Suggestions please, kid won’t take bottle

bethh

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Suggestions needed. Our 1 month old buckling needed to be weaned cold turkey from mom due to her having a health condition. If you think he can do without milk, I’ll just let him be completely weaned otherwise if he’s too young. I need help. I dont have anyone in milk nor do I live near anyone with goats. He’s currently in the buck pen. I posted the following on my journal thread—-
Poor little Dash pretty much refuses the bottle. He is hoarse from crying. He will eat the chopped hay and drink water. I’ve tried baby bottle, Pritchard nipple, dish. Replacement formula and cow’s milk. Thoughts?
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Ridgetop

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Is he still in with the doe? If so, remove him. As long as he is with his mother he will want to nurse off mama. Next, are you milking the doe? If not, are you milking any other does? If so, blend the goat milk 75% goat milk to 25% formula, gradually reducing it to 50%/50% then gradually reducing it till he is completely on formula. I you have no other goats in milk you will have to use formula. You can use commercial goat’s milk but it is expensive. I would try to get him on formula. Easier and cheaper. Do not use grocery store cow’s milk, there is not enough fat in it. If you can’t get goat replacer, use calf replacer. It has more fat than grocery store milk, and depending on where you live s more readily available. Chewy carries both Lamb and Kid replacer.

Now to get him to drink from the bottle. Use a Pritchard nipple on a plastic water or soda bottle. The sides should be soft to be able to squeeze milk out. Make the hole in the nipple larger to allow the milk to come out easier. You can do this with a razor blade by making a X in the end of the nipple. You don’t want a big hole or he will choke. You do want the hole big enough for the milk to flow easily without a lot of sucking since he needs to learn that this is where his milk comes from. You will use this to teach the kid that yummy milk comes out of this bottle. You can switch to another bottle and nipple once he is drinking well on a bottle.

Sucking technique on a bottle is different than on a teat, it uses different muscles and jaw and tongue movements than from a teat. He needs to learn how to suck from a bottle. He won’t want to suck on the bottle. The consistency of the nipple will not be appealing to him. You have to make it appealing. Do this by smearing it with Karo syrup. Put some on your finger and let him suck your finger first to get the taste. It is sweet and he will like it. You can smear the nipple with Karo and put it on your finger to get hm used to it too.

Make sure the bottle is slightly warmer than your body temperature. Goats temperatures are higher than humans. Later when he is taking the bottle this will not be important, but for now you want the milk to be as close as you can get to what he is used to. Add some Karo to the bottle so the milk is sweet.

Now that he likes the Karo, you need to replicate the position in which he nurses from mama as much as possible. I kneel on the floor with the kid between my knees facing outward. I keep his head pointing away from me and I crouch over him. This is protective and feels to him like his mother’s body over him as he nurses. It also gives you more control when fighting to get him to take the bottle. Now with him completely surrounded by your body you can open his jaws and insert the nipple. Squeeze on the side of his jaws until his mouth opens. Don’t get your fingers between his molars, they are like razors! Stick the nipple into his mouth and let some milk will flow out through the nipple into his mouth. Be prepared to squeeze the flexible bottle gently to get some milk into his mouth every now and then. It will be messy since milk will drip all over the floor, you, and him. Be prepared for him to struggle against this foreign object shooting strange tasting milk into his mouth. This is normal.

For this to work with a month old kid, you will need him to be very hungry. I recommend that you feed only twice a day. He will be ok with that. Give him some hay in his pen with water. Do not worry if he refuses to eat the hay at this point.

You have to be strict with yourself, and don’t back off the twice a day only regime because you think he will starve, since he will substitute your comforting presence for the milk that he needs. For now, you will have to force him to take the bottle, and squeeze the milk into his mouth until he has learned to nurse from the nipple. It is possible that he will never accept the bottle, in which case, he will start to nibble the hay and self-wean early. One month is really too early to wean for proper growth, so hopefully he will learn to take the bottle.

