orphaned lamb gets scours when i give him milk

by chloe
(tasmania, australia)

I am bottle feeding an orphaned lamb who seems to be a couple of weeks old.

Whenever I give him milk replacer - even watered down to a quarter strength - he gets the scours.

I have given him a mixture of watered down carrot puree and egg which seems fine plus he is happily eating lamb pellets, grass and hay.

On that diet his stools return to normal. But if I give him milk again he gets the scours. My question is, can he continue on a milk-free diet indefinitely? Thanks for any advice

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Hi Chloe,

Your lamb needs the calcium from the milk for good strong bones, teeth and general good health. Without the milk he won't get the right nutrients his body needs and he will be susceptible to other illnesses.

It sounds as if your lamb doesn't like something that is in the milk replacer. I take it that you are using a milk replacer specifically for lambs?

Anyway, you can make your own milk replacer for lambs. With this homemade milk replacer recipe you shouldn't have any more scours.

Just remember, feed a little, often. That is the mantra for scour-free lambs.

1 two-quart carton of whole milk (organic and/or unhomogenized is best)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg

Cow's milk on its own doesn't have the same fat content as sheep's milk. As a result you need to add the cream back and the egg is great as a nutritional additive.

Mix altogether, heat to blood temperature and feed according to your lamb's age.

Let us know how you get on.

Regards
Kathryn

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