14 orphan lambs!!
This year we decided to raise orphan lambs so as to utilize our fields, but not wanting to keep ewes all winter.
We put the word out that we wanted sock lambs and had 2 offered. Worried that we might get too attached to just 2 we put a notice in our local feed store that we wanted more orphan lambs, and got a phone call to say the local farmer had 10 we could buy, as a result of a bumper year of triplets and even quads. These ranged from 2 to 7 days old.
This meant we had 12 orphans!
We arranged pens inside some old stables, 4 lambs in each - 2 people with 2 bottles each. We fed them 4 feeds to start with of 250ml per feed (roughly 6am, 12 noon, 6 pm and last thing at night) We reduced this to 3 feeds when all were at least a week old, and now they are all at least 1 month old we have just reduced to 2 feeds a day (7 am and 7pm) of 400ml per feed. We bring them in at night but put them out during the day with creep nuts, and obviously they are eating the grass. So far (touch wood) they are all doing well.
One had such a bad sucking technique we had to cut a big hole in the teat and virtually pour the milk in. We have not resorted to multiple feeding buckets as all of the orphans have different needs, and some are so greedy I think they would have taken all the milk to the detriment of the weaker ones.
We hope to start weaning them in 2 weeks time, once we are sure they eating the creep nuts, and weather improves so that we do not have to bring them in at night.
We used Lamlac milk replacer, and used Milton to clean the bottles and teats for the first 2 weeks.
Many thanks for your valuable contribution, Barbara, and we wish you all the best with your orphan lambs. Many would have problems raising one orphan lamb, let alone 14!
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