I hope this helps. The alternative is a stomach tube and syringe and I don’t recommend that unless he is dying.
 

bethh

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Is he still in with the doe? If so, remove him. As long as he is with his mother he will want to nurse off mama. Next, are you milking the doe? If not, are you milking any other does? If so, blend the goat milk 75% goat milk to 25% formula, gradually reducing it to 50%/50% then gradually reducing it till he is completely on formula. I you have no other goats in milk you will have to use formula. You can use commercial goat’s milk but it is expensive. I would try to get him on formula. Easier and cheaper. Do not use grocery store cow’s milk, there is not enough fat in it. If you can’t get goat replacer, use calf replacer. It has more fat than grocery store milk, and depending on where you live s more readily available. Chewy carries both Lamb and Kid replacer.

Now to get him to drink from the bottle. Use a Pritchard nipple on a plastic water or soda bottle. The sides should be soft to be able to squeeze milk out. Make the hole in the nipple larger to allow the milk to come out easier. You can do this with a razor blade by making a X in the end of the nipple. You don’t want a big hole or he will choke. You do want the hole big enough for the milk to flow easily without a lot of sucking since he needs to learn that this is where his milk comes from. You will use this to teach the kid that yummy milk comes out of this bottle. You can switch to another bottle and nipple once he is drinking well on a bottle.

Sucking technique on a bottle is different than on a teat, it uses different muscles and jaw and tongue movements than from a teat. He needs to learn how to suck from a bottle. He won’t want to suck on the bottle. The consistency of the nipple will not be appealing to him. You have to make it appealing. Do this by smearing it with Karo syrup. Put some on your finger and let him suck your finger first to get the taste. It is sweet and he will like it. You can smear the nipple with Karo and put it on your finger to get hm used to it too.

Make sure the bottle is slightly warmer than your body temperature. Goats temperatures are higher than humans. Later when he is taking the bottle this will not be important, but for now you want the milk to be as close as you can get to what he is used to. Add some Karo to the bottle so the milk is sweet.

Now that he likes the Karo, you need to replicate the position in which he nurses from mama as much as possible. I kneel on the floor with the kid between my knees facing outward. I keep his head pointing away from me and I crouch over him. This is protective and feels to him like his mother’s body over him as he nurses. It also gives you more control when fighting to get him to take the bottle. Now with him completely surrounded by your body you can open his jaws and insert the nipple. Squeeze on the side of his jaws until his mouth opens. Don’t get your fingers between his molars, they are like razors! Stick the nipple into his mouth and let some milk will flow out through the nipple into his mouth. Be prepared to squeeze the flexible bottle gently to get some milk into his mouth every now and then. It will be messy since milk will drip all over the floor, you, and him. Be prepared for him to struggle against this foreign object shooting strange tasting milk into his mouth. This is normal.

For this to work with a month old kid, you will need him to be very hungry. I recommend that you feed only twice a day. He will be ok with that. Give him some hay in his pen with water. Do not worry if he refuses to eat the hay at this point.

You have to be strict with yourself, and don’t back off the twice a day only regime because you think he will starve, since he will substitute your comforting presence for the milk that he needs. For now, you will have to force him to take the bottle, and squeeze the milk into his mouth until he has learned to nurse from the nipple. It is possible that he will never accept the bottle, in which case, he will start to nibble the hay and self-wean early. One month is really too early to wean for proper growth, so hopefully he will learn to take the bottle.

I hope this helps. The alternative is a stomach tube and syringe and I don’t recommend that unless he is dying.
Alright, I’ve separated him from mom for a few days now. I have cows milk and formula available. He is already eating hay and drinking water. I will work twice a day to try and get him to take the bottle. I feel so bad for him. I’ll use Karo syrup if I have it if not, I’ll use molasses. Thanks for the suggest about the position. I’ll see how it goes this evening. Thanks for your help.
 

