Month old lamb don't seem to get enough milk

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13 years 4 months ago #25017 by mlgmunro
We have a month old lamb that don't seem to suck properly. Ewe tend to walk away when she is trying to get a feed, and also seem to more nibble than suck the teats. Can/should i bottle feed? And any tips on how to catch the lamb. She is very flighty.

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13 years 4 months ago #351680 by kaybe
Does she look underfed (ie. caved in sides, hunched back?) or does she have a rounded tummy and plenty of bounce? It may be she is just eating little and often. I find my ewes tend to shake off the lambs if they are trying to eat their treats, so maybe it's just while you are watching, esp. if you are feeding the ewe?

If you really think she is not getting enough, do you have some pens you could get them into? then maybe you could keep them in there for a day or two and weigh the lamb a few times (if you can catch her!) to see if she's gaining, and maybe try a bottle once a day if she's not. You could also try supplementing with something the ewe and the lamb can both eat, like FibreSure or Moosli. My sheep love Moosli! Let us know how you go.

Tomorrow is the day I will stop procrastinating.

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13 years 4 months ago #352037 by mlgmunro

kaybe;341501 wrote: Does she look underfed (ie. caved in sides, hunched back?) or does she have a rounded tummy and plenty of bounce? It may be she is just eating little and often. I find my ewes tend to shake off the lambs if they are trying to eat their treats, so maybe it's just while you are watching, esp. if you are feeding the ewe?

If you really think she is not getting enough, do you have some pens you could get them into? then maybe you could keep them in there for a day or two and weigh the lamb a few times (if you can catch her!) to see if she's gaining, and maybe try a bottle once a day if she's not. You could also try supplementing with something the ewe and the lamb can both eat, like FibreSure or Moosli. My sheep love Moosli! Let us know how you go.

Hi Kaybe, thanks for your answer. She do look underfed, not hunched really but no rounded belly and also she has no bounce. Managed to catch her today, yay, and now have her inside with us. Given her Anlamb and she drank really well, also nibbled on some sheep nuts. Mother is outside bleating and lamb answers back now and then. Will weigh her tomorrow to see if she is very tiny for her age. Wonder how long I shall keep her separated from mum, worried that I won't be able to catch her again for more feeds if I let her back.

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13 years 4 months ago #352063 by reggit
If she was drinking from bottle really well, I'd guess she'll get the idea pretty quick that bottle = food = yum and will come for it when you take it out to her. Pity to keep her separated from mum if mum will continue to look after her - makes a lot of work for you if she becomes a house lamb! [;)]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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13 years 4 months ago #352065 by Isla
Can you take a picture of your lamb? By a month old, a lamb will look well nourished or it won't, and a round belly isn't necessarily indicative.

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13 years 4 months ago #352095 by LongRidge
Our 4 week old single lambs (3 of) that are being well fed by their mothers weigh about 14kg. We have a couple of older single lambs whose mothers are doing a bad job that are less than this.
So if your lamb is less than about 12 kg then the ewe has a problem. These might be
1. Mastitis in one side. The milk looks lumpy and thin. This needs a vet consultation an antibiotic.
2. A blocked teat. You may feel a lump in the teat. No cure unless you can force it out.
3. No milk. A little bit is fine because getting milk out of a sheep can be difficult, and perhaps possibly the lamb has alrady drunk all it can. If there is no milk there is no cure, but more food - good quality short grass - should make more milk
4. Bitten teats. Treat by greasing with a non-scented handcream. No real cure until the lambs teeth have bluntened a bit.
To check these, catch the ewe, turn her onto the shearing position, dampen your fingers and try to milk her. You will probably have to massage the milk down from the top of the udder.
It is a good idea to leave the lamb with the ewe, even if she is not feeding it much, if you intend to supplement feed it with Anlamb. We have the ewe and lamb/s in a close paddock, with a long string tied around the lambs neck but so that it will not slip or slip off. If the mother knows about pellets, attract her with these then sneak up to the string while the lamb is close by. Feed 50g powder, 250ml warm water three or 4 times per day. If the lamb does not drink it all, put the bottle in the fridge and warm it up next time. After a couple of days the lamb should come to you without having to be caught by the string. Because I am in a low selenium and low iodine area, I also put a drop of selenium drench (Selmitt) and a small crystal of potassium iodide in one of the feeds once a week or fortnight.

