Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?  (Read 18674 times)

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2012, 11:04:28 pm »
I've had a problem in the past of a lamb sucking on wool, this is what I did,
pin mum in corner, get lamb and put finger in mouth, push lamb under mum
and this is the hard bit, feel for teet with same hand as the finger in mouth is from,
swap finger for teet and at the same time slip hand back behind
lambs head to hold it on the teet. Generally they get the idea on the second go !!
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

khajou

  • Joined Aug 2010
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2012, 11:08:26 pm »
OLL. Where do you live?

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 #32 on: January 17, 2012, 01:17:36 am »
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)

Isn't it interesting how we have different approaches?

I have never had a problem getting a bottled lamb to take to a ewe.  Sometimes, if a lamb has been on the bottle for quite a while, its suck is too strong for a nervous / first-timer ewe to tolerate, so if fostering a bottled lamb onto such a ewe I would pick a lamb that hasn't been on the bottle for more than a day or two, if possible.  But I have successfully fostered even quite big - and very actively sucking - lambs onto young ewes, in one case a large mule lamb onto a shearling Swaledale - he was already about half her size!  (I picked him on purpose as he was big enough to take care of himself - she'd killed her own very tiny lamb.  She hated him for about a week but couldn't escape him, penned as they were, and then loved him to bits.  She was a very good mum in subsequent years.)

I do actively try to bottle feed lambs that I think are likely to need topping up or even be taken off the mother later on - for instance triplets, or twins on a hogg or thin ewe.  If they've experienced the bottle when they were tiny they adapt to it more readily later on.  I have had a few - not many, but a few - older lambs that wouldn't take to a bottle and whose mams ran out of milk, or died, so the lamb has ended up really struggling or even dying.

But then, I am not the world's most confident tuber of lambs.  I do do it when I need to, but I'll always try to bottle feed first.  I do think once the lamb starts sucking you have a better chance of getting it on the teat - at least it knows what it's trying to achieve! 
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

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2012, 09:19:47 am »
Hi OhLaLa   What happened over night?
"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.

holz306

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2012, 10:20:41 am »
Where abouts are you, maybe someone on here knows someone close by that could help out? My first lambing experience was similar to this, my first ewe lambed early, lost one twin and i ended up bottle feeding the other as the ewe kept trying to attack it as if she didn't reckognisse it as her lamb, and only had interest in the weaker one (the one that died) i tried everything suggested on here wih both lambs, including catching, penning, turning the ewe and milking her but had little success with her so she didn't get bred from again....whether that was the right decision or not i don't know but she turned into a right b*tch of a sheep and i didn't want to risk going through it again.

I think anyone that has had experience of breeding animals will at some point have asked themselves all the questions, should i have interefered/left alone/done enough et.  All you can do is your best, and have faith in the decisions you make then move forward. 

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2012, 11:16:21 am »
How you doing, is it still with you?

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2012, 11:36:51 am »
Lamb didn't make it. Very sad.

-------------------------------------------------

Dogjo - off topic - suggest you start up a new thread if you want to inform about courses.

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 #37 on: January 17, 2012, 11:44:00 am »
OhLaLa I am very sorry to hear about your lamb.  :bouquet:

We all have tragedies along the way, sadly that's one of the ways we learn.

I hope the next few go well and give you some happy bouncing lambs  :love: :sheep: :sheep: - and help to restore you some confidence.

Annie, I think it's great to put info about courses on threads such as these - lots of people will search this thread when looking for help with their own newborn lambs.  But would you also think it is a good idea to create a thread about the courses (if one doesn't already exist) and link to that thread from here (and similar threads)?
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

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2012, 11:51:07 am »
Oh, I'm sorry , :-*

You did your best for it and it didn't have the greatest start, arriving early as it did. Happens to us all, sadly whilst you try your socks off, you can't fix them all  :-\

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2012, 12:15:06 pm »
These things happen, if the lambs were a week early it would have had an uphill struggle. Just watch that the ewe doesn't get mastitis. If you can milk some late colostrum/early milk out of her - freeze it for future use to tube similar cases. If she is very full you may have to ease her out for a few days if you haven't got any lambs to put onto her. And yes ewes are not that easy to milk - tiny teats!