Ridgetop

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If he has not been drinking milk, for several days, he may have weaned himself. If so, he will continue to refuse the bottle. The crouching position is best for small kids and lambs since they have to tilt their heads back to drink. Ruminants have a milk stomach that has a special opening that is only accessible when the kid's head is tilted backward like when they kneel beneath mom to nurse. As they start eating regular food the milk stomach gradually decreases in size and the opening closes. Once they are no longer nursing the stomach continues to shrink.

If he has been eating hay and drinking water for 3 days you don't need to try to get him back on a bottle, Instead you can look for a grower feed for early weaning kids and lambs. You can also use calf manna - it is high in calcium and minerals and often forms part of a dairy calf's first ration if they are small. You can mix it with a little sweet feed to get him to eat it.

Are you keeping him or selling him? What breed is he? If you are not opposed to selling for meat, it will be cheaper and less work for you to take him to the auction now. I make this suggestion before you spend any money on formula or high priced feeds.
 

bethh

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If he has not been drinking milk, for several days, he may have weaned himself. If so, he will continue to refuse the bottle. The crouching position is best for small kids and lambs since they have to tilt their heads back to drink. Ruminants have a milk stomach that has a special opening that is only accessible when the kid's head is tilted backward like when they kneel beneath mom to nurse. As they start eating regular food the milk stomach gradually decreases in size and the opening closes. Once they are no longer nursing the stomach continues to shrink.

If he has been eating hay and drinking water for 3 days you don't need to try to get him back on a bottle, Instead you can look for a grower feed for early weaning kids and lambs. You can also use calf manna - it is high in calcium and minerals and often forms part of a dairy calf's first ration if they are small. You can mix it with a little sweet feed to get him to eat it.

Are you keeping him or selling him? What breed is he? If you are not opposed to selling for meat, it will be cheaper and less work for you to take him to the auction now. I make this suggestion before you spend any money on formula or high priced feeds.
He’s a Nigerian dwarf so no on the meat. I want to keep him at least through fall for a breeding with one of our does. We have 6 goats total. Him, his mom, aunt, dad another doe and buck. I hadn’t planned to have 3 bucks. At this point, I don’t feel like I can sell him until he’s completely weaned and happy about it. The last few days we forced small amounts of milk in him. This evening I followed your instructions and he took a bottle I assume about 6-8ounces of milk. I didn’t even measure it because I didn’t expect it to be successful. He took a bottle a few evenings ago but hadn’t easily since then. Fingers crossed that tomorrow goes well. It’s been a tough kidding season so I hope to get this going smoothly. My last doe is due in a few weeks. I’m hoping that all the bumps in the road are over.
 

chickens really

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Hello. I have a question about breeding goats. @bethh @Ridgetop
Being the Mother goat has a Liver disease does that mean she should never be bred again and could that flaw/disease be passed down to her offspring? Does that mean her kids should be wethered so that gene doesn't get passed along?
I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the breeding part of goats. I know With dogs you don't continue to breed in bad genetics.
 

bethh

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If he has not been drinking milk, for several days, he may have weaned himself. If so, he will continue to refuse the bottle. The crouching position is best for small kids and lambs since they have to tilt their heads back to drink. Ruminants have a milk stomach that has a special opening that is only accessible when the kid's head is tilted backward like when they kneel beneath mom to nurse. As they start eating regular food the milk stomach gradually decreases in size and the opening closes. Once they are no longer nursing the stomach continues to shrink.

If he has been eating hay and drinking water for 3 days you don't need to try to get him back on a bottle, Instead you can look for a grower feed for early weaning kids and lambs. You can also use calf manna - it is high in calcium and minerals and often forms part of a dairy calf's first ration if they are small. You can mix it with a little sweet feed to get him to eat it.

