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Dear Mouse,

Once the lambs are dry and nursing well you don't need to provide supplemental heat providing they are nursing well. If these were my lambs, I'd say they are nursing well. It is not unsual for them to take a couple swallows and then walk away. I once read that lambs nurse about 30 times a day. Over the past 20 years I have had several lambs that I'm convinced nursed only when I wasn't looking or there to see. Forcing them to nurse only frustrated the shepherdess (me) and annoyed the ewe. Should one or both become hypothermic (<101 degrees), stand hunched and cry then you should check the condition of the ewe's udder whether it's soft and pliable, filled with milk. Evaluate how well she stands for them to nurse. If the udder isn't normal, particularly after the first 3 days or so, or she doesn't allow them to nurse I'd try a small amount of milk replacer. If they take the bottle without too much fuss then yes they may be not getting enough.

For the first 3 days or so I feed the ewes 1/2 lb. whole shell corn per lamb and then increase it to 1 lb. per lamb in addition to 4-6 lbs. second crop legume-grass hay. You probably won't need as much hay as Barbados are smaller than the Hampshires I have.

Don't hesitate to ask if you've more questions.

Good luck,

Karen
 
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