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Discussion Starter #1
I have a ewe that lambed on Friday and had triplets, small, medium, and large :) Other ewes usually have a fairly large udder, but this one's is always small when I check on them, so I'm wondering how to know if they are getting enough?

They'll often be lying down together when I check on them, so maybe they are just drawing her down so far when they do feed that she looks small when I see her. Their sides don't look as full as I'd expect after a feeding.

I've never had to supplement a lamb for lack of milk. I don't see they begging to nurse, crying, etc. She holds still for them just fine, too.

Thoughts?
 

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Weigh your lambs everyday to see if they are gaining weight. My Icelandic lambs gain 8-12 ounces each day. No idea how much dorpers should gain. Also make sure that their ears and mouths are warm. And they should suck on your finger.

If you do not think they are getting enough to eat you can help mom out by feeding them lamb replacement as a supplement. Leave the lambs with mom and feed each one a few ounces at a time.

Is this a first time ewe? And did she get adequate nutrition during early gestation?

Feel free to contact me directly if I can answer more questions. I just love sheep. Susan
 

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I would bet they are probably fine. I have white dorpers and one of our first timers had twins a couple of weeks ago, one big ewe lamb and one teeny tiny ram! He was half the size of his sister.
I watched carefully to make sure the little ram was nursing often (it is still VERY warm here, today it was 90 degrees) and would pick him up daily and feel his condition and strength. He is about 2 weeks old now and is starting to fatten up and fill out well. Mom didn't appear to have a huge udder, in fact it looked no different than our ewes with single lambs, but she did have milk.

If she is willingly feeding them, and they don't seem weak, and they are able to stay warm, I would probably leave them alone and just keep a close eye on them. If you just can't help yourself (I know the feeling, haha) I may supplement a *little* with a bottle and milk replacer, but the more they nurse the more milk she will produce. Let them up mom's milk supply naturally and be sure mom has lots of good things to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
They all have been at the teat in my presence and she holds still for them. Yes the tiny guy was tiny from the get-go. They all three seem to have good energy, not cold, warm mouths. I did cave and give them replacer a couple of times today, not too much. I'll weigh them each day. I need to get my hands on her udder if I can. I was trying to milk out another Dorper ewe with a single lamb and big udder today and discovered one side was HARD, no milk, so I want to be sure this girl isn't also having mastitis.

As always, I love this forum!
 

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A tiny guy will get bumped off a teat before a bigger lamb will if there are three lambs and 2 teats. I'd supplement it for a while to help it out just a bit. Don't take it away from mom. Just take a bottle down to it a couple times a day.
 

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Well, sadly I lost the little one at 6 days. I'd been supplementing them for several days but they got to where they would put their mouths on the nipple and then back off, even the little one. I figured they were getting enough from her and when the sampled the nipple they weren't actually hungry so didn't eat from it.

Day six I came out in the morning and found the little guy in pile on the ground with dirt stuck to slobber around his mouth and nose. His mouth was cold. I rushed for the karo syrup, got some in his mouth, and started holding him to my body - I'd saved a lamb just this way before. He just wasn't responding. I put him in a warm bath, got the heating pad on him while holding him against my body, but I lost him.

I am so mad at myself for not just taking him in and bottle feeding him outright. I just thought that her udder was coming on and they all were getting enough, but I was wrong. I really hate learning these hard lessons. He was perfectly marked, such a cute little guy, and yes, he was gaining weight. I just didn't see it coming.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I should add that I offered him the bottle that night before the morning he died and he seemed perky but not interested in drinking. I wished I had had a tube to feed him with, so now I have ordered some lamb stomach tubes, syringes, and some Nutri Drench that a friend swore by. The other two seem to be doing fine and her udder has come up and is soft and full, though still not as big as the other ewe with the bad udder half.
 
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