Bottle Lamb Questions

Discussion in 'Other Pets' started by Iceblink, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Iceblink

    Iceblink New Member

    Dec 5, 2008
    I have a week old bottle lamb, and lots of questions. :sigh:

    When will her umbillical cord fall off?

    At 7 days she is eating 5 times a day, between 8 and 12 oz per feeding, that is pretty much what the back of the milk replacer bag says, is that enough? When I got her (at 3 days) she had scours, and the man who sold her to me said it will clear up eventually as long as I don't feed her too much. Well, her poops aren't as bad, but they aren't solid yet either, is that normal? Am I overfeeding her?

    I have a lot more questions, but it's time for her bottle, so I'll try to post the rest of them later.

    Thank you all so much.
  2. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I personally followed the goat time table on bottle babies for my bummer lamb that I gave to a friend to raise on unpasturized goats milk and he did great. But I have Blackbelly sheep.

    The umbilical cord it can take up to a couple weeks to fall off.

    I would give him a bit of pepto to clear up the scours.

  3. Iceblink

    Iceblink New Member

    Dec 5, 2008
    How much is a bit?
  4. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I would start off with about 3cc of pepto twice a day and see if that helps - should start solidifying within a couple days.
  5. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I agree with Allison.... :wink:

    How is the lamb doing today?
  6. Iceblink

    Iceblink New Member

    Dec 5, 2008
    Thank you for the advice, I'll try it. She is doing very well today. She has seemed healthy and perky the whole time, it's just that I am a first time maaa maaa mama, so I am nervous about doing it right. She loves to 'show off' for me, running back in forth in front of me and kicking her back legs up.

    [attachment=0:229xdylu]Portia 002.jpg[/attachment:229xdylu]
    Here is a picture of her being a big brave girl out on a walk.

    For those of you who raise meat goats, do they ever become evil? Does it ever get easy to uh, send them to where all good meat animals go? She's so sweet and trusting, I can't imagine not keeping her, but then again chicks are cute, but just about the time the roosters turn evil is when it's time to process them, so maybe it's the same with sheep and goats?
  7. ksacres

    ksacres New Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    San Antonio Texas
    Dorpers are so pretty!

    Glad she is doing ok for you, but here's a bit more advice, if she starts getting worse.

    We feed all our bottle babies as much as they want three times a day (after they are a week old).

    It is more likely the scours are due to the replacer, rather than the feeding.

    But, to be on the safe side:

    How much is she eating per feeding? If you are feeding that often, I would not feed more than ten ounces at a time. The replacer needs to digest before you add more to it.

    How big is the hole in your nipple? It should take several minutes for a young baby to finish a bottle. Eating too fast can cause tummy upsets.

    Also, define "scours" for me. It is perfectly normal for a new baby to have clumpy, sticky, wet yellow poo. That is from the colostrum. The poo *slowly* changes from that to tiny little goat berries, getting darker as it does. I have had goats that didn't have berries until they were a month old. Now, if it is dark, and liquid, then you have scours.

    If she has real scours, this is what I would do:

    Cut her formula. Give her pedialyte laced with pepto instead until her poo is normal. She will die a lot faster from dehydration than not getting milk. *Slowly* start her back on formula. If the scours return, you need to change replacers. Really, goats' milk is the best replacer for just about any animal milk, but it isn't always available.
  8. Iceblink

    Iceblink New Member

    Dec 5, 2008
    Thank you very much! I guess she doesn't have scours after all. I thought that was just the term for soft poo, but hers are yellowish and sticky.

    I feed her between 8 and 12oz at a time, and it usually takes her up to 10 minutes to finish a bottle, she likes to play around while she eats.

    I have another question, would she (and my other sheep) like a little kiddy pool? It is so hot here that I was thinking about setting one up for my dog, and wondered if they might like to go in there too. Not at the same time as my dog. I do wash them off if they get poo on them, and they seem to like it.
  9. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    normally sheep and goats dont swim...but then again our cat plays in puddles :shrug:
  10. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    I'm sorry I didnt see this earlier. I've been flat out and not on the boards very much lately.

    1) she's cute! :love:

    2) umbilical can fall off at a few days to a few weeks. Nothing to worry about.

