Goats/Baby Goats

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QUESTION: I had a goat who had babies about 2 hours ago.  It is below zero windchills and they just are in a hutch with a heat lamp so i helped the mom dry them off.  She had what appears to be the first one off in another hutch i found it there all alone after hearing something.  Its a miracle it was found even.  The 2nd one she had was the bigger of the two and she spent most her time cleaning it off.  Other than that she didn't seem to want to let either one feed and it didnt phase her at all when i brought them to the house to dry them and warm them.  I tried to get some milk out of her and she does not have much of a bag.  After much squeezing and protesting for her i got a little colostrum out of her, but not enough to catch and do anything with.  Afte the babies were dried I let them stay out with her for awhile with me watching and she still didn't let them eat and they just quit trying.  Especially the first one that was left in the other hutch, she is weaker.  So i took them away totally and have them in the house with me.  All I had to give them so that they had something was some 2% cows milk.  What should I do with them?  What about feeding them?  They are tiny.. one weighs 2.4 and the other 3.6.  How much and how often should i feed them and with what?  

Thanks!!!
Kelly

ANSWER: You were right in taking them away - nice job.  Can you milk the mom? If so, they really need the colostrum that she has - 24 hours of colostrum is needed.  Otherwise tomorrow you could get some powdered colostrum from a feed store - even cow colostrum will work.  Keeping them warm is important.  If all you have is the 2% cow milk you can use that diluting to half and half with water and adding karo syrup if you have that along with any vitamin D you might have.  Would definitely keep them warm and in the house.  Getting them through the night is your first thing - colostrum if possible, cow milk as okay for now but they must have colostrum tomorrow.  If you have any half and half or canned milk we can make a mixture out of that - let me know. Nice job finding them - I know it can be hard.  Hope this helps - let me know - you are welcome to call me for emergent needs if you'd like anytime, really - 360-742-8310  - Donna

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: All I have in the house tonight is that 2 percent cow milk  They ate it great and quit shivering and are in a nice big tub with each other and a blanket and seeming content right in the kitchen. The only other thing i have is evaporated milk.   I will try to milk some out of the mom in the morning but she really didn't have much of anything to speak of tonight.  She got some nutri drench stuff and molasses water so hopefully by morning there will be some more.  Otherwise I will go get some colostrum powder right away in the morning and from there i can start a feeding whatever you recommend.. i will just go get what i don't have.  Any recommendation as to which way to go?

Answer
With straight cow milk you will need to watch for constipation - but that is the least of the issue - getting them to drink is great and the important part now - so, nice job.  So glad you have them inside.  The powdered colostrum can be used for two days for them.  You can use either a multispecies milk replacer or you can use a mixture of cow milk with water, karo syrup and canned milk - about 1 cup of cow milk to 1/2 cup water to 1 cup of canned milk with about one tablespoon karo syrup - this mixture usually works well if you don't want to use the milk replacer - it is up to you.  Let me know.  Donna

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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres

Expertise

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

Experience

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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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