I suspected she would have trips and my other doe had issues with engorgement/kids only nursing one side the first week, so I froze everything I milked out of her just in case. I offered the bottle this morning thinking it would be a good idea to introduce it from the start and the doeling took to it right away. The bucks didn't want to have anything to do with it, so I didn't force the issue. I will just keep offering it a few times a day.
Well, after the first day the girl wouldn't take the bottle either. Mom seems to be doing well at making sure everyone gets a turn, she actually has two functional teats on one half of her udder, like P4 on the ABGA chart and sometimes I see all three nursing at once.
I weighed them today to check their gains and am concerned. The first boy has gained 2.6 lbs since birth and the tiny girl has gained 2.2 lbs, but the biggest boy has only gained 0.8. I see him trying to nurse all the time, but I noticed that both boys seem to favor the double teat side, so I'm thinking the first boy probably drinks it all first so there is nothing left for his brother. I've tried a bottle with him several times and he absolutely refuses. I'm not really sure what to do.
Mom is eating about 1.5 lbs of 16% goat pellet with a handful of calf manna twice a day (that is all she will eat in a sitting at this point) and is on a grassy pasture with browse during the day and in a stall with grass hay at night. She also has loose minerals. I tried alfalfa pellets but she won't eat them, and nobody has alfalfa hay around here.
Update again. I weighed everyone again this morning and buck #2 has gained 1.8 pounds since Friday. That is the same as the other two kids gains combined. I guess whatever the issue was, he's got it figured out. Thank goodness!
Mama and babies have been in one of the stalls in the barn during the night and then turned out into our overgrown back yard during the day for the first week so they are separated from the other goats and mini horses by a cattle panel fence but Mama can still graze/browse. Last night I got home late and Mama was in the back yard by herself. When I took her to her stall, all 3 babies were already in there curled up and asleep. I was impressed.
Today is their first day in the pasture and everyone seems to be transitioning well. The kids all nap and play in the shade under a big tree while their moms graze.
Goats are very smart. I have one bottle baby this year and she follows me everywhere she can. Friday she went way to the back where I had gone for the mower. The start up spooked her and she ran. I rode back thinking I may have to find her but, there she was with everyone else!! First time that far and at that area....I was happy.
They will get more adventurous and exploratory as they grow. But till they are grown, if something startles them, they run to mom or where ever the other goats are. No bottle babies for me this year but all (most of) the kids still come running to me for pets and scratches So glad to hear that they are doing well! Keep up the good work!