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New Lamb Owner-Help!

Discussion in 'Feeding Time - Sheep' started by reneerising, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. Jun 3, 2018
    reneerising

    reneerising Exploring the pasture

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    Hi Everyone,
    I am at the very beginner stages of have a few livestock as pets. I have 2 bunnies, 2 goat kids (maybe 3 to 4 months old) and 1 lamb (maybe 2 months old) I just got by chance. I have 3 separate stalls in the stable area. I had put the very calm newbie lamb with the goats so as not to be alone but the larger goat began butting at the lamb so my lamb has been removed. She is also slightly dirty (very small grains of dirt, twigs in her black curly hair) so a bath on the next warm day may be in order. Got them all at a Farmers Market, different owners. I will go to breeder hereafter.

    I went to Tractor Supply and saw a Goat & Sheep Medicine Feed and Goat and Sheep salt block but saw no lamb feed. Did not purchase.

    I have some grass-orchard hay that I gave her. Can she eat a little of the goat grain (Southern States Goat and Kid Feed)? I have read about copper not good for sheep. I also let her eat outdoor grass.

    What can my new lamb eat that is non-pasture? What grain feed and minerals and which brands will give her what she needs? How much grain would you give?

    I work several hours and she will be in the stable until I am home and then she will be let out to pasture under supervision like the kid goats, she is small. I plan to get her 1-2 lamb friends once I can get what she needs.

    What is the better hay types she needs?

    **Also, let me mention this, one of her legs (only there) looks like a very small amount of hair loss. How do I treat or clean? She is separate from the goat kids.

    I welcome all suggestions on her feed, bathing, treating her leg.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Jun 3, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    What breed is your lamb? Is she a wool breed or hair sheep? I buy sheep mineral at TSC, they do not carry it, they order it in for me. I have bought both the Dumor and Purina brands.
     
  3. Jun 3, 2018
    reneerising

    reneerising Exploring the pasture

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    I don't know her breed. I asked. I purchased from Amish at Farmers Market. She said she was selling for her neighbor. She is small (maybe ex-bottle baby) with curly black hair with a few small white splotches. She is soooo cute. Very calm and unafraid.

    So I can give the lamb of 2 months old a sheep mineral? I will have some ordered for me as well. Which brand did they like best - Dumor or Purina? What do you suggest as feed during the day, other than the minerals?
     
  4. Jun 3, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    They liked both brands. Give her free choice hay. Curly sounds like a wool breed. Can you post a picture of her? I have hair sheep, so I don't know much about the wool breeds.

    If you get other lambs and they are going to be for pets only, make sure that if you get a ram lamb, that he has been castrated. They can breed VERY early, at 2-4 months old!
     
    mysunwolf likes this.
  5. Jun 3, 2018
    mysunwolf

    mysunwolf True BYH Addict

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    The hair should resolve on its own with better nutrition unless it's an external parasite. A photo would help us figure out what's going on, though.

    You definitely should get a little friend or two for your lamb! They like to have a flock and do much better with a buddy.

    Don't give her a bath, it generally just stresses them out. You can have her shorn if you think there are larger issues at work, but it doesn't sound like it. Some folks pick out stuff from their wool by hand.

    If it were me, I would take some poop to a vet and have them run a fecal to make sure she is free from internal parasites. Then monitor her eyelids using FAMACHA scoring to check for anemia (usually from barber pole worms, the biggest killer of lambs in our area, not sure where you are located). There are some great internet resources for this.

    Orchardgrass hay is great. No goat feed at all. I feed a lamb feed that has 14% protein and no copper, or if I can't get that an all purpose feed at 12% protein and 10ppm copper. Any more copper and you have a toxicity issue, like you've read about.

    I recommend Dumor minerals if you're just starting out, I think they're more balanced than the Purina.

    Good luck, please get us some photos soon!
     
    Baymule likes this.
  6. Jun 3, 2018
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    Definitely worm her she is scouring. If she was a bottle baby you may not need to yet. If you have good grass pasture, that is all she needs. If she is penned all day (without access to pasture) I favor alfalfa for sheep and goats without pasture or forage. It is high in protein and she will not need any grain. Too much grain will cause scours. If she was a bummer lamb, you might want to give her a little amount of barley corn (mixed barley and rolled corn together in bagged feed). Don't give much, and it she has healthy enough pasture or high quality hay, she will not need any grain.

    Since you said she is a pet, I assume you don't plan to put her in your freezer. That being said you will want to feed her slightly differently. Freezer lambs you want to put on weight as quickly as possible since you want to get them to butcher fast. There is no profit in holding meat animals longer than 80 to 100 lbs depending on breed so you want to finish them off as fast as possible to keep your costs down. At 80 - 100 lbs (butcher weight depending on breed) the weight gain slacks off considerably and you are just putting expensive grain into the animal at a very inefficient ratio.

    Since you want to keep this lamb (ewe?) for a pet, and possibly breeding later, you want to bring her on slowly. She shouldn't gain weight too quickly. Slower growing breeding animals are healthier than those that are pushed to gain weight quickly. Copper is dangerous in high amounts for sheep so do not give dairy feeds or cattle feeds to your lamb. Goats (especially milkers and production goats) require higher amounts of copper. However, just make to feed those feeds separately from the lamb. We used to feed our higher copper grain in the milking stanchion, but of course, you are not milking your kids. I wouldn't worry too much about the extra vitamins unless you see a problem. If she was going to suffer a lack of selenium she would have already shown it so I would just let her graze, allow access to some high quality hay for rumen development good for the goat kids too who don't need any grain either yet.

