lamb wont take bottle...

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by tami, May 26, 2004.

  1. tami

    tami Active Member

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    Well, I am about at my wits end. I was looking for a cotswold breeder and having little luck. One that I found said they only sell bottle babies as they are increasing their own flock...

    A week later they call with a 3 week old ewe lamb that is orphaned because its mother tipped onto her back and died. I drive the 2 hours to pick it up, after she assured me that it would take a bottle.

    When I get her home, she is a nice size lamb, but will NOT drink from a bottle. She doesnt seem to know how. I spend 20 min. each feeding squeezing 4-5oz into her mouth to swallow. It has been a week, she is only getting about 12oz per day so I am mixing the formula 1 1/2x regular mix. She doesnt seem overly hungry. She is also not very aggressive/lively. I know she eats some grass, but my observations have been that she just nibbles. She was not exposed to grain and doesnt seem to know what it is. I see her checking out the ewes, but dont think she is aggressive enough to be robbing milk. She doesnt seem to be thin though. She is 30# at 28 days. She goes out with the other sheep, but sometimes just stays in the shed.

    Yesterday I gave her 2cc vit B, 1/2cc a&D, 200iu vit E, 5cc preconditioning gel with lactobacillus and vits. Today, she is not improved and infact has runny poop. One minute she looks like a normal lamb, chewing her cud-the next she seems dopey. I planned to give her another vit B, E, and gel today. Any other suggestions?
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Do not mix replacer stronger or weaker, it can cause constipation or diarrhea. The lamb is probably suffering from a bit of both. At 30 pounds and cudding I'd keep trying to feed the milk but get her started on some grain. She won't need that milk much longer. Is the vit E and selenium or just vitamin E? Too much selenium is toxic. That gel sounds useful, what brand is it??
     

  3. tami

    tami Active Member

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    Ross,
    The brand of the gel is durvet. Preconditioning/receiving formula gel. It is for sheep, goats, or cattle. The web site is www.durvet.com

    I gave her the vit E for the vit.

    I will try mixing the formula to directions. (She is also drinking water, so I reasoned that it evened out) I only gave her about 7oz yesterday. Her stomach seemed full last night, so I didnt force her. The people that I got her from do not feed their cotswolds any grain, not even during lactation.

    I wonder if I am just expecting her to need more, maybe she is doing pretty well on the grass. If it werent for her demeanor I would not think much about it, as she looks physically pretty good. Last night she seemed like any other lamb, no lamby leaps though.
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I only sugest grain because the lamb could be lacking in protein by losing her mum and not getting a lot of replacer. Have you taken her temp? This lamb is from a different farm did you precondition her before she joined your animals? Worm, delice, vacinate, quarentene etc.?
     
  5. tami

    tami Active Member

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    I did have her quarentined for a couple days, then with the goats for a day. She seemed so sad by herself that I did end up putting her with everyone before I had intended to.
    She has been vaccinated, I didnt worm her. I ment to take her temp yesterday but forgot, I will do that tomorrow.
    Today she got very little milk-only about 5oz. Her tummy is very nice and round, I think she is eating more grass than I thought. I hope she will get the idea of the grain from the other lambs.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    How is her flesh cover down her back? If you can feel bones easily she probably needs worming and I'd guess tape worms or stomach worms. Just the description of a "round tummy" is also a symptom of a worm problem too. Ample flesh cover on the back (loin area) and I wouldn't worry about worms.
     
  7. tami

    tami Active Member

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    Her back bone doesnt seem prominent. I did see that she is starting to eat grain with the other lambs too.

    On the subject of worming, I have a couple ewes and a few lambs that have very poopy butts, I did a fecal test on one and on a slide only saw a couple of worm eggs. I think that it looked good, but I am still new to the fecal test and not confident. I also suspect the fact that we have had 10" of rain(in past 2 1/2 weeks) and grass is really growing and wet. Could it just be the grass?
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Yes it could be. If they are condition scoring OK that's probably it.