moving new baby in with older sheep?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Sarah J, May 20, 2004.

  1. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    How old should a lamb be to be moved in with the older sheep? I have one ewe (5 years), her two 5 month old lambs. In another pen with my goat kids I have three lambs. One is about 8 weeks old now and is really hogging all the hay and the grain for the little ones, never letting htem have a chance at it, even when she's done. The other two lambs are only three weeks old, the goat kids 5 weeks.

    Is it okay for me to move the 8 week old lamb in with the older ones yet? She isn't fully weaned but is very definitely eating hay and as much grain as I allow her to stuff in her face (not much...I've been pushing hay). I'd like to move her down to one bottle a day and move her over to the other pen, but I'm a little nervous about the reaction to her. Will she be shoved around or even injured by the others? She is significantly smaller and doesn't have a Mom to protect her...I can feed her the bottle separately but she'd have access to the automatic waterer and we're moving everyone over to pasture so the hay won't be there anymore.

    Ideas? I suppose I'll need to know for later when the 3 week old lambs are weaned and moved over there, too...the pen they're in now isn't big enough for adults...

    Thanks,

    Sarah
     
  2. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    Unless you have some very aggressive sheep, your lamb should be fine. Everyone happily romps together over at my place, (except the rams, of course.) You might also want to consider increasing the amount of bunk space you use to feed everyone. It sounds like it may be a bit short if one is being able to push everyone else away.
     

  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    They have plenty of space - at least a foot between each of the babies as they eat...but the little Pig runs up and down shoving them out of the way and guards it like it's all her own.

    It hink I'll try putting her in with the others today and see what happens, keeping a close eye on them for now...if they seem to be getting along I could leave her there during the day, checking on her frequently, and then maybe crate her in her own area for the night when I can't watch them? I'm guessing that they should all be fine together in a few days? I'm paranoid! :rolleyes:

    Sarah
     
  4. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    It really depends on personality of the individual animals in question. If they are relatively docile and accepting of new animals they should be ok
     
  5. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I have put 2 day olds in with 2 month olds but only as a last resort. I try to keep the age differences within a month but I only have so much space too. Its another good reson to wander through the flock both enjoying your animals and looking for trouble. I found a trouble the other day and its in a box in my kitchen. My wife named her Colleen. She's a little twin Rideau/Polypay, so I'm hoping she's a keeper.
     
  6. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Ross, Colleen sounds like a terrific kind of trouble! :)

    I have Pearl in with the older sheep now...she's spent the last day being harrassed, but not actually harmed...there was quite the commotion when I first put her in - they butted her around a bit and she ran outside, then ran back inside when the electric fence bit her :haha: and ran back outside again when my 5 month old wether rammed her from the side... THEN he proceded to head ram with his twin sister for a good ten minutes while Mom looked on approvingly and my goats stayed in the corner and cheered them on loudly. Pearl looked confused at that point, but remembered to duck when they turned their attentions back to her.

    While the others are not looking she has been seen to be eating hay and drinking water from the communal areas. As soon as she is spotted she is run off so they can hog it and show who is boss, of course.

    I guess, all in all, she'll be okay - after all, it's only been one day so far!

    Sarah