Have psycho lamb/sheep..help with behavior issues.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by MrsFitz, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. MrsFitz

    MrsFitz New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 9, 2012
    We have a single lamb that our neighbor got to bottle feed for her kids experience this past April. She was bottle fed and then weaned after we got her. We also got this spring 4 broad breasted bronze turkeys which are a good size by now. We also have 9 red sex link chickens that are 1 1/2 years old and 3 buff orpingtons that about 4 months old. My question is our lamb has been grabbing a mouth full of feathers from the turkeys and eating them on occasion. Last night my mother-in-law saw the lamb butting and pinning the turkeys and chickens against our coop pen.. They free range during the day.. And this morning I found a buff with her lower back bald of feathers and a bite out of her skin. This afternoon we watched a Tom turkey and a turkey hen do a little mating dance and then watched out lamb walk right up to the turkeys and started grabbing the hen by the neck and try to drag her a direction. This behavior is so weird and can't figure it out. Would really love some insight. There is plenty of grass for the lamb to graze on and all the fowl free range and are penned up at night. Please help. This lamb is just psycho I think! :)
     
  2. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    You answered your won question without even realizing it... it's a SINGLE sheep.. and hasn't had other sheep to interact with.. the neck biting, head butting and all of that is normal sheep behavior that they do to OTHER sheep... since you have no other sheep she is doing what they do but to other animals... I would say to get her some buddies... other sheep that she can be a sheep with and learn the rules of sheepdom...
     
  3. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    4,356
    198
    258
    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    AGREED.

    Sheep are HERD animals. In order for them to be healthy and stress free, they need to be part of a herd. Other herd animals make up a herd. A turkey will not replace another sheep. A sheep that is alone is not normal, and this behavior is reflecting that.

    The taking bites to establish pecking order is normal in a herd. She is trying (and failing) to make the fowl part of her herd.

    The feather EATING (actually consuming the feathers) might be signs of a nutritional deficiency. What are you feeding her? Is she getting minerals in the form of free choice loose minerals? Mineral blocks often lead to deficiencies, because they are mostly NaCl (table salt) and not enough of other trace minerals. Loose minerals, offered to her as she needs, have almost no NaCl, with more of what she needs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by