Have you got the Tim Tyne book? - if you cannot go on a course this is the next best thing.

I have warmed lambs up with a hair drier successfully in the past... and I would always tube lambs in preference to bottle-ing them, but will put kids quickly onto the bottle (and milk the nanny) if they are slow to get on. But it is different.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2012, 01:00:33 pm »
I'm so sorry the lamb didn't make it OhLaLa.  There will be a little gap in your flock this year  :(.  It does sound as if the ewe lambed early, so the lambs would have been weaker than normal.  Some lambs just can't survive so don't be too upset about it.  Your next lambs will be bouncing and everything will go ok.

For the future, when the lambs are born, keep a distant eye on them to make sure that they feed in the first few hours.  If they don't feed then they get colder and colder and less likely to feed unassisted. (Cold ears are the first sign, then cold mouth)   Although you can try warming them up with a hotwater bottle (wrap both lamb and the bottle in an old towel and hold them on your lap), on a radiator (in a towel again), in the bottom oven of the aga or under a heat lamp, they will only be truly warm once they have sucked and have a full belly.  However, if they get too cold and you then get milk into them, they can't digest it and can die of that.  So that is why warmed glucose is worth a try, orally.  Injecting it into the abdomen is not something you should try unless you know how to do it, as obviously you could puncture the bowel.  Glucose powder is very cheap from the agric store.
You could need to intervene in a lambing, for which you need the ewe on her side, so you do need to learn how to tip her (whilst not squashing the lamb) - there is a knack to it which makes it fairly easy. Once she is on her side, a foot or knee under her shoulder will keep her there.
 I am wondering whether that overlarge teat you described may have been the problem initially with this lamb.   Sometimes too the lamb can't get the wax plug from the teat if its sucking reflex is not strong, and runs out of energy before it can get any milk.  Milking the ewe would have dislodged the wax and also emptied the udder a bit and reduced the size of the teat, as well as getting her used to something at her teats.
Whilst keeping an eye on her postpartum, you could practice both tipping her and milking her.
As I said before, and others agree, trying to attach a cold lamb to an unwilling teat can be SO frustrating - it makes me furious  ;D
Once a lamb has fed it will curl up happily and sleep for ages - if it's warm and sleeping soundly, even if you don't see it feed, then it is ok. If you pick it up it will feel heavier than it did at birth.  An unfed lamb will stand up looking hunched and cold, with a sucked-in belly, or lie flopped out on the straw.

So, put this behind you but learn from it - we are all learning all the time, and I think most of us have been where you just have.  :bouquet:
"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.

Cinderhills

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • North Yorkshire
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2012, 06:33:27 pm »
I am so sorry. :(  I was getting stressed just reading your posts.  I feel for you.  From my limited experience you must learn how to feed via a stomach tube, could a local sheep farmer help?  Last year I had to do this for a lamb who started life in the Aga.  It was invaluable as I knew he was getting enough colostrum (I used powdered as was hard for me to get it from the mother) and he didn't want to suckle from a bottle.

I don't know how I would have coped with that situation in my first year of lambing.  Things will get better for sure.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2012, 07:09:17 pm »

Annie, I think it's great to put info about courses on threads such as these - lots of people will search this thread when looking for help with their own newborn lambs.  But would you also think it is a good idea to create a thread about the courses (if one doesn't already exist) and link to that thread from here (and similar threads)?
I already did - any courses I mention will be CSSA (Central Scotland Smallholders) and very soon SimonO will be taking over this mantle!  ;) ;D
http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/forum/index.php?topic=19842.msg186031#msg186031
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

Tilly

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • "Possibilities and miracles mean the same thing"
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2012, 08:45:05 pm »
Hi OhLALA
......sorry to read the outcome- but I`m afraid lambing time can be a roller coaster of emotions  :-\ :bouquet:

-Take a deep breath, roll your sleeves up! and back to looking after everything else........

Tilly


Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: urgent - newborn lamb - should I 'help'?
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2012, 09:10:34 pm »
Really sorry to hear about your lamb and all the trauma. I had my fingers crossed for you both. :(

Hope the rest of your lambing goes well. :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:

 

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