One of the lambs born yesterday was a bummer- too weak to nurse. He fooled me for a while, because he was standing there with his head up in the udder, wagging his tail. But I finally figured out he wasn’t eating, while his sister was gaining weight and energy, he was remaining a skeleton. I tried to help him nurse late last night, and succeeded in getting a little colostrum in him and getting a decent sucking response. But by morning he was weak and cold, so he wasn’t able to stick with it.
So, in the house he came, to be tube fed. I tried my best to milk colostrum out of the ewe, and I got a little, but boy she has small teats and colustrum is thick! So, I resorted to powered colustrum, which isn’t nearly as good. This lamb has a very weak sucking impulse, so tube feeding is definitely a must. He seems to be gaining strength, so knock on wood, he might make it. I was able to get a little more milk out of the ewe today, to supplement the powdered stuff.
Tomorrow I’ll have to take him to work, in the car in a crate, so I can feed him every four hours, as is the requirement for the first three days. Not to mention getting up at 2am to do one middle-of-the-night feeding.
The Border Collies think this is the best-ever: livestock in the HOUSE! 😉 Maggie must be watched very carefully, as she would be quick to kill such a little thing. Gene, in a rare reversal of her normally obsessive herding instinct, is being very motherly. She has very strong maternal instincts, and is always trying to wash and lick everyone. She’s finally getting her wish- it’s actually a big help to have her wash the milky mouth of this baby, and his back end! There is nothing like a dog tongue for non-chafing washing of orphan babies, I’ve found!