Best Practice Guides To Caring For Newborn Lambs

The first few hours of a lamb’s life are crucial for ensuring its survival, and getting off to a good start can mean fewer problems and better productivity in the future. Simple husbandry practices can be used to ensure that every lamb gets the best possible beginning to life.

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Orphan lambs occur in all flocks, either as a result of ewes dying during or after lambing or because of poor mothering by ewes, perhaps as a result of multiple births. With indoor lambing systems it is often possible to foster orphan lambs onto ewes that have lost lambs or only got one lamb. Effective and non-invasive methods can ensure the bond between the ewe and her foster lamb is strong without compromising welfare.

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Care of the Hypothermic Lamb
When the lamb is losing heat to the environment at a faster rate than the body can produce it, hypothermia can occur. Several factors can influence the balance between heat production and heat loss.

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Treating Entropion
Entropion is the presence of in-turned eyelids in newly born or very young lambs. It may affect one or both eyes, initially causing the eye to weep, and in more advanced cases causing damage to the cornea due to scratching by the eyelashes. If untreated, it can cause ulceration and blindness.

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