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Topic-icon 8 week old lamb with bloat

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2 months 5 days ago #545135 by LongRidge

What I personally woulg try, if I had the time, ishalve the quantity of milk, and double or triple the number of feeds. But I want big lambs and you want small sheep, so you could probably safely enough reduce the volume but don't reduce the number of feeds yet. In my opinion.

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2 months 5 days ago #545144 by Si

On all the stuff iv read says start reducing at 6-7 weeks to fully wean at 12 weeks. All the amounts are for 4k birth weight and in early days was struggling to get right amount down him. Also not fussed about size big or small. The weight a 4k lamb should be now 8 weeks is 18k so Henri 2k birth and 8-9 now. buxton different story he is very small but in apperance not underweight. As you know feeding is still an ongoing problem with him. So are you saying go back to 6 feeds for both. Problem with that is with meds for both need to be an hour before and after feeds and buxton taking 45-60mins for one feed. Plus as he is sort of feeding 50-100% from bottle now to rush feeds to 30mins would have to start forcing again. Today Henri is a little round prior to feeding just waiting from meds to feeding. So yesterdays little increase of grass has not blown him up like it did Monday the previous week. Alittle confusing some places say bottle lambs wean at 5 weeks (which i have not or would not do) quite a few say 10-12 weeks. I was planning on 12 but as im thinking the milk is the problem with Henri and he is only on 300ml a day now that 10 weeks might be an option. buxton as only on 550ml and no bloating (as yet keep till 12) and not decrease for another week. Flipping tricky to know what is best but will not increase Henri unless starts to loose weight or look thin ?

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2 months 5 days ago #545145 by Si

On all the stuff iv read says start reducing at 6-7 weeks to fully wean at 12 weeks. All the amounts are for 4k birth weight and in early days was struggling to get right amount down him. Also not fussed about size big or small. The weight a 4k lamb should be now 8 weeks is 18k so Henri 2k birth and 8-9 now. buxton different story he is very small but in apperance not underweight. As you know feeding is still an ongoing problem with him. So are you saying go back to 6 feeds for both. Problem with that is with meds for both need to be an hour before and after feeds and buxton taking 45-60mins for one feed. Plus as he is sort of feeding 50-100% from bottle now to rush feeds to 30mins would have to start forcing again. Today Henri is a little round prior to feeding just waiting from meds to feeding. So yesterdays little increase of grass has not blown him up like it did Monday the previous week. Alittle confusing some places say bottle lambs wean at 5 weeks (which i have not or would not do) quite a few say 10-12 weeks. I was planning on 12 but as im thinking the milk is the problem with Henri and he is only on 300ml a day now that 10 weeks might be an option. buxton as only on 550ml and no bloating (as yet keep till 12) and not decrease for another week. Flipping tricky to know what is best but will not increase Henri unless starts to loose weight or look thin ?

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2 months 5 days ago #545146 by LongRidge

6 to 7 weeks is for lambs that are eating mostly grass, and ....to keep your cost of milk powder down.
I have heard that lambs can be weaned after 7 weeks, and did it once with one lamb. He died :-(. For NZ meat breeds I have learnt that lambs either younger than 12 weeks or less than 20 kg are too small to make good sized adults.But I do have a ewe-reared lamb who's mother died when he was 8 weeks. He refused a bottle but has done very well considering the problems that his mum had.
It seems that you are quite unable to fit in more feeds, so don't try.
What weight of pellets are each of them getting. I would think that 100 grams per day is way too much to start with, but if they are now up to that much then they are getting 50 % of their daily needs of food. You may be able to increase the amount they are getting very slowly, but be very careful about the amount of copper in the pellets. Sheep need much less than horses, cattle and goats, and too much will kill them.

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2 months 5 days ago #545147 by Kilmoon

Si, keep doing what you are doing as it's working....plus the vets have given you medication specifically with a time frame to be administered before feeds. I wouldn't change feed frequencies without talking to your vet first. No one is starving and it sounds like Henri is slowly coming right from the bloat.

Here in NZ we have sheep breeds (romney, poll dorset, texel, coopworth etc) that have been selected sheep generation after sheep generation to become large fast growing animals. Yours are what I'd class as a heritage breed (I know you said the breed but damned if I can remember it at the moment), but not a breed that we down here in NZ would regard as commercially viable (think lambs that grow like hell for the meat market). (These breeds are normally what people get their hands on when they want to raise a bottle fed lamb.) It is an important point to remember, because our feeding amounts (that you'd see on the back of milk replacer packets and online) are based on large lambs getting larger fast. Down here it's more "how much milk replacer do I have to buy to get the lamb through to a high enough weight that the weaning to grass doesn't cause a weight loss or plateau as they adjust". It comes down to $ cost, the less milk powder that you need to buy to achieve that means that the bottle fed lamb is still commercially viable. I look at it as 'damn the cost, how do I grow a healthy lamb that I'm keeping for several years'. I buy one 20kg sack of milk replacer per lamb that I bottle feed - that lasts the one lamb its 4 months of bottle feeding (roughly).

Keep doing what you're doing, keep the vets informed and use their advice because at the end of the day you see Henri and Buxton 24/7 and you'll see instantly how they react to more/less milk and other feeds like grass, hay, and nuts. Speaking of nuts, you said Henri loves them but in a post you said they were deer nuts? (I may be wrong on the nuts but have you thought to query the vet as to whether there is something in those deer nuts that may not be reacting well with Henri? As in he can't tolerate a mineral or sweetener or something?)

