Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?  (Read 18671 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2012, 02:22:00 pm »
Assuming the lamb can still hold its head up, it needs as much colostrum as you can get into it, urgently.  When you say 'sachet' is that sachet of replacement milk or of colostrum replacer? 

I always aim for a minimum of 100ml colostrum, in two feeds if necessary, within ideally the first 2 hours and at most the first 6 hours.  More is better, up to half a litre, but my experience is that lambs which get less than 100ml colostrum or colostrum replacer within the first six hours will die.

If you haven't got colostrum replacer and can't milk the ewe, do you have a dairy farm nearby?  The farmer there may be able to let you have some cattle colostrum - it's very much third best but it is better than nothing.

It sounds as though you have got the lamb sucking the bottle now - well done.  But if it won't take as much as it needs you may still have to tube it.

Oh, you've just posted again and you think there is a chance it has taken colostrum from mum.  Let's hope so.  50-100ml extra certainly won't hurt it - but I wouldn't overfill it with formula if you think it can, or you can get it to, get mum's milk.

If the ears are cold and its lethargic, as Juliet says it could probably do with some glucose.  I use Rehydion - it's actually formulated for calves but I find it excellent for lambs.  It gives energy, vitamins, and rehydrates.  You can mix it in water if the lamb is very weak and in milk if the lamb will take it.  Failing that, there's PSF (Pfizer Scour Formula) - again, designed for calves but works for lambs, which being a powder you mix with water will also help rehydrate.  You can also use Lamb Boost or other similar squirt-in-the-mouth vitamin-and-energy products, but that won't help get water into it.

I don't dispute what others here are saying about glucose directly but haven't any experience of that myself.

Its immunity will be compromised by the lack of colostrum in the first few hours, so you may want to think about OraJet as a precaution against some of the bugs it will come across if it survives. 

If the teat is huge it could be too big for the lamb's mouth; this can happen especially when the lamb continues to not suck and the udder and teat just get bigger and bigger and bigger.  If this is the case and the lamb neither sucks nor do you milk the ewe out, the ewe could develop mastitis and/or metabolic disturbances.

Can you not tip the ewe over on her bottom and milk her into a bottle or jug?  If not, get a halter on her head, tie her up, and use your body to hold her against the side of the pen while you milk her into a jug.  If you can't, get someone - anyone, although someone experienced, a farmer or vet would of course be preferable - to help you. 

Re-reading your post it sounds as though the ewe and lamb are running around outside?  I don't know where you are but if it's winter there I would have them penned up in a lambing pen in the warm and dry where I can check them every couple of hours and keep topping the lamb up / hold it against the teat if needed.  If the lamb is weak and not sure of the teat, being out in the open it is unlikely to get enough milk.

And as the lamb has cold ears, although thankfully is not cold in its mouth, it sounds as though somewhere warm and dry for the night for it and mum would be a good plan.

I'm sorry this is disjointed - I'm trying to adapt it as new posts come in!
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

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2012, 02:24:51 pm »
Put mum and lamb in a pen together in the warm and go and have a cup of tea. So long as the lamb can stand and walk unaided, is looking for the teat etc and wool clipped back from udder so it gets a clear run at it might just be a bit too much worrying and interferance will not help the situation! Good luck!
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2012, 02:28:26 pm »
Good - it's holding its head up, it's suckling and it's not cold in its body.

I'd now do as Val says and leave it to find its mum's teat, as long as you've clipped the fleece clear so it can find it. If it were me I'd bring my cuppa back to the barn and get myself comfortable on a bale and watch from a distance.

Fingers crossed nature takes over positively  :)

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2012, 02:36:13 pm »
They are in a pen which is in a small field shelter in the field. Closed on all sides bar one which also has a hay bale to help give wind block. Not v warm out there.

On my own, no help for moving them and no ready building which is warmer than where they are now.

I've checked my first aid kit - no thermometer! On my way to vet now to get colostrum and glucose, doubt he will have a thermometer.

That teat is so large, the lamb is trying to suck above the teat and won't stay 'low' even when I get the teat into it's mouth. It lets go, moves up higher and sucks wool.

I'll have a word with the vet and see what he says but for my part, it's all guess work.

Yes, I am a worrier re my flock. New to this part of smallholding and I really care about my sheep.

Appreciate you guys helping me out, thank you SO much.

Off to the vet now for supplies. Will let you know how it goes.

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2012, 02:41:17 pm »
Heat lamp!!!!! Just run out to the shed on long extension lead -----you really need this. Also you can if necessary take a old jumper..wool or fleece not acrylic knit and cut off sleeve. Make 4 big slits where lambs legs and pop it on like a jumper with head end out of sleeve.  If ram lamb cut hole for it to wee!!! keep well back from bottom so mum can still smell its hers. Can be a life saver!

Preparation is half the battle when lambing....
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2012, 03:04:02 pm »
It would be an interesting day indeed if I met a vetenarian who didn't have access to a  thermometer. 

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2012, 03:21:44 pm »
Electricity too dangerous to leave on out there and roof too low to hang a lamp.

Vet was out! And as I thought, no thermometers for sale.

Got the coloustrum from them but they had no glucose, tried the chemist for glucose - none there but they can get 750gm for tomorrow (25).




woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2012, 03:29:14 pm »
try tesco for glucose....cake section ::)

how come your roof is not high enough ??? if you and the sheep can get in it must be? also i use sometimes an extension lead designed for going outside...with a safety cut out.....you can buy it all in Screwfix!

