lamb won't stand up

by Jean
(Richmond Vermont)

One of our ewes had twin lambs last night. They are the weakest I've ever seen. Not only do they not stand up, they flop right over when handled and can't even lift up their heads. One of them will nurse when I hold her up under the ewe, but the other won't even take milk from a bottle. Do these lambs have a chance? One of them I noticed seems to have bleeding gums.

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Sep 24, 2015
Oregano Oil and Pneumonia in Lambs
by: AnonymousLynne

In the article you said to use an oregano oil/olive oil mix. How many times a day should you give it? Once or like other meds 3 or 4 times. What would happen if you overdosed? Thanks for the little lambs nor doing well at the mo!

Very sorry for the late reply as this is a busy time for us on the farm. Use 10 drop of oregano oil to 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Give this once a day, until conditions improve. I never use this for more than a week, but you shouldn't have to as you should see results way before then.

Jul 22, 2015
They made it!
by: Anonymous

Yes, they did make it. The lambs were floppy for about two weeks, but eventually they stood up. We bottle fed them and kept them inside, and then found a home for them.

That is a brilliant outcome! Thank you so much for letting us know the good news, and pleased for you that it had a happy ending.

Jun 01, 2015
1 of twins won't stand up
by: Anonymous

We had twin lambs born Sunday 30th may 2015. So weak. One was able to stand and was able to drink even with a crooked front leg(hoping this will fix in time). The other had its sibling sitting on its head and when I found it in the pouring
rain it was I would say close to death.

I brought it inside and placed it next to the fire. Gave it one more chance with its mum for 2hrs then decided it was time and gave it the artificial colostrum.

The lamb is making progress but still is not standing fully. I did notice that the lambs hooves were too soft for it to stand so I am hoping this repairs with time and nutrition.

I am concerned about the aspiration pneumonia that they could get however I am doing the best I can so I just try to hold lambs head up whilst drinking. He has survived the first 36hrs heading for his 48hrs.Thank you for this information as it just may have saved a life.


I am hoping that your lambs have made it through the week. If they make it through the first 2 weeks, in general they will then be okay.

Sometimes lambs are very cramped in the womb and having one born with an odd-shaped leg is usually nothing to worry about as it should straighten out within the next few days. Soft hooves at birth are normal. They need to be so that they don't damage the birth canal.

In the future, it is so important to get the lambs back with the mother, even if she has walked off and abandoned them. By putting her with the lambs in a pen for a week you have a better chance of bonding and for the lambs to be fed by the mother, which saves you a lot of potential heartache and hassle.

If you think that the lambs are not getting enough to drink, then milk your sheep getting enough into your lambs as they will take. The trick to this is "little and often". By this I mean every hour for about 10 hours on the first day and a small syringe full at a time.

If you watch lambs in normal circumstances, they do not drink for a very long time. It is in short bursts, but often.

However, if you are not able to do this, then you will end up with a ewe who will dry up very shortly as she will only produce as much milk as the lambs are drawing down, or you milking her.

If you find yourself in this situation you will have to move to making up a milk replacer. Don't buy commercial replacer, it is expensive and totally unnecessary.

I have a similar recipe on the site that only uses half the cream and the eggs, which works well, but if you have lambs that particularly weak and are not gaining weight, you can use this recipe. The lambs should not get scours.

Take 1 x bottle organic whole milk
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream (no fillers)
2 eggs

Mix altogether. When you need some, pour into a bottle or even an old pot, heat slightly to blood heat, and then give it to your lambs. I have lambs that prefer to drink it straight out of the pot. Much better than bottles in my opinion, on a number of levels!

If you worrying about pneumonia get yourself a bottle of wild oregano essential oil. Give your lambs 1 drop of this in about 2 ml of olive oil. Give it to them for about 3 or 4 days straight, and you should find that the pneumonia is a thin of the past. If not, then it is time to call in the vet.

For weak lambs I swear by Lamb Revivit. Get yourself some off the Internet. And of course Cod Liver Oil is so important to provide the vitamins that they need to be strong and healthy.

Wishing you all the best,

Countryfarm Lifestyles

May 19, 2012
Lamb that will not stand up
by: Gaye

I have had a couple of lambs like this over the years. I think it's called knock knee. I fed the lambs cod liver oil and they were up and running in no time. So it is worth a chance.

Mar 08, 2012
did they make it?
by: Anonymous

Hi Jean, did your lambs make it? I have a farmer friend who offered me a lamb to raise. He won't stand up. He's got a real good body and eats. He just won"t use his legs!

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