How To Build a Lambar Bucket
for Use With Fawns
We have raised fawns on both bottles and on a lambar bucket, and we found the later to work best for us.
A lambar bucket allows you to feed up to 10 fawns at a time with much less work than individual bottle feeding requires.
We generally only hand raise our doe fawns, and we always leave the mother with at least one fawn to raise herself. Thus, if a single fawn is born, we leave the baby with the mother. If twin girls are born, we only pull one of the fawn to hand raise.
We leave all of our bottle-raised fawns with their mother for the first 36 to 48 hours to ensure that the young have plenty of their mother's colostrum. All of the fawns which we pull are started on a bottle for the first couple of days and then moved to the lambar bucket between 3 and 7 days depending on their size and and mannerisms.
If a fawn is extremely small (3 to 4 pounds) at birth, we start their feeding using a Pritchard Nipple (red and yellow screw on nipple). Otherwise, we begin all other fawns on a grey lambar nipple on top of plastic bottle. On Day 2, we begin to hold the plastic bottle above the lambar bucket to get the fawns use to the bucket itself. On Day 3, or as soon as appropriate, the young are then converted over to the lambar bucket.
Sometimes to make the conversion to the lambar bucket, you have to open the fawn's mouth, help the little one onto the nipple on the bucket and hold them on it until they start to suck. Once the milk hits its mouth, the fawn has the idea and is pretty much on her own! Some fawns may require your assistance with the lambar for a day or so. The key is to make sure that the fawn can easily begin to taste milk once she starts sucking. Initially, we will place the tubing in a smaller container inside the bucket - so as to not use as much milk, and to make certain the babies get the taste of milk with as little sucking as possible.
Remember, it is imperative to stimulate the young by wiping its buttocks with a paper towel. This triggers the young to eat, and makes certain that the fawn goes to the restroom.
For the first two weeks of life, we feed each fawn four times a day. After that we cut back to three feedings a day for the next six weeks. For the third and final month, we scale back to two feedings a day for two weeks, and then to one feeding per day for the last two weeks. Protein feed, alfalfa hay, dirt and water are made available for the fawns throughout their nursing days.
While we have not tried it yet, we understand that young can have access to milk throughout the day by putting milk in the bucket in the morning, dropping in a frozen ice pack and letting the fawns free feed on the cold milk all day. The intent of the cold milk is to encourage little snacks throughout the day instead of gorging on warm milk.
4-5 gallon white plastic bucket with removable lid.
5/8" spade drill bit
10 lambar nipples
10 - 1 foot sections of 1/4" clear tubing
About 3-4 inches down from the top of the bucket (or just below the plastic molded ring that is on many buckets), measure around and mark ten spots evenly spaced apart. Drill out ten holes with the 5/8" spade bit. Pull the lambar nipples through each hole so just the nipple extends out. Attach sections of clear tubing to the back of each nipple so that they reach the bottom of the bucket to act as "straws".
All supplies except the nipples can be found at any hardware store. The nipples can be ordered online at
or purchased through your local feed store.
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