A safe, easy method for feeding weak lambs and goat kids.
To tube feed a lamb, use with a catheter tip syringe.
- Red Rubber Tube
- Flexible rubber. 6.0mm. 16" long.
- Clear Plastic Tube
- Easier to insert because they are less flexible than rubber. However, when it’s cold, plastic tubes are stiff and may cause injury during insertion (a greater concern with goat kids). 6.0mm diameter; 16" long.
How to Use
- Be very careful to gently extend the animal's chin so that its neck is straight before carefully inserting the tube. If the light is good you can visually observe the bulge of the tube sliding down the neck. In bad light, we use our fingers to feel its presence. If you can neither feel nor see the tube, it may well be in the animal's hard hollow trachea and thus the lungs. Be cautious of this. If the tube enters the lungs instead of the stomach, pneumonia and starvation could result.
- Pull the tube out gently and restart it. The chance of wrongly inserting the tube is not as great as it may appear. Simply be sure that the tube is inserted in a straight line from the animal's mouth to its stomach.
- Continue to pass the tube into the stomach. The usual distance is 11 or 12 inches. You cannot pass the tube too far, but it is very important to pass the tube far enough. If it is in the correct position you will hear a gurgling sound through the empty syringe.
- Should the solution not run, the cause could be an airlock or possibly with older animals, the teeth could be clamped on the upper part of the tube. If an airlock occurs, slide tube in and out about 1/2 inch.
- Do not ram the milk into the stomach. We usually do not actually insert the plunger unless using thick colostrum which will not flow on its own. If the plunger is used, gently push the milk into the animals stomach.
Shepherd’s Choice® Management TipOn many farms during lambing time, one tube gets used over and over again without being cleaned or disinfected. Lambs that are being treated for scours or pneumonia should not be tube fed with a common tube. If you tube feed a sick lamb with a tube, wash it, disinfect it and let it dry before using it again. Keep plenty of tubes on hand.
Clear plastic tubes are a little easier to insert because they’re less flexible. However, when it’s cold (Midwest USA cold), plastic tubes are stiff and may cause injury during insertion (a greater concern with goat kids). Red rubber tubes are the most flexible.
Producers should NOT tube lambs that cannot hold their heads upright. In most cases these are hypothermic lambs. They need glucose (IP) and warming first. Once the animal has been revived and can hold its head up, then you can use the various stomach tube devices to deliver nourishment.
Read all warnings and cautions on label. For livestock use only.
Listed below are recommended optional components or related items. Your particular situation may require alternative recommendations. Please call and talk to our consultants if there are any questions at 800-282-6631.
Drenching and Vaccinating
140cc Syringe (4.6 oz) Catheter TipItem #553000 -
Most commonly used for stomach tubing weak lambs and kids. Can be used as a drencher as well.$9.00
Drenching and Vaccinating
60cc Syringe (2 oz) Catheter TipItem #553100 -
Most commonly used for stomach tubing weak lambs and kids. Can be used as a drencher as well.$2.00
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Larry B from Larry
Stomach tubes are a necessity of sheep production. The clear plastic works better than the red tube.
Jackie J from wisconsin
A very useful tool during our lambing season.
Mona E from Idaho
We use the red rubber on newborns so it's softer on their esophagus, but when we tube lambs that are more than 12 hours old, the clear plastic is the best. More durable and you can see when the contents of the syringe and tube are gone.
Eileen L from Wisconsin
I'm glad we have this on hand. Easy to work with and to save the lamb/or kid