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2 months 5 days ago #545148 by Si

They are cameroon (hair sheep) and the stripes on Henri are waves in fur not ribs. They are having about (prior to bloat) 30-40g deer pellets, yesterday put 30 down and mainly Henri scoffed most. Will ask vets for copy of ingredients so i can translate. Plus oats which they are not impressed by and only 10g will go. Yep 12 weeks it is then even if Henri is only on small amounts as not happy putting back up to 750-1000. 1400ml was his max without bloat trouble. Henris horns are really poping out now :-) buxton has 3-4 mm under fur ahhhhhh he is trying.

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2 months 5 days ago #545149 by Si

bloody phone pics

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2 months 5 days ago #545150 by Si

Ahhhhhhh

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2 months 5 days ago #545151 by Si

last try for Henri

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2 months 4 days ago #545180 by McNeish

Every year I end up with one or two pet ram lambs. I use rings to castrate them in the first 3 weeks and unfortunately 9 times out of every 10 I manage to only get one of the testes, which results in cryptorchids, who are every bit as aggresive as intact rams and they end up going on the truck. This year a vet gave me a tip which is to lay the lamb on it's side which makes it easier to get hold of the testes. It worked and I now have a lovely pet wether (castrated male sheep). In my view, they make the best pets, they are docile, affectionate and are devoted to you for life. They also tend to get very fat! So good luck with yours and once he is fixed I hope you have many years of enjoyment with him.

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2 months 4 days ago #545187 by Si

they dont seem to ring here hence intact at 7 and 8 weeks and both were too ill when i got them to worry about it. Henri is quite head butty and only 9k is suprisingly stong so hoping to get castrated at 3 months. I understand it is only a problem for me as their is no fear. Unlike other people who they will not get close to . With buxton thinking the 3 monthly injection is only option. Saying that he has gone from half tab to quarter of tab for his heart needs checking next week to see if the lower dose is ok. As far as wethers being fatter (might sound silly) do they get fat on grass and hay? Or is it too much pellets and grain? I was going to free feeding hay while on grass (if the live that long) only giving egg cup each of grain/pellets as daily treats.

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2 months 3 days ago #545210 by McNeish

My wethers and ewes only feed on grass. Occasionally (once a month) they will get a few nuts, really only to keep them trained to come to me which helps getting them into yards etc. as I have no dogs.
I never feed any dry food to my pet/orphan lambs until they are about 3 months old and then I just start giving them single sheep nuts. I have had instances in the past where young lambs have eaten sheep nuts, blown up and died.
I also do not fully wean them until about 5 months old.
I know this will not help you with Buxton and Henri, but if you have any lambs in the future, if you don't already use it, start them off with lamb milk formula which has colostrum in it which you us for the first 48 hrs. I have been feeding newborn lambs for 20 years and every year I would have lambs die of scours and pneumonia, but since I started using colostrum formula 6 years ago I have had none. Interestingly, it seems to have stopped juvenile arthritis problems too....touch wood.
Sadly, it doesn't stop all losses, and harsh as it may sound, sometimes nature does have to take it's own course. Often, when one of my ewes rejects a lamb, it turns out there is something wrong with it, so I guess they sort of sense things and it is survival of the fittest.
All the best with your 2. I loved your photos!

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2 months 3 days ago #545214 by Si

In Dec tried to get colostrum (they dont do it in milk, or lamb only milk) in advance but only could get for cows. I was then going to get it anyway (better than nothing) after xmas as told lambs due in Feb. Henri arrived xmas eve but they wouldnt let me pick him up for 4 days, buxton was born 10 days later from different farm , they called me on day 3 i picked him up following day. So both past colostrum time. They were both very sick and would not have survived outside on grass or my sheep shed.This winter has been very mild only -8 at night but buxton with his heart problems was struggling indoors 18 at night with a heat lamp and coat. It was only about two weeks ago he was strong enough to be without a coat at night. I know what you mean about nature doing its thing but as a first timer i knew they were not good but had no idea how bad they were. Yep next time!!! If too old for colostrum will start probiotics at once, sadly have not learnt the leason of "dont do it again mad bitch" as they need one more for a little flock or more if nature is more b minded than me. That aside if they look like they are suffering i will not drag the end out. They obviosly are ill but only occational tooth grind with odd listless day. They are both little fighters all be it one with attitude and other little mummies boy. Thanks to this forum have had lots of help, advice and support. Without it i would NOT have survived the first week , especially as my first vet had no clue and taking Henri in with bloat they said he was fine, next morning he vomited ahhhhh . We have made it this far just hope it carries on. Ooops bit of a witter but in my defence its 1am and iv got a chronic tooth infection YIPPEE

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2 months 3 days ago #545215 by Si

P.S glad you like pics, takes hours for the rainbow affect. Im just soooo skilled lol

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2 months 3 days ago #545217 by McNeish

Keep at it Si, even with a really bad start, lambs do make it, they have made it this far, so they are clearly little fighters.
I am a softy too, I even get neighbouring farmers dropping orphans off to me on top of my own.....I just can't say no.
Tooth infection as well......bet you can't wait for Spring to arrive. Are you in England?

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