Goats/Baby goat

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Question
Hi! I have a 3 week old baby Pygmy  goat that was adopted by our mama goat Bella (her 3 week old was killed by a dog) so three days after her baby died we got a week old baby that she adopted, Evie. The two have bonded and are inseparable, but I never see baby Evie drink from mama Bella. Both frequently sleep during the day and only come out when I sit in their pen with them. I tried to bottle feed Evie (she was bottle fed the first week we had her until Bella had fully accepted her) but she will no longer take the bottle. I'm worried she's not getting enough to eat. When she's awake she plays like normal and I've seen her pee, but I have not seen her poop lately. Bella's udder also looks fuller than usual which makes me think Evie isn't getting enough to eat. She also looks just as tiny as when we first got her. Not sure if I just haven't noticed much growth or if she's not growing. She is chewing cud every once and a while, usually when I try to bottle feed. We are located in south Florida.
Should I be worried?

Answer
HI Lauren:

I am SO sorry about your baby  who was killed..

You are SO lucky these two have bonded.. it happens  but not all the time..
sounds like the baby is doing well -  if  the baby plays,  sleeps,  is active,  seems happy,  I would bet she is eating more than you realize..
if she is lethargic,  mopey,  lays around all the time,., sleeps  all the time,, cries out  is thin and seems unhappy  I would  think yes she is not getting enough to eat..

If you are worried about pooping.. you can give her a gentle enema of soapy water..
if she is not pooping her belly would be  round and tight.. and she would not be active - she would not  want to eat and  would begin to  get lethargic.

I would be watching.. maybe for hours.. to see if in fact baby is nursing from new mama
If  Bella's udder is hard and tight .. then I would  think baby is not nursing.. at this young age,,  baby depends on milk..  
when you try to bottle feed are you feeding milk or replacer?
Babies will usually refuse replacers for good reason.

let me send a couple articles for you to read..

baby goat digestion:
http://goat-link.com/content/view/99/86/

bottle feeding baby goats:
http://goat-link.com/content/view/94/76/

enema for baby goats:
http://goat-link.com/content/view/92/74/

let me know  how she is doing..  I bet she IS nursing but you have not seen it yet..  :)  

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Goatlady

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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.

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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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12 year active member of International Veterinary Information Service

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United Caprine News, Homesteaders Magazine, Columnist for Goat Magazine, Owner and Author of GoatPedia™

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Graduate Programs in Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University

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