Monday, February 17, 2014

Wet Nurse




We have a ewe who lost her lamb, her udder is full. I was milking out some colostrum to freeze, (nice to have on hand) and if you have ever tried milking a sheep, you know that it isn't the easiest thing to accomplish.

Light bulb moment:

We have a ram lamb that has a mother, but her milk supply isn't that impressive. 
He isn't gaining the weight he should. 
Why not let him do the job for me?
This could work. 

The ewe fussed a little, but the ram lamb figured it out in about 2 seconds. 
Ewes udder emptied out, Ram lamb packing on some extra calories. 
Win, win.

The only one that isn't thrilled about the arrangement is the ram lamb's mom. She isn't too happy about him leaving the pen and she puts up a pretty big fuss. She gets him back after just a few minutes, so she will survive.

Problem Solved.


8 comments:

  1. Good play. I love when that works with calves too. Hug B

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can you just shift him over to the mom with the most milk? Will the smell of two different mother's milk throw off his mom to where she doesn't think he belongs to her?

    You're right about trying to milk out a sheep. Their tiny teats make it a long, slow process and they don't really care to wait patiently! That's great the lamb was able to do the milking for you!

    I'm sorry to hear to you lost the big single lamb. It is definitely part of raising animals, but never gets any easier.

    Blessings,

    Fern

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If he was younger, I would have tried that.
      He has bonded with his mom. She doesn't seem to act any differently towards him when he is put back in the pen.

      The "wet nurse" tolerates him nursing, but we have to put her on a lead, etc. I just do it twice a day.
      I don't know how long I will do it, but it has been nice not having to worry about her drying up, or getting mastitis.

      Delete
    2. Drying her up...(not sure how to edit)

      Delete
  3. It does sound like win win. Mastitis is a pain.

    ReplyDelete

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