Mom rejected one lamb..advice?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by AndreaR, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. AndreaR

    AndreaR Well-Known Member

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    My Shetland ewe, Nutmeg, had twin ewe lambs 2 days ago and has only bonded with one. The rejected one is healthy, gets butted whenever she tries to nurse. The ewe has been tied up so I can get both lambs to nurse and get the colostrum. The ewe and her lambs have been put in a small pen to encourage bonding but it has not helped. This morning the mother butted the lamb clear across the pen and stomped on it. I quickly grabbed the lamb, she is fine and now am bottle feeding her. The wee lamb is now in her own pen and just bleating. What can I do to help the wee one to adjust?

    The mother is showing signs of developing mastitis so I gave her penicillin and stripped her one udder. The one lamb is nursing only on the one side. Any advice with this?

    Andrea
     
  2. Kasidy

    Kasidy Well-Known Member

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    If she only has half an udder you are better off bumming one.
    Otherwise I would strap her to the wall and force her to take both of them.
    I put one strap (or you could use a couple of thick ropes) in front of the udder and one behind the front legs--pull her tight up against a strong panel or in my case the side of an old horse stall. She can eat, drink, see and smell the lambs but not butt them. Depending on how hard a case the ewe is I may make her stand there for 24 hours before I let her lay down for a while. When I let her out of the straps for a few hours I put a halter on her and tie her head fairly short. The straps DO need to be tight so she cannot get loose. Some ewes are quite stubborn, but I have NEVER had anyone fail to give in in the end! My worst case took 2 weeks, but even she finally caved in!! Depending on how aggresive the lamb is you may have to physically put the lamb to the teat a few times, but they get real determined in a very short time. And those shetland lambs are born tough (at least the ones I have seem to be!)
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Check the rejected lambs teeth and see if they are especially sharp. They can be filed down with a nail file if so. Leash erh and as suggested you may even have to tie back the rear feet. I make it so they can lay down if they want but severely restrict all other movement.
     
  4. woolyfluff

    woolyfluff Well-Known Member

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    Ross if you other sheep due very shortly thke the after birth off one of the other sheep and rub it over the rejected lamb to see if she will adpote it as her own
     
  5. lisarichards

    lisarichards Well-Known Member

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    Question -- after a ewe has had to be restrained like that to let her lamb nurse, do you give her another chance to breed next year? We had one clueless ewe this year, who we restrained by hand and helped her baby nurse, but slowly she seemed to get a clue, and now stays by her baby all the time. In the beginning, she'd run away when he'd follow her.

    I'm just wondering what she'll be like next year. She's got a beautiful fleece and since that's one of the reasons we have Shetlands in the first place, I'd like to keep her for that. But what is your experience with ewes learning to mother? Will she know what to do next time? Or could I end up with another (partial) bottle baby?

    We've named him Dumbo.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. animal_kingdom

    animal_kingdom Well-Known Member

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    He's just too cute!

    I had a goat reject a baby. Would protect her but wouldn't let her nurse.
    I gave her a second chance. She botched it up and now she doesn't get a third chance.

    Keeping her would depend on what good she gives you versus the bad. What do YOU want to put up with?

    Some people love to bottle feed babies. I don't. That kind of determines it for me.

    Best of luck!

    Mama
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'd give her another chance but as suggested three might be too generous.
     
  8. Snomama

    Snomama Well-Known Member

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    The very first bummer we had was b/c the ewe had NO milk, we brought him to the house to bottle feed (I am thin blooded and DO NOT do barns in cold weatherr!) He cried and cried, I felt very bad knowing he just wanted a momma, I rocked him all night and he "slept like a lamb" :cool:

    He ended sleeping in the bed w/ my little girls each night (with a diaper of course), but none of us could stand to hear him cry. Did you know lambs purr???? They do! He purred after having a bottle and snuggling down to sleep!

    You asked how to help it stop crying :D ;) :D ;) :haha:
     
  9. AndreaR

    AndreaR Well-Known Member

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    Well, the rejected lamb is still rejected. Mother ewe won't have anything to do with it period! So we have a bottle baby called Midnight and she loves sleeping with her teddy bear. She snuggles up to the bear and falls asleep beside it. I take her outside with me in the garden and she just follows me everywhere. Right now she is fighting a bit of infection and greenish diarrhea. She is on electrolytes and antibiotics right now...hope it works.

    Another black shetland ewe gave birth to a singleton..she usually has twins. All my babies are black and all 4 are girls so far! One more Shetland ewe is expecting so we will see if a ram lamb shows up. If not I have an excuse for my hubby to buy a good ram lamb this year :D

    Thank you for the advice..I gave up on tying the mom up after 4 days :no: .

    Andrea