lambs that just want to die!

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lambs that just want to die!

Postby Justin-PA » Tue May 10, 2011 8:49 am

I have a set of twins that must have some genetic defect that makes them look at their dams udder, think about nursing, then say "ehh, what's the point?" The dam is wonderful mother, has done well in the past here. She has a beautiful udder, lots of milk, contiunually talking to her lambs, stands still so they can nurse. I have been tubing them for 3+ days with her colostrum / milk / and some sav-a-lamb. They even have a heat lamp at night :? . Yesterday I tried putting a little oral vit B in too, not much difference today.

Any other tricks to get lambs to nurse, or are these destined for the compost pile? We had a cold rainy snap last week and I've saved 12+ other lambs that were practically dead from the cold. These 2 have me perplexed, as they were born on pasture on a beautiful day.
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby lovetree » Tue May 10, 2011 9:08 am

Hi Justin,
they could possibly be a little premature and are weak. When in doubt I always give a shot of Bose, and maybe also some thiamine. I have also seen lambs like that due to the effects of an abortion agent. Also, if they are weak and spend time just laying about, it is best to give them a shot of penicillan since pneumonia can set in almost immediately in lethargic lambs.
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby Justin-PA » Tue May 10, 2011 12:37 pm

Thanks Mary I will give the BoSe and thiamine a try. These lambs are a nice size, around 10 lbs each and don't appear to be premature at all.
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby riveroakssheep » Tue May 10, 2011 12:46 pm

Justin, do they want to suck at all?
With the Bluefaced Leicesters I get some really dumb ones that can't find the teat for the first day or so. For them it helps to fold their front legs under to help them find the teat.
Becky
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby Sylvia Murray » Tue May 10, 2011 5:40 pm

Maybe you are keeping their bellies too full so they have no reason to have interest in Momma?
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby dog » Tue May 10, 2011 7:37 pm

Sylvia Murray wrote:Maybe you are keeping their bellies too full so they have no reason to have interest in Momma?

I will second that
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby Janet McNally » Tue May 10, 2011 9:44 pm

Hi Justin, check their temp. If under 102, they are hypothermic, and their digestive system shuts down if they are too cold. The other possibility is that they are brewing a bout with ecoli or some other bacterial enteritis. Sometimes a lamb can die before they present with scours.

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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby Janet McNally » Tue May 10, 2011 9:48 pm

the other thing to observe is whether or not the mouth is slimy. slimy mouth = bacterial enteritis.

Janet
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby Justin-PA » Wed May 11, 2011 9:19 pm

Mouths are not slimy, and I'm sure I am not overfeeding. 3 oz 3 times a day for 10 lb lambs? I give that much and expect them to get the rest themselves. That has worked for the other lambs but not these 2. Not sure why I didn't check temps before (duh) but they are low tonight...very low...98F. They have had a heat lamp at night. How do I get these temps up and what else should I give?

Thanks,
Justin
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby Janet McNally » Wed May 11, 2011 10:03 pm

Hi Justin,

Here is my triage for hypothermia

103 fine, leave them outdoors
102 shelter the lambs and ewe (i.e. bring into a barn, teepee etc).
101 and less requires critical care.

If conscious, and under 5 hrs old, I put it in a hot box (card board box with a milk house heater will do) I also put a hot water bottle under the lamb (i.e. 5 liter valbazen jug full of hot water). there are some great designs for something more permanent.
After lamb attains a temp above 101 I feed it. This usually is in 1/2 to one hour. Usually never more than 2 hrs with this much heat.

If over 5 hrs old, and weak, or esp if unconscious (can't hold the head up), I will give IP dextrose + H2O before warming.

Lamb body temp needs to be over 101 for digestive system to function.

Janet
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby clunmules » Wed May 11, 2011 10:08 pm

Justin, to me this is a classic case of the lambs not getting enough high quality colostrum during the first few hours of life. The lambs should want to suckle. If the dam is allowing it, but the lambs are not feeding from her, there is not much more one can do, other than what you have already done. Try to keep them warm and dry. Are the bellies full on the lambs? If not, I would give more than 3 oz each feeding. 4 to 5 oz possibly. At 98 F they will not take bottle. What is the temp of the milk down the tub? Should be around 115 F. Lambs body temp needs to be close to normal before tube feeding will work.
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby Looking4ewes » Thu May 12, 2011 7:26 am

How much IP dextrose should be given? Is the water for dilution? Please elaborate.

Thanks,

Wendy
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby Justin-PA » Thu May 12, 2011 9:25 am

temps up to 100F this AM and we are tubing more frequently. Janet, when you say the digestive system won't function below 101F, does it just stop completely? We witnessed the lambs passing stool last night after the temp measurements.

Its amazing how much time one can spend on 2 lambs, when there are already over a 100 outside that needed no or very little attention. ~60 ewes have lambed, ~180 to go :shock: .

Justin
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby Justin-PA » Thu May 12, 2011 9:38 am

Looking4ewes wrote:How much IP dextrose should be given? Is the water for dilution? Please elaborate.

Thanks,

Wendy


When giving dextrose to ewes I usually put in 80 to 100 cc SQ in a 150lb ewe (this is a 50% dextrose solution I buy at the farm co-op). It should be done IV if the ewe is in really bad shape (ie can't stand up). I don't know how much to give a lamb but guessing one could just scale it down to maybe 5 cc or so for a 10 lb lamb? Maybe Janet can elaborate.
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Re: lambs that just want to die!

Postby Looking4ewes » Thu May 12, 2011 11:38 am

~60 ewes have lambed, ~180 to go :shock:

Please keep us updated on your progress. I'm sure many are eager to hear how you are making out with your new ewes. Do you have help? Are you working off-farm while lambing? How is the dog working out? I am lambing over 50 this year (my 3rd year) using a drift-lambing scheme and it is keeping me hopping.

Wendy
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