Canberra Region Lamb Rescue
Little Oak Sanctuary rehabilitates and rehomes lambs in need; those born during the lambing season in Canberra and the surrounding regions of NSW (including Bungendore, Braidwood, South Coast, Yass, Murrumbateman and Goulburn areas).
Surrender a lamb
We accept surrendered lambs from farmers and members of the public who are unable to care for them themselves.
Little Oak Sanctuary does not encourage anyone to enter private property or remove animals without permission.
Would you like to foster lambs? We often rely on our foster carers to look after lambs for the first 10 – 12 weeks of their life, or until the lambs are almost weaned.
Ideally, we foster lambs in pairs, but this will depend on lambs surrendered and we cannot predict how many this will be.
We only foster newborn lambs with experienced carers, until you have gained experience we will only foster lambs who are at least 1 week old with you. These lambs require 3 hourly feeds which will then extend to 4 hours, 5 hours and so on until they reach 2 bottles a day, at which point they can be returned to the sanctuary.
Vaccination occurs at about 6 weeks of age as does castration for males. Castration will be performed under light sedation by a vet. We make every attempt to give you healthy lambs (those with health problems remain at the sanctuary with our experienced carers prior to fostering) but sometimes health issues may still arise. Vet visits may be a necessity in some of those situations. All vet costs will be covered by Little Oak Sanctuary.
If you are then interested in fostering lambs and meet the requirements described, please complete the application form below.
Sheep make wonderful companions! We match lambs of all ages with kind and compassionate people who wish to provide a loving forever home to 2 or more sheep. If you're interested in applying to adopt any of our babies please contact us for a copy of our adoption agreement and to arrange a property suitability check.
Lambs - vital care steps to take as soon as possible
If you have found a vulnerable lamb there are some steps you can take as soon as possible to help give the lamb the best possible chance of survival, please contact us if unsure of any of these steps.
1. Ensure the lamb is dry and warm.
The normal body temperature for a healthy lamb is between 38.8-39.4 degrees celsius. Lambs with temperatures outside of this range should see a vet as soon as possible. A lamb with a lower temperature than this is considered hypothermic and needs to be gradually warmed. If the lamb's temperature is below 37C immediate vet care is required as a glucose injection will be required before the lamb can be heated. A lamb with a temperature above this range may well have an infection and requires prompt veterinary care.
2. Dip the lambs naval in betadine solution. Lambs' navels are a vulnerable source for infection to enter the body. The umbilical cord needs to be treated with iodine as soon as possible to prevent serious illness. You can get betadine from most supermarkets or chemists. Fill a small container with the solution and lift the cup/container towards the lamb's belly ensuring all of the navel is submerged in the iodine.
3. Check for suckle reflex
When you stick your finger inside the lamb's mouth, they should suckle automatically. If they are not suckling, do not try to feed them and seek vet advice.
4. Feed the lamb
if the lamb is warm, dry and bright, and has a suckle reflex, then it is important to feed them as soon as possible. If it is clear the lamb is very young (still covered in afterbirth, very wet navel etc) they will ideally have colostrum. You can use Wombaroo Impact which your local vet or agricultural store may have. If they are older than 24 hours, the window for colostrum has closed and lambs' milk formula will suffice.
If you are unable to purchase lamb milk formula (from an agricultural feed shop) you may be able to source Divetelact from your local vet (or even wildlife carers may have some) follow the instructions on the tin.
If you are unable to find either of these and it is an emergency situation, you can use full-fat cow's milk powder mixed up into formula but ensure you transfer the lamb over to proper lamb formula at the first chance you can. (Cows' milk alone is not a suitable substitute for lambs as the total solids, fat and protein content are too low. It should only ever be offered in an emergency situation and use full cream powdered milk only. Mix 200g of powder with warm water to make up 1 litre of milk.)
Stools (droppings) from a healthy baby lamb are usually yellow or light brown in color and has the consistency of caulking compound. As the lamb matures (at about 30 days of age) their stools will become pelleted. Take time to observe that the lamb is relieving itself regularly. Watch that the lamb is both urinating and defecating.