Rearing an rejected lamb - help appreciated! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 04-11-2012, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Rearing an rejected lamb - help appreciated!

I've just adopted my first little lambie! He's about 3 or 4 days old, a pure dorper and he was rejected by his mama and the rest of the herd.

He knows what bottle time means and he's good at feeding and has bonded with me as his new mumma sheep (certainly knows the tone of my voice - cue baaing for his bottle!).

My main problem is trying to teach him to sleep in a bed. I know he isn't a 'puppy' or anything, but at the moment he only likes to sleep curled up on me in a towel. I think he likes the heat and being near a heartbeat?

Nevertheless I can't sleep in a chair for several weeks until he's old enough to be out in the paddock! How oh how do I get him to accept his new bed? It's a cardboard box with a cushion and a towel in it - the towel is one that we have been cuddling with so it should at least have some of both our scents on it.

He also just 'toilets' in his bed - both ones we tried. Is this just a 'trying to make it his' thing? Or something else?

(I added some photos because he is just so darn cute! Meet 'Lambony Snicket' )
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-11-2012, 08:36 PM
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He is so cute! I can't say I have any experience raising a lamb, but here a few 'off the top of my head' ideas. You could putting a heat pack underneath the cushion to get some heat in there. If he still wont accept it, you can try putting him in it, and wrapping your arms around him so it still feels like he is in your lap. Gradually take your arms away and hopefully he will be happier to go to sleep.

Best of luck!

There is one principle that should never be abandoned, namely, that the rider must first learn to control himself before he can control his horse. This is the basic, most important principle to be preserved in equitation - Alois Podhajsky
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-11-2012, 08:36 PM
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We always used a small gate to lock our early born sheep or goats in the basement bathroom, put down a tarp and some straw and cleaned it up daily.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-11-2012, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Poco1220 View Post
We always used a small gate to lock our early born sheep or goats in the basement bathroom, put down a tarp and some straw and cleaned it up daily.
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I thought straw would be a good idea.. as it serves as both his toilet and a place to 'flop down' haha. And would be more natural to him.

If I just wrapped a tarp around the bottom part of the baby play pen he is kept in and then put the straw in that would that work?

Also, I think he thinks that the towel bed is his toilet! If he is put in, he instantly starts weeing! Could this be involuntarily toilet training?

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10 years together and counting..
+ Amber, Mally RIP, Goldy, Angwyn, Karisma, Burdie, Bundy and Roxy
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-11-2012, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PumpkinzMyBaby22 View Post
He is so cute! I can't say I have any experience raising a lamb, but here a few 'off the top of my head' ideas. You could putting a heat pack underneath the cushion to get some heat in there. If he still wont accept it, you can try putting him in it, and wrapping your arms around him so it still feels like he is in your lap. Gradually take your arms away and hopefully he will be happier to go to sleep.

Best of luck!
Thankyou! He is a cutie.. when not pooing and weeing everywhere :P

I've been putting a hot water bottle that is 1/3 filled with hot but not boiling water underneath his bed but haven't tried putting my arms around to get him used to it. Thanks for the idea (:

Vince ~ Mithril Vincent ~ Welsh B ~ 30/10/1997
10 years together and counting..
+ Amber, Mally RIP, Goldy, Angwyn, Karisma, Burdie, Bundy and Roxy
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-12-2012, 06:15 PM
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I have nothing usefull to add. Just have to say.... I want one!!!!! Soooo darling!!!

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-12-2012, 06:58 PM
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Suggestions from someone who has raised more orphans than I want to think about:
1) child gate on the bathroom or a playpen. Note: he will grow out of that play pen really fast. Get him in an outside pen as soon as possible.
2) diapers. Yup. Cut a hole out for the tail. Since he's a ram, get huggies or some brand that is padded in front for boys. Make sure you get them big enough to keep "little willie" inside when he stretches to urinate and also not to pressure the hip joints.
3) put pre-ruminant mix out to get him used to solid food. Ground corn, ground soybean meal, ground alfalfa, a little sheep mineral.
4) once he gets to the point of finishing a bottle in one feeding, get him on a fenceline feeder. With a bigger bottle hanging on the fence in his outside pen, he can feed himself.

Please, please! For your own safety, remember this is a ram and not a dog. Don't pet the top of his head. Approach him with your palm up and under his chin. Sheep, especially rams, need to keep some respect and fear of humans. This little cutie will grow up and he will probably weigh 300lbs. People forget this and every year some one ends up in the news killed by their sheep.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-12-2012, 07:08 PM
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you can get milk replacer, it used to be about 40 bucks a bag here. I used a baby bottle . My orphaned lamikins would not use the lamb nipples we bought.
I kept lami in my chicken coop, no chickens, with oat hay as bedding and some old blankets that I could hose off. We would let her out in the evenings for exercise and have her follow us around. I still have her (wool breed all white) and now Hans (nuetered male 4H lamb) so that Hans did not have to go to slaughter and so Lamikins Porkchop would have a friend.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-12-2012, 07:16 PM
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I know we did this for the runt our dog rejected - put a tickin clock and heat pad under the bedding, sure helped him sleep
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-12-2012, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigGreyHorse View Post
Suggestions from someone who has raised more orphans than I want to think about:
1) child gate on the bathroom or a playpen. Note: he will grow out of that play pen really fast. Get him in an outside pen as soon as possible.
2) diapers. Yup. Cut a hole out for the tail. Since he's a ram, get huggies or some brand that is padded in front for boys. Make sure you get them big enough to keep "little willie" inside when he stretches to urinate and also not to pressure the hip joints.
3) put pre-ruminant mix out to get him used to solid food. Ground corn, ground soybean meal, ground alfalfa, a little sheep mineral.
4) once he gets to the point of finishing a bottle in one feeding, get him on a fenceline feeder. With a bigger bottle hanging on the fence in his outside pen, he can feed himself.

Please, please! For your own safety, remember this is a ram and not a dog. Don't pet the top of his head. Approach him with your palm up and under his chin. Sheep, especially rams, need to keep some respect and fear of humans. This little cutie will grow up and he will probably weigh 300lbs. People forget this and every year some one ends up in the news killed by their sheep.
Yeah, what she said!

I too have raised more orphans thanI can remember. Although a few friends have trained baby goats to a "litter box" goats are smarter. You little guy is just doing what comes natural when it comes to going potty. And because he is a boy, they do it more!
Diapers do work!
If you are not going to wether him (get him castrated at a young age) I agree- be careful how you handle the little guy. He's cute now, but a friend made the mistake trying to make a little ram her pet. He darn near broke her leg from ramming behavior, which is normal for an in-tact male sheep.
When introducing feed, make sure it is safe for sheep. Other kinds are too high in copper.
A ticking clock helps replicate the heartbeat and will comfort him.
You can google some good feeding schedules for bottle babies and introductions of feeds stuff.
Start getting him used to being in a barn/outdoor environment soon, even if it just visits until he is big enough to keep himself warm, and don't treat him like a puppy because he is going to grow fast and start jumping all over the furniture real quick.
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