Can you get yourself on a lambing course before the rest lamb??? It might help and the cost will be less than a finished lamb so well worth it? :thumbsup:
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2012, 03:38:16 pm »
Any decent size supermarket or any size chemist will have liquid glucose, in a small bottle, more like 2-3 than 25??. And any local sheep farmer will help out in an emergency.

def also go for the jumper, Ive also used a small dog coat on bigger lambs.

Def get Mum sitting on her bum facing away from you with her back leaning against your legs, it's quite easy then to milk out some milk into a container and then put it into a bottle.(I say its easy cos Im pretty hopeless and have managed it!).

Lambing courses are very useful esp as eg the one I went on they give you a flow chart that details what to do. That chart underlines how important temperature of the lamb can be as to which way you go with treatment (it can kill them if you go the wrong way) so would really recommend it - ours was held in commercial lambing time so was before our lambing so there may well be one on soon nearby at an agric college.


jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2012, 03:39:33 pm »
Feed ordinary sugar (sucrose) in the absence of glucose. Could mix it into the colostrum mix, save feeding two things separately.
If elec. not safe, woolly jumper and regular hot water bottles will help. Hopefully mum will take over. Fingers crossed.

This website is good:
Http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/English/livestock/sheep/facts/98-089.htm
Shows how to make a warming box too.

To make a 20% sucrose solution, for it to drink, you need 20g sugar dissolved in every 100ml water - or 8oz dissolved in 2pints!
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 04:57:54 pm by jaykay »

Dougal

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Port O' Menteith, Stirlingshire
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2012, 04:28:34 pm »
Ach it's no drama, you lack a wee bit experience. That's not a fault just a fact o life, we all have to start at the bottom and learn our own ways. Take a breath in these situations. The lamb is early and therefore will always be weaker than normal but on the plus side you've got a good mum there and the lamb is still trying so it's got plenty energy left in the tank. They are out of the worst of the weather which will be more than enough for the two of them. That wee lamb has got the biggest boiler in it's world right next to it to help keep it warm. As for the milk situation. Tip the ewe on her bum. squeeze the wax from her teats, drop the lamb on it's ribs (lambs backbone along the ewe's leg, doesn't matter what side, the tit to put the lamb on will be obvious) Squeeze the teat as if you are going to milk the ewe but before the milk comes out stick the teat in the lambs mouth and squirt the milk in the lambs mouth holding the lambs head to keep the teat in its mouth. Do this a few times, if the lamb doesn't suck then tickle his tail and rump. That should help stimulate him to suck. Keep you patience this can take what feels like hours. keep milking the ewe into the teat so that there is a good pressure of milk for the lamb to suckle. If this fails. milk the ewe (about 80ml) and tube the little sod! Then go and have a cuppy for you have done all you can. If it is a ewe lamb take a nick from it's ear and don't keep it for stock!
It's always worse for someone else, so get your moaning done before they start using up all the available symathy!

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2012, 05:37:22 pm »
Right, nothing more i can do tonight, other animals and little people need me now. Not sure if lamb will make it but have done what I can. I'll be cutting myself up either way if it doesn't get through the night. Should have left it to mum/didn't do enough/should have brought it in.

I can't catch and tip the ewes, haven't got the knack and they are strong.

It has it's little jumper jacket as suggested, not over bum or lower back so mum can sniff the lamb. I've put more hay bales around the exterior of pen as an extra wind block. Lamb is starting to look to me as I've fed it, so of course I'm worrying all the more now but have left it with it's natural mum.

Thanks Dougal, yes, I certainly lack experience with sheep.

No courses i could do otherwise I would have been on one well before now. And i can't spare the time to go off on one.

The roof space inside isn't high enough to hang a lamp, it is too low. I can't even stand up in there.

Again, my thanks to all you experienced shepherds for your advice. Appreciate you taking the time away from your flocks to reply to this post.





SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2012, 06:28:45 pm »
If you can't go on a course (and lets face it - I haven't) - the DVD 'Lamb Survival' by David C Henderson is a useful thing.

Print out that chart I linked to so that you have it handy in future.

Its interesting to learn what other people do, I would never bottle feed anything that I wanted to suckle a ewe, always tube feed (and you know exactly what quantity the lamb is getting when you tube it) and I'd never thought to give glucose orally, would always inject (not that I can see anything wrong with giving it orally). I've found those mineral pumps an absolute git to administer, ending up mostly round the lambs face so I tube those, too mixed in with a bit of colostrum. There's no reason sheep need an actual shed, windbreaks with bales are absolutley fine.

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2012, 08:27:12 pm »
We've all been there! i've been lambing a few years now and still get caught out with situations you don't expect. But this is a plea to all you new lambers and not so new, if you can't go on a course and let's face it a course can't cover everything, get yourselves a couple of really good sheep books.
My copies are still used and are well thumbed, i still use for reference and if you read up a bit before you start lambing, you have a head start of what to expect. Emergencies often happen in the night when no one is on-line to help you but your book is always there.
Also do some research are your breeds difficult lambers or are they best left alone.
Also get some experience; tubing a lamb is quite easy when you know how and can mean life or death for a cold newborn. Try to find a friendly farmer who will show you how.
Good luck and remember nature wants lambs to survive and mostly they do, take a step back and a deep breath before rushing in. and sometimes with all the help we can give they still die , that's just the way it goes, don't beat yourself up about it

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2012, 09:43:23 pm »
If anyone in Central Scotland wants a lambing course we (Central Scotland Smallholders) are running one on 11th February.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

 

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