The first 3 months are the most important in the life of a lamb, since during this period he receives all the useful and necessary substances with his mother’s milk, only then he tries to eat on his own . There are situations when, for some reason, this does not happen, usually it happens when the mother dies during childbirth or 3-4 babies are born, then the mother cannot raise everyone. Not all farmers know what to do in such a situation and how to feed a lamb.
General feeding rules
Feeding lambs is not a simple, but also not a difficult matter. The first time, of course, it will be difficult, it is not clear what and how to do, how to keep, how and how much to give food. But, as farmers say, in just a couple of days, this will become commonplace. Mother’s colostrum for a lamb is a very important component for good development, it is through the use of positive substances in mother’s milk that the lamb gains strength for its growth.
First of all, if the animal is without a mother, it is necessary to create comfortable and proper conditions lamb’s life. Where the baby will live, it should be perfectly clean and dry.
Immediately born lambs have very weak immunity, so if they become infected with something, the immunity cannot resist – the cubs will die. The room should be warm enough, the most ideal temperature for the cub is 19 ° C.
Before feeding absolutely all dishes: a bottle, a pacifier – it is necessary to sterilize, since even the most minimal and practically non-dangerous bacteria can lead to the death of the baby. You need to feed exclusively according to the regime. It cannot be broken even for half an hour, since it is very important for the development and strength of the future sheep.
regime. If there is a sheep in the household that feeds its young during the same period, it is best to try to plant an orphaned lamb with it. Replanting must be carried out correctly, otherwise the sheep will refuse to feed. All animals can immediately recognize by smell, whether it is their baby or not. That is why the lamb must be very carefully lubricated with the amniotic fluid of the mother or her milk and only then try to plant it. Otherwise, you will have to independently feed the orphan from the bottle until she can drink from any container on her own.
What to feed and in what quantities
You can give such substitutes:
- cow milk;
- from another sheep.
Although they are they drink mother’s raw milk, they need only boiled to feed from a bottle. And the pacifier with the bottle must always be sterilized so that there are no bacteria.Of course, there is a small amount of vitamins in boiled milk, however, the cub will avoid diarrhea, like from fresh milk. To make it convenient for the baby to drink, the bottle itself should be kept slightly below head level.
The amount of food should be strictly regulated. If you give the lamb more milk and it overeats, this can lead to the fact that his stomach stops. The first 7 days of the lamb’s life are very important, since during this period it is decided whether the baby will live or not. In the first week of life, no more than 145 g should be given per 1 feeding.
In the second week of life, approximately 200 g should be given, but not more. In the third and fourth, you can increase the dose to 380 g per 1 meal. According to experts, for 1 month of life, one lamb drinks more than 20 liters of milk. Intervals between meals should not be large, on average – 2-2.5 hours, but no more! You need to feed 6-7 times a day. In addition, experiments proved that in the very first week of life, babies need extra fats, which are usually found in colostrum of mother. Instead, different additives are used for manual feeding.
Today, there are many special substitutes that are calculated on 1 g of fat. They need to be bought only in veterinary pharmacies.The principle of their use is the same for everyone: it is necessary to completely dissolve the substitute in hot water, and it will look like a mixture for children. If in the first week you need to feed the lamb 6-7 times a day, then in the second meal you can reduce it to 5, and already in the third and fourth – up to 4 times a day. Only in the seventh week of life can you try to transfer the baby to three meals a day.
You can try to transfer the baby to food from a bowl already on the 12-13th day after birth. To train, you need to put a shallow bowl in front of him, moisten your finger and bring to the cub. Gradually, the baby will become interested in what is in the bowl and how it is. After there is confidence that the baby is used to eating in bowls, you can intentionally break the diet a little and delay the food for half an hour, for a maximum of one hour. This is necessary so that the lamb has time to get hungry and is even more used to eating from a bowl. It is best to place the milk container on a stable surface so that it is comfortable to drink.
Experts recommend that in the third week of the baby’s life try to give him root crops, but very neat. They need to be crushed in rather small cubes so that the animal can digest them. Due to the fact that the lamb’s stomach is still weak, it may not be able to cope with such a heavy meal.
Some farmers give the rolled grain as an additive, but the amount of such an additive should be no more than 30 g.Over time, you can gradually increase portions of such an additive, while looking at the state of the animal, how it reacts to it, it is especially important to carefully monitor the stool.
After 28 days, it is allowed to raise dosages to 50 g and every new day add 10 g. After one month, the body needs proteins, calcium, which is why at this moment it is necessary to start adding bone meal, salt and chalk to the animal’s food.
The above nutrients have a good effect on the formation and strengthening bone structure and also help l learn to digest and digest food. The total weight of such minerals should be no more than 5 g.
Reasons why the mother cannot feed the lamb
The most common reason is the death of the mother. Unfortunately, this happens quite often, due to the fact that sheep often give birth, their immunity does not have time to get stronger. Also, a sheep may die due to old age: the elderly organism cannot withstand physical and emotional stress.
The second reason is the sheep’s abandonment of their newborn children. This behavior is influenced by a lot of different factors. Usually, a lamb is born in a sheep, but it happens 2 or 3, and this is a lot of stress for the sheep, therefore she refuses to feed them.
The third reason is sheep’s disease. Sometimes, due to the disease, she simply does not have milk.
And the last reason is the numerous offspring.A sheep cannot physically feed everyone, so she chooses the strongest, but she often throws them out of her territory.
The health and condition of the lambs will depend only on what conditions the host has created for them. The main thing is to monitor nutrition, do not skip meals, sterilize each item and keep the lamb warm. Also, so that the mother does not abandon her cubs, you should take them in your hands less, and it’s better not to touch the children or the mother for the first month, it is forbidden to transfer or change their place of residence: the sheep may lose milk due to stress.