    3) I give mine 5 feeds 4 hrs apart (6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm and 10pm) for the first day, then put them onto four feeds (7am, 12noon, 5pm, 10pm) usually for about a week, then after that they go on 3 feeds (8am, 3pm, 10pm) until they are about 6 - 8 wks old, at which stage I put them on 2 feeds a day (12 hrs apart, I do 8am and 8pm).

    4) as to amount, the easiest thing to do is watch her little sides. When viewing from the top (birds eye view) look at her flanks. After she has finished a bottle, you want the flanks to be straight or gently rounded - you dont want them bulging out (too much milk) not curved in (not enough milk). Wow, 8 - 12 oz is a lot if you are giving that each feeding, five feedings a day. Basically I give about 33 oz per day, split into how ever many feeds. When they get a bit bigger and want more, I go to 40-50 oz per day. But the thing to do is watch her sides, and adjust accordingly.

    5) baby poos will be slightly runny until they start eating solids. You will know it if she gets scours - the whole back end will be covered in it. You can give her probios in her bottles to help her adjust to the milk - I always do that with my babies. Basically, you dont worry about loose poos if the animal is happy, running around, playing and eating. It is when she starts to refuse her bottle, lays around lethargic and depressed, then you know she needs treatment.

    6) most sheep and goats dont turn evil at slaughter time, but I understand your thought process there. Basically, you need to decide at the very beginning of putting a baby on a bottle, what their fate will be. For example, I have 6 boer buck kids on the bottle at the moment, and when I gave them their first bottle I told myself they are going to slaughter in September. I tell myself that with every bottle I give them. They have names and I cuddle them etc. but I never lose sight of the fact that they are going to slaughter. That helps me dela with it when it finally happens. In contrast, I have 6 lambs on the bottle also (4 ewes, 2 rams). From the first day, I told myself these 6 lambs are to be sold as breeders at 6 mths old, except for 1 ewe lamb who I am keeping. So decide now, before you get too emotionally involved, what her fate is going to be. Send her to slaughter? Keep her as a pet or breeder? Or sell her as a pet or breeder?

    7) if she is running and jumping around and showing off, she is feeling GREAT! You are doing a good job

    8) if she is taking that long to finish her milk, and fiddling in between, you are offering too much. Basically along with watching their sides, if they take more than 5 mins I remove the bottle. Ideally you want them to suck it all without detatching, in about 2 - 3 mins.

    9) decide now if you need to remove the tail, and if so get a green ring on it. be prepared for her to throw herself on the ground and act like she is having a seizure. nothing to be alarmed about, she will stop it eventually. earlier that band is on the tail, the better

    10) no, she wont like the kiddie pool

    11) what sort of milk replacer are you using? the quality is very, very important, perhaps the most crucial aspect to hand rearing any type of animal. you need one that is AT THE VERY LEAST 20% fat, 20% protein, and all milk, no soy in the ingredients list. The one I would use if I were in US is manna pro nurse all (24% fat, 24% protein). the uni milk is too low in fat, ditto with the suckle. their lamb milk replacer looks FANTASTIC and if I were just feeding lambs (not kids) I would use that one. the kid milk replacer is okay but I think outgunned by the nurse all. I'm not a fan of sav-a-kid, the sav-a-lamb looks reasonable but I still think the nurse all is the very best all round replacer available in the US.

    Good luck and keep us posted. Here are some of my kiddos and lambs


  11. shanzone2001

    shanzone2001 New Member

    Nov 8, 2009
    :wave: Wow, Keren, you will be my sheep "go-to" person once my ewe delivers!!!
  12. andreakimbroughcarpenter

    andreakimbroughcarpenter New Member

    Sep 10, 2014
    I have never owned a lamb. We just bought a farm and I have 5 goats, 1 expecting anyday. A half mini pony half mule, I am breaking and 3 guineas. A puppy and a kitten. Crazy, huh? But, my serious question is I bought a two day old lamb today and I bathed it, as there was poop on it and I am bottle feeding manna pro, it is 100 plus where I live ( so, he is warm). Is colostrum necessary at this point. He is alert and up and around. Just do not want to loose him. I do not know anything about lambs.