Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Weak lamb  (Read 2923 times)


  • Joined Feb 2016
Weak lamb
« on: February 14, 2016, 04:48:36 pm »
Hi all.

I'm after a bit of advise. I have just had triplets born, two got straight up and fed as you would expect the other struggled and didn't manage to stand. I have tubed colostrum and a kickstrter along with spectrum. The trio and the ewe have been put under a heat lamp. Lamb still seems unresponsive and hasn't yet been able to stand after a good few hours. Is there anything else I can do is it just time to let fate take its course?

I had the same yesterday on a twin lamb however that one seemed much more lively just couldn't stand and died through the night after doing all of the above aswell.

The ewes are on adlib hay and around 1kg of hard feed a day. I don't scan so wasn't aware of the triplets.

So just want to make sure I'm not missing anything?


Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Weak lamb
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2016, 09:19:25 pm »
I'd try repeating th colostrum, but maybe try a bottle, does it have any sucking reflex?
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Weak lamb
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2016, 10:12:55 pm »
Be very careful with a ewe under a heat lamp.....they're flammable you know!

They are also not the most efficient way of warming a lamb as heat only comes from above. If it the only heat source you have it will need to be turned (the lamb) regularly and tubed little and often. Only tube if it can hold its head up.
Good luck


  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Weak lamb
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2016, 11:15:47 pm »
A little glucose too.


  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Weak lamb
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2016, 07:47:53 am »
firstly you MUST take their temperature as how to proceed depends on body temp.... this article has very useful flow diagram to follow and advice on warming box (which as said before is better than lamp)

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.
Nantygroes  facebook page


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Weak lamb
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 10:25:48 am »
Put a hot water bottle (in a cover or wrapped in a towel or bit of fleece) underneath the lamb, if it needs warming and you haven't got a warming box ;)

Unless you have a Rayburn or Aga, of course, in which case, that's what the warming oven is for!   :D
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

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Weak lamb
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 11:00:41 am »
Was it mustard coloured when it was born?  In which case the birth fluids may have been stained with meconium and the lamb very stressed by a lengthy birth.  I'd take its temperature and, if low, either remove all three to the house or, if you can bottle feed or hope to later adopt it onto a freshly lambed ewe with a single, take it on its own to the house, put it into a jacket made from a rectangle of old sweatshirt or similar and put it in a well bedded large cardboard box in your warmest room.  Get more colostrum into it asap, as its brown fat will start to be exhausted after 6 hours. If it can't hold its head up you'll have to stomach tube it - if you're not confident doing this contact your vet or an experienced shepherd if you know one. You have a very small time window to get it going.  Did the ewes have a booster vaccination 4-6 weeks before lambing?



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