I picked the little boy up and took him to the mother. He immediately tried to nurse and she butted him away sternly. He came back again, and she once more butted him, but harder. Mothers have been known to stomp and kill or otherwise get rid of their offspring, often in favour of one or two if there are twins or triplets. This mother has plenty of milk and is not a first time mother. It is surprising how vehement she is to get rid of the male. I tried to hold her to allow the baby to nurse but she kicked him quite hard. We tried again and again she kicked and when I freed her, butted him. For his safety then, I removed him from the pen and put him in with the new lambs and recent weanlings for company. Of course he cried for his mother and it was heart breaking. He did not take well to the bottle at first either, but with the third feeding, he downed about 5 ounces, which is plenty for a new born lamb. I tried one last time to see if the mother would accept him and held her to allow him to nurse, but she was stressed and angry and growling at me. I felt it was no use, so he is the first bottle baby out of 10 lambs. There are still several pregnant ewes and possibly a younger ewe who was bred much later than the others. If she is pregnant,the latest she could have a lamb would be at the end of June, counting back from the time the ram was removed.
Why a mother could reject her baby is unsolved. This little fellow is so adorable, half Cotswold and half Karakul and quiet and sweet. I will love him, but I cannot be his mother. Time to bottle feed.