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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a baby Nigerian dwarf buckling who will not bottle feed. I have tried normal baby bottle, small baby bottle, puppy bottle, pritchard nipple and he will not suckle! I can feed him small amounts via syringe and forcefeeding. He also will not drink milk from a shallow bowl, but will tiny amounts of water. This has been going on for 5 days I'm at a loss and hes not acting as rambunctious as his bottle pro baby brother so I'm really worried! I had the local saanen farm owner even come to try and help him, and she couldn't even get him to suckle. Ive cupped his chin and forced it but he will not suckle. Ive scratched his bottom by his tail, no luck. The breeder I got him from hasn't returned my emails or phone calls so I'm at a loss. I really hope someone can help me out! My husband says failure to thrive but i just cant give him up!

Junior Member
86 Posts
so sorry you are having trouble with him.I would not use that breeder again. How old is he ? Are you warming the milk to about 101 ? Try putting some syrup on the nipple & try some Probiotic Plus in him.Please don't give up on him.I had one about a month old that never did get it,he would eat a little bit.Been about 7 months now ,he is small but spunky as the rest. I'll say a Pray for y'all

6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Will try the Bo se! Did not know that! but it wouldn't surprise me if that breeder didn't give the newborns selenium which should be done because I live in a selenium deficient area! What kind of tubing works best and how do u tell if its in the tummy rather than lungs without X-ray? I could tube a human either way- does just tilting his head work? He was born on may 5th. I won't give up on him!! I'm determined! Also how long should I bottle feed and how often should I increase amounts/ decrease feedings? How long before they are weaned fully? 6 weeks sound right? Thanks for your help! I'll keep you posted! Tried syrup- didn't work. :( prayers appreciated!!!!!

7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
11,072 Posts
Usually the minimum for weaning is 8 weeks, but they can be emmergency weaned when they are eating hay and grain.

There was a thread about tubing ... I'd search "tubing" in the bar and see what results you get. I'll see if I can find it.

1,172 Posts
This was posted by mtmom75 on one of the threads I started, when I was having a heck of time with my own babies refusing to eat.... Mine only lasted for 2 days though....

I really hope she won't mind me copying and pasting this....

Actually, I'll just copy and paste it:
The prospect of tubing a weak kid probably sounds pretty scary to lots of
people that have never tried it! Perhaps it's because I have been doing it
for so long, but I find the procedure very comfortable... Here is what I
have found works simply and quickly for me...

As a preface, I use a small catheter 14" long, 1/8" in diameter. It is
'semi-rigid', not the very supple, pliable rubber I have seen in many
catheters. I can bend it in a coil for storage, but it won't fold up like a
rubber band would. That semi-rigidness may give my method an edge in the
success I experience when I am going thru the process of tubing.
Veterinarians generally carry these tubes, called 'feeding tubes' for tubing
weak puppies. The size needed is a #10 puppy-feeding tube. A size #8 is
smaller but will do the job. A size #12 will work also, tho it is a bit
larger in diameter. The vets generally have the #10, and charge about $5
for them. The catalog prices are much cheaper, but when you need the tube
for the first time you will not have the luxury of being able to order one
and wait
a week for it to arrive.

I hook the syringe of warmed fluid to the end of the catheter. (This can
wait until after the tube is in, if the administrator prefers.) I use
cooking oil on a cotton ball to coat the tube so it is very slick. I lie
the kid down on a table or other flat surface on its side on a towel, and
have an assistant hold the kid flat, with its neck and jawline in a straight
line stretching forward as though, if the kid were standing up instead of
lying down, it might be looking up at the stars.

The first thing I do is use the tube itself to measure that straight line
from the kid's mouth clear back to its very last rib. That is how far I must
insert the tube to be in the stomach so that I can expel its contents into
the kid. I mark that distance with a magic-marker on the tube itself, so
when I am there I will know it. You see, the lungs are much closer to the
mouth, so if the tube inserts easily to its full length until it reaches the
mark you have made, it is in the stomach.

Then I gently open the kid's mouth with a forefinger and thumb, and start
sliding my semi-rigid tube smoothly and slowly down the throat. I find that
the tube slides down the right side of the throat (I am left-handed) easily,
with the kid swallowing co-operatively as I do this procedure. Occasionally,
if the kid struggles in annoyance at this invasive procedure, its head will
move and the tube will start down the left side of the throat. When that
happens I know it right away, because it is headed for the lungs and the kid
will start coughing instantly. (The tube itself will irritate the lung area,
no fluid is needed.) Also, the tube will not slide smoothly when headed in
this wrong direction. I pull it back out right away in that instance
(happens VERY rarely) and start over. When the tube is going where it
should, the entire thing will slide easily for the FULL DISTANCE to the
place I have already pre-marked on the tube. As I noted before, the lungs
are much closer to the mouth than the stomach is, so if the tube slides
smoothly down the kid's throat for the full distance, with no coughing
whatsoever, is in the stomach, not the lungs. If unsure, you can wait until
after the tube is in place before attaching the filled syringe, which will
give you the opportunity to blow into the open end of the catheter, and with
your hand gently resting on the kid's stomach you can easily feel and sense
the air being blown into it. At that point I slowly plunge the liquid
contents from the syringe smoothly into the kid's stomach, get the kid in an
upright position instantly, pull the tube out quickly, and that's that.

Tubing is not all that scary. I am sure that by now many new people, and
perhaps lots of long-time listers as well, will be gasping in anxiety over
the prospect of doing this procedure. But when you see that little kid take
on a new, brighter and more alert expression shortly after having received
that dose of nutrition and the accompanying increase in energy level, you
will feel ten feet tall and be glad you have learned this new management

Veterinarians should have the catheter tubes available, and pharmacies will
order them for you, priced very reasonably. I haven't found a catalog that
has one like mine, but if anyone knows of one, please tell me... BTW: I use
that same tube for tubing weak puppies.

6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·

I have a friend who is a goat farmer and she has saanen nubian crosses. She has a doe in milk and had me bring my baby over to nurse last night. He suckled and suckled. So now I'm just working on bottle, and hopefully he stops being so stubborn about it! Thank God for Vicki!

Crazy Goat Lady
4,324 Posts
Another big THANK YOU to Vicki! Yeah, everybody needs a hero some time. I read somewhere that it may help if you put a towel or something that will make the "space around the bottle" a bit dark...they are "programed" to find the "dark space" find food. That is why some kids end up in corners...they are searching for that dark spot. And, they want the milk to be very warm...surprisingly warm.

6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update: he is doing great! I brought him to a friends farm and she let him nurse on her doe now he's eating from a bottle. Thanks for all your help!!

8,709 Posts
That's great! I am glad he is going better :)
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