Are you keeping him or selling him? What breed is he? If you are not opposed to selling for meat, it will be cheaper and less work for you to take him to the auction now. I make this suggestion before you spend any money on formula or high priced feeds.
Hello. I have a question about breeding goats. @bethh @Ridgetop
Being the Mother goat has a Liver disease does that mean she should never be bred again and could that flaw/disease be passed down to her offspring? Does that mean her kids should be wethered so that gene doesn't get passed along?
I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the breeding part of goats. I know With dogs you don't continue to breed in bad genetics.
It isn’t genetic. She has hepatatic lipidosis. It was caused from over feeding grain. I’m a relative newbie and screwed up. When Dixie and Tipsy were kids, we had the hardest time weaning them. We eventually were able to wean them into sweet feed which became their main food source. I think the pregnancy and then nursing accelerated the condition. She was very puny, spine showing, neck muscles showing, hips plus running a fever. She was back and forth to the University of Georgia vet hospital. Her liver values were elevated and it was finally found by a liver biopsy.
If this was a genetic condition, I would never consider breeding her again and Dash would be castrated. This was 100% newbie error. I confirmed with the vet that she could indeed be bred in the future and nurse/be milked. Regarding the milking/nursing, she will have to be watched very closely to make sure that the tool on her body doesn’t aggravate the liver issue.
 

chickens really

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It isn’t genetic. She has hepatatic lipidosis. It was caused from over feeding grain. I’m a relative newbie and screwed up. When Dixie and Tipsy were kids, we had the hardest time weaning them. We eventually were able to wean them into sweet feed which became their main food source. I think the pregnancy and then nursing accelerated the condition. She was very puny, spine showing, neck muscles showing, hips plus running a fever. She was back and forth to the University of Georgia vet hospital. Her liver values were elevated and it was finally found by a liver biopsy.
If this was a genetic condition, I would never consider breeding her again and Dash would be castrated. This was 100% newbie error. I confirmed with the vet that she could indeed be bred in the future and nurse/be milked. Regarding the milking/nursing, she will have to be watched very closely to make sure that the tool on her body doesn’t aggravate the liver issue.
Oh that's a blessing! Thanks for explaining this to me. 👍
I hope her next Kidding is a success.
 

Ridgetop

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If his genetics are important, then any dwarfing from the early weaning will not affect his progeny. He should be breedable. It is possible that he will not attain a large size, but since he is a dwarf breed, no worries. Genetically he will throw normal sized kids. Glad he is taking a bottle now.

Our little Snowflake (DGD1's lamb) is still smaller than normal. Her mother was the ewe that had prolapsed and we kept her alive and medicated to finish weaning her lamb. The lamb was finally weaned around 4-5 weeks old since mama got too bad to continue allow her to live. Lamb is still small, but has always been very healthy and lively. I will not breed her until she is about 5-18 months however, since I want her to attain maximum size. She is only one in flock with her genetics, besides being very affectionate from all the individual handling she got while mama was confined. Luckily, if I have to dispose of her, since all my sheep are white, I can just point to the field and identify any ewe as Snowflake if granddaughter demands to know where she is! LOL
 

bethh

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If his genetics are important, then any dwarfing from the early weaning will not affect his progeny. He should be breedable. It is possible that he will not attain a large size, but since he is a dwarf breed, no worries. Genetically he will throw normal sized kids. Glad he is taking a bottle now.

Our little Snowflake (DGD1's lamb) is still smaller than normal. Her mother was the ewe that had prolapsed and we kept her alive and medicated to finish weaning her lamb. The lamb was finally weaned around 4-5 weeks old since mama got too bad to continue allow her to live. Lamb is still small, but has always been very healthy and lively. I will not breed her until she is about 5-18 months however, since I want her to attain maximum size. She is only one in flock with her genetics, besides being very affectionate from all the individual handling she got while mama was confined. Luckily, if I have to dispose of her, since all my sheep are white, I can just point to the field and identify any ewe as Snowflake if granddaughter demands to know where she is! LOL
Lol! Dash isn’t small and the transition to formula hasn’t seemed to effect him. He is easily taking the bottle now. I didn’t even have to pry his mouth open this morning. Your directions were spot on. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to explain exactly how to do it. Dixie looks so much better. Her sister is due to deliver soon. Hopefully she won’t have any issues. She’s been off grain now for awhile. She’s getting big.
 
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