    Are your goat kids bucks or does? If bucks, get them castrated IMMEDIATELY. Castrated goats (wethers) make delightful pets but entire bucks smell during rut. The bucks do not get mean but can become over familiar and you will smell bad from being with them. Also, goats and sheep will try to cross breed and you don't want her bred until she is 10-12 months old. It is just asking for trouble to let her breed too young. Once she is older and larger, she can be integrated into the goat herd (with does and wethers) rather than having to immediately purchase any more sheep. The 2 species can live amicably together - the problem you are having now is the older goat kids establishing dominance in the herd order. Ordinarily the ewe mama would protect her lamb by butting the aggressive kids away until her lamb(s) were older and able to defend themselves. Eventually, when you put the 3 together they will butt each other again to establish herd order. That is normal and needs to happen for a healthy herd. Right now you are right to keep her separated when you are not there to protect her since she is smaller and could be hurt. You can give them monitored playtime so they get to know each other in preparation for the time when she is large enough to be put in with them.

    IMPORTANT: Do not let our kids or lambs jump on you or butt you. What is cute and amusing in a 20 lb kid is dangerous in a 200 lb wether or sheep. A full grown ram can break a man's leg with a butt. Getting my 4-H members to train their baby animals to behave the way they wanted their adult animals to behave was one of the hardest parts of being a livestock leader! :barnie:he

    Letting them loose to run and jump as babies is the best part though! Have fun!
     
  7. Jun 7, 2018
    reneerising

    reneerising Exploring the pasture

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    Good evening ALL,
    I am soo sorry to report that my baby sheep died within 1 1/2 days of purchasing her.

    I purchased her from a flea market. I was sooo happy to make the purchase. She may have been like 2 months, said they were selling for a neighbor. I asked what did she eat and they showed my a small glad bag that had like mixed grain, looked almost like it was hand made. I spoke to a few sheep/lamb owners and they asked had she been weaned properly. I did not know. They said she may have been weaned away too soon and not properly weaned from milk to grain. One said she may have been sick when they brought her there.

    I told a co-worker today, not knowing her farm animal background, but the first thing she said was about the weaning. She lives in the city but she lived on a farm growing up. I didn't know. She gave some pointers.

    I decided that in the future, I will buy from a breeder, to ensure that they can answer the questions about the next lambs history - breed, vaccines, what type food is it getting, etc.

    I really like my little lamb. I am floored.

    Thanks for all the advice. I will know for my next lamb baby. I have a pic but she had passed in the picture. Not sure if I need to upload that picture.

    The goats appear to be doing well. SAM appears to be maybe Nigerian Dwarf - brown, black and white, little horns, not castrated yet. MADELIN is all white - the lady did said she is Alpine and Saanen mixed. Both from different people. I am working with SAM - he doesn't like to be touched. MADELIN is more people friendly and doesnt mind. She will follow you. I have been walking them with collar and leash moreso due to SAM - to make him more people friendly. He doesn't scream from being touched like he did the first days. But he still backs away from you when you come near. He smelled at first but doesnt now. Not sure of his age, maybe 3 months.

    They are in the stable for about 6 hours. I let them out the stable when I come home to get fresh air, be free and go for a walk. Madelin walks and eats grass and weeds. SAM didn't used to but he does now. I have Southern States goat and kid grain. I also have hay. Any suggestions on how exactly to feed them - mornings and evenings? Don't want to overfeed them.

    No rams for me. I plan to get a few additional goat kids - friends for Sam and Madelin. If I separate Sam from Madelin when I get additional goat kids - boy and girl, boy to live with Sam as friend and girl to live with Madelin, will the 2 boys fight? My next goat kids maybe a Saanen, Alpine, Nigerian Dwarf or Pygmy. Thought about Fainting Goat.

    For my next sheep, I will buy two, but from different breeders, maybe. Hair sheep. I am on 10 acres. A portion is fenced, previous owners had horses and small livestock and chickens. I want them as well. There is a tall coop but I will add a run with fenced roof - within the next month.
     
  8. Jun 7, 2018
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    So sorry about your little lamb. Many of us have been caught by our hearts that way. That is why I warn people not to buy from the neighborhood auction. The monthly livestock auction is often where the culls end up and 'cute' can get you into trouble. I am glad you will be going to reputable breeders now. Ask for health guarantees. Most people will guarantee that the animal is leaving their farm in good health. Ask about return policy with a vet letter for replacement.

    You need to castrate Sam or separate him asap from the doe. Bucks can breed by 4 months old. For feeding, they don't need more than half a flake am and again pm between them until they are a little bigger. If they are still confined then maybe a full flake. Small amount of grain maybe for training. They need to develop their rumens. Until they can safely be left in the pasture all day you need to treat them as not grazing but carry all feed which means hay, not grain or manufactured feed.

    You might investigate breeders for older animals. If you want house milk, many breeders who are really into showing sell off those individuals that are not top of the string after freshening. They also like to place older animals sometimes to make room for up and comers. You can get a nice doe in milk that way. If she is a milker, properly raised on pasteurized milk, she will be super friendly and a good companion for Madelin. Once he is castrated, Sam can join them in the pasture although I would be leery of the horns with milkers. Not good to have him hook an udder or belly. They will be handy handles to catch him with. LOL I don't like horns on my goats or sheep because of the damage to fences and getting caught in stuff. I even disbudded any Boers I planned to keep. Show animals had to have horns though, and like I say, those horns were handy catch handles. LOL

    Enjoy your animals. Great plans!
     
  9. Jun 8, 2018
    mystang89

    mystang89 True BYH Addict

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    Really sorry this happened but I like your approach on what to do next.