Lamb starvation, the number one killer of lambs, often is associated with lack of shepherding. Contributing causes are:
- The lamb doesn’t get started (gets no colostrum). Seventy-five percent of lambs that don’t get colostrum die for one reason or another.
- The ewe won’t claim the lamb(another solution for this situation)
- The teat is too big or is too near the ground and the lamb doesn’t find it. Weak ewes that don’t get up enough will also cause this problem.
- Sore mouth.
- The ewe can’t feed two lambs (mastitis, too little feed, etc.).
- Joint injury or illness.
- Pneumonia, which often is associated with lambs that received no colostrum and thereby lack immune bodies. Sometimes the best solution is to inject 1 ml of antibiotic at few days after birth for multi lambs births.
- Difficult parturition.
- A “genetic will to die.” Actually, the majority of lambs die for no apparent reason. A genetically caused lack of vitality may well be the cause. i never understood this , this is just an observation. plenty of sun, feed and exercise seems to be the best remedy.
- i have found that bottle feeding lambs will survive well but they must have received some colostrum