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Goats/Newborn twins sleeping apart


Mom & Babies
Mom & Babies  
QUESTION: These babies were born at 3:00 am this morning. It has been raining ever since. It is not hot. I am worried because they are not sleeping in a pile like their cousins born 3 weeks ago are.

ANSWER: HI Cheryl:

Neither of them are snuggled with mom either - are both of them acting fine?  does one of them act a bit off - ?? I ask because I had a group of bottle babies last year - in the kitchen so I was able to really observe them - and one of them was always off by itself - eating normal and acting  just a tiny bit off - the main thing was when the kids were in a kid pile she was not with them.  Took a couple weeks before I realized she was completely blind -  she is now 15 months old and is a happy little goat who gets around  pretty well in spite of her blindness - as a baby she was just  seemingly a loner -  luckily I have another baby who bonded with her and has taught her how to get around - other than that check her rectal temp, (normal is 101.5 to 103.5) make sure she is eating and has pooped..  make sure  she is healthy all around -  and then  do what you can to observe her for a few hours and see if there is a medical reason - place them together and see what happens too. How does mom treat them - different? Do they both go to eat at the same time?  Let me know..

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QUESTION: The mom is a first time freshener. She is licking them both equally. I have not seen either of them feed. I have tried 5 times for about 5 minutes each time to get them to suckle. I have squirted the milk on their mouth while trying to get them to open their mouth so I can shove the teat in it. Definitely a fight. After releasing the babies, they bump her like a normal baby looking for food. They are bouncing and jumping around, they are warm and dry. Mom is just now starting to nibble food again. I will let you know when we reach the 24hr mark what the progress is.


Oh No.. IF they are NOT eating..  (sit somewhere for a few hours and watch to make sure ) you cannot let them go this long without eating better..  you will either Have to hold her in a fight to let them nurse.. yes it is a PIA  OR bottle feed them either goat milk or cows milk from the grocery store.. a couple ounces every  couple hours  for the first couple days..  NOT eating - they will certainly get too weak and die.. you need to supplement them tonight.. (IF they  are not eating from mom) Remember- babies can go downhill very fast..  

let me ask you..
1. are they crying a lot?
2. are they at all acting weak?
3. are they peeing and pooping normally?

You may not be 'seeing' mom feed them..  new moms  are  funny about it.. some not good moms.. but if you work with them they  eventually  "get it" and let the babies eat.. now newborns will suckle a little and stop.. or mom will kick them off.. but if you observe, they  should eat  often..  maybe only a little at a time..

BUT IF in fact mom is NOT letting them eat.. they will get weak quickly and you will lose them..  in cases like this  I  will supplement them.. making sure they get  enough to eat and in between allow mom to feed and mother them.. ONLY close observation will tell you  if things are going well or not..  but once a baby this young is down, it is Very hard to get them back going again.. so be aware.. When I have a mom who is new and clueless.. I will stand  facing her rear.. and hold her between my legs,. bending over her to get the kids up under the udder.. holding her  so she cannot move..  it seems to work well this way.. and allows you to get each kid up to the teats  better until they get it..

IF you need to bottle feed them please read my article on bottle feeding here  this will help you out..

Please let me know how they are doing.. :)

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QUESTION: Nobody is crying. I have seen them both pee, and found one baby poo. Mama licks their behind often. They both have energy. I have fought with them to get them to feed but they are not having it. However the boy I have seen go after the teat, and mama lifts her leg to assist, but he has not yet hit paydirt in front of me. He is pretty onery to his sister, Butting his head at her, trying to ride her and they are not even 12 hours old. If the sister is laying down. He goes to another place to lay down. If I put him next to her he walks away and lays down somewhere else. If I put her next to him she gets up and walks away from him. I tried to bottle feed them also, because I have another doe in milk, but they fight me. Nobody is weak at this point.

HI Cheryl:

Well then all you can do at this point is sit somewhere  for a few hours and watch them.. or put a nanny cam where they are and sit and observe. I always sit and watch  for a few hours esp with new moms.. until I see the babies  find the teat (After I initially have assisted  them within 30 minutes of birth to eat) and successfully eat - I watch to make sure mom is not kicking them off too soon..  and they are peeing and pooping..  sometimes it goes quick.. sometimes it takes hours..
Siblings will fight.. and as odd as it sounds, I think there are times when there were issues in the womb that they are still  dealing with after birth.. boys are always more aggressive then girls. but this sounds like a possible argument - just keep an eye on them..  also moms  will  be more patient feeding the boy than they will the girls every time..  it seems to be bred into them to favor the boy - riding is normal at this age.. it's just "built in play"  when he attempt s to eat I'd  go ahead and get him hooked up.. (yes boys fight this more too )  and then at the same time make sure she gets up to eat too at the same time..  and switch teats..  so when  the boy is on the right teat and girl on the left switch them up the next time..  it helps keep them  open for  taking which ever side is available and not picking a favorite also keeping the udder more even.. Keep me posted..  please  


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Specializing in New Goat Owner understanding of goat physiology, goat anatomy, goat care and herd management. *I am not a veterinarian, any advice and information should be verified by your veterinarian before administering to your goats. (! During times of severe weather in the Midwest, I may experience a delay in internet service due to the interference of the satellite reception - but will answer your questions as soon as service is restored. !) Note: Keep in mind, the goat expert is volunteering her time to help other goat owners, she also runs her farm with her own herd of 100 goats and may not be at her computer at all hours. Questions are answered as soon as she can possibly read and answer them, usually within 24 hours.


23 years experience of raising goats and herd management. Active hands on experience with goat herd and research with various Caprine University Research and Extension Centers nationwide. 15 years dedicated to helping other goat breeders/owners with goat anatomy, goat disease and goat health care issues via phone, published goat care articles and internet interaction. The information I have to offer is not only from personal experience and years of research updated often as new information is made available to me, but supported by many Veterinary Research colleges and all medications and information I have to offer on how the medications work and what dosages "I" use, is information I have acquired by discussing directly with the company's veterinarians and staff research experts.

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