triplets-our first

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by tami, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. tami

    tami Active Member

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    Well, this has been a year of firsts for me. Thank goodness only one ewe left to lamb! Last night there were a set of triplets born. So far all seem well, and I have been watching to be sure that all are nursing. I know that I should supplement their mom's milk, but at what point? I am hoping that they are getting their colostrum from mom, should I start one or two on a supplemental bottle of milk replacer, or should I wait a day or so until they have that much colostrum. I have checked mom a couple times and there is still milk there, and no one is complaining or cold. I usually wait 1-2 days before giving any grain, should I start her out right away with a 1/2#? How exciting to have 3 babies, I only wish it was one of the older ewes that I know to be good milkers!
    Thanks for any suggestion, this board is a god sent to newbies! It seems that this year I am to get lots of hands on learning!
    Tami
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Some mums can raise triplets fairly easily. If you creep feed the lambs I'm not sure I'd suppliment the milk unless there was a problem. I pull the grain off mums the day they lamb and give them half what they were gettign the next day. Its just to reduce the odds of acidosis, as the ewe suddenly has lots of room after birthing. Make sure she has lots of water and a good mixed hay, not pure alfalfa. My only concern (just a thought really) would be milk fever (calcium deficiency) so watch for her going off feed, trembling or startling easily, as early signs.
     

  3. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    I get lots of triplets in my flock, 5 sets so far this season, which started last week! I keep my ewes well fed so that they produce the milk to feed their lambs. I will grain a ewe the day she lambs if she has had twins or triplets, not full ration, though, until a few days have passed. I have hay available at all times and allow them free grazing. I will watch my lambs closely and if any seem to need a supplemental bottle I will do it. So far I only have one out of 15 that is requiring it and I only started him last night. I will leave him with the rest of the flock so that he can still nurse off of the ewe.

    Keep your eyes and ears open. If a lamb looks puny or if it crys a lot it is probably hungry and might could use a little extra. Also check your ewe's condition regularly. Feeding multiples will be quite taxing on her body and she may need to have her ration increased.
     
  4. tami

    tami Active Member

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    One thing that I was especially worried about on later have one that will need to be supplimented is how to get it to take a bottle. Is it hard to get it to learn to drink from a nipple that isnt attached to a ewe?
    Tami
     
  5. Shahbazin

    Shahbazin Well-Known Member

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    What breed are they? Some breeds tend to do better with multiples than others.
     
  6. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    When I have to start a bottle baby sometimes they fight the nipple. In order for them to learn that there is good stuff in there I stand with them between my legs and their head facing forward, this prevents them from running off. I put the nipple in their mouth and cup their chin in my hand while gently squeezing the nipple to let some milk flow into their mouth. They soon learn and then all I have to do is hold the bottle down to them.
     
  7. tami

    tami Active Member

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    They are crossbred for medium wool, there is a little of everything-merino, salish, border/english leicester. So far they are doing alright with mom.
     
  8. rieburgandy

    rieburgandy New Member

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    Mar 30, 2004
    Hi, I don't know much about sheep - I'm a future homesteader.
    I just wanted to write and say Congratulations on your sheeps triplets!!
    That sounds so exciting. I can't wait till the day that we'll have similar news to share:)
    Good luck with the lambs
    Take care,
    Rie