Goats/day old kid


QUESTION: One of my kinders gave birth to twins yesterday (less than 24 hours ago) and my little buckling is giving me all sorts of problems! As soon as he was born he only coughed once. Not a huge deal but I would have liked more. Then the doeling was born and was active even before she got cleaned which was great. Still about 20 minutes after he was out he finally got the energy to try getting up but was very lazy and struggled for a bit. He would get to his knees and then I finaly just helped him myself. As normal he flopped around and fell quite a few times but now he is up standing and walking. But the problem now is hat he refuses to lay down and has a hard time walking forward. He wobbles backward and hangs his head and then stands again. When he does go forward its straight for the wall and gazes straight up at it. I finally held him in my lap for about ten minutes and he took a short nap. When I lay him down he fights me hard and gets right back up. Will he eventually learn to sleep on his own? Also his back legs are knock kneed at the hocks and sometimes his ankles buckle over for a second but he fixes it. His sister seems to know exactly what to do when is comes to all this. Another problem. He can't nurse without help. I have had to hold him up to the teat and force it into his mouth. Is this a common kid problem? I'm not extremely concerned yet cause as I said before he is still almost one day old. I notice now as I watch him he leans on things alot with his head and shoulders. From the beginnibg when he forat came out I knew something was just a little off. Please please please give me some advicee

ANSWER: Of course you know that kid goats cannot see well until 3 or 4 days of age and some not as well as others so that is why he "gazes".  He is looking for food. I would say he is selenium deficient.  He should get one 200 mcg human selenium tablet crushed and dissolved in a little hot water and to that add half the oil from a human 1000 IU vitamin E capsule and half the oil from an 800 IU vitamin D capsule (these are all human vitamins/minerals and can be found at most drug stores) - mix well, cool and give orally (use of a small 3 cc syringe makes it easy to give this solution orally over the tongue and, of course, no needle on the syringe) - repeat this tomorrow.  He may need a third dose the following week.  I would advise bottle feeding him and taking him out of harms way - that is, he is at high risk of dying without proper help - I know some folks don't believe in bottle raising but we have done it for 28 years - 15 to 20 kids each kidding season - it is time consuming but the reward is great and for a little one who is not doing well it is the best way to give him the chance he needs to grow.  Kid goats do very well by themselves (if you are not going to put his sister in with him).  The selenium deficiency not only causes suck reflex issues but also skeletal weakness, both of which he is having.  His leaning on his head and shoulders also indicates that he is weak and not getting enough colostrum/milk as well as probably being cold.  Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

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QUESTION: Thank you! I just went and checked on him and he layed down by himself and got up and I jist heled him nurse again and he drank for about a minute. His sides don't feel empty which I am happy about and I definitely am not against bottle feedi n. I have a doe that just lost her twins the other day so I have been trying to dry her out. Should I start milki g her fully everydy? She enjoys getting milked surprisingly. I talked with my sister who works with people who have livestock and said he would be finw on just milk

ANSWER: Hi there - thanks for the update.  Re the doe who lost her twins, do you know why the little ones died? If you are trying to dry that doe up I advise milking out once, then in 2 days if she seems uncomfortable you can milk out just a little to relieve her discomfort, and by 5 days out her mammary system should stop producing milk.  During that time frame you do not give the doe any grain as that has protein in it and that tells the mammary system to produce milk.  You can also use an intramammary preparation (feed store has this) made for cows called Tomorrow (used when drying up) in which you use half of the tube to place into one side of the udder/via the teat and then closing the teat you gently massage that side of the udder to spread out this medication (antibiotic and drying up agent).  Then you do the same on the other side of the udder using the remaining medication in the tube.  

Re the question "he would be fine on just milk", if you're talking about cow milk, that is incorrect as cow milk has fat molecules that are five times larger than goat milk and so can cause digestive upset and constipation in the kid goats - there is a mix you can make from cow milk that is usable though for goat kids - let me know if you need that.  

Hope this helps - Donna

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QUESTION: Her babies died because they were in the birth canal too long, and we don't think she was dilated enough. She is a first time mother. Fluid bag wasn't delivered first and lots of fluid came pouring out of her. And her birthing process just took way too long. So my plan was to use her milk for the bottle baby and milk her out twive a day, save it, and use it for the baby. But I already started the drying up process so is it ok to start remilking her again? Baby's mom still has another baby which is doing fine.  I wasn't going to use cows milk. I have had bottle babies before but never this young. If I remember right, I should be feeding 12 ounces 6 times a day. Does that sound about right? He doesn't seem to want to eat at thw moment but he did eat a little bit like ahhalf hour ago. Hes the sweetest thing and I would hate to lose another kid!

Thanks for the update.  I usually only give the doe 20 minutes of hard pushing before I head in for a feel and bring the kids out.  Using the one doe's milk for the little guy sounds good.  Yes, you can start milking her again and she should start back up fairly well.  Usually it is 6 ounces for the first day of life every 2 to 3 hours and then as the days go by increasing the milk to probably 8 ounces every 4 to 6 hours.  My Obers are the large dairy goats so their kids drink more but doubt your kinders would need more than that.  If he does not eat for you but looks hungry/acts hungry then it could easily be pneumonia that he picked up and would start him on eithe roral or injectable antibiotics.  Would give him the selenium for immune help and muscle help.  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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