Keep Lambs inside how long?

Laura@TheFarm

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I have two 3-week old sheep we have raised and bottle fed since a couple days old. They are eating well, growing, running all over and jumping on the furniture! At what point can I move them from my warm low humidity house out to the cold high humidity barn
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that is packed with lots of other animals. They would have their own stall. Do they need vaccinations before being exposed to goats, other sheep, horses, chickens, turkeys! I am in North Idaho and it’s cold and snowy. We have babied and spoiled them, but are about ready to have our house back to normal! Lol! How long would you keep them inside your home?
 

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Sheepshape

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Sheep are meant for outdoors...even lambs. you will find that they start to nibble wires, furniture.....in fact anything....very soon.
They may need to be 'eased into' a cold environment if they are used to the house, so start them for a few hours at a time.....but they should be able to cope fine. Bring them in for a couple of days overnight if you are really worried, or find some dog coats for them to wear.
You cam keep them in the home for as long as you like...but DON'T. There is absolutely no need.
 

Baymule

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I have 2 bottle lambs right now myself. I had them in the house until 3 weeks old. I transitioned them to the barn by first putting them in a pen in the barn where they could see the other sheep ( 12 ewes, 1 ram and now 19 lambs, counting them). At first they were scared, but soon wanted to run and play. So I let them out and stayed with them for security. There is a lot attached to the barn that gives them room to run. It was cute how they would run back to me, then take off again. After several days of this, I left them for the night. Yes, you will worry, but they will be fine. I go out and feed them in the mornings, before I even get my coffee! I have a creep feeder and they have been learning how to eat the lamb feed and pellets I give to the ewes.

Here is a link to my lambing thread, raising the bottle lambs is in there, along with all the other lambs.


Your lambs are utterly adorable, what breed are they? While we don't have the winter weather you do, for about a week and a half, we did, totally unable to cope with it here! We made it through and my new lambs did fine, even down to -6 degrees! They are a lot tougher than we think. Good luck with your babies, post lots of pictures of them, we love pictures!
 

Laura@TheFarm

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They are Southdown, or babydoll sheep. They have a perpetual smile! We have a petting farm and they will be part of the barnyard when we open in late spring. So we want them very people friendly! Thanks for the advice. I think I will take them out to the barn today while I clean stalls. It will be their first introduction to the barn, the cold, and all the other animals!
 

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Laura@TheFarm

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Also, what vaccinations should they get? I am thinking tetanus and enterotoxemia? But when? I have no idea if their mother was vaccinated during pregnancy.
 

purplequeenvt

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Pick a warmer week to transition them to a warm, dry pen in the barn. You can put coats on them if it makes you more comfortable, but they don’t always need one. I’d skip the heat lamp completely.

I’d give CD&T now and then again in 21-28 days.
 

Ridgetop

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We have a petting farm and they will be part of the barnyard when we open in late spring. So we want them very people friendly!
No need to worry about them being friendly. Bottle babies will always consider you their mama and will be friendly and people oriented forever. Particularly since you have a petting zoo and they will be getting attention and treats from visitors.

If you have electricity in your barn, you can hang a construction lamp - one of those with the circular shiny steel reflective dome covers and either a heat lamp bulb or a simple 100 watt bulb. Do not use LED or fluorescent - they will not put out enough heat. Make sure to hang it high enough that no animal will be able to touch it or pull it down, Also make sure that the cords are not reachable by any animal for the same reason. Also, hang it in a position where if it snows or rains the cold wet rain or snow can't hit the bulb since the hot bulb will explode.

Otherwise, like everyone else says, introduce them to the outside weather a little at a time during the warmest part of the day. As long as they are out of any wind or wet that gets into the barn, they will snuggle up and be fine. You definitely need to get them out of the house soon. They need to grow a heavy coat. Put them on hay right away in addition to their bottles. They need to start growing their rumens and converting from the milk stomach to a fully functioning 4 chamber digestive system.

Vaccinate with CDT now and in 1 month. That is all they need. No need for tetanus since it is included in the CDT vaccine. I use a 3mm syringe with a 1/2" needle on my babies. Easier on them.

Have fun, but you are right - 3 weeks is enough house time! LOL
 

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