Two surprise births to a novice owner, advice welcomed!

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Darby77, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Darby77

    Darby77 New Member

    129
    Apr 23, 2016
    Hi All, I just want to start by saying this group is great and I wish I lived next door to some of you! My past week has been insane and I would love some guidance. Sorry, but it's a long story....
    In October, I bought 2 Saanen Doelings, one 7 months and one 8months old. I got them to keep my (at the time 5month old) Boer Doeling company after losing my 4yr old Nubian to a mystery illness. The man from whom I bought the Saanens was planning to breed them to an Arapawa buck, but changed his mind, so was selling the doelings. At the time I purchased the does, there was no buck on the premises. He never mentioned any chance of my doelings being pregnant or I would never have bought them!
    Fast forward to last week....udders on both suddenly got huge and Wednesday Dahlia had a baby boy and Thursday, Lily gave birth to a baby girl. I have never bred goats or had babies so young, so I am still in shock. The moms, though under a year, are doing really well with the babies. I have separated them from the Boer at night, but she gets out with them during the day when I let the Moms and kids out. It's a bit cold, so most of the time, I have been keeping them in a stall with two heat lamps. I had the kids dis-budded yesterday and plan to have the boy banded at 2months.
    The mothers were eating Blue Seal Premium Dairy Goat Pellet, 1cup 2x a day which came to about 0.5lbs as recommended by the Blue Seal label. I also had them on 2 tablespoons of ground golden flaxseed PM, as much hay as they wanted, soaked alfalfa cubes for breakfast (about 1 cup of mash a piece).
    Of course I increased their grain since the births. I now have them on 2.5cups 3x a day (AM, PM and late night) of the dairy goat pellet (about 2.5lbs of grain/day). I also added sunflower seeds (about 2tbs in the am) and 5grams of Goat Preferred Probiotic Powder PM with 3tbs of ground flaxseed PM. They still get the soaked alfalfa cubes in AM and alfalfa pellets dry for lunch (about 1cup each). Am I feeding enough? Too much? They look thin now since the kids, but I know that happens. They also get buckets of warm water with breakfast and dinner. They don't like molasses water (tried that).
    Should I switch them all back to the medicated grower pellet to make sure coccidiosis doesn't become an issue? I wormed these does a bunch for stomach worms when I got them and treated my Boer for coccidia when she was younger, but since, they have all had good fecal tests.
    I give them the minerals but they don't lick them, so not sure how to manage that. I give everyone (prior to babies) vit e and selenium gel once a month, should I keep doing that? I have copper boluses, but haven't given them to anyone since the first time I gave it to the boer doeling because the vet who worked on my Nubian said I could kill them with toxicity if they don't need it, so I am scared. I was going to get them sea kelp, told that is good for them. How much do I feed?
    When do the babies start getting grain? I know boys are different as far as feeding because of urinary calculi, no alfalfa for him? He is my first male goat! I tried to research and gave myself a nervous headache.
    Should I worm the Moms again or the kids? Have a fecal done on everyone?
    Mom's got CDT vaccines in June last year. I was told shots for kids at 6wks, then again at 10wks. I figured I would hit the Moms and my Boer when I do the kids 10wk CDT. Right?
    How cold is too cold? I live in Massachusetts so there is snow everywhere. Can I leave the stall open during the day if above freezing?

    I am sorry for the long post and all the questions, but I am very attached to my goats and don't want to fail these kids. Thanks so much in advance for the advice. Horses I know...dogs I know....goats, I am as green as grass with them!
     
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator

    Keep the feed where you have it for now. If they get loose stool, back off on the grain. Don't bother with the medicated grain for the adults. Keep doing the selenium once a month. Copper as needed.
     

  3. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    You may have to milk them as Saanens do produce a lot of milk. Make sure the kids are nursing on both sides of the udder or try and milk out the unfavorable side so the udders on both does don't get ruined.
     
  4. Darby77

    Darby77 New Member

    129
    Apr 23, 2016
    I've never milked a goat and don't have a milk stand, is it detrimental to them if I don't milk them? The kids seem to go to both sides.
     
  5. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    As long as the udders look even, the udder isn't overly full (congested), you should be fine.
     
  6. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
    Congrats on your babies!!!!!
     
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator

    Jul 20, 2008
    corning california
    All great advice.

    Milking sometimes has to be done, especially if you are weaning her kids or the doe is too tight. She will get mastitis if you do not or explode a teat.
    A milk stand isn't needed, just a post, collar, rope, maybe 2 ropes to tie up one back leg, the side you will be working on. You really should learn the technique, it can be crucial to your does health. I know it seems hard but once you learn it is easy. ;)
     
  8. Darby77

    Darby77 New Member

    129
    Apr 23, 2016
    How do I know if they are congested or too tight?
     
  9. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Pinnacle, NC
    If her udder is hard it's too tight. If it's hard and you have trouble getting much milk out, it's congested.
     
  10. Darby77

    Darby77 New Member

    129
    Apr 23, 2016
    Ok, so I just push on it and if it's squishy, she's good? Sorry, probably sound stupid but I've never dealt with does in milk before.
     
  11. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Pinnacle, NC
    Yep, that's what you're looking for ;)
     
  12. Darby77

    Darby77 New Member

    129
    Apr 23, 2016
    They feel a little soft but I'm not sure so I milked both of them a little. How much do I do? They actually are so good about it! These are pics of each does udder.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator

    Jul 20, 2008
    corning california
    She looks good, not really tight. Good work. :)

    You don't want it to feel super tight, it is like no give. You like to feel some give of softness when you gently push on her udder. You will also see it, she will look like she will explode. But you do not want her to get to that point.
    Milk her when you see she is just getting tight, it only has to be enough so she is not tight feeling. When kids are first born, they don't nurse enough, for what she is producing, so we watch and relieve as needed.
    When the kids get a bit older, she should be OK, but always watch in case.

    You do not want to see in the milk, any clumps, strings, blood, or a hot udder or hardness to it.
    If it is hard to milk, it may be congested or mastitis. Both must be relieved and treated right away.
     
  14. Darby77

    Darby77 New Member

    129
    Apr 23, 2016
    Ok thanks so much! I will keep a close eye on them
     
  15. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator

    Jul 20, 2008
    corning california
    Your very welcome. :)
     
  16. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove New Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Congrats on the surprise kids and two successful kiddings!

    You won't kill your does with the copper boluses. If you post photos of the does we can possible see if they are showing signs of deficiency. But in general, in this area, they are going to need them a few times a year.

    Your plan for CD/T vaccinations sounds good.
     
  17. Darby77

    Darby77 New Member

    129
    Apr 23, 2016
    Ok I'll get some good pics. One of the does looks good but the other one looks too thin and I can't seem to get weight on her. She's always been the more "ratty" looking of the two. I tried to increase grain more but their stool got clumpy.