Please help! Ewe is driving me crazy!

Hufflesheep

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I feel like I'm going crazy!

I have a lamb thats a couple days old. He seems to be well bonded with his mother, she is very protective of him. However i don't think he's getting enough nutrition. Ive yet to see him voluntarily suckle his mother and I do frequent barn checks. The front of his mouth is often cold. His rectal temperature is fine, earlier today it was 101.7 . On occasion i see him relatively fiesty but i often find him just standing there.
So far I've tried the following:
-Bumped her nutrition: molasses in water, endless supply of hay, extra grain.
-Checked her milk on several occassions, which is no easy task since she is fiesty. Everything looks good.
-checked his teeth. No shark teeth, but he has some bumps
- ive restrained her and showed him the teat at least three times. To do this i extract a bit of milk, rub it on the teat, take his little lamb lips and place them on the udder whilst trying to grapple with her!
- i try nudging him in the direction of the teat and she backs away.
- ive had my neighbor who is a dairy farmer check her udder for engorgement and mastitis. No signs of anything.
Tonight he drank 3 ozs of lamb formula! Which by the way I do not do often, just the last couple nights just so i can get some sleep without having to worry.
Her jug neighbor and her lamb are doing great!
what 🤬 am i doing wrong?!
Can i continue supplementing with formula?
 

purplequeenvt

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Is she in a small pen (lambing jug) with her baby? If not, I’d lock them up together so that you can keep a close eye on them.

Does his belly seem round and full? Pooping? Peeing?

At this point, I’d just keep an eye on the lamb. If his temperature stays where it’s supposed to be and he seems alert and moves around without being hunched or lethargic, then he *should* be ok. He might be a shy nurser.

I had one of those this year. She’s tiny and skinny and after her initial feeding after birth, I never really saw her nursing. I was getting worried, but she was always warm and pretty active so I just watched. I finally caught her nursing and she was out running races with the older lambs yesterday.
 

Hufflesheep

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I wouldn’t give him replacer again unless he seems like he’s really weak.
Thanks! They are jugged. It's so hard to tell if he's ok or not. He's usually sleeping or he's just sort of standing there. I feel for a little "balloon" and he does have a bit of one. The interal temp was good again this morning (102.1) but the front of his mouth and nose are ice cold. He was born on Monday. Shouldn't he be jumping around by now?
 

Jesusfreak101

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Personally no experience with sheep but i have goats and they do start moving more early on. I had one that didn't and he end up being blind and having to be put down because he wasn't gaining weight. I would be very concerned. I would be inclined to pull him and watch her udder after one night and watch how he does on the bottle. And if he doing better i would keep him on it. And if she has be come uncomfortable then you know other wise you can atleast know what's going on some what.
 

Hufflesheep

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Personally no experience with sheep but i have goats and they do start moving more early on. I had one that didn't and he end up being blind and having to be put down because he wasn't gaining weight. I would be very concerned. I would be inclined to pull him and watch her udder after one night and watch how he does on the bottle. And if he doing better i would keep him on it. And if she has be come uncomfortable then you know other wise you can atleast know what's going on some what.
Thank you! Ill watch him closely today and consider your advice.
 

Ridgetop

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If he was not eating, his belly would be empty and his sides would pinch together. If they feel full and round he is eating. It sounds more like he is cold and it is causing him to feel weak. Some lambs are more susceptible to cold than others. Cold weakens them. He hasn't got the strength to eat enough to keep his body heat up. Putting him on a bottle will not help his body temperature, and will cut down on the mother's milk. He needs to get warmed up and nurse. There are 2 things you can try to get his body heat up.

1. The quickest way is to put up a heat lamp over his jug. Put it in a corner up high where the ewe can't knock it down and keep the cord away from the pen. We run an extension cord over the rafters in our barn and drop the plug down to the heat lamp. We use a standard shop light with a reflective metal cover and just a 100 watt bulb but since you are in New Hampshire and the temp is very low I would start with a standard heat lamb bulb. The hardware store should have one. Otherwise, use a regular spot light bulb. if he is very small, you can make a lamb coat out of a large man's sock, cutting leg holes and slitting the toe part to allow him to pee freely.
or
2. Put the other ewe and her lamb in with the lamb and his mother. With twins they cuddle up next to each other and keep warm. Singles will cuddle up to mama, but have a harder time keeping warm when the ewe is standing up eating, etc. The 2 lambs will cuddle together and may keep each other warmer.

Actually, I would do the heat lamp and then combine the 2 ewes and their lambs as well. Hopefully that will work.
 

Hufflesheep

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Personally no experience with sheep but i have goats and they do start moving more early on. I had one that didn't and he end up being blind and having to be put down because he wasn't gaining weight. I would be very concerned. I would be inclined to pull him and watch her udder after one night and watch how he does on the bottle. And if he doing better i would keep him on it. And if she has be come uncomfortable then you know other wise you can atleast know what's going on some what.
I don't think he's blind. He has come up to me and tried suckling my shirt.
 

Hufflesheep

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OMG HELP!!

I went to check on them again. He was sleeping. I tried to stand him on his feet to check him over, feel his tummy again. And he slump back down, couldnt stay on his feet. I ran to the house and prepared a bottle. He slurped down 4 ozs and collapsed back down again. I tan him to the house and checked his temp. 103.5
 

Hufflesheep

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OMG HELP!!

I went to check on them again. He was sleeping. I tried to stand him on his feet to check him over, feel his tummy again. And he slump back down, couldnt stay on his feet. I ran to the house and prepared a bottle. He slurped down 4 ozs and collapsed back down again. I tan him to the house and checked his temp. 103.5
He is staying with me at the house until i csn get this all sorted. His breathing seems rapid.
 
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