Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: WEAK LAMB  (Read 7423 times)


  • Joined Nov 2010
« on: March 16, 2011, 02:38:07 pm »
Hi, I have 4 orphan lams which are now 12 days old.  3 are fine and healthy, one has been a struggle to keep alive to be honest.  She was very poorly at about 4 days old with the scours, not interested in milk etc.  I gave her an antibiotic injection (given to me by local farmer), tube fed her glucose solution on recommendation and medication for scours.  She has picked up slowly over the last week and is not eating quite well, although not like the others.

I am feeding her quite often, every 2 to 3 hours during the day and leaving her no longer than 6 hours at night.  My concern now is that her front leg seems to be bent at the knee and she is struggling to stand and walk.  As she is so weak walking is quite difficult but she is trying so hard to do it.  She does not seem to be in any pain, no heat, swelling.  Any ideas?   I am trying to get hold of my local sheep farmer top ask her advise, but she is out lots and hard to reach

These are my first orphans so am totally inexperienced with this.

Thanks Sarah


  • Joined Feb 2010
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 02:47:08 pm »
dont know if i will be of any help but we took 4 orphaned last week and had exactly the same problem with one although the leg thing didn't apply to us.  I made a little fleece jacket which he still wears so that all the energy i was putting in wasn't lost by trying to keep warm.  I kept him with the others and followed the advice given by the other here my threads were poorly lamb urgent and poorly lamb part two.

Made sure he was warm before i fed him (advice they gave)
Made sure his feeds were nice and warm
and just kept trying to get his feeds down him as well as try and offer him sugary water to keep his fluids up

Was she trying to jump around before she got poorly?  have you looked at her feet?  do they look ok?

I am sure others will give you help but what ever happens I hope she pulls through

you might also look at large lamb limping topic too
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 02:56:03 pm by horsemadmummy »


  • Joined Nov 2010
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2011, 03:53:50 pm »
Hi thanks for that.  She is under heat lamp and does not seem cold as she will sometimes move away from it during day if it gets warm.  I have read both the threads you mention and do wonder whether it is a bacteria infection affecting her leg, hopefully I will be able to find my local farmer later and she tell tell me straight away.

I have tried so hard to keep her alive, its so frustrating that she is now feeding ok but problem with her leg.  She was never really well enough to jump about, the other 3 might have pushed her over, but they are quite gently with her really.  I did try and put her in separate enclosure next to them but she misses snuggling with one of them.


  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2011, 04:30:22 pm »
I think you are doing well but also think lamb has joint ill! She will need antibiotics so give vet a phone as if treated she should recover (mind you with orphans nothing is guarenteed) I had a lamb like this 15 years ago who went on to be a working ram for 8 years!
www.berry land

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009


  • Joined Jan 2010
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 07:46:24 pm »
If no joint ill you could try giving her a bit of physio!  Sounds daft but we have done that before and sorted out contracted tendons (where the feet are curled over more than they should) and also a bad case of swayback type deformity with daily physio.


  • Joined Nov 2010
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2011, 08:54:48 pm »
The more I read the more I think it is joint ill, although she does not seem in pain, she also seems to be passing urine very often, she will often stop feeding so I put her down to pee.  It may be that the others also go alot but they are all over the place and I spend lots of time with her.  Will keep you updated.  Sarah


  • Joined Nov 2010
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2011, 04:04:11 pm »
Hello, Just an update, my sick lamb seems to be pulling through.  She spent most of yesterday in the garden with me, laying in the sun while the other 3 caused havoc.
Last night I brought home 2 more lambs, which were her size and she immediately got up and has been walking about more and more and looking much stronger.  My local farmer also came and had a look and dropped some antibiotics in for me to give her.  Am not getting too optimistic yet but she is certainly getting better by the hour.

I was originally going to put all the lambs in the freezer, mine and friends, but she is now staying and so will one of the other ewes so that I can breed my own next year. 

I want to see lambs in the field with their mums as they should be.

Thanks for all your advise 


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