new orphans

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Sarah J, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    My neighbor called. He had two brand new lambs orphaned today. They are three days old. These were out of a ewe who was NOT known to be bred - she had been turned out to pasture last fall as an unbred ewe, only to have two little lambs at her side on Tuesday. They are very small - probably only 3 pounds at best. But they seem healthy enough - bleating and bouncing with my two week old goat kids.

    My question is - how much should a little lamb that size be eating? And how often? I managed to get the little girl to take about 3 ounces tonight and the ram lamb took 5 ounces. Both seemed to have full tummies so I am guessing this is enough (the ram is bigger than the ewe lamb). But how often? Is ever 5 - 6 hours enough or should it be more often for them since they are so small?

    Or is this another one of those guessing games until we get it right? :) I have them on my goat's milk now and they seem to like it okay and are getting along with the other babies I've got, despite their small size.

    Any words of wisdom or advice would be appreciated! :)

    -Sarah
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    They got colostrum? It is a little subjective but we normally feed four times a day for little ones, more if they seem to need it but add a meal rather than more per feeding at least until they gain some weight. 3 lbs sounds like a pair from a set of triplets or quads!
     

  3. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    IF you watch sheep, the lambs seem to nurse as often as a couple times per hour, If you follow that schedule you will get no sleep, but any time you have free you might want to feed them, and not wait your 6 hours
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    We did a 3am feeding overnight...the ram lamb is now scouring...is this from a diet change and the stress of his move? Or could this be a really *bad* thing? Do I watch it to see how he does or should I start treating immediately?

    -Sarah
     
  5. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    He probably just ate a little too much. Give him half what he got for his next feeding. You can give him a couple of cc's of Pepto Bismol too.
     
  6. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! You're probably right - he's a bit more enthusiastic about his milk. :) Oh - I forgot to answer earlier, *yes* they got colostrum for their frist two and a half days on Mom... If he's still scouring at noon, I'll try the Pepto...can I use kaopectate? I know I have that in the house, but might have to go into town to get the pepto...I think the ingredients are almost identical last time I looked...

    -Sarah
     
  7. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    I use the cafeteria style of feeding bottle babies. It frees me up, lets the lambs eat at more natual intervals, and makes them less dependent upon me therefore making them less of a pain as they get older! I utilize cold milk to prevent them from overeating. I generally feed about 15% of their body weight in milk replacer each day and provide creep feed to them at all times from day 3. If they get runney poop I dilute the milk and give 2 ccs of Pepto or Keospec once a day for a few days until clear.
     
  8. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Update on the lambs:

    They seem to be doing much better - no runniness at all anymore and I saw the ram have a regular thick, sticky, yellow BM this afternoon. I never had to do the Pepto Bismal thing, either. I simply cut back to three ounces and fed today every three hours. They act as though they are starving but run around with plenty of energy for three of ME!

    Yep - all is normal, I'd say! Thanks for the advice. Now overnight will definitely be different...don't think I can get up three times a night for feeding...maybe once, though...

    Mawalla, how do you keep the milk from getting bacteria built up in it? Do you leave it out all the time for them? Or do you just feed a certain amount each time in the lambar? I've heard of this cold-milk feeding with the goats, but never really understood how it works or what you do... (I have both goats and sheep).

    -Sarah
     
  9. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    The milk replacer that I use, (Advance), is formulated to stay fresh for 24 hours and to be mixed cold. If the weather is to be warm or hot, however, I will put ice packs in my jugs. I fill the bar twice a day, at 6:30 am and then again in the evening. That gives me two times to check everybody out and make sure everything is OK. (I use individual jugs at this time but am seriously considering the bucket with mutiple nipples on it for next year.) I got my jugs, nipples and hangers from Mid-States Livestock Supplies - 1-800-835-9665 if you are out of state (Kansas) or www.midstatewoolgrowers.com. They will be happy to send you a catalog. I guess if you used goats milk you would have to use ice packs as it would probably spoil quickly. But, if you have the goats supplying the milk it is much more cost effective than having to buy powdered!