tortoise's 2020 Preemie Lambs

tortoise

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We had premature triplet lambs born on 4/1/2020. (not April Fool's unfortunately) 2 were tiny, about 3 pounds - 1/3 the size of a normal newborn lamb. The third was a little small but normal-enough.
 

tortoise

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Day 1

Momma had them on pasture mid-morning. Cold and windy. DS12 moved them into the barn with a heat lamp. Momma is mothering the normal-size lamb perfectly, with an occasional lick to the tinies. The tiny preemies were too weak to hold their heads up and cold.

By early afternoon, the preemie girl was able to stand and nurse. I milked momma for colostrum and started tube-feeding the boy. After the second tube feeding he was up and nursing, but I continued tube feeding him anyway.
 

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Day 2

Boy preemie lamb was doing fine in the morning, but the girl was too weak to stand. Momma startled and trampled the girl, who nows has a bloody hoofprint on her back leg. :( So I took preemie girl into the house to warm and tube-feed. Still using momma's milk in hopes this will be a quick revive and give back to momma.
IMG_1337 small.JPG

By lunchtime, boy preemie is having trouble getting up fast enough to get out of momma's way, so I brought him inside too.

I'm tube-feeding 1 ounce each hour.

By evening, I've given up on the idea giving them back to mom. I've bathed them and switched to milk replacer which is so much easier than milking momma.

They slept inside in a laundry basket by my bed. They woke me up at 2 a.m. for feeding.
 

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Day 3

Morning weights and updates:
Girl 3# 8 oz
Boy 3# 12 oz

Boy has been able to stand and is starting to resist tube feeding. He might be ready for bottle again. Girl is not able to stand.
IMG_1351.JPG
 
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tortoise

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I need to take a photo of them with a normal size lamb. They're so teeny! :gig
 

wyoDreamer

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They are laying in a laundry basket, right? They are so cute!
Sorry that you are having to bottle raise them, I am praying for their health and your sanity. They seem pretty alert. Hope they grow fast.
 

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Day 3

Evening update
IMG_1355.JPG


switched them to milk replacer today. No more milking their [uncooperative] momma. :weee

Boy (in the back) is graduated to bottle feeding every 2 hours and stands up on his own.

Girl (in the front) still tube fed, but down to every 2 hours. Can't stand on her own, but can stay up if I stand her up. Had my vet (DH) check her out. Bones and joints are all fine, so now add lamb physical therapy to my to-do list. :gig
 
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