Bottle Lambs


April FreemanYesterday, a ewe we’ve been watching for quite some time lambed. We’ve been anticipating her lambing because she has something wrong with her udder and her babies will be required to be fed on a bottle.

The kids are excited. Of course, I understand. Lambs are totally cute and cuddly. Feeding them is like having a quick growing infant around. The kids like this stuff.

I’m less excited. This is a lot of work.

You see, baby lambs, especially bottle lambs, are quite fragile. For the first two or three weeks, they require close monitoring. In the first week, they must be fed every four hours, even at night. I stopped having my own children because of stuff like this! And now I’m doing it for a couple of lambs!

First thing yesterday afternoon after they were born, we had to make a trip to Tractor Supply Company. There I bought a small bag of colostrum powder. This stuff is all a baby lamb needs for its first 24 hours of life. Colostrum powder is not as good as the stuff that comes straight from a ewe’s udder, but it’s better than nothing. It does have extra minerals and antibodies to help get the lamb off to a good start.

I also bought a large bag of lamb milk replacer. In the past, I raised bottle lambs on fresh, raw milk from my dairy cow and they did thrive on it. However, Millie won’t calve until early September and so she is in her dry period now. I have to pony up the extra money for milk replacer for these lambs.

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