Monday, 1 February 2010

Two Babies? Not Me!

Posted by Simon

Yesterday, after finding we were the proud owners of two lambs, we soon realised the mum did not appreciate that she had given birth to two lambs and number two was getting ignored. Rosie and I managed to get it to suckle once but mum was not impressed. So we penned her in with both lambs.

This worked to some extent but in the main number 2 was on the way to be rejected. We had to hold mum whilst the little fellow fed, but mum would try anything to stop it feeding. So action was needed.

We did some research and asking around and in the main the answer was to get mum to bond with the lamb. Or we could end up bottle feeding or worse the lamb dying. Having penned them in together we found mum was butting this lamb around and even managed to push it out of the pen. At 4 o'clock on a snowy morning sorting this out was not want we wanted to be doing.

One solution, we were told about, is to make a small corner lamb pen within a pen. The two lambs are placed in their small pen next to mum but they cannot get to her. Then the scent of number 1 lamb rubs of number 2 lamb and hopefully fools mum. We then control the feeding, making sure both lambs get a feed.

So after our trip to Caen this morning (see post below - Hassle) we set this pen up and after checking that i) mum had milk and ii) both teats were working we moved mum and lambs over. At 8pm we did the first controlled feed and this went quite well. We had to hold mum but at least she let lamb 2 get some milk. She was a bit confused when she sniffed the lambs but when she was feeding both lambs all went well so we let them feed on their own. But lamb 2 was hungry and wanted to carry on feeding after lamb 1 was full and again mum started butting it.

We felt more positive though after the first controlled feed and this method will hopefully mean mum cares for both her lambs. Well it's off to do the midnight feed soon and I'm sure Rosie volunteered for the 4am one!


  1. *I'm sure Rosie volunteered for the 4am one!*

    LOL good luck I do hope it works, so much better than bottle feeding if possible.

  2. Mum is slowly starting to get less abusive to little one - but we have to watch her when we let them feed. Rubbing poo from No 1 to the bum of No 2 seemed to help as well.

    As for the 4am feed we both did 1am then 6am. Now I feel like I could just crawl back into bed ...... YAWN .....I thought I'd finished with night feeds!!

  3. sounds positive - hopefully mum will come round to accepting the lamb - and the lamb will get strong enough to get what it can!

  4. Hi, how's it going any joy?

  5. So so. She still won't accept No 2 but will let him feed if someone stands there with her. He's learnt to feed from behind, so gets pooed and weed on poor thing but that is a small price to pay. We did try and let the two out from the little pen but he didn't get any milk as she wouldn't let him feed and greedy big brother scoffed it all. I've had to give him a bottle to keep his strength up so I am not too sure how things will pan out.

    And as for the other two - I just wish they get on with it!!