Tips for helping lamb who lost her mother?
April 26, 2012 12:33 PM   Subscribe

ShepherdFilter: Any tips for helping out an orphaned lamb?

The sheep at the college where I'm studying animal care had three healthy lambs over Easter break. Unfortunately, this past weekend, one of the mothers (pictured here with her lamb) died of pneumonia. Her daughter, Erica, is being bottle fed and is doing fine physically. However, I haven't seen her interacting with the other lambs, and she seems to be constantly looking for her mother. She keeps trying to nurse from the other ewes (who don't hold still for her) and to snuggle up to them (they tolerate it but don't pay her a great deal of attention).

Do any experienced sheep-keepers out there have suggestions for things humans might do to make this time easier for Erica? She is in very good hands, but it's always worth hearing new ideas. Thank you!
posted by Perodicticus potto to Pets & Animals (3 answers total)
Best answer: Could she be penned up with a new mom and lamb, they could bond. Our orphans tended to be picked up by sheep over a few days of close contact.
posted by jennstra at 1:45 PM on April 26, 2012

The people at The Gentle Barn do a lot of rescue and rehabilitation of farm animals. They might be able to give you good advice.
posted by Vaike at 2:01 PM on April 26, 2012

She's fine, the other ewes are letting her hang out and that's all she needs. Lambs grow up fast. Sheep are on the whole remarkably stupid animals so don't ascribe too much meaning to momentary distresses. They will be devastated and panicy half the time if you give them a different color water container.
posted by fshgrl at 3:14 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

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