Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Weak lamb, won't suck  (Read 2842 times)


  • Joined Dec 2017
Weak lamb, won't suck
« on: December 24, 2017, 03:56:05 am »
Hi everyone,

I have a sweet little bottle lamb who is about three weeks old. His mother wasn't feeding him, I don't know why other than maybe because she has worms? Anyway he was very weak but after a couple days of bottle feeding he got much better. He was energetic and taking more and more at feedings. Then he started getting weak again and slowly stopped taking the bottle. We are tube feeding him but he is not getting better. His temp was 104.2 and respiratory rate is 60. His nose and lips are pale. I think he might have pneumonia and worms?? We have him garlic juice for the worms, I'm afraid to give him a chemical wormer at his age. We are going to try to give him penicillin tomorrow. Anyone have any ideas? We are newbies to sheep!


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Weak lamb, won't suck
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 01:36:42 pm »
A 3 week old lamb shouldn’t have a high worm burden at that age. I would ring the vet today as if he’s that bad he might be dead tomorrow. Lambs go downhill very fast and different antibiotics are suited to different bacterial infections so they may suggest something different, and metacam to bring the temperature down.


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Weak lamb, won't suck
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 06:38:07 pm »
Hope you've had him to the VET , 3 WK old lamb should have no worms , if it is scouring which is why you think worms 'probably cocci

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Weak lamb, won't suck
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 07:12:06 pm »
Could be one thing or several in combination.  When you're inexperienced with a class of livestock the vet is your best friend.  The younger the animal the faster they can go downhill and the quicker they can go uphill again if the problem is caught and treated straight away.  Worms will not be a problem at such a young age.  I would echo that coccidiosis is quite likely.  Have you read the Sheep Bok for Smallholders by Tim Tyne?   You may find it very helpful.


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Weak lamb, won't suck
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 07:22:37 pm »

I hope you managed to get the vet today.

Why do you think the ewe had worms? Did she have milk? Did you try to get the lamb to suckle? Did it get colostrum, from the ewe or did you give it a powdered one? Was it a normal birth?

Have you got other ewes to lamb?



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