Looks like i have a couple of bottle babies

SteepedInSheep

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Jul 3, 2023
Messages
18
Reaction score
37
Points
46
My ewe had twins today. Unfortunately she isn't giving any milk at all. Her udder is hard but not like engorement....it has a bunch of lumpy bumps in it. I tried for several minutes to express any milk from her and failed. We lost twins from her last year due to starvation and I was too much of a newbie and didn't realize they weren't getting fed.
Logically I would assume it makes more sense to separate the babies from her since I will be bottle feeding them. I did get some colostrom into them but they need to figure it out. Not sure how much got dripped down their chin vs into them.
I thought it might be confusing them a little bit that they are with mom still in trying to get milk out of her, But my hesitation with separation is reintegration later. These twins will either be butchered for meat or sold.
Any insights?
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
33,882
Reaction score
102,358
Points
873
Location
East Texas
I just brought a baby in the house. Her mom refused her. She has been fed and I put a diaper on her. I make a formula

1 gallon whole cow milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup cultured buttermilk

Pour out 3 cups milk.

Pour in buttermilk and evaporated milk. Top with reserved milk.

IMG_6299.jpeg


Your ewe needs to go o auction or slaughter. Two strikes. Out.

For your twins, make it at your convenience. If it’s easier to leave them with mom, do so. For me, it’s easier as tiny new babies to put them in a dog crate in the house. Then I put bottle babies in a small pen at a month old, for day time. I slowly introduce them back to the flock. It works for me.
 

Mini Horses

Herd Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
9,671
Reaction score
30,925
Points
728
Location
S coastal VA
It's what works for you. I leave mine with mom 98% of time, bottle and let mom do rest, so long as she's mothering, just not nursing. But I have goats & they act a little differently. If she's not hurting them, they'll learn to eat hay/feed when time...saves you work. You could offer them up for sale as bottle babes ☺️
 

SteepedInSheep

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Jul 3, 2023
Messages
18
Reaction score
37
Points
46
Bottle feed now. Don't wait.
Thank you! I went and got them both some colostrum after I couldn't express any milk from the mama.
1 gallon whole cow milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup cultured buttermilk

Pour out 3 cups milk.

Pour in buttermilk and evaporated milk. Top with reserved milk.
This is great to have, thank you
Your ewe needs to go o auction or slaughter. Two strikes. Out.
I know. 😭 that was the agreement if we had issues feeding again this time. We want our animals to be productive since they're not pets... she's just a nice sheep. My husband will probably butcher her shortly. I imagine it makes sense to butcher sooner rather than later? She's been getting a small grain ration plus some alfalfa pellets but I'm quitting that cold turkey considering the udder issue, but stopping that supplemental grain would probably cause her to lose weight.
For your twins, make it at your convenience. If it’s easier to leave them with mom, do so.
The hesitation I had with leaving them is it too confusing to have her mother them and have me feed them? I guess they would probably figure it out.
I If she's not hurting them, they'll learn to eat hay/feed when time...saves you work.
Thats a great point. I had already wondered about that.
You could offer them up for sale as bottle babes ☺️
Ahh, good to have as a back up plan.
I wonder what people pay for bottle lambs around here? They're 75% katahdin and 25% dorper.
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
10,520
Reaction score
40,355
Points
748
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
Easiest to leave them with her if she is mothering them. She will teach them to be sheep. They will grow better if out in the "real world" and less clean up for you. They will quickly learn your voice and that it means food/bottles... and come running to you for bottles and then go back to being sheep. They will be friendly and used to being handled if you decide to sell as bottle babies... If you want to butcher her in 6-8 weeks, when they are older and eating some, then cut her grain ration back but don't cut it out or she will lose condition.

We have "co-mothered" a few calves over the years on cows that did not have much milk for some reason; they quickly learn the bottle is good stuff, and they will come to call... the other good thing is that they also become like a "lead cow".... you can go out and call, and they will come, so the rest will follow, like when we want to get them in a pen or move from one pasture to another...
Feeding the ewe a few more weeks is not going to make or break you if she goes in the freezer or if you sell her, she will stay in good flesh. You would have been feeding her if she was feeding the lambs... so the extra cost is the milk you feed them, and she does the babysitting, instead of you having to do it.
 

SteepedInSheep

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Jul 3, 2023
Messages
18
Reaction score
37
Points
46
Update on the babies: we were having a hard time getting them to take the bottle while in with their mom so we brought them into the house for a couple days. They've been back out with the rest of the flock since then and are doing so well! Very friendly... obviously 🤣 Their mom is slightly indifferent but still acknowledges them as hers.
They were playing with a few of the older lambs yesterday. Nothing cuter.
 

SteepedInSheep

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Jul 3, 2023
Messages
18
Reaction score
37
Points
46
Is the ewe's udder still hard and lumpy? She probably freshened with mastitis. Definitely on to cull. Congratulations on saving and bottle feeding the lambs.
Yes, still hard and lumpy. Same scenario as last year. I would've thought if it was mastitis that she would have other symptoms of infection like a temperature. Does that not always happen?
 
Top