Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bottle Lambs

I have read in several places that bottle lambs are an unfortunate certainty if you have enough lambings to rack up the numbers.  It is our turn to bottle feed lambs. 

Audrey died last night, probably of milk fever.  I gave her calcium, but I don't think I got it there in time.  I didn't see the message on my phone for several hours which told me that my husband found her down and I had to wait for lunch to go home.  I don't feel confident to do the IV administration, so I had to do the subcutaneous injection route.  It didn't work, which is a bummer - from our original flock, we only have Elvis left, which is sad. 

And now, I have two ram lambs to feed.  So far, they aren't liking the bottle, so we've been syringe feeding them.  I am going to try a different nipple style tonight, after I visit the store; gosh, I hope they get the hang of it, because syringes are a pain in the butt and take such a long time.  The night feedings are going to kill me.  I got up at 3:00 am today and I am feeling it, for sure.  Just in case, I will also pick up some more big oral dose syringes because the little 3 tsp ones are ridiculous.  You still have to slowly drip milk in, but at least you don't have to stop and refill every few seconds. 

I know people do this, but I have to admit I am feeling a little overwhelmed by it - like I am doomed to failure and these little guys will starve.  It's a pretty uncomfortable feeling.  When we had to feed Buddy, he was a little older and he could still sneak in and get some milk from Minnie.  These two are completely dependent on us. 

The other issue is how to integrate them with the flock - they're our only lambs right now, and today would be the day I would let them out in the big pasture with their mamma - only they don't have a mamma now.  I can't let them out in 5 acres with a big flock all alone!  And if we keep them confined, how will the flock accept them later? 

I guess you learn as you go. 


HeirloomRosaries said...

So sorry to here about Audrey. I just feel a big sigh...

NancyDe said...

Me,too - although my husband is doing a stellar job at feeding them every 3-4 hours. He's gotten a lot better than I have at it - I tend to get formula everywhere and he's fairly efficient with the whole thing.

HeirloomRosaries said...

Ps. I know how to spell "hear".