This lambing season I figured I would take on a pair of orphaned lambs. With our weather at the minute thousands of livestock have died because of the snow. The likelyhood of an orphaned lamb popping up is very.
Although I am in the local farming community I have never raised an orphaned lamb so if you have any experience I look forward to your input!
I have several questions:
1. Will a wooden shed with a small pen made out of straw walls in the inside and straw bedding be warm enough? Maybe too warm?
2. How many days should I feed colostrum for?
3. What age should I start giving food other than milk? Should it be lamb meal, hay/haylage or both? How much?
4. When should I start letting them out in fresh air to stretch their legs?
5. If I get two identical lambs can I use food colouring to dye a small part(like a dot on its back) on one of them so I know who's who?
6. Should I feed store goats milk or powdered sheeps milk? Is there much difference? Goats milk certainly helped my weak pup and she sprouted into a healthy little beast in no time!
I think that's all I've got right now but I'm not sure I've covered everything myself. Your input would be greatly appreciated!
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Well, I raise goats (Angora goats actually, so I'm familiar with wool too
), which I think should be similar enough, and have had many, many orphans
1. That pen idea sounds great--no such thing as too warm!
2. Feed colostrum for the first 48 hours, every two hours (even at night!
3. Whenever he's ready, when they're with they're moms they'll start nibbling in just a few weeks even if they can't eat it yet, so just always give them the option, and bring them out with the other lambs to play as often as possible so they can see the others eating the real stuff and so the herd doesn't reject them (happens very easily to goats, not so sure about sheep but it's very bad if it does happen.)
4. Again, as soon as possible
Just take them out on their own, or if you're worried about them running off just put them in a dog collar
If you're worried about the snow, you can put booties and dog sweaters and stuff on them (I've actually done this, lol
5. Sure, they'll lose the color as soon as their baby wool is sheared, and the dye is meant to be edible :)
6. Try to avoid the powdered formulas, contrary to what people think, the regular store-bought whole milk will do you more good than anything. If you can, try milking an ewe that has lost a lamb, that would be the absolute best thing for them
But if you must go powdered, goat milk will be fine
Hope I could help! :)