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Also, gloves are important because a few abortive diseases can be passed from sheep to people so women should be especially cautious. Feel for the lamb's head or feet.

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Always have a mental image of what you are feeling to get a clear understanding of what is wrong. Determine the lamb's position in the uterus. Note: normal position is head between two front feet coming through the pelvis and birth canal. Front legs can be determined by how the joints bend. Both joints of the same leg bend in the same direction. The joints of a back leg will bend in opposite directions. Grab the head and front legs to pull out of ewe. Once they are outside of the body, begin to pull side to side and towards the ground. Clean mucus and water bag from lamb's head. Use a piece of straw to induce the lamb to sneeze or breathe.

Another possibility is to swing lamb by back legs to get airflow started. Don't clean all of the afterbirth from lamb so that ewe will claim the lamb. Check for other lambs in ewe. Land O'Lakes markets a colostrum subtitute for lambs.

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Most other products are colostrum supplements. These products are very nutritious, but do not contain any antibodies. Regardless, be sure to use a product that has been formulated specifically for lambs. Complications with newborn lambs The major killers of newborn lambs are starvation, hypothermia, scours, and pneumonia. A study at the U. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho showed that 46 percent of lamb mortality is caused by scours diarrhea , 20 percent by starvation, and 8 percent by pneumonia. Lambs that experience difficult and prolonged birthing episodes are more susceptible to health problems, as are those that do not consume adequate colostrum.

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Hypothermia Hypothermia chilling is defined as low body temperature. To maintain its body temperature, a newborn lamb must produce as much heat as it is losing to the environment. If it cannot do this, its body temperature will start to fall. A smaller lamb will chill faster than a larger lamb. Lambs with thicker coats will lose less heat.

For this reason, hair sheep lambs are generally more cold tolerent. The quicker a ewe licks off the lamb, the less vulnerable it will be to chilling. Lambs born in drafty pens or outside with no shelter from the wind will lose body heat quicker. Lambs born in colder temperatures obviously lose body heat more quickly than those born during moderate weather.

Lambs with hypothermia appear weak, gaunt, and hunched up. In severe cases, the lamb may be unable to hold its head up. The ears and mouth may feel cold. The lamb may lack suckling response. A rectal thermometer can be used to assess body temperature. It is important to get colostrum in newborn hypothermic lambs to elevate the body temperature.

Tube feeding is an effective means of doing this. It may also be necessary to move the lamb to a warmer environment to elevate the body temperature. There are several ways to warm a lamb.

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If the lamb is wet, dry it off and wrap it in a towel. A hair dryer can be used to warm a lamb. The lamb can be put into a warming box. Heat lamps do not provide enough heat for hypothermic lambs. They are also a fire hazard. In newborn lambs, hypothermia usually results from exposure. In lambs over 24 hours of age, hypothermia is usually a result of starvation. Older lambs should be handled in a similar manner, except they do not need colostrum.

Milk replacer can be fed with a bottle or tube feeder. More milk should be fed at one time. Starvation Lamb starvation is the number one killer of baby lambs.

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Starvation typically occurs during the first three days of life. A lamb will be found standing with its head down, ears drooping back, or it may become too weak to stand. Hungry lambs frequently bleat. The stomach would be empty upon palpation. Shivering, shaking and hypothermia may follow but this hypothermic lamb is typically over 12 hours of age.

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The obvious treatment for starvation is nutrition. Some lambs can be fed with a bottle; others will require tubing. Scours diarrhea Baby lamb scours can be due to one of several bacteria: e. We had an experienced ewe lamb Sunday with one nice buck lamb. She was cleaning him, all seemed well so we went on about chores, came back in about an hour, no second lamb.

Checked her and she was presenting another lamb in normal position. I helped him into the world, easy pull, but lamb was dead. Perhaps if we had checked quicker we would have had two live lambs. The heartrate slows and they die before being born. Denice www. If possible, I never let them go for more than an hour after presenting any sort of water bag. Have someone help with the head end and go in, gently, and start pulling lambs. Dons check for more lambs seems to be spot on as well. I have no problem helping nature out when she becomes fatigued Can you get in the ewe?

If so, grab the nearest head and hooves and start pulling The vet came out yesterday and barely got two fingers into the uterus, said there was a lamb there and it was alive.

Water Belly in newborn lamb | The Farming Forum

He gave her a couple of shots to induce labor so I have to check her for dilation every 12 hours. As of an hour ago she's still tight. He said it would take at least 24 hours but shouldn't be more than