Lovin' The Homestead
- Feb 19, 2018
- Reaction score
- Union County Florida, US
So no serious issues yet with this pair. I tried to force a latch just now. Had my brother steady her head and somewhat restrained her hind legs. Baby did not want to latch on her own so I stuck my finger in her mouth and opened nicely as I could and put her on the teet. She licked a bit but no real latch. Would just lay there panting. I think it was too stressful for baby but Onyx did fine. I’m thinking maybe I need to wash my hands good and wash Onyx’s udder down. Maybe I got carried away with the Vick’s and the baby might be turned off by the taste... I will try again in a bit. This baby is very vigorous so if the pairing fails and I have to bottle feed at least I can milk Onyx for her. I wasn’t very fond of Onyx’s milk. Not very rich and creamy like my goats and a bit salty/grassy.Not to be too much of a downer, but I've had no luck grafting lambs. The ewes reject them forcefully - will trample and butt a bummer lamb and injure it. They won't accept their own lamb back after separation most times. You don't need to worry about taking lambs off mom unless you have triplets or quads. Mom can handle two just fine on her own.
I have a love-hate relationship with bottle raising lambs. I love having a flock of tame ewes - started with bottle lambs. However, bottle raised rams are downright nasty and DANGEROUS. I have one of those. If his wool wasn't so nice and if I couldn't halter him, he'd be in the freezer years ago. My first year 4 out of 7 died. Second year, did great with 3 out of 3 surviving. 1 sold, 1 freezer, the other broke a leg and was put down. Third year, lost 1 to toxemia, lost another failure to thrive (was a premature lamb from a terminal C-section), and the other two bottle lambs died about 6 months old from worms, and they'd had fecal egg counts, and several rounds of wormer.
I say I won't bottle feed lambs this year, but as soon as one as one is rejected... I'm smitten. :sigh: Last year was especially bad because I was having a miscarriage at the same time as the terminal C-sections and rejected lamb stuff was going down.
I really need to cull one of my ewes. All my bottle lambs except one has been out of her or her progeny.