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Adoption Coats For Orphan Lambs
You can trick a ewe into adopting an orphan lamb by fooling her nose, according to re-searchers at the University of California.
The idea is to put a nylon "body stocking" on a ewe's own lamb (dead or alive) at birth for a period of about 2 days, during which time the stocking absorbs the lamb's odor. The stocking is then placed on an orphan lamb which is introduced to the mother.
The idea can be used to replace a lamb that died or to add an additional lamb to a ewe with just one offspring. The idea is more successful when substituting one lamb for another (90%) than when adding a second lamb where there was only one before (70%).
The researchers use stretch nylon tubes obtained from orthopedic supply houses. The tubes are normally used to protect broken arms or legs. It takes about a 30-in. piece with four 3-in. slits for the legs and one 4 in. slit for the tail.
`The nylon adheres to the body extremely well. We tried cotton but it tends to sag and get soiled," says researcher Edward Price, noting that the idea has also been successful on beef calves although the problem is not generally as widespread with cattle as with sheep.
Lamb Adoption Coats are available from supplier Sandra Peterson in Sidney, Mont., who sells the nylon tubing for $1 a foot. "They work great. We had a 100% success rate with our own animals last year," she told FARM SHOW.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Peterson's Nature's Way, Rt. 2, Box 2584, Sidney, Mont. 59270 (ph 406 482-3016).

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1988 - Volume #12, Issue #2