Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Weaning the Poddy Lambs

Lily our Wiltshire Horn Poddy Lamb
Lily is now nearly seven weeks old while Alice is five and a half. Both have been living full-time in the paddock with the other lambs and their mothers and father. When Lily first went she was forced to mingle with the family lambs but would come barreling towards me whenever I came into sight. Since she has been joined by Alice they can hang out together and at feeding time they just sit by the gate and wait.

Over the past week I have reduced the amount of milk that I feed Lily. She was getting a full 700ml bottle twice a day - the same as Alice. This evening she received just 300ml. She still seems plumper than her udder-fed peers and is ready to be reduced to one feed of 500ml a day.
The challenge will be to get her used to not hanging by the gate and hassling Alice for the one morning bottle. In another ten days if she looks healthy enough then Alice's feed will be reduced and eventually they will both be independent. 
Feeding the lambs is certainly a popular chore for our kids. They have even been known to sulk if they don't get to feed their favourite lamb. I think I will be quite glad when they are weaned, but it is satisfying to be greeted so enthusiastically by sheep in the paddock and to know that you have helped them to survive and thrive. 

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