Orphaned Baby Feral Goat Bottle Feeding

Kris5902

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TLDR: what is normal for baby goat bottle feeding, how much, how often? Feeding behaviors, when will she eat texture, etc? Grunting after feeding? Tooth grinding? Not taking to the bottle.

I picked up an orphaned feral baby goat, that has imprinted on myself and husband, this is my third day with her. The first night we fed her a small amount of cow milk with a nitrile glove with a tiny hole in the finger. We think she is about 4-5 days old. Yesterday afternoon we switched to a bottle that we use for baby lambs and she had a big drink of lamb milk replacer. I’m having a hard time getting her to take the bottle and she isn’t drinking much.

Very little poop, but she is peeing. She makes a little grunting noise after eating when she breathes, I’m worried I’m feeding her wrong. She won’t investigate our poor quality hay, but seems to be chewing, like a cow would cud, even with nothing in her mouth, which makes a awful little grinding noise. Is this normal? Any pointers on bottle feeding goats? This is our only one, she is currently in our trailer, and is sleeping in with us. I know this isn’t ideal, but I couldn’t leave her out to die alone. (Mama is not going to be coming back for her, she seems to have died in the last big wind storm).

She seems a little thin, and less bouncy than I would expect. None of our sheep are due to birth for another 3 weeks at least, and I am not exactly welcome in the sheep pens due to family difficulties with my in-laws. She has already been referred to as “that thing” and “I said you can’t bring it down here” and “what will the lambs eat then” so the overall goat situation is hostile at best. I’m buying a 10 kg bag of milk replacer Monday, so the lambs will be just fine... we expect her to rejoin a feral herd when she is older (hopefully) they are all over the place here, with no natural predators. And there aren't any domestic herds to place her with.
 

Mini Horses

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At a few days, goats eat small amounts several times a day. You want to release her back to wild? Not going to be a good thing, given this human start. But....to keep her alive is good.

To help we need some more info...where are you located, size of this goat kid (weight), how are you housing this baby now? Yes, goats chew cud but grinding is not that at this age. Of course you may not know if it got colostrum and too late now. But, being feral, I suspect it did if with a live mom for at least 24 hours. Feral animals are generally aggressive with survival efforts.

Any idea the type of goat?
 

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My newborn kids start nibbling Alfalfa hay when they are @ 1 week old. However, I think they just taste it because they see the adult goats eat it. I keep some compressed alfalfa bales in the winter in case my goats don't like the hay quality. I also give the kids some Selenium and E gel from Kaeco if they are not too steady on their feet. I would also try more frequent bottle feeding of small amounts and be sure to hold bottle up higher so their neck is extended.
 

Kris5902

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At a few days, goats eat small amounts several times a day. You want to release her back to wild? Not going to be a good thing, given this human start. But....to keep her alive is good.

To help we need some more info...where are you located, size of this goat kid (weight), how are you housing this baby now? Yes, goats chew cud but grinding is not that at this age. Of course you may not know if it got colostrum and too late now. But, being feral, I suspect it did if with a live mom for at least 24 hours. Feral animals are generally aggressive with survival efforts.

Any idea the type of goat?

Thanks, for the info. A neighbor has successfully raised one of these goats before and she left to join a herd once she was fully grown and came into heat, her grandkids are still in the . Our herds also fluctuate between individuals here... I live on a small Island in the Southern Gulf Islands of BC Canada, called Saturna.

The feral population here has evolved from a mixture of Dairy and Meat breeds over a few hundred years supposedly, they tend to be quite large but vary widely in coat color and hair from shaggy to short. She is a short haired one. One of the main reasons we don’t have any domestic herds is their tendency to join the feral ones, and it is very hard to fence them well enough to prevent intermingling. Occasionally our sheep will go walkabout with the goats as well.

She looked in good condition when I found her, but is starting to lose weight. I believe she had colostrum as she was quite steady on her feet, fully dry and her umbilical is dried. The mother is deceased. She is about 5-7 lbs. Current Housing is with me and Two Cats in a 5th wheel trailer. I plan to move her to the barn as she gets older, but I have to get some space cleared in it, it’s full of Hay. I don’t have much access to the farm facilities due to family tensions. Yesterday I tried to put her out in a chicken tractor while I did my morning chores and she freaked out trying to get to me.

I am thinking the lamb milk replacer might be too rich for her? It’s the only thing available in my area.
 

Kris5902

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Here is the formula for the milk replacer. Compared to a lamb of equal size she is barely eating.
1DA9DB7D-A46C-46B2-A751-8640A3CB2D2C.jpeg

Please excuse my mess6BAEC514-44D9-49A9-93C7-B6CAC93CAF36.jpeg79FA69F8-C43B-47E2-BE1D-0A10DB0CD520.jpeg3CC95239-3B12-4127-B5AC-F49395CB53FB.jpeg
 

frustratedearthmother

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You might be right about the milk replacer being too rich for her. Do you have access to whole cows milk? Baby goats do well on that if there's no goat milk available. Teeth grinding is an indication of pain. Perhaps she has a tummy ache. Is she pooping at all? If it's black, tarry and sticky that is meconium and normal for the first day or so. After that you should see some yellow-ish really sticky milk poops. Later regular little goatie turds. If she isn't pooping she might need an enema.

Small amounts of milk to start with especially if her tummy is off and you're changing formula. Do you have any probiotics? You can give her a small dab of probiotic paste or put a bit of yogurt in with her milk for a few feedings.

Hope she does well for you - good luck!
 
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Kris5902

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I have a little whole milk, hopefully there is some at the store today. I do have some nice plain probiotic yogurt. The lamb milk replacer smells sweet, like a cake mix almost. I think she might be trying to forage. She is really trying to eat anything crinkly and went for some lichen, moss, and fir needles while I was doing some of my livestock chores. And she drank from a puddle and peed clear liquid. No bloating so far. I thought I should avoid cow dairy? No poop today, which has me worried, just a little of the sticky yellow kind yesterday. She looked like she was trying though.
 

frustratedearthmother

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Sticky yellow poop is normal, but you need to keep her behind clean. It can dry like concrete and actually block the exit of more poop. Cow milk is used by many folks who bottle raise baby goats if they don't have goat milk available and prefer not to use a replacer. Personally, I'm not fond of replacers and the babies that I've raised on cows milk have done well. If she's starting to nibble - that's a good thing!
 

Mini Horses

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Agree with FEM. You can also water the replacer more and yogurt should help. She is a cutie!! Since the goats are so engrained there, she should probably be able to integrate again. We just don't have that where I am. VA, USA. ;) I'd have some soft hay for her to nibble. Don't know why this went italics :oops:

is she taking the bottle for you now? If not, bend over her with bottle up to make her turn neck up and feel she's under her mom. Once she starts taking it well, she won't need the covering...

sorry your seemingly having some family issues. Maybe this little gal will give you a distraction from all that. Give her a hug. Here's one for you. :hugs
 

Kris5902

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We are definitely taking to the bottle more now. She took about 2oz tonight after I cut the replacer 50/50 with cow milk. I don’t like the way the replacer smells anyway... like cake mix almost. I was told it was more appropriate though. I wish I had a dog or something she could cozy with outside. Upon a closer inspection my mother (who helps with the sheep here a lot) says she thinks she was younger than I initially thought, based on the umbilical cord.
 

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