HELP! 5 week old pygmy wont eat

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by alyson, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. alyson

    alyson New Member

    Jan 25, 2015
    We picked up a 5 week old pygmy goat on 1/23 around 6 in the evening. He was with his mama, but the owner of the mama was trying to get rid of the kids quick, she seemed to want nothing to do with them. We brought him home and he didn't want to eat, but we just figured he was scared. He slept through the night, then around seven in the morning the next day we started the battle of trying to get him to suck on a bottle. He absolutely refuses. We are trying to feed him whole cows milk mixed with a bit of kayro and melted butter to boost the fat content. At first he would lick off milk that dribbled on the end of the bottle would would not put it in his mouth. He will chew the nipple, not suck, for a few seconds if we force it into his mouth. We have tried normal baby bottles, a puppy bottle, and a special nipple for pygmy goats. We even tried poking a tiny hole in a rubber glove, nothing. He wont drink the milk out of a bowl either. He has peed twice, no poo, but also wont drink water from a bowl either. He kind of sort of nibbles on a bit of timothy hay, and i think ate one piece of pelleted food. We have tried covering his eyes, rubbing his throat, holding him under our legs to simulate mama, and nothing. He wont suck on our finger either, but is very adamant about chew/sucking on our nose and earlobes. When in the yard he acts fine, bounces around some and sniffs around. He likes scratches and to be held in your lap. But he WILL NOT EAT. It is now the morning of 1/25, which means he has not had a full belly in more than 24 hours. I think between all of the force feedings he might have swallowed 6-8 oz yesterday. When do we need to tube feed him to keep him alive? Does anyone have any tricks to getting a particularly stubborn kid to take the bottle? If he still refuses it, is it possible to get him to eat solids (even though I know he is still way too young)? We just need help!

    We stopped with the butter in the milk and are using plain whole cows milk. We found a position that he will kind of suck in (sitting on his butt, head tilted up and held against my body). He's eaten about 8 oz in the past two feedings this way, but he also ate a small handful of grains and a bit of timothy hay and is nibbling at the green grass outside. He has peed multiple times and poo'd twice. He is still acting happy and wants constant attention. He is still adjusting, but I think with a little more time he will willingly take the bottle. Thank you for all of the suggestions! The kayro on the nipple seemed to help things along.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  2. ciwheeles

    ciwheeles New Member

    Apr 5, 2013
    Lothian, MD
    At this point since he's never had a bottle, you would be hard pressed to get him on one. He might take to it if he gets to feeling really desperate, but there's a chance he may never latch on. Especially since he's being offered cows milk off the bat too.

    Is there anyway you can bring him back to the mom to see if she'll accept him for another 3 weeks? If not your only options would be keep trying with the bottle and tube him if you have to. If he's not already eating solids he needs something. He should already be eating a little bit of solids though. My 3 week old dam raised kids are already eating a tiny bit of Chaffhaye, grain, and hay.

    Also, I would just stop with the melted butter. The milk is fine all by itself.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015

  3. ThreeHavens

    ThreeHavens 7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether

    Oct 20, 2011
    New Jersey
    At 5 weeks he shouldn't be ready to be off milk, but it is possible. Keep offering the little one grain, yummy greens, and maybe raisins to raise interest in solid foods. I have taught a 7 week old kid to bottle. It did take a couple of days. I would sit out and have him on my lap. Warm bottle in hand, with a bit of molasses on the tip of the nipple. I'd pop it in the side of his mouth and let him chew it and grind his teeth on it so that some milk filled his mouth. Then I'd remove. I'd do this a couple times in a sitting and let him go. I only tried twice a day. He got it eventually.
  4. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    You are going to have to keep working with him. Don't add butter to the milk. You can try a Pritchard nipple which is a red nipple on a yellow screw cap. Fits on 20 ounce Pepsi bottles. Cut the tip off just enough to have a hole.
  5. OGYC_Laura

    OGYC_Laura New Member

    If you want to up the fat content you can add two cups buttermilk to a gallon whole milk but many say it is not necessary ( I do it though)
    The way I got a stubborn little one to take the bottle.. Pick a nipple and stick with it.. Sit down with bottle of milk heated to 100 and a bottle of kayro syrup.. Dap some syrup on the nipple and put in his mouth.. When all syrup is licked off add a little more
    Be patient he should come around.. Oh and figure out the feeding schedule you want to keep and only offer bottles at that time..

    Good luck

    Old Goats & Young Chicks Farm
    Boer and Boer Cross
  6. ThreeHavens

    ThreeHavens 7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether

    Oct 20, 2011
    New Jersey
    One thing you may want to consider since he is stressed, is to give him probios.

    Since you are momma now, you will also have to teach him to drink water. Put a bowl on the floor and slurp from it. Keep showing him that YOU like it, and he will start to show interest.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  7. Goat_in_Himmel

    Goat_in_Himmel Active Member

    Jun 23, 2013
    British Columbia
    Without disagreeing with any of the above, can you--for the short term, just to get some into him--use a needleless syringe like Janeen is about to do? Or would that be counterproductive, and just slow down his adoption of the bottle?
  8. OGYC_Laura

    OGYC_Laura New Member

    Lol my hubby just reminded me of a particularly difficult baby we had to bottle feed after a month on momma.. I ended up getting on all fours with baby under me and held the bottle near my rib cage for the first several days lol it was hilarious but only way baby would eat.. After a day or two she would eat with me sitting in a chair with her head under my thigh and nipple barely visible by my leg.. She needed the illusion of being under mom..

    If you are going to tube or syringe feed only do it at time of normal feeding and wait for next scheduled feeding to try again.. You don't want to keep giving little bits all day... And you want to get the little one on a schedule

    Old Goats & Young Chicks Farm
    Boer and Boer Cross
  9. Zzpygmies

    Zzpygmies New Member

    Oct 31, 2014
    Loomis, CA
    I had a mom attached and killed by a neighbor dog when her kid was 4 weeks old.. I was never able to get her to take a bottle, no matter what I tried .. At this age they can be weaned from the bottle, it's just not healthy. They don't grow as well.

    I was able to get her to drink milk out of a dish after a couple days of syringe feeding it to her.. But at 5 weeks old they should be drinking water and eating hay on their own, especially if they were dam raised.

    I would make sure fresh water and hay were available at all times and keep trying to get milk down him any way you can

    Since he was dam raised, try taking him outside and see if he'll eat grass.. sit down with him for an hour or so and see if he'll try it.. To teach bottle babies to eat I usually pick at the grass with my fingers to demonstrate.

    By this time I think he'll also need some vitamin b too
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  10. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    I would not tube him at all...he can survive with out the milk, but not ideal. Teaching abottle at this age is going to need patients. It can be done..I usually hold the baby in my lap, back legs tucked and front legs out front...I stick the nipple in the side of the mouth and tuck my hand around in from under the chin to support it..I dont let go other hand is to keep baby still ...I pulse the bottle a few times to get the warm milk flowing a bit and just wait...sometimes I get them the first time, they really want that milk...sometimes it takes days..but keep at it...
    I butter...just whole cows milk plain and simple should be fine..a handful of grain and plenty of browse foods hay and alfafa for him to nibble on...he will be fine : )