Feeding a Poddy lamb
by Annie Smith
(Pambula NSW Australia)
Terry Lamb 5 days old (we think)
We found a 2 day old lamb on a neighbouring property late one evening while walking our dog.
After many unsuccessful attempts at finding his mother we took him home. We have been feeding him Di-Vetelact but he refused to take the bottle. The only way he'll drink is from a small bowl. He gobbles it up and now at 1 week old seems to be doing well.
We are taking him to the vet this week for a check up but I'm wondering if feeding him this way will eventually harm him. He also has a weeping eye and we've be trying to roll his eyelid out with not much success, again we'll get the vet to look at it.
We don't have any sheep of our own and wondering what to do when we're at work and have to leave him in our yard with our 11 year old Kelpie.
Annie, reading your story about your poddy lamb made me think of a couple of things. Firstly, I was wondering if he is getting enough milk by drinking from the bowl. This would be my main concern.
It would be better if you persevered with bottle feeding him There are a number of ways to get poddy lambs to be fed from a bottle. The first is that he needs to have a lamb teat rather than any other rubber teat. The lamb's teat is long and thin, and the right teat to use.
The other issue is that the milk should be at blood temperature, therefore not too hot, and not too cold.
Finally, to get your poddy lamb to feed, put a little honey on the end of the teat. This usually works like a treat and you only need to do this a couple of times before they cotton on the connection between the two.
With using Di-Vetelact, after a week you should move from Dilution A to Dilution B to make sure that the lamb is getting the right strength of formula. The ration should now be 1 scoop of Di-Vetelact to 40 ml of water.
Lambs this young need to be fed around the clock, every 3 hours for 6 feeds a day so if you are not going to be there during the day, you will need to find someone to help out with the feeding routine. It really is just like having a human baby! If you don't your lamb will deteriorate in health because it won't be getting enough to eat.
Good luck with your lamb, and I am glad that you are taking him to the vet as you will be able to get more expert advice for his care.