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Goats/update and questions on our new kid - constipation, banding, etc.


Hi Donna,

I wanted to let you know that the new baby, now known as Sam, appears to be doing very well, he is up and playful, bouncing around.  We had him outside yesterday for a couple of hours and introduced him to his older sister, Izzy.  She is 7 months old and was just a tad standoffish, she did try to butt him with her head but it wasn't hard and didn't seem to bother him at all.  

My first question is this:  We switched Sam over to the multi-species milk replacer as you suggested and I have been mixing it with goat's milk instead of water.  He has been on that for a day and a half now.  I noticed this morning that he had not pooped any in his box that we are keeping him in and we cannot see where he has pooped any at all today and this is after at least 4 feedings.  He is drinking 3-4 oz every 5-6 hours. I felt of his belly and it feels soft, his bottom is clean, no diarrhea noted.  As I said, he is bouncing around, playful, following my son everywhere and does not appear to be stressed at all about anything.  I did read some of your earlier posts to others on constipation and I added 1 tsp of mineral oil to the last full cup of milk I made up, that gives him 4 feedings total.  I wasn't sure how much to add and didn't want to add too much.  I guess after losing his mother I am hypersensitive to him.  Am I worried for nothing?

The other question is when will he be old enough to be in the barn with his sister?  We are having some cold weather coming up with lows in the 30-40's during the day and 20s at night so I will likely keep him in the house until that passes unless you tell me differently.  

Third and last question....for now anyway :)  We plan for him to be a wether.  I have read sooooo many different thoughts on ages at which to castrate bucks and concerns for ureteral stones I am confused as to what to think or plan for.  When should we plan to band him and what tools will we need?  

Thank you so very much for all of your help, it is truly appreciated!


Hi there - thanks for the update.  Sounds like the little guy may be a bit constipated.  I would mix the milk replacer with water as you normally would and then mix 1/2 of that mixed milk replacer with 1/2 goat milk.  I would either give him 1/2 teaspoon (not much but sounds like he is a little guy - if he is over 6 pounds could go with 1 teaspoon without hurting him) either orally with a little syringe (without the needle of course) or you can put it in a bottle.  You should see poop within 2 hours.  If not would re dose him.  

Would doubt he could go in with his older sister until he was at least 2 or 3 months of age - old enough to know when to run from her.  Getting him out daily to play is a great idea and good exercise for him.  

Re castration, I always advise (and have done so for 27 years without urinary calculi) banding for castration at the age of 10 days to 2 weeks - it is quick and easy  - you would want to be able to feel the two testicles in the sac, if not then would need to wait for another week.  I spray the sac with a human burn spray (over the counter - usually has lidocaine or other pain med in it) which helps numb the area - then using the banding tool place the small elastic/rubber band around the top of the sac just a little down from the skin of the abdomen.  You can also give the little guy 1/2 of an 81 mg human aspirin (crushed and mixed in a little water or mixed in his bottle) before banding and then again 4 hours after banding - usually within 4 to 6 hours they have forgotten about it as it starts to go numb from loss of blood to the sac.  Over the next 3 weeks or so the sac goes flat and then by about 6 weeks out the sac just falls off.  At the same time of banding you also should give him his firt CDT toxoid vaccination 1 cc.  If you know a breeder they probably have a banding tool or possibly even the local feed store.  Re the urinary calculi, it is the calcium to phosphorus ratio that really is the main cause of stones - that ratio needs to be 2:1 or best is 3:1 in their feed once they are 9 months of age - so that means no alfalfa, no dairy goat chows, no kelp, or other items with the incorrect ratio.  

Hope this helps - 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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