is stronger. The other is folded and blind.  Check that your lamb does not have pink eye, as i have had totally blind lambs with this (sore and red and weeping)which were totally blind, who with ointment from the vet can now see.  One is still blind in one eye as it had ruptured but it has healed. 

So YES blind lambs  become strong and healthy and love their lives too, the sun and warmth, being patted and hanging out with their paddock mates.  You sound like your setup is great, I think she will be fine.  Try to find out though what has caused it, if she has a infection or it is just how she is.  Blind eyes are milky normally.  Lead her around the paddock as she grows and watch that the other lambs ae gentle with her.  Sheep pellets shaken in a bucket are a good lead.

I dont breed any lambs, and would suggest probably avoid breeding from her, as there will be enough stress in her life with shearing , vaccinations etc .  Though Fleecewife your Alice sounds like she got it sorted with her lamb! Good luck!


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2013, 06:45:31 am »
sokel I posted almost indentically last week!!!.... But I'm not sure he's blind now - still tries to feed off everything except the teat in front of him, but follows me around the field so who knows? Strongest lamb we have so far! My neighbour said - 'no he's just daft'!   Good luck and great posts above.


  • Joined Jun 2012
  • S W northumberland
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2013, 07:41:51 am »
Thanks for the replies, She does bump into things and if we go in there quietly she does not respond until we speak. Once we speak her head turns to our direction and she heads that way. As long as we keep talking she finds us but if we are quiet she goes past us.
She cant find the bottle racks so she is on bottles only.
She would have a lifetime home and we would keep one of the ewe lambs as a companion for her, infact we have already noticed one in particular always sleeps beside her


  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2013, 07:56:47 am »
thats fabulous I think shell be fine, good luck.


  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2013, 09:35:23 am »

She would have a lifetime home and we would keep one of the ewe lambs as a companion for her, infact we have already noticed one in particular always sleeps beside her

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  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2013, 11:04:38 am »
We had a blind lamb we reared on the bottle - and she did manage the bottle-rack system, by learning to follow the others in the pack to the rack.

It's a long story but she's ended up still here and in lamb. ::)

Graham, I've PMed you about her - she and your wee lamb would have something special in common!  Although it could of course be the blind leading the blind - literally!  :roflanim:
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 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2013, 02:21:09 pm »
One of my best Dorset Downs was totally blind from birth....we didnt notice to start with ntil she walked straight into a gate post! She went on to lamb herself and was a very good if very loud mum. She had a special friend in another ewe who was a lamb at the same time as her and would walk by her. She was sold eventually to a forever home with her friend.
They manage very well, the only 'problem' i had was when lambing trying to move her and a new lamb/s into a pen took 2 people at least!!!!
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  • Joined Jun 2012
  • S W northumberland
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2013, 10:12:29 pm »
Thanks we have decided she will just stay here and we will take things from day to day, might even have a friend coming in the future  for her  ::)


  • Joined Jun 2012
  • S W northumberland
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2013, 08:33:49 pm »
Sadly we lost this little one today  :(  She didnt get up for the first feed this morning then only took half what she usualy does. We took her indoors and She gradualy deteriated as the day went on and she died at 3pm
Really got to me  :'(


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2013, 09:53:31 pm »
Oh that's so sad. Wasn't expecting that  :'( . You have a big lovely heart and I'm sure her short life was a happy one.


  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 12:05:27 am »
I am so sorry to hear that, you take care. You sound like you really tried, and it will have made such a difference for her knowing there was someone there for her, that she wasnt all alone.  It is very sad.


  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Possible Blind Lamb
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 07:15:36 am »
Sorry to hear about your little lamb, bless her heart  :bouquet:


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