Bummer lambs and grain/hay

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by mamalisa, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. mamalisa

    mamalisa Well-Known Member

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    I have a bummer lamb, one of twins whose mama couldn't count.....

    He was kind of clueless about nursing, and I think he's going to be the same way about solid food. How do I get him to eat grain or hay? He's going to have to be alone for a little over 8 hours when hes 10 days old....but he should be nibbling stuff by then, since his sibling is already...

    The girls are fine, bouncing chickens all over the pasture.
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Use a ground feed ration and add a little replacer powder. Hand feed him until he gets it. Can you not hang a bottle for him to feed from as he likes?
     

  3. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have never had sheep. What is a bummer lamb?...Joan
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Bummer refers to any lamb that gets food from another source besides their mum. Bottle babes in this case. It can mean a lamb twinned on to another ewe or even one that runs from ewe to ewe stealing, ("bumming some milk" its a good sign to check that lambs mum for mastitis etc.!) I guess it comes from bums panhandling coins from people passing by?? If you smoke perhaps you've bummed a cigarette from a friend?
     
  5. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    In my experience raising orphans they pick up eating solid food just as easily as any other lamb, in fact my < week old orphan lamb has already begun nibbling on hay with his sisters & cousins. Since he is my sole bottle baby I have left him with the ewes and lambs so that he has company and it's working out quite well.

    What is your normal bottle feeding routine? Except for the first few days of life when a lamb is incapable of finishing a full bottle I only bottle feed 2 X daily with access to hay/grain in between. I don't know what others do, though, as this routine was established by my parents with kid goats and I continued it when I began raising orphans for the sheep farm nearby. The only change in feeding that I have seen I am firmly opposed to (feeding cold milk lambbar-style to reduce consumption) so there may be a million better ways to feed lambs that I just don't know about!!

    I myself wouldn't worry about 8 hours between feedings as this is normal for lambs on my farm.
     
  6. sheepmom

    sheepmom Guest

    How much do you feed at a time? This is my first bottle baby....he's in the house at night---on the porch where it's chillier---so that I don't have to go out to feed, but outside all day with the others. He's started nibbling at the grass/hay, but I can't manage a creep feeder. The darn goats would get into it. Nothing is goat-proof around here, NOTHING!!!!

    So the book said that he should be eating 4 times a day til he was 3 weeks old, about 5-6 ounces at a time. I'm pushing for 8 oz 3 times a day? Does this sound right?
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Certainly there are different methods, we feed warm milk for the first week and a half to two weeks but then its cold milk in a lamb bar to slow their drinking odwn. They actually drink more over a day and in smaller feedings. If I feed warm milk to older lambs they gourge themselves on it and flood their intestines (the little pigs) giving them scours on occasion.
     
  8. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    We have fed kids when I was young and lambs now that I'm doing this on my own 2 X daily 16 oz. at a feeding. With my newborn lambs since they're rarely if ever able to drink a 16 oz bottle at a time I mix enough replacer for an 8 oz feeding and feed several times a day. Once they're well established and in good condition I switch to 2 X daily, 16 oz a feeding. They have access to hay/grain in between though.

    When I use a lamb-bar I mix enough for each lamb to have a 16 oz. feeding and I still feed 2 X daily. I allow access to the lamb bar in shifts, such as the most fragile/weak lambs are allowed to eat first and they get all the time in the world to finish and can eat as much as they want ~ because I know they do not consume 16 oz. so they wouldn't overeat. Once they're done I then put the "hogs" out to finish up. I always feed warm milk, though. The reason I'm opposed to feeding cold milk (besides that I'm a woman and therefore a nurturer) is that with the orphans I get they are almost always in bad/really poor condition and I just can't justify them having to expend excess energy just to warm up, instead of growing/regaining good health. The friend I get my lambs from's philosophy is that they take a few sips and then have to go shiver until they warm back up and then they can go take a few sips again. If they're spending every waking moment trying to warm up from the milk (and this isn't taking into consideration weather conditions) when are they supposed to grow?

    I know everyone has their own routine and what works for them so I'm not trying to say that it doesn't "work" for others, this is just my opinion from my experiences. I can tell you that when I raise his orphans and when he raises his orphans I have much better survivability and health on the weaned lambs than he does.