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Supplement/bottle feeding lambs that already have mum?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Farming Frenzy, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. Farming Frenzy

    Farming Frenzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone,
    2 of our ewes had lambs about a week ago, one has twins the other has just one baby. [​IMG]
    The ewes aren't tame, they know when to come if we rattle the feed bucket but you can't get near them. One of the ewes had mastitis, had penicillin shots and is now doing much better. Both her lambs (she's the twin mum) are taking milk from her so there is no need to help out. I was just wandering if I could try bottle feed one of the babies (without taking him away from the mum), about once a day, just to get him friendly? I'd really want them to not end up like the ewes but as friendlier sheep... can I do this without the mother rejecting them? I found nothing about this online so :/ Any advice would be appreciated.
    unless there is another way to tame the babies, without taking them away from the ewes completely?
    We've had orphaned lambs before, given to us by our neighbour... and we'd really hoped there was a way to leave them with the mums instead of with us... feeding every 4 hrs was a bit tough and the poor bubs had a hard time sleeping at night [​IMG]
     
  2. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    I don't know much about taming sheep, but I do know that lambs don't tolerate cow's milk well and if you use milk replacer, it should be higher quality and have a higher fat content (which means the lactose content will be lower and there will be less chance for indigestional bloat.)

    I do think that taking the babies away from mom as soon as they can be weaned and keeping them somewhere where you can have some daily time with them would help a lot. Sheep are harder to tame down than goats but hopefully someone with more sheep experience will come by.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  3. Farming Frenzy

    Farming Frenzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, we have a powdered milk replacement but haven't started using yet. I think your suggested may also work, if we don't bottle feed them then that's probably the next option - separate them as soon as they're weaned :) thanks!
     
  4. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Gee. My aunt used to raise bummer lambs on cow's milk all the time. That's all she had. But then she had Jerseys. I know ewe's milk is much higher in fat than regular cow's milk. I have no experience with sheep myself, but based on my experience with goat kids I would be hesitant to use milk replacer. Some tolerate it just fine and others do not. There is a formula for kids that is richer in fat than regular store milk that might work. It was made by a breeder of either Boers or mini goats, both of which produce milk of higher fat percentage than regular dairy goats. You take a gallon jug of store milk, pour off about a quart, add a cup of buttermilk and a can of evaporated milk and then fill the jug back up with some of the milk you poured off.
     
  5. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    I should have read the whole thread before I opened my big mouth but I didn't. Sorry. Lambs that are running on the ewe are not likely to take a bottle unless they are very hungry, and even then it's a struggle. They won't like the taste or the feel of the nipple. As for taming them, if you take them away from the mother when they are weaned and work with them every day that should do it. Lambs in 4H projects get to be very tame and the 4Hers don't even get these lambs until they are well past weaning. They just work with them a lot and get them used to being handled. A lot of the 4H lambs follow their owners like puppy dogs.
     
  6. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Kids can take cows milk just fine (most of the time) but lambs tend to have indigestion and some can even have some pretty serious deficiencies. I'm sure some do well on it but I wouldn't want to end up with dead or bloating lambs if I could use a milk replacer for lambs instead!
     
  7. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm certainly not arguing with you. My direct knowledge of raising sheep is minimal. I just wanted to make a couple comments of what I have observed. My aunt used to pick up bummer lambs from a neighboring sheepman and she raised a bunch of them every year on cow milk. I had a friend in Oregon who did the same thing only she raised hers on goat milk. This friend did say that if she fed the lambs too much at a time she would have trouble with them. She said she had noticed that the ewes out in the pasture would let their lambs nurse a little bit and then walk off. The lambs would nurse many times in a day but get small quantities at any one time. She said that immunizing the hand raised lambs with CD/T the day she got them helped a lot.

    Based on my experience with kids, I am nervous about milk replacers. Some kids tolerate them just fine. Others don't. They may scour or worse, they suddenly bloat and die. I found this to be true even with the expensive milk replacers formulated just for kids. I can't imagine that lambs would be any different in this respect. I am wondering if the bloating etc. you saw was entero rather than an intolerance of the cow milk per se. Larger feedings than what the lamb would get on his mother combined with the cow milk might possibly (I'm guessing here) make the lambs more prone to entero. I do know that entero can be a big problem in lambs of any age. My vet told me that. So did a sheepman.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Newer milk replacer are species specific and are make of powdered milk, any type of incorrect feeding such as increasing it too quickly will cause digestive upsets, just follow the directions and you'll be fine.

    There is no way you are going to get a mom fed lamb to take a bottle unless you remove it an wait until it's so hungry that it will eat anything.

    Your best bet for taming your lambs is to take them out and handle them a lot, kids do it all the time for the fair every year, and yes, bottle babies are like dogs.
     
  9. turtlesgalore

    turtlesgalore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raise sheep in Louisiana and raising a bottle lamb I a lot different than a goat, calf, puppy, kitten, nutria,wild rabbit, skunks. yes I have raised a lot of stuff. first of all fresh cow milk is total different from store bought milk. second getting one to take a bottle after it has started to nurse mom depends on the lamb, easier said than done, sometimes impossible. lots of factors go into raising a lamb from stress to stomachs are more sensitive, to minerals lambs need. My advice, leave the lambs with mom and wean early. if you spend time around the sheep the babies will get use to you and when you wean them they should gentle down quickly since they associate you with the new food source. treats help to. read info on sheep-they react differently than a lot of other animals. each lamb is different, some gentle down quickly, some do not, its a trust issue. if you bottle feed be sure you use sheep milk replacement. it has minerals in it that helps stressed lambs process milk better. I does make a different. DO NOT overfeed. It will kill them. Just read up before you start. lots of luck[​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    X2

    The ewe will reject the lamb if she smells the milk replacer, and the lamb won't take a rubber nipple without a lot of encouragement and hunger. Best to leave lambs on the ewe until you wean, save the milk replacer for when you really need it, then work with the lambs after being pulled from mom.
     
    1 person likes this.

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