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13 years 3 months ago #352943 by mlgmunro
Hi again and thank you all for your good advise.

The lamb is 7 weeks today and she weighs just under 15kg, is this normal?

I let her out with the ewe the very next day and the ewes udder was BIG so she must get some in after all.

Today I managed to catch the lamb again and fed her 200ml for lunch and 200ml for dinner. It took a good while thou. I have now a string attached to her, hope she won't get hurt by this but it really makes catching easy. I will continue feeding her Anlamb cause it feels like she needs it.

Will get a pic tomorrow and try to upload it.

She also seem to have sore feet on top of it all.

This is the first time we got sheep and we only got a little pack, so all is very new to us. Don't even know how to catch the ewe to examine her udder, but I do think the udder is fine.

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13 years 3 months ago #352954 by kaybe
I just weighed my lambs for drenching, Zap etc. this weekend, and my 2 girls who are 7 weeks old were 13 and 15kg. The 13kg lamb I think is a little undersized, but I know she is pinching milk from other mums as well as her own (who is an elderly ewe) and the 15kg girl is very normal and healthy for her age.

If your lamb has sore feet it may be what is making her look miserable and lacking in bounce. Next time you catch her look between her toes, gently scrape out or wash out any mud, then spread the toes and see if the skin is inflamed or pus-ey looking. If so she has scald (not surprising after the long wet period) and you need to get some Aerotet (purple foot spray) and spray the inflamed areas, and if possible try and keep her on dry ground for a day or so. There are alternative ways of treating scald, but purple foot spray is the one I find easiest.

Tomorrow is the day I will stop procrastinating.

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13 years 3 months ago #353016 by mlgmunro
Hi Kaybe, that sound reassuring. This morning 200ml went down like a treat :) I will get the foot spray and hope she gets better soon.

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13 years 3 months ago #353051 by LongRidge
By the time that scald has got pus in it then big damage has been done. Sore feet are extremely painful, and because of that it is one thing that I think that farmers should be prosecuted for if left untreated.
The 2 most common causes of limping are arthritis and scald.
1. Arthitis is caused by bugs growing in a joint. The bugs generally sneak in at birth, through the navel, while the newborn is struggling to get up off dirty ground. This results in a joint or joints getting swollen, and the hoof being normal. Treat this urgently by getting some penicillin from the vet. You will probably have to take lamb in to the vet clinic.
2. Scald is caused by different bugs growing on the skin between the hooves. After the mud is flicked out it looks white/pink, moist, and usually stinks. There is also often a little lump of junk at the back of the slot between the hooves. This bug does not like air, so very carefully trim the sides of the soles so that air can get in and dirt can fall out. Treat by spraying with vetadine for 3 or 4 days. If there is no improvement in a few days, take him to the vet to get a penicillin injection and some Aerotet Forte spray.

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13 years 3 months ago #353063 by Stu_R
:) i have found ( with my 2 dorpers who have "Feet from Hell") that the yellow spray ( not sure of its name as its out at the Olive Grove and i am home in town) works wonders :) ... a quick foot trim and a spray and the scald is gone and happy sheep inside 24 hours
And i have had to do my Dorpers in Manawatu condittions about every 3 weeks when its a bit damp under foot

5 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo,Sam and now Lenny) 15 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them :) , 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land :)

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13 years 3 months ago #353190 by mlgmunro
Managed to catch little Lambsie today and took her to the vet. She had very overgrown hoofs, even thou she is just 7 weeks. And she has scald. She got a trim, a shot and purple foot spray. We also weighed her and she was 14.25kg. The vet said she looked just fine and did not need any extra bottle feeding, yay!

http://www.lifestyleblock.co.nz/vforum/picture.php?pictureid=220&albumid=50&dl=1288255326&thumb=1

Pic taken today after vet visit. Will keep my fingers crossed that she will be happily bouncing around very soon. Thank you all for your input.

Louise and Lambsie

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