If you find some baby lambs of unknown age, they need to be cared for differently than older lambs. Luckily, it’s not hard to do this—all you need to do is pay attention to their specific needs and ensure they stay healthy! In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about caring for baby lambs of unknown age.
Assess the Situation
If you find yourself in a position where you are caring for baby lambs of unknown age, we recommend that you first contact a vet or other animal professional. These professionals can guide how old the lamb is and what care they require. One way to assess an unidentified lamb’s age is by counting its teeth. Teeth should have erupted by one week old, and then there should be four incisors, two premolars, and three molars on both sides of the mouth.
If the Mother is Present
1. If you can contact the person who owns the sheep. Find out how old the lamb is and if it was born naturally or by cesarean section. 2. Put a halter on the lamb and attach it to a safety rope so it can’t get tangled up in anything or wander off. 3. Give the lamb plenty of fresh water. 4. Make sure there are plenty of shady spots with soft ground nearby where the lamb can rest. 5.
If the Mother is Absent
If the ewe is not around and you have baby lambs of unknown age, you can offer milk replacer in a lamb nursing bottle. Warm the milk replacer in a bowl of warm water or microwave it in short intervals until it is just lukewarm. The milk should be the consistency of 2% milk from a jug. Fill the nipple of the lamb nursing bottle with milk up to about one inch from the top.
If the Lamb is Injured
If the lamb has been injured and is bleeding, disinfect the wound with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol and use a cotton ball or gauze pad. If there are bits of debris in the wound, remove them carefully. Next, use an antibiotic ointment and cover it with a sterile bandage. If you don’t have an antibiotic ointment, you can use petroleum jelly instead.
Feeding the Lamb
If you need to know how old the lambs are, feed them at least three times a day. If you know, they are less than one week old, offer colostrum every time they eat. If you know they are older than one week old, only offer colostrum when they haven’t eaten in 12 hours and need extra nourishment. When they are under five weeks old, make sure they drink water and milk.
Weaning the Lamb
A newborn lamb must be weaned as soon as possible, usually within two weeks of birth. Weaning is giving the lamb a diet that doesn’t include milk from its mother. The amount of milk should be decreased gradually to discourage nursing. This can be done by offering other types of food, such as hay and grain, in addition to colostrum. If you are still determining how old the lamb is, it might be best to wait to take it away from its mother.