Bottle Lamb

It appears that we have a bottle lamb, at least a partial bottle lamb.  I weighed all the lambs yesterday and noticed that Zinnia hasn't gained like the others.  She was the largest lamb at birth but has now slipped to the smallest on the scales. 

Less energetic than the rest, she sometimes stands with her back hunched up.  I asked our breeder and she suggested I try a bottle to see if she would go for it.  She did.

Seems strange that Zinnia is a single lamb and her momma, Izzy, doesn't produce enough for her.  She hasn't had this problem before.  I was told that it could be caused by the drought last summer.  Hay has been very scarce and good hay almost non-existent here in Oklahoma.  As a result lots of animals are eating junk hay.  They are calling it prarie hay but really they have stripped every field around no matter what was growing there and sold it for a fortune!  Our sheep have been the recipents of some of this poor quality hay for lack of a better option.  We have tried to offset the lack of nutrition with grain but apparently that may not have been enough.  A vet here told our breeder that lots of mares don't have enough milk for their foals this spring.  Our lamb was the first sheep she heard about with this problem.  What you feed a farm animal does affect their overall health but we didn't see this one coming.

Luckily, we are now getting bales of leafy alfalfa to feed them. 

And it is early but it's spring here!  Shoots of green bermuda grass are popping up all over the farm.  I can't tell you how happy we are about that!

There is a good side to bottle feeding.  It sure makes a lamb want to cuddle up to you!  We love that.  Hopefully she will start gaining.  This evening we saw her stand up and do a big s-t-r-e-t-c-h. 
That's a good sign. :)


  1. What a sweet post! Love your blog...

  2. Oh, I hope she's doing better with the bottle! Poor baby.

  3. My bil raises 4-H sheep. One of his mama's had twins and couldn't produce enough either. Then we were the blessed ones who got to bottle feed "Jake". He was with us for over a month and is now back with the rest of the babies at my bil's getting how to eat real food and drink water from the bucket. Apparently it helps the little ones to watch their mama's. We look forward to having him back with us soon, plus a little girl to show in 4-H this summer. We LOVED bottle feeding our little guy. He loved the company and companionship as well!
    Your babies are just darling. I have enjoyed seeing all their darling faces, & hearing about how they are doing. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh, wish we could send you some hay!

  5. The whole hay situation stinks! We have that problem here too :( My hay guy sold out on me before winter set in, so in a desperate attempt to find anything, I am now paying DOUBLE what I was to make sure my horses have hay :(

    I hope Zinnia does better now with a bottle :) She is too cute!

  6. My grandmother used to raise bottle lambs. Whenever I would visit her, I always knew which were the bottle lambs as they would run up to people who came into their pasture or barn.

    Here's a link to a post with a picture of my grandmother feeding a lamb, and my grandfather holding one:

  7. I bet she will begin to gain weight now. Sweet little Zinnia!

  8. I certainly hope Zinnia has caught up with her growing. They are all so cute.... and of course, you can't keep them all. But now is not the time to think of that. Just enjoy! :)


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