Ewe won't let newborn lamb nurse

Rin

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First time mother, had herself a ram lamb no problem sometime this morning but refuses to hold still for him to nurse. I don't think it is a bonding issue as she does "talk" to him and would not leave him for pellets this morning (I tossed a pile closer to her so she would eat). I don't want to interfere in a way that might make the situation worse but it is obvious she just isn't letting him nurse. Just gently spins away from his attempts. I uploaded a video showing the behaviour:

Should I do anything or just give her privacy and hope it's just stress from my presence? Does this look like stress, inexperience, or just the dreaded rejection (right after this video she did start to groom him)
 

Longhornbreeder101

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First time mother, had herself a ram lamb no problem sometime this morning but refuses to hold still for him to nurse. I don't think it is a bonding issue as she does "talk" to him and would not leave him for pellets this morning (I tossed a pile closer to her so she would eat). I don't want to interfere in a way that might make the situation worse but it is obvious she just isn't letting him nurse. Just gently spins away from his attempts. I uploaded a video showing the behaviour:

Should I do anything or just give her privacy and hope it's just stress from my presence? Does this look like stress, inexperience, or just the dreaded rejection (right after this video she did start to groom him)
You might have to take the baby in and start bottle feeding that lamb before it passes away cause of starvation the mom is just nervous cause she’s a first time mom and is not used to something trying to suckle on her teats something to do is put momma in a cage but still bottle feed baby but slowly get momma used to something pulling on her teats and start trying to get baby to nurse but with your help of a bottle I hope I could help
 

Rin

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Bottle feeding is out of the question, I work 10 hr shifts. I will try to see if confining them together will work though I'm pretty sure that will just increase the likelihood of her stomping on him by accident. She's not avoiding him, just avoiding any feeding attempts by swiveling her butt away. I was thinking restraining her in some way if I had to intervene, but I guess not?
 

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Bottle feeding is out of the question, I work 10 hr shifts. I will try to see if confining them together will work though I'm pretty sure that will just increase the likelihood of her stomping on him by accident. She's not avoiding him, just avoiding any feeding attempts by swiveling her butt away. I was thinking restraining her in some way if I had to intervene, but I guess not?
Yes, restrain the ewe, help the lamb feed.

Some times, after forcing the first few feedings the ewe will then figure out how to mother
 

Baymule

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Before you start bottle feeding, put ewe and lamb in a small pen. Tie the ewe up with a loop around her neck and run the rope over her nose and through the neck loop. Tie it so the loop doesn’t slide and choke her. Tie her head close to a post. You will have to be sitting on the ground for this, so if wet, scatter hay, straw or a piece of cardboard. Or you can just happily get sloppy wet. LOL

Check the lamb to see if he is cold. Put your finger in his mouth. If it’s warm, them proceed to getting him to nurse. If his mouth is cold, don’t feed him. A cold lamb cannot digest milk and will die. I unfortunately know this from personal experience. My favorite way to warm a lamb is with a heavy towel for a tent and a hair dryer. You can even use a box. Tent method, keep lambs head out, so you don’t cook his lungs. Turn hair dryer on high and blow on lamb. Box method, cut hole in each end, one for hair dryer to poke through and one for lambs head to hang out. Warm the lamb up toasty warm, bundle him up and go back to mom.

Now you have a warm lamb that is ready to feed. Push the ewe against a wall and put lamb up to the teat. You may have to gently pry his mouth open and milk the teat to give him a taste. Keep working with both of them until he latches on and sucks.

If you take the lamb directly away from his mom to bottle feed, he may miss out on the colostrum. Without the colostrum, he will die. I also know this from personal experience. Let my mistakes better help you.

After the lamb has fed a few times and you are satisfied, untie the ewe and leave them penned together. Go back a couple of hours later and put your finger in his mouth. If warm, he’s ok. If his mouth is cold, repeat the tie up and helping him suck process.

If you are convinced that she is rejecting him, take him in and bottle feed him. If she is rejecting him, she will butt him HARD and knock him away.

milk formula I use.
1 gallon whole cow milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup cultured buttermilk

Pour out 2 1/2 cups milk. Pour in can of evaporated milk and 1 cup cultured buttermilk. Slake to mix. Feed 4-6 ounces 4 times a day to start with.

From the sounds of it, she is just new and will figure it out. Let us know how she and the lamb does.
 

Baymule

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I just went through this with two sets of triplets and wound up with a bottle baby from each ewe. LOL I also had two new mothers that I had to tie and help the lamb to suck, so they both could get the hang of it. Penning them up gives them both time to bond and figure it out.
 

Baymule

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I had a lamb born during a freakish ice and snow storm with severe cold, for this part of the country. Poor lamb was always shivering, I cut an arm off a sweater to make her a coat. She still looked pitiful. Every time I picked her up, her mouth was warm, so I knew she was eating. I tucked my sweat hoodie into my pants, unzipped it, stuffed her inside and warmed her up while I did chores.

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farmerjan

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@Baymule is right. You need to restrain the ewe so the lamb gets a chance to get latched on and gets a tummy full. If she is still doing this, a few hours later, do it again and get the lamb on the other teat. There might be a "plug" of sorts in the teat that might take a couple of squirts from your milking her to get it to loosened up... it is natures way of keeping any bacteria and such from getting up in the teat and causing mastitis, until after they are fresh. I think that since it is her first time, she just doesn't "get it" that the lamb has to go to that end to nurse. We see it in first calf heifers sometimes and if they don't let the calf nurse within a few hours, we will get them caught up and make them let the calf nurse. If you get her in a small stall and can get her up against one side, if she is eating you may not have to tie her. The thing is to stop her from swinging her butt away..... but usually tying her head will give you a chance to get the lamb on and then once they figure out where to find the milk (for sure... as he is trying now by an inborn instinct) and gets a tummy full, he will be much more aggressive to go after the next meal. You don't want him too get weak so a feeding asap is best. At least she did this on a Sunday which I assume is your day off????? Most are not this cooperative!!!;)
 

Longhornbreeder101

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I
Bottle feeding is out of the question, I work 10 hr shifts. I will try to see if confining them together will work though I'm pretty sure that will just increase the likelihood of her stomping on him by accident. She's not avoiding him, just avoiding any feeding attempts by swiveling her butt away. I was thinking restraining her in some way if I had to intervene, but I guess not?
If momma still doesn’t accept after everything might wanna see if someone can help you feed her or idk how much longer she’s gonna be here everyone’s replies are all great ! I hope she does ok keep us updated but if momma doesn’t accept and you don’t have time to take care of her all I can say is ask someone to help you with her that has some time to help you bottle feed her hope she does ok.
 
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