Can you help w/Jacob bottle lamb?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by luvrulz, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am getting a lamb, a Jacob ewe and her mom died so it looks like she'll be a bottle baby! I am so excited and have been reading about sheep and getting used to the idea of adding her to our farm, but what do I need to know about the Jacobs? I am going to stop at the feed store to pick up some bottles and nipples - is there anything else I need???

    What do I feed her besides Jersey milk? Can I feed her Jersey milk?? How much and how often? Can I leave her in a box in the house til she's more acclimated to us and it warms up outside??

    I'm sure there's going to be more questions and I will need to figure out how to post a photo too!

    Thanks for your help, y'all!
    Joellen
    :dance:
     
  2. decamper

    decamper Well-Known Member

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    Hi Joellen,
    I'm the new kid on the block. Having had to bottle feed a weak newborn about a month ago I wanted to mention a few things.
    Be sure to lay a sheet of plastic under that box you will put the lamb in. I forgot to do that. ICK! I had put straw in the box so that helped. It was a BIG square box from a dishwasher. Before 48 hours was up, that little stinker was trying to jump out of the box. I had to cover it with a blanket and then make sure that the blanket didn't fall on the lamb and smother it. This lamb didn't know how to drink/suck from a bottle so I fed it the first 24 hours with a syringe. I have been told that was wrong but the lamb is alive and well even with my mistake.

    I bought a pail of calf milk replacer and then a receptionist in a vet's office told me that Pet milk, full strength, is better. So I'll let someone with experience answer that question.

    The lamb finally was able to nurse but only after we figured out we had to teach her how to stand and nurse because she wanted to be held while she drank from the mother.

    I've since ordered a special bottle from MidStates Wool Growers for future lambs. It has a long thin nipple like a ewe's, not like a baby bottle.

    Good luck with the little one.
     

  3. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    Ah, the joys of bottle feeding lambs! I will tell you how I do it and what works for me although this may not be how everyone does it I have had a lot of success. First, for those lambs that are hesitant to suck you can do a few things to encourage them, one of which is to tickle their butt near the tail. Mom does this when they're nursing and you'll usually get a tail waggle when you do this. The second is to apply a bit of pressure or place your palm on their forehead, this too mimics the feeling they get when nursing Mom and sometimes will encourage them to suckle. I feed mine Merrick's Lamb Replacer, they will not thrive on cow's milk or calf milk replacer. They get as much as they'll drink for the first few days up until they're able to drink 16 oz at a time, and then they're put on a 16 oz 2 X daily feeding schedule. The Pritchard nipple is good for lambs that are weak but they're not my first choice. I use a gum nipple from Caprine Supply that is the most supple nipple I've ever found, and I still use glass bottles. The Pritchard will screw onto a plastic pop bottle. I don't know if the gum would work on a plastic bottle or not. The glass don't get beat up like the plastic do and I can reuse them forever. Good luck with your baby, I am having to bottle feed another lamb now because the mother was dog-attacked and may not make it. 4th ram lamb out of 5 born, the other lamb was killed by the dogs and I didn't think to check what sex it was...grrrrr @ stupid damn dogs!
     
  4. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    Sheep milk is much richer than cow or goat milk. Lambs really need lamb replacer, not calf.

    I've only raised one bottle lamb, but I'll pass along one thing the breeder of my lamb told me. Always wash and sterilize both the bottle and nipple between EVERY feeding. It only takes a tiny bit of milk scum and a few hours to get a good case of scours started.

    I used a wine bottle and a lamb nipple to feed.
    Good luck!
     
  5. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Certainly of all the cows to choose from a Jersy would be the best for rich milk. I've heard of it working quite well but i use a lamb milk replacer (Grober) because it has worked plain and simple. To add to Catherines advice about putting your hand on the lambs forehead if you wrap (touch) your thumb and finger gently to the side of the corners of the lambs mouth it really seems to help.
     
  6. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks folks! Great info... After I agreed to buy the little ewe, someone else here in the county called me and told me about a program affiliated with 4-H and each child has to have a different registered animal and they call it a cooperative and they get judged and stuff on how their animals do. It sounded like an excellent program to get kids interested in animals and so I turned around and donated the lamb to her cause. $20 invested in a child seemed like a good price....

    Never even *saw* the lamb and got all excited and stuff! Ah well, easy come - easy go, eh? Just a mtter of time before I do need all this info and it won't go to waste!

    Another fella here has Jacobs and has lambs for sale too! In good time......

    And thanks again!

    :)
     
  7. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    Ross, I didn't even think of that. With reluctant or newborn lambs that pull away from the nipple I usually cup their jaw in my hand basically to steady them and keep the contact with the nipple so I don't have to pry their mouths open each time, and they do seem to respond to the hand being there. Good info!