A Little Help

Monday morning the smallest triplet was hunched over and when I put a finger in her mouth, her mouth was cold. Both are signs that the lamb isn’t nursing. I had seen all three lambs nurse shortly after birth on Sunday morning and, obviously, since the smallest lamb was still alive on Monday morning she had to have nursed at some point during the night. I wasn’t sure if the lamb wasn’t doing well because of a congenital problem or if she simply wasn’t getting sufficient milk from the dam, so I figured I had nothing to lose by offering a bottle. While I won’t bottle feed a lamb per se, I am not opposed to offering supplemental feedings so I came into the house and found the extra nipples I had bought when I was bottle feeding Joey’s kids after she died. However, I didn’t have a bottle so had to make a run into town to buy a soft drink. I warmed up some goat milk I had in the refrigerator and went out to offer the smallest lamb some milk. The first couple of feedings I had to open her mouth and insert the nipple but it didn’t take long before she was eagerly accepting the nipple. From there, she has started bleating and coming to the fence every time I go out to the pens even though I am only offering a bottle four times a day. She has also not been shy about letting me know she prefers the milk straight from the goat as opposed to milk I have refrigerated. She is doing well with the ewe and other lambs and apparently nursing at night when I am not offering a bottle so I have high hopes that she will survive. Here she is at feeding time tonight.

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