I didnt think id have problems getting 3 orphans within a couple of weeks of each other. but they dont do it here! Henris farm text me yesterday to say twins arrived yesterday but mum has milk. So i said if a problem develops i'll have one, as Henri was ok for 2 days before mum got short on milk. but Henri is over 5 weeks now and a little too bouncy for buxton whos just under 4 weeks. As cameroons breed twice i might wait till August. Also for two nights now iv slept in my bed and not with them and last night got SIX HOURS sleep ahhhhhhhh first time in over a month. I will aim for 3 (as originally thought) hopefuly with buxton as part of the 3.
Thanks for advice
I'm too late with this comment, but may be useful for next time...(?!)
Our local lamb-raising expert showed me his method for teaching reluctant bottle feeders.
He sits on a stool or box and sits the lamb down between his feet, facing away from him, and holds the lamb's chin up in one hand, with the bottle in the other hand. Then holding the lamb's head up, stroking the lamb's throat and moving the bottle so as to drip milk into lamb's mouth. Lamb can't back off or run away when held like this, and repeating this process every few hours until they decide to drink *does* almost always work within a day or two for lambs which are otherwise healthy.
Once his lambs graduate to being competent feeders, then he just has to keep them out of the garden, workshop, house, kitchen, wardrobe..... they follow him everywhere, and every season he has a little mob of enthusiastic followers. And even when they are grown adults and living far away from the house, they still come running when they see him!
Thank you but feeding like that works for a few ml. I have to block him even on a good feed and also have one hand behind his head to stop pulling back. I think now its the milk replacer as his good feeds tend to be eletrolyte of 100ml a day. The vet has said to add a little to replacer each feed which makes a small difference but I feel at 4 weeks his feeds are always going to be a struggle but at least his drinking a little water by himself from a bowl.
Little update. buxton is now 4.5k still a nightmare to feed and at 33 days old vet wants to start decreasing milk replacer to get him eating more hay and drinking water with added vits and calcium. She is quite confident with his progress and thinks he might pull through to the extent of not wanting to see him for two weeks now, with the hope of even cutting down on his heart meds. He is maintaining his body temp nicely but still getting cold legs. Henri is over 6k now, full of beans and horns at 1cm
They are both eating grass, playing outside and on 3 feeds a day, buxton has lost a little weight doing this but keeping a close eye for signs of going down hill. Henri can loose a little weight as he was quite portly,
They are only out for a few hours a day as it is still quite cold and buxtons legs get cold very quickly with his heart problem, but pooh is fine. Would be good to wean buxton early but still forcing milk down him and drinking little water. Plus side he is eating well
Our sheep are very probably genetically larger than yours. We wean when the lamb is 20 kg or 12 weeks, whichever comes last. So I would think 15 kg or 12 weeks would be enough milk for yours but only if they are eating plenty of meal or pellets, and grass. We give the one/s we are weaning water in it's bottle if there are others that are still on milk, and frequently tilt the bottle so the flow stops.
good news buxton is now taking the teat and feeding himself after a few mins i need to put my hand behind his head to keep him on it. I now think it was the milk replacer. Started a new batch which was same brand but smelt and felt different. The old stuff was dry and within date but lumpy and needed sieving. So at 6 weeks old he is now slowly feeding. 30 mins to finish bottle but think bad feeding is a bit of a habbit now.
bad news Henri was rushed to vets Mon night at 10.45pm with major bloat , his 9pm feed was normal then 10.15 just blew up realy badly in 30 mins. Vets great but not allowed outside to play because of grass eating. Luckily buxton was not eating much grass as would not have survived the major cut back in milk as Henri now has. He is blowing up on his last feeds now but massaging his tummy to keep is down. Any ideas on getting bactiria into his tummy, maybe adding actimel to milk? If can not he and buxton banished to house till weaned. They are both eating hay and drinking water but the pellets the vet gave me (which they feed orphan deer) they are only nibbling on. Another much lesser problem, buxtons horns have stopped growing . From birth both had little lumps. Henri now has 2cms but buxtons hair is growing round the area as if he had horns but only little bump. Is this due to poor health (his heart problem) and bad initial milk intake? Henri (who was a twin) is only 10days older but over 8k and buxton (only lamb) is only 5k.
Your lambs problem is keeping bacteria out of abomasum and getting the right bugs into the rumen. Sucking action puts the valve that is in the gut into the correct position for milk to go into the abomasum, unless the valve has been damaged or the animal did not suck hard enough for this valve to move. Bacteria in the abomasum is one of the reasons for Abomasal Bloat . This is because the bacteria that should not be there have a party and make lots of gas. Easily digested high sugar liquids should not get into the rumen, because the bugs that should be there have a party and make too much gas there.
Horns stop growing when the health is compromised, and can become very thin at that place. So in older age the ends of the horns are likely to break off, which won't worry him much.
went to vets today Henri has now meds (2lots) for ongoing bloat. buxton has constipation problem which they are not sure why but his heart is working well with med and for the first time was beating quickly with the stress of being at vet. before his heart was very very slow with being at vet. So the stress for us all continue plus buxtons feeding has gone down hill again today!