Orphan lamb

wbow14

Member
I have an orphan lamb who lost its mum at about 1-2wks old. 2 weeks later and she’s still refusing the bottle. We have to tube feed her to get anything down which has become a pain to say the least. We’ve tried letting her for longer so that she gets hungry, little and often, different teats. Nothing working so far. Any ideas to get her to accept the bottle? If not, at what age can I forget the milk and just leave her with creep?
 

gatepost

Member
Location
Cotswolds
Have had one or two over the years, very frustrating and the outcome hasn't always been satisfactory, I expect you have tried most things, but milk a bit on warm side, a bit of honey on teat, different milk, after that sprinkle some milk powder on the creep and hope that's enough to keep it going.
 

wbow14

Member
Have had one or two over the years, very frustrating and the outcome hasn't always been satisfactory, I expect you have tried most things, but milk a bit on warm side, a bit of honey on teat, different milk, after that sprinkle some milk powder on the creep and hope that's enough to keep it going.
. Thanks. I’ll give it a go. How old would they be before I can give up on the bottle?
 

GreenerGrass

Member
Location
Wilts
Which teats are you using? Had best results with the screw on Pritchard's ones yellow and red. Pop lamb over your knees and cover the eyes often helps
 
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wbow14

Member
Tried it in a bowl. No interest there either. She has been trying her luck with another ewe but but head butted away every time.
 
How much milk should they be getting in a day - assuming she’s 3-4wks old now.
Mine get 1.2 litre split between 4 feeds.

Which is about what a good mule should be giving 2.5lt a day ie to feed twins.

If you can get some real sheeps milk, just a feed of 150ml would keep it interested in the bottle. Pre warm the bottle too, everything has got to be perfect for the fussy ones.
 

wbow14

Member
Mine get 1.2 litre split between 4 feeds.

Which is about what a good mule should be giving 2.5lt a day ie to feed twins.

If you can get some real sheeps milk, just a feed of 150ml would keep it interested in the bottle. Pre warm the bottle too, everything has got to be perfect for the fussy ones.
Thanks
 

SLA

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
If you can’t find sheep milk try using cows milk and half rate lamb milk powder, if you can get raw cows milk even better.
Dash of honey can also help. You could well find sheep milk in supermarket (definitely get goat milk) but they hide it in ours, for some reason it’s not with the cows milk
 

Keepers

Member
Location
Overton
The earliest I have successfully weaned was 21 days...

If she is 3 weeks now and eating hay/creep I would just phase out the tube feeding completely, also tube length really isn’t designed for a lamb that old and the milk will end up in the wrong destination sooner or later

Just keep an eye on how it is doing with creep and feed, if you get worried it’s gonna completely fade and it’s willing to drink from another ewe just tie up a ewe and let it drink once a day.
Then wean it at 4-5 weeks, but really should be able to survive from 3 weeks even though rumen development will be behind, it can catch up though in the end and some of my biggest ewes now were involved in an early weaning experiment
 

firther

Member
Location
holmfirth
I had a couple of cracking twins loose there mother at 4 weeks a couple of years ago, tried and tried with bottle but they'd no interest, so I just let them run with rest in end, They lost there condition a little and looked pot bellied but after a few week they were good lambs again
 

wbow14

Member
Thanks all. I think I’ll stop with the milk and see how she gets on. By my estimation she must be about 4 wks by now so hopefully just grass and creep will do the trick.
 
I'd a ewe a few years ago, best sheep in the flock always lambed itself, always two smart lambs but as wild as hell.

So when she had triplets, I thought I would rear the ewe lamb as a cade. But due to lots of snow & struggling to keep all the jobs done, they were left in a pen, the four of them for about 3 days may be even longer.

So I removed the ewe lamb & I'm pretty good with cades, but I could not get the thing to drink.

So I was still tubing the lamb when it was three weeks old, then I noticed it was eating creep & drinking water, so stopped tubing. It looked gutty & horrible but it lived, then thrived.

Thrived so well it was put to the tup as a hogg, wild as hell like its Mother, could never get near it. Always jumping out too.

Anyway it did not take the tup & at shearing time we found it had tiny little teats so we suspected it was a free martin (the two litter mates both tups) & sent it in fat. Shame that ewe bred 10 tups lambs & a free martin.
 

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Project Lamport, now in its seventh year, is the UK’s leading R&D trials event. The original concept aimed to develop a cultural approach to blackgrass control, but has since evolved over the years. The site now explores improving soil health, as well as a comprehensive research project that investigates the impact of cultivations, compaction and cover crops on soil structure, organic matter and microbiology.

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