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Author Topic: rejected twin lamb - only 2 sheep  (Read 316 times)

louwxlls

  • Joined May 2022
rejected twin lamb - only 2 sheep
« on: May 23, 2022, 09:51:29 am »
hi everyone  :sheep:  this is my first post here so go easy on me!! haha

my dad has had cows for as long as i can remember but last year we acquired a sheep (it was left by accident in the field and the farmer told us to keep it) so i took it under my wing and it became mine and then we got another sheep to keep it company and that's all we have, they've stayed in the fields for the last year we've had them except once where we put them in the cow shed in a very bad storm but that's it - we have no lambing or sheep shed.

i wanted to keep them just as pets and not breed but dad got a tup to them and 1 was definitely pregnant (now given birth 3.5 days ago) and the other either isn't pregnant at all or weeks behind this one.

so the first sheep has given birth to twins (family member who's a sheep farmer had to come and help because he said there was no way it'd have given birth by itself - so might have been slightly traumatic birth for mum but nothing major) but it's rejected the smaller first twin (lamb 1) and took the second bigger twin (lamb 2), the first one took a while to get to his feet which is why we think she might have rejected him.

anyway - there's no way he can go into the field without either her or the other sheep ramming him away or trying to bite him (just mum not the other sheep), he's been sleeping in the cow trailer where mum gave birth for the past 3 nights and comes out often for bottling and to play in the garden with the dog and trots around after us.  :dog: :sheep: :love:

we've now moved the cows two fields up so we have a bigger field for the sheep and lamb 2 to go in and we'll have the paddock (where they currently are) for lamb 1 to go in to get used to the fields. but what do we do with him?

dad says he should go in the field and stay there he can't live in the trailer forever, that's where he belongs but i don't want him to be completely isolated and potential fox food because he's not even 4 days old and no mum to protect him - just wondering if anyone has any advice ???

thanks  :fc:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: rejected twin lamb - only 2 sheep
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2022, 12:26:42 pm »
@louwxlls  what a shame you didn't post this earlier. We had our first ever rejected lamb this year, one of twins.  I was very aware of the 'what shall we do with it' dilemma so came up with a scheme. The ewe and her accepted lamb was penned (in our polytunnel, with the lockdown hens) then we made another pen onto the end of the ewe's pen for the rejected lamb. The ewe had rejected her viciously, and being a 4 horned Hebridean it was quite dangerous. We fed the lamb in the pen and put her twin in with her for playtime a couple of times a day (the sibling bond is much stronger in sheep than mother-lamb). The ewe stopped trying to kill the lamb through the bars and watched carefully as she was fed. We brought the lamb in at night so I didn't have to go traipsing around in the dark to feed her, and when she was taken the ewe began calling for her.  After a week we were able to put all three back out into the pastures. The ewe now loves her two lambs, although she doesn't feed the rejected one, and the whole flock is fascinated by the process of bottle feeding.


So it all turned out ok for us, but it doesn't solve your problem. No, you can't put him outside at night yet at the mercy of foxes and the ewes, so the cattle trailer it has to be. Were you to pen him as we did with his mum and twin, then the other sheep would be on her own which isn't good welfare.
My suggestion is that you take him into the field to feed him and play with him, which will attract the twin to watch too so at the very least they will each have a playmate. As the post lambing time becomes more distant and the lamb is less newborn looking, the ewes will hopefully relax and stop shoving the lamb, and eventually he will be accepted and can live outside.
btw has he been ringed? If you want to keep him he will need to be castrated, and it has to be done in the first 7 days, so maybe take him back to the person who helped with the birth for ringing.
As it was your father who organised the tupping then he must accept that the lamb needs care and safety so has to remain in the trailer for a while until he is accepted as part of your mini flock  8)
Good luck  :hshoe: :sheep:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

louwxlls

  • Joined May 2022
Re: rejected twin lamb - only 2 sheep
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2022, 01:30:28 pm »
@Fleecewife oh i'm so happy it all worked out for your 3! great idea about having the pen close and putting the lambs together! thank you so much for your advice!

there's no way at the moment that i'd be able to put the two lambs together in the field without mum butting lamb 1 so i might take them out together when mum's next to the fence so she's still close by - just until she ( :fc:) get's used to them being together!

yep both lambs are ringed! we got him to come back the next day and check on the lambs and ring them both - thank you!!

thank you so much for your help!!  :love: :sheep:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: rejected twin lamb - only 2 sheep
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2022, 11:35:56 pm »
I hope all goes well for the lambs and the ewes too  :hugsheep:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: rejected twin lamb - only 2 sheep
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2022, 02:42:18 pm »
If your dad wants him out of tbe trailer, could you get some pallets and make a pen for him in the field? If you could tack something on the outside and top of the pallets to make it wind/rain proof it should be OK? Then other lamb may stay near if it can, and mum as well.
Have you looked for any sign the the other is in lamb? Any sign of an udder?

 

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