Bottle Lamb

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chickenlovernoteater, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. chickenlovernoteater

    chickenlovernoteater Out Of The Brooder

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    I work at a large animal vet clinic, so we have many different animals come in all the time. One of the vets went out on a call to a farm, and called me asking if I wanted to take a 3 day old lamb. The mother had died giving birth to twins, and the sibling died yesterday. The farmers did not want to deal with the newborn lamb, so I of course took it in:rolleyes:

    Anyways, I have vets telling me how to care for it, but I need more information, or at least as much as I can get. I have never owned a lamb, and had been researching goats thinking that one day I would get a kid. So, does anyone have any advice or good links to information??????? Thanks!
     
  2. Moonwalker

    Moonwalker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First question: Was he able to nurse from the ewe at all? This is important, becasue if not, he didn't get the colostrum and will have a compromised immune system. You may have to contact the farmer to find out or if he gave a colostrum supplement.
    If not, then ask the vet about boosters. It is too later to give a colostrum replacer,as after 12-24 hours, they can't absorb it. With foals, sometimes we give them a transfusion of blood from an older horse to boost the immune system. But I think sheep are hardier in general than horses.
    OF COURSE: they need a warm dry place to sleep. I had one I named Hary Potter becasue he slept in the closet under the stairs! I just tacked a piece of mesh up across it knee high. By the time he was able to jump out, he was big enough for a pen on the porch.
    Lambs love to cuddle with a warm object. I used to put a gallon jug of hot water wrapped in a towel in with mine. If you have them in the house, you can put diapers on them while they are running loose for excercise. They tend to like to climb/jump on top of things like laundry baskets and sofas to pee. [​IMG]
    second: for the first 10 days, 2 weeks they will need to be fed evey 2-3 hours round the clock. After that you can taper off the nightime feedings. My last bottle babies, by the time they were 2 weeks were getting the last bottle about 10 PM and the first in the morning when I got up at 6 AM, and every 4 hours during the day.

    Do not let him butt you! It's cute now, but when he gets bigger, you will find he can't be trusted around children and can hurt an adult.
     
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    The orphans I always took in I kept inside my kitchen in the farm house in a large box... if you do this they can't go out to a barn soon as they will develop pnuemonia or I had one that did and died on me..I always took my advice from the sheep farmer I got them from, they would call and say can you bottle feed one for us?... I kept mine in baby diapers and bottle fed every 4 hours... Raised mine up just fine like this...my daughter enjoyed this so much when she was little, she would sit and read to them...
     
  4. chicksnducks

    chicksnducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We got two bottle fed lambs for Christmas this year for my eight year old. We were told that we could feed them eight ounces twice a day and offer them sweet grains as well. We kept them in the barn, with a heater to keep them warm. They are both healthy and fun but they sure do make the barn smell, well, just like a barn!
    Good luck...[​IMG]
     
  5. chickenlovernoteater

    chickenlovernoteater Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice! Now, another question for you lamb/sheep owners. Since he is a male, am I going to have a problem with agressive head butting?? I am planning on neutering in about a week, but does castration solve that problem??? He is not butting me yet, but I am so new to this and slightly worried [​IMG]
     
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Well, get him castrated as soon as possible...mine were always band when I got them as 1 or 2 day olds....there isn't anything any funnier than finding those things on your kitchen floor when they fall off [​IMG] ..mine didn't butt much and I had castrated males....
     
  7. Moonwalker

    Moonwalker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Butting is natural behavior/play. If they nudge the bottle when you feed, that's fine, but don't let then start nudging your body, legs etc. Push them down BEHIND the head or on the back. If you shove at their head or push them aside, they will see it as an invitaion to play and later, as a challenge. This works with calves and goats as well.
     
  8. Run-A-Muck Ranch

    Run-A-Muck Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I didn't fix our male lambs until they were at least 2 weeks old. Only because I read to wait until they are at least 10days to make sure all their little parts dropped into place. So I waited until day 14 just to make sure.
    This was our first lambing. And we did pretty good.
    We have 4 rams, 12 ewes and ended up with 11 babies (12 but one didn't make it~~ of these we had 6 ewes and 5 rams ~~the one that didn't make it was also a ewe).

    Last year I had 4 bottle babies. That is how I started my flock. With bottle baby ewes.
    They love the bottle. I might of had them on the bottle longer than needed, but they are healthy lovely 1 year old girls now.
    MAKE SURE THEY DON'T GET COPPER.....
    Our babies this year were about a week old when I started to notice them mouthing hay and grain.
    They were probably actually 2 or 3 weeks old when the started to actually eat it. They were probably about the same age when they discovered the water buckets too and started to sip water. They were still nursing from mom. So not sure how much water they actually took in.
    Sheep like to be with others, So IMO I would suggest getting him another friend. either a ewe or another wether. (Just an idea).
    I guess the big thing is to make sure he doesn't get any copper in the feed. Other animal (cow, horse, etc) has copper in it. To much will kill sheep. So make sure of that.
    Another thing I found out~~ is sheep can get what it is called "white muscle disease". From what I was told by local sheep people in my area and vets. The soil around here doesn't have enough selenium (Sp??) So they need to have a "Bo-Se" injection. Now if the mineral block (for sheep) has it when he starts eatting food it should be ok, otherwise if the mineral block isn't offered he should have the
    "Bo-Se" shot.
    Sorry if this is all been repeated in either other posts, or even told to you by the vets, but just trying to offer what I have learned/been told.
    Best of luck
    Shawna
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    You can certainly do this. The only issue is that the lamb will become very attached to you. When they day goes that he/she has to go to "meat lamb school" it could be very hard!

    As far as milk replacer goes, Land 'O Lakes is simply the best. Do NOT buy generic milk replacer (multispecies). Do NOT buy kid milk replacer. As mentioned above, copper is toxic to sheep. So, you often see multispecies mineral being sold with copper in it, even when it's labeled for sheep!

    So, you will want to bottle feed for 4-6 weeks, gradually weaning. Get it eating grass as soon as possible so the rumen develops properly. You will want to band tha tail below the vulva/anus within the first week. Around 4 weeks you'll want get the first round of vaccines in him/her.

    Probably the best thing you could do would be to find someone who's milking goats and let the little guy have goat milk, or let him clamp onto a dairy goat a couple times per day.
     
  10. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Our first orphan lamb went to market with the original sheep owners when it was time...I went with the lady owner and that was the worse experience of my life leaving that orphan lamb baaaaing his heart out...never again did I do that...

    We always sold to someone that wanted a pet sheep in the flock of ewes...
     

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