Are lambs nursing enough

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by algerclan, May 20, 2004.

  1. algerclan

    algerclan New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    MO
    We have two lambs that were born about three weeks ago. The mother seemed to bond fine. She cleaned them and was nursing them well until we put them back with the other sheep. Then, a few days ago, it seemed that the mother didn't want to nurse them. Everytime they try to nurse, she stands for a VERY short time and then walks away from them. We put them together in a pen and have been tying her up so that they can nurse more easily, but she still works really hard to keep them from nursing. I'm concerned that they aren't getting enough milk. They do eat quite a bit of grass and clover.
     
  2. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    953
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Location:
    AR
    If the lambs aren't standing around hunched backed and bawling and if they don't look thin then they are nursing enough. She probably gets away from them because they are getting too rough with their nursing, like nipping her with their sharp little teeth.
     

  3. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    141
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2002
    Location:
    WI
    Agree with malwalla. If backs aren't hunched, they're not bawling, bellies look nice and plump they're fine. My ewes rarely like to nurse in front of people so it always has to be a visual guide on how the lamb looks and if the mouth is warm to ensure they're nursing. My lambs are between three weeks and six weeks old now and the ewes rarely stand still for them to nurse for very long. Lambs learn to nurse when they can. By three or four weeks, they'll be trying out their taste bugs on a little hay or grass anyway. Becky
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    639
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    Location:
    Southeast Iowa
    I never saw my ewe stand for more than a minute or so tops - and her two lambs are about as healthy as anyone could ask for at 4 1/2 months old. they eat so often throughout the day that a 30 second nip is plenty for them each time.

    -Sarah
     
  5. algerclan

    algerclan New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    MO
    Thanks for all the replies. My lambs do seem to be doing ok, so I guess they are getting enough.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Check the lambs teeth. They may be very sharp and the ewe is dancing away from the "biting"! You can float them down a bit with an emery board.
     
  7. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    953
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Location:
    AR
    :haha: I'm giggling because I was reminded as to how sharp those little lamb teeth can be when one of my bottle babies tried out my elbow this evening! Ouch!!