Goats/baby goat


QUESTION: I have 2 pygmy/nig billies born just 3 days ago. ( nov. 20)  They seem to be doing good but I noticed the last born is also very much smaller than the other one. I alos noticed this morning that when he tried to nurse momma really butted him pretty hard. I have seen them nurse in the last 2 days but not today. I held momma and let the little one get a drink or 2 in before she got away.  Should I try to give him a bottle and if so what kind of milk because she will not let me milk her.  Also he isnt yelling or anthing. He just walks around normal and even wags his tail from time to time. He does look a little humped in the back but could that be normal?  An I havent seen either poop or w/ messy butts ( but it may be hidden in the hay)  What should I do?

ANSWER: Hello - Sounds like the littlest one is in harms way of either becoming ill, not getting enough milk to eat/sustain it, or getting hurt by the doe,  any of these items could cause death in this kid goat.  Two choices that I would advise: One is just taking both away from the mom in order to keep the littlest one who is most likely not receiving the milk he needs and possibly did not get all the colostrum he needed - I know this may be more work than you want but it is an easy way to be sure both are safe, getting enough to eat and having company.  The second choice would be to give the littlest guy a bottle every 2 hours for the first 5 days of life and then you could begin to spread the interval of time out as he eats more.  The "humped" up look can be from being cold and/or constipated.  You might check his temperature.  Anything below 100 would indicate he is not staying warm enough and even 100 is a low temp for a kid goat.  Also, when kid goats or any goat is constipated their temperature tends to run in the 90s, which indicates their system is not functioning well.  It is possible the mom is doing her job by cleaning their bottoms so you would not see any evidence of poop, which at this point would be the yellowish type dog poop style.  You could also just bring the one littlest guy in the house - keep him in a small dog crate - I use towels as bedding so I can wash/clean them easily - and this would keep him warm and be close at hand for feedings.  He may or may not get lonely - if I ever have just one kid in the house (we bottle raise all our kid goats and the first 5 days of life they are in kennels in our house - quite a circus) I add a stuffed animal to his kennel/crate so he has something to snuggle with.  Do hope all this helps.  Another item is that if he and/or the other little one did not get enough colostrum from the mom for one reason or another, they could easily pick up pneumonia, or coccidiosis, or E. coli, or enterotoxemia easily.  Let me know - Donna - you're also welcome to give me a call if you'd like or e-mails are fine too - 360-742-8310

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QUESTION: Which milk should I use to feed him

ANSWER: Hi there - so sorry I forgot that question.  Thanks for calling - do please feel free to call me anytime - Donna

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QUESTION: Thank you for ur advise. Here is where we are standing tonight. Went out around 6:30pm and took temp. first off. Both kids read around 97 degree. So i gave them both 2cc mineral oil.  Thought I would try the bottle and sure enough the smaller one chugged it down ( I really didnt measure it) The other wasnt interested at all.  Not 2 minutes later, They were both nursing Momma for a couple minutes each. lol   He was still  humped over afterwards and kinda standing still and the other was very active.  Gonna wait and see what the oil does for them and go from there. If I continue to feed, how much how often in between feedings w/ mom

Thanks for the update.  Sounds like both kids are having trouble staying warm - issue there is pneumonia, which they can catch very easily - if you see them not wanting the bottle (little one) or not eating or having trouble breathing would advise penicillin.  So glad the little guy took the bottle.  The other one might just be full from momma.  The humped over and low body temps certainly point to constipation so am glad you gave them both some mineral oil.  Re feeding schedule, for the first 3 days of life it is every 2 hours and then 3 to 7 days every 3 hours and then 7 to 10 days every 4 hours, spreading continually the time interval - by 2 weeks they would be on every 4 hours and by 3 weeks every 5 to 6 hours.  Of course, this is full time bottle raising, no momma in the picture.  Since it sounds like it is going to get cold tonight - I really would advise taking the two away from momma tonight and getting them warmed up nicely in the house.  Re amounts of milk - for kids between 2 and 4 pounds feeding no more than 4 ounces is a good baseline - too much milk can cause enterotoxemia. This is an every 2 hour amount, some, especially if this little guy is only 2 pounds might not need more than 2 or 3 ounces - watch the tummy fill up as he eats - you don't want the tummy to look like he is bloated.   I might advise also to give them human selenium tablet - 200 mcg dose - one of these, crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, and add half the oil from a 1000 IU capsule of vitamin E and half the oil from an 800 IU capsule of vitamin D, mix, cool and give orally - you're looking at probably 2 cc of water to add, so not much to give to them - this will help with their body systems and with immune functions.  Would also suggest giving 1/2 cc of CDT toxoid especially if mom did not have her booster 4 weeks prior to kidding.  This will help their system fight against enterotoxemia too.  Hope this helps.  Let me know - Donna


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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres


All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.


27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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