Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Last bottle

This morning Fred, the bottle fed lamb, had his last bottle ( not that he knows it yet ! ). He is now nearly 9 weeks old and as bottle fed lambs can be weaned at 6 weeks he hasn't done too bad. We fed him longer than the six weeks for a couple of reasons, the main reason being we had bought a large sack of powdered milk so fed him until we had finished it. Also he hasn't been fed creep feed so will now have to survive on grass alone, but we have plenty and are in no hurry to finish him early.

He has settled in quite well with the other sheep, hopefully he will do so more now he isn't being fed.

Alfie, Annie's lamb is two weeks older and huge. He is still getting the very occasional feed from Annie. I am hoping she will wean him naturally so we won't have to send her away. We don't have enough space to wean her from him, without stressing them both so if she doesn't we will send her to a friend's small holding, keeping Alfie here until he's ready for slaughter.

At the weekend I was a little concerned about Annie as it looked as if Alfie was feeding from one side of her udder only. However she seems fine, the udder's not hot or hard and when I stripped some milk onto my hand there was no white strands, a tell tale sign of mastitis - thankfully. It would be very unusual for her to get mastitis at this stage, unless she had knocked her udder. It is more common at the start of lactation or at weaning. I will keep an eye on her as a quick shot of antibiotics would sort it. Far better than her suffering or the possibility of one side going blind, you never know next year she may have twins again.

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