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Goats/lamb won't drink from bottle


We have a one week old Nubian kid that we are trying to bottle feed because she is one of triplets and our doe seems to reject one when she has triplets.The other two are fine.We have tried repeatedly to get this kid to take the bottle(we have the correct nipple)but she just won't start sucking. We squeeze the milk bottle to get some milk into her,but a lot dribbles away,so my husband ends up tubing her again.How long can he continue to tube her and do you have any tips on getting the kid to start sucking?

Have you given her or her did you give her mother BoSe? I am wondering about white muscle disease as a reason to not be able to suck. If not, get some from the vet and see if that makes a difference.

Are you sure she cannot suck, or is she just being stubborn. I recently had a kid whose mother was sold with her brother. I thought I could bottle feed her, but after 3 days I gave it up and started putting her grandmother on the milk stand and letting the kid nurse. Grandmother has now accepted her as her own. You could try to supplement one of the other kids, and see if the reject kid can nurse the mom. If that works, then do that for a few days and hopefully the mom will eventually come around.

If neither of these is the problem, she may have some congenital problem, and be unable to suck--having led to the rejection in the first place.

I wish I could be of more help. I am unaware of any way to get a goat to suck if the reflex is missing. Another possible option that others have had luck with is a pan of milk, which she would drink like water. She may be too young for that, but it is worth a try.

Good luck and let me know what you find out and if you have success.


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Cheryl K. Smith


Goat Health Care; basic goat management. Author of Goat Health Care (2009) and Raising Goats for Dummies (2010)


Publisher of Goat Health Care, I have raised miniature dairy goats since 1998. I published Ruminations, the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Dairy Goat magazine for 7 years and mentor other goat owners, as I was mentored for my first years.

American Goat Society (AGS), The Miniature Goat Registry (TMGR)

Raising Goats for Dummies (author) Goat Health Care (Editor and Author), Ruminations, Dairy Goat Journal, Issues in Law and Medicine, Topics in Health Records Management, Oregon Bar Bulletin, Midwifery Today, Countryside

BS, Health Information Administration JD, Law

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