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Hand rearing tiny goat kids - help!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Juliette Ivanova, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Feb 22, 2019
    Juliette Ivanova

    Juliette Ivanova Chillin' with the herd

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    Hi, anyone got experience hand rearing goats? I took over a herd of 60 heavily pregnant goats at the beginning of the year (2019), who were not being looked after well. Steep learning curve!
    My question is about tiny triplets we has born 12 th Feb. Seems they didn't get enough colostrum and the boy died. Took the two girls home and one was so weak she couldn't stand. Syringe feed them from their mother's milk. Weaker one could barely swallow; neither had suck reflex and they may have been blind.
    Gave selenium and multivit at birth (Selene, 2ml) then two days of penstrep and b complex injections, on 14 & 15th. They're now leaping around our living room and doing well, on the whole. Pooping normally.
    The weaker one discovered her suck reflex two days ago and now drinks voraciously from a bottle.
    HOWEVER The stronger one has now started getting stressed about eating from her syringe, spits the milk, forgets to suck, and won't take more than 100ml at a time. Her back legs shake now, during and after feeding, otherwise, she's lively and friendly. Weirdly, she is desperate to drink the warm water that I have her milk jar in, and would prefer it to milk! She won't take milk from a dish or bottle., but drinks water from a saucepan! They're not eating any hay really, so I don't think she's thirsty from that.
    Questions:
    1. Any advice on feeding with a syringe or getting her to take a bottle? I keep trying but she freaks.
    2. How can I encourage hay, other than having nice hay available? Alfalfa? Grass hay?
    3. When can I start feeding concentrate?
    4. Why might she be so thirsty, and do you think her legs are shaking from stress or something metabolic?
    5. Any supplements they should be getting? Vet says copper isn't an issue here, but I don't know.

    Any other thoughts or advice really appreciated!
    Juliette
     
  2. Feb 22, 2019
    Rammy

    Rammy Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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  3. Feb 22, 2019
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Herd Master

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    Have you tried putting her milk in a pan?
     
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  4. Feb 22, 2019
    Juliette Ivanova

    Juliette Ivanova Chillin' with the herd

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    Thank you, will try getting in touch with them.
     
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  5. Feb 22, 2019
    Juliette Ivanova

    Juliette Ivanova Chillin' with the herd

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    Hi, yes I have, ever since she started slurping warm water from the saucepan! It's so strange, tho, that she snorts at, or ignores, a pan of milk but goes crazy for water! I've even tried diluting the milk to trick her, floating a bowl of milk in the water...everything, but she won't have it!!
    Thanks for a good suggestion, tho.
     
  6. Feb 22, 2019
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Herd Master

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    If mine --- I would add a little calcium and nutridrench -- little syringed into mouth, 2-3Xdy. See if it helps with her desire to take milk, it will at least add some carbs/vit/min. They are too young to think about hay, really. So will nibble in a few days but nothing to keep them alive. If taste of nutridrench liked, you can add a little to milk & she "may" nurse.

    The one who won't nurse...does she have milk coming out her nose when she tries? I'm thinking is her pallet ok or not. Did they get colostrum? Kids do not have fully developed rumen systems at birth.

    Without being there to SEE & HANDLE the kid, just grabbing at straws as to how some have come around if weak. Also, sounds like they might have been preemie -- poor nutrition for pregnant does can increase the incident of this, also the incidence of weak kids. Watch the doe and pen her to feed her better as lactation actually requires far more calories than pregnancy. The does can go do fast with "putting it all in the bucket".

    There will be a lot of suggestions -- some work, some don't. We just pray one will.
     
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  7. Feb 22, 2019
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Herd Master

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    Have you taken the goat's temp. In the past, the only times I've had babies that really wanted water over milk was when they had an elevated temp...
     
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  8. Feb 22, 2019
    Daxigait

    Daxigait Loving the herd life

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    Is it goats milk or formula?
     
  9. Feb 23, 2019
    Juliette Ivanova

    Juliette Ivanova Chillin' with the herd

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    Thanks everyone for brilliant suggestions and advice :) really grateful for your replies. Did occur to me that she may have a cleft palate, but no, it doesn't come out of her nose. She just want born with a sucking reflex. One vet suggested oxygen deprivation during birth, another suggested that if they didn't get enough colostrum during that short window of time when their gut wall is permeable to antibodies, then they're vulnerable to infection. He thinks that's what their little brother died of. They were triplets, well fed mother, but likely premie, as they were extremely small, and are now as small as a normal newborn, at almost two weeks old.
    Update on the feeding though - happily, we've cracked it - or, rather, she has! Suzie has found her suck! I've discovered that, rather than slowly squirting milk into her cheek, if I insert the syringe at just the right angle, she can actually create a vacuum and suck the milk from the syringe herself! She's so excited, and drinks so much with each feed that I'm worried she'll pop! I'm continuing to try her with a bottle each feed, going she'll eventually figure that out, too. But for now, I'm just happy she's getting enough milk!
    An interesting thing that works, to help her remember how to suck, is if I let her snuffle my chin while she's on my lap for her feed. I guess this is mummy-baby behaviour, and seems to make a big difference.
     
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  10. Feb 23, 2019
    Juliette Ivanova

    Juliette Ivanova Chillin' with the herd

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    From their mother :)
     
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