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Author Topic: Tiny lamb  (Read 802 times)


  • Joined Apr 2022
Tiny lamb
« on: April 20, 2022, 10:27:45 pm »
One of our sheep had triplets last week, one of which was so tiny she was not able to reach mothers udder. We have brought her into the kitchen and she has done well on the bottle. She is now 3.5kg and 10 days old. She has deformed front legs bent at the knees but runs around the kitchen after me. I am feeding her every 4 hours or so. I'm wondering how to progress....can I leave her overnight without feeding? When should I move her to the barn? Will she ever be big enough to join the flock? And advice from people with experience would be very wekcome


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2022, 12:20:42 pm »
Cut down the feeds to say 10pm then 6am    11am     5pm or what ever suits  ,personally all lambs get 7am  2pm  9pm


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2022, 02:22:57 pm »
Depends a bit on how much she takes per feed.

I would normally have aalte nigth feed as late as possible (usually around 11pm) and then go out first thing in the morning at 5.30 or so. I would also then not feed a full bottle 1st thing, but rather give half then and another half a couple of hours later (I am assuming she is on milk replacer rather than goatsmilk).

Have her moving round as much as possible to see if her legs improve - where exactly are they bent? If you have multiples it is not unusual that one (or all) of them "knuckle over" - massaging the legs to straighten and allowing plenty of room to run aorund will sort that in a few days.

She would do much better of she had a friend though...


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2022, 02:38:48 pm »
I don't have much experience with bottle feeding, I'm delighted to say but this year for the first time in 26 years we have a rejected Hebridean lamb, one of twins. The ewe lambed outside and I think she got confused with other lambs running up to see their new flockmates. She was flipping the rejected lamb into the air and ramming her against things.  being multihorned she has 2 large prongs on top of her head.  We spent some time with them in a pen (in the polytunnel with the lockdown hens  ::) ) trying the usual tricks to get her to take the lamb but in the end we brought her indoors to bottle feed her. Although she had fed with our help from the ewe so had some real colostrum, we gave her the colostrum we had then onto milk replacer. At first I fed her 5 times a day, last feed at 2am (I'm a night owl), now at a week old she is onto 4 feeds.
We had set up a separate pen for her at the end of the ewe's pen and put her twin sister in with her for a play a couple of times a day. At first the ewe didn't want her even near the bars, but then we noticed that when we brought her in for the night the ewe was calling for her.  So yesterday on day 6, in lovely sunshine we put them out in the FarFar Field which is a small area suitable for a couple of sheep. The lambs were so overexcited it was hilarious, bouncing, gambolling and charging round like Zippy the Hare  ;D  all with Rosetta the ewe chasing round after them.  Today they are so well settled, Rosetta letting both lambs coorie in, but not as far as we know feeding Lark.
Penning the lamb near her mother and sister was an experiment as I was anxious about putting a lone lamb out with the flock on her own and so far it seems to be successful.  Rosetta knows she has two lambs and is now proving to be a lovely first time mum  :hugsheep:

That's really the only experience of bottle feeding I have to share.  Bent legs I have experienced before.  We gave intensive physio trying to straighten them, as instructed by the vet, but sadly by the time that lamb was a couple of months old she still couldn't stand and her knees had worn through so sadly we had to euthanise her.

Ideally for your lamb, it needs a companion or you will be hounded forever, and as she gets bigger she will still think she is a cute tiny lamb and can come into the kitchen!
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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  • Joined Apr 2022
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2022, 03:47:42 pm »
Thank you all for your responses. Taking from your answers I will aim to reduce to 4 feeds. Hopefully that'll be enough as she only takes 150-200ml each time. We think we'll move her into the barn in a pen beside another ewe and her triplets so she could see them anyway. When you say physio on the legs is this just massage or are there particular exercises. Vet did say that as she gets older and heavier she may put too much pressure and may have to be euthanized. Ąttached a photo of her walking. Thanks for taking the time.


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2022, 05:39:16 pm »
Having seen the photo I personally would euthanise the lamb now, looking at the deformed legs they will never straighten. Sorry, the sooner you do it the less stressful and upsetting it is for you.



  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2022, 06:10:21 pm »
Sorry but i too think the deformities are too severe for the lamb to have a good quality of life


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2022, 11:50:31 am »
While I'm tempted to agree to call it now,
Do the legs straighten with manipulation?
If so, would it be possible to put splints on for a few days, see what happens?


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2022, 05:01:39 pm »
That looks deformed rather than contracted tendons. Sadly I’d put it down too.


  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2022, 07:32:59 am »
Firstly  the legs ......  do they straighten if you are holding her up ?  If so then get them splinted with split toilet roll and vet tape NOW!  Then get it out in the sun ....... if tendens then these two things will straighten legs.
This is first thing I would have done ..... got one in the shed now who was similar at day 2 ......  a week later they are much better but resplinted for another couple of days to ensure OK.

Sadly if they are unable to straighten now then I agree time to say goodbye.

As for feeding depends on how much it takes per feed ..... my two bottlies (one triplet and one quad) are having 5 feeds a day at 2-3 weeks (but do go 10 till 7 at night now) .... but they only take 1/2 pint each per feed.   I hope to reduce to 4 feeds per day in next couple of days as they are showing signs of upping intake per feed and starting to nibble hay and weaner pellets a bit. ....  aiming to wean at 6-7 weeks if all ok.   

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  • Joined Apr 2022
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2022, 02:07:25 pm »
Thanks for all your replies.  We agree that she probably will need to be euthanized and we won't delay if she seems in pain or isn't moving around as freely. Today I put on the splints and put her outside so we'll see over next week if that makes a difference.
As for feeding she is managing the night 11-7 now and we're doing every 4 hours in between as she's only taking 150-200 ml per feed.
Thanks again Fiona


  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2022, 03:02:16 pm »
I would have thought splints and putting here outside on a non slippy surface will help her progress. Good luck.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.


  • Joined Apr 2022
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2022, 08:39:01 pm »
Just thought I'd give you an update. Tiny is doing well.  I splinted her legs for 5 weeks gradually reducing the time she was using splints. She has now joined my sisters pet lamb group, again gradually exposing her to the other lambs until she realised she was a lamb. Only left it out as night this week when weather got better and she got confident in the group. Here she is on the left of photo
Thanks again for all your advice.


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Tiny lamb
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2022, 02:40:23 pm »
Glad Tiny is doing well  :thumbsup:


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