Rearing Pet Lambs
Yay! Spring is here. Lots of lambs are arriving and some of them need help as their mum’s can’t look after them. That’s where you come in.
So, you’ve managed to convince the grown ups to let you have a lamb. This is a big responsibility, and you have lots of organising to do. Here’s a check list to help you get started.
1) Where is it going to live?
When your lamb first arrives it may only be a few days old and will really feel the cold. If mum won’t let you have it in your bedroom you’re going to need a nice warm box lined with straw and a fenced area for when it’s bigger, otherwise it will eat mum’s roses and she’ll get mad!
2) What are you going to feed it?
You’re going to need a small, soft drink bottle and a lambs teat – it’s your job to make sure this is cleaned in hot soapy water after every feed too!
When lambs are up to 3 days old, they’re going to need colostrum. This is the special, thick, rich milk that they would normally get from their mum at birth. It’s full of good stuff to help stop them getting sick.
If you’re really clever, and patient, you could milk some colostrum off a newly lambed ewe, but it might be easier to ask a local dairy farmer if they have any cow colostrum to spare.
They are going to need about 80-100mls of colostrum four times per day. You’re going to be busy!
After 3 days old they can go on to milk or milk powder. Make sure you follow the directions on the bag and mix the powder well. Milk should be fed at body temperature, tip a bit on your skin and it shouldn’t been too hot or too cold.
Make sure you don’t give them any more than they need as they can get a swollen tummy and get very sick.
We suggest you feed at 8am, 12, 4pm and 8pm.
- 100ml per feed for the first 3 days.
- 200ml per feed until a week old
- 250ml per feed until 3 weeks old
- After 3 weeks they will be able to handle larger feeds, less often, and begin to nibble at the grass (and mum’s roses!).
3)Do they need medicine?
Sometimes lambs can get sick. Be careful of poisonous plants like daphne, oleander, rhododendron and lillies.
Keep an eye out for lice and flies and once they are eating grass, they will need a drench for worms.
When they are about a month old, they will need docking, this might be a grown ups job, and a vaccine too.
4)How do I train my lamb?
You can start training your lamb once they are a week old. Get them used to a lead, walk them on your right side and don’t let them pull you. Their shoulder should stay beside your leg.
You can train them to come when you call also, feed time is the best time to do this. You’re going to have to come up with a name too!
We’d love to see how you are getting on with your pet lamb. You can share a photo of your lamb on our facebook page if you like. We’d love to know it’s name too.
Have fun and remember, you can ask your vet if you are worried about your lamb.