The Orphans

During lambing we often get some orphan lambs that are separated into a pen. They are known as cade lambs- it simply means orphan or bottle fed lambs.

Cade lambs can come about for several reasons:

  • It could be a lamb where the ewe is not producing any milk
  • The ewe could have died and the lamb therefore needs bottle feeding for survival
  • Often a triplet can be too much strain on the ewe, we therefore take the weakest lamb and bottle-feed it to ensure it survives
  • When turned out in the field any lambs that may not be growing as they should would be bought back to the farm, and again topped up to give it the best chance

The cade lambs begin by being bottle-fed, this trains them to suck the bottle for milk. From here we can then train the lambs to feed themselves of a machine.

This is a lamb feeding from the bottle, it was a night feed so excuse the dark, but as you can see somebody was hungry for milk!

This is the automatic feeder we use, it simply involves two teats connected to a heated bucket of milk, the lambs can feed themselves throughout the day and ensures they have a constant supply of milk.


The milk is re-filled throughout the day and night, at first there is quite a scramble to get the milk but they soon settle down. The moment the one has a full belly the next lamb will be ready to go, again this was a night feed but you can see the lambs were ready for some nice warm milk!

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