Tuesday, May 5, 2015


thought hoped I might escape have bottle lambs this year.

Yesterday, in the night, these lambs were born in the sheep yard. When I found them in the morning the little guy was still covered in birth fluids but his nose was cleared so he was able to breathe but this mother clearly had no interest in him.  I cleaned him off with a towel and presented him to her and she kind of sniffed at him but returned her attention to the normal sized sister.

When I penned them, I took the sister away. The mother then started paying attention to him but I could only keep the sister away, realistically, until she needed her next meal. When I put her back in the pen the mother immediately re-rejected the runt.

You can see I have her on a tether that is long enough that she can eat, drink and lay down allow the runt some get-away room if she tries to attack him.  But even on the tether she seems knows who it is trying to suckle and will kick him off.

I've held her to allow him to get his colostrum but I fear this will be a losing battle....so currently I'm giving him a bottle but leaving him in the pen and her on the tether. Hopefully he'll gain enough strength from the bottle to seek his share on the teat.

It would be good news if she came around if he persists.

Not holding my breath.....


  1. Why do you suppose the mothers do that? Do they sense that they're wasting precious resources to feed the runt? Or do they sense there's something wrong that isn't apparent to our human eyes? Poor little fella. And I wonder why he's so much smaller than his twin? Ah, biology...such a mystery. Blogless Mary Lou

  2. Poor little guy didn't make it. Often the case when a mother rejects a lamb at birth for no apparent reason (difficult birth, interference from other ewe, storm, dogs or such). They seem to know.