When to wean?

Mrs.Gray1211

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Hey y’all! Had our first live birth lamb Oct 12. Mom and baby have been doing great! My question is, it seems Mama doesn’t want baby drinking from her any longer. She won’t allow her to. Baby is nibbling hay and alfalfa and eating some grain. Since it seems she has weaned herself, is this okay? Or should we be supplementing milk replacer a couple times a day until she gets to 8 weeks/45 lbs? Baby is about 25 lbs right now.
Thanks in advance! 38F73F78-6F16-418B-AAAB-3B746D134161.jpeg
 

Baymule

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It is typical for a lamb to suck and the ewe to walk off. Watch closely to see if the lamb is sucking a little bit. Their tummies are small and they can’t hold much. So they suck a little here and there. Don’t take the lamb away. Continue to offer feed and hay.

If the ewe totally rejected the lamb, she would be knocking her lamb away when she tried to suckle. Some ewes will attack their lambs. Your pretty little lamb may be getting more than you think.
 

Baymule

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If the ewe is letting the lamb get a suckle, even a short one, she should be ok. As she gets older, she will nurse more vigorously.

If you supplement with a bottle, the ewe will really reject the lamb. Reason; ewes smell their babies butt. They even lick their behinds and clean them up. They KNOW their baby from all the others because their baby smells of their own milk. If you give the lamb a bottle, her butt/poop will smell different and the ewe will reject the lamb.

Just observe your ewe and lamb. After the evening feed, my ewes get a drink of water, eat some hay, then with a low rumble, they call their lambs to them. During the day, lambs get a suck or two, the ewe walks away.
 

Mrs.Gray1211

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Thank you! We decided just to leave everything as is. Lamb seems healthy and happy so must be getting more milk than we see. She is already eating grain and hay as well. Thank you for the advice!
 
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