An Orphan Lamb Can Be Saved
There are many reasons an Ewe might reject her newly born lamb. An Orphan lamb, in my experience, results from the separation of the ewe and her lamb before she has had an opportunity to apply her sent.
I’ve seen this several times over the years. The first time we experienced this, we were not well prepared for it. The mother had twins and the first born was very healthy and vigorous. He walked away shortly after the second, weaker lamb was born. The mother, following her instincts, trailed the first born and left the younger lamb on its own. Sadly, that girl didn’t make it.
Since that tragedy, we have learned to take steps to be better prepared for the birthing of our lambs. See the link the post below for some of the precautions we take now.
This year, we had another mother deliver twins. Fortunately, we had her securely in a stall. Unfortunately, the second born lamb was so tiny, he managed to find his way through the fence panel of the stall. He was only separated for an hour, but he had gone through before mom had finished cleaning him.
When we tried to re-introduce him to her she pushed him away.
When this happens you have to make a difficult decision. The difficulty arises from the time commitment required to keep an orphan lamb alive. They need to be fed every 2-hours for the first several days. This is around the clock and will run you ragged if you don’t have help.
We use a bucket system now. This bucket allows us to leave the lamb unattended for periods of time and is a must-have if you are breeding animals.
The orphan lamb also needs a safe and secure place to live for the first week or two. When they are so young they need extra protection from the elements. We have this little boy in an open top kennel lined with straw in my daughter’s bedroom. You can see in how well the bucket works, so everyone gets plenty of sleep. Even the orphan lamb.
Preparing for Lambing, Lambing at the Ten Mile Farm Katahdin sheep are excellent at lambing and normally need very little direct assistance. There are still a few things that we can do that will make the experience more pleasant for them and lead to healthier lambs. The main thing we want to do is ensure …