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Quick intro (for those who haven't read my other posts)

Got two baby Boer cross girls 5 days ago. They were on death's doorstep, and I took them knowing nothing but willing to learn everything I can to save these babies. They are 5 weeks old. One weighs 9.4 pounds (Butterscotch) and the other weighs 8.4 pounds (Caramel). They were covered in lice, being fed only electrolytes for three days from a bottle, milk having been stopped. They had diarrhea.

I've been following recommendations from wonderful people here, as well as a family member with experience with goats.

I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right so far. If there is anything I'm missing or doing wrong, please tell me!

I give the girls 4 bottles a day. The first one is when I wake up, between 7 and 8 in the morning. Bottle 2 is at noon, bottle 3 at four, and last bottle at 8. Caramel gets 4 ounces per bottle, Butterscotch gets 4.5 ounces. I'm using milk replacer: "Grade A Ultra 24 Multi-Species Milk Replacer", but since it was recommended to use whole cow's milk since the replacer can be hard to digest, I've been replacing a quarter of the total ounces of replacer with whole cow's milk to slowly wean them off the replacer (like, for instance, Caramel gets 3 ounces of replacer mixed with 1 ounce of cow's milk). They have a constant supply of hay and grain at their disposal...they don't really touch the grain, but they mouth the hay. Not sure if they are actually eating any.

I was giving them pepto bismol to help with the diarrhea. It cleared in a couple of days, so I stopped the pepto. I add 1 tablespoon plain yogurt to their first bottle of the day. Their poops are black and the consistency of pudding. Butterscotch had a temp of 102.2, but Caramel had a temp of 100.2. Cocci is a possibility, so thankfully a fellow TGS member is sending me meds to give them to knock the cocci into next year hehe. (Thank you Cathy!!)

I dusted the girls in DE a couple of days ago to help with the lice. I'm going to dust them again and then begin flea combing them with ACV until I eliminate all those nasty blood suckers.

Their "home" is 8x4, I'm using hay as the bedding. It has two screened windows and a double door (the kind that is cut in two and you can open the top, the bottom, or latch them together for a solid door). That's where they sleep.

First thing in the morning, I give them their bottles and leave them in there until the morning dew is off the grass. (I am not clear if it's ok for them to lay on wet grass, so I figure better safe then sorry). Once the dew is gone, I take them out and we run around the yard together. I have a bunch of tree stumps lined up in the yard from where hubby cut a chestnut oak and sliced the trunk. We jump from one stump to the next for exercise (my human kids laugh at me every day...they say I look like a frog on two legs hehe). I have a "movable run" that I built for my chickens when they were babies...I'm now using that for the baby goats when I can't be right there with them. Again, there is always a supply of water, grain, and hay in there with them (they still won't touch the grain NOR the water). If it's hot out, I bring them in my house and keep them in an enclosed area of my dining room (I squared an area off with some window screens). That way they can keep cool...I don't know how possible it is for a baby goat to get overheated in the sun. They don't lay in the shade, they lay right in the sun.

So, am I doing ok? Is there anything I'm not doing that I should be? Oh, and when we are walking around the yard, they do take little nibbles of grass and weeds...and blackberry leaves. Is that ok??
 

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Sounds good. The milk replacer you bought isn't the greatest so it is good you are changing them over. What is your timeframe for increasing the whole milk and decreasing the milk replacer?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds good. The milk replacer you bought isn't the greatest so it is good you are changing them over. What is your timeframe for increasing the whole milk and decreasing the milk replacer?
I was thinking every week? I started yesterday, so I'd go to (for instance with Caramel) 2 ounces whole milk mixed with 2 ounces replacer on Friday 6-28. Is that ok, or is it too quick?
 

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That rate of change is good, and thank you for taking on the responsibility of saving these babies :)

Even for crosses, those weights are low for their age, the poor things likely didn't have the right care from day one :( You may want to start increasing the amounts in their bottles at each feeding as well, slowly of course by 1/2 ounce increments until each bottle is increased by an ounce, adding the yogurt is good too :)
 

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Goatless goat momma
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sounds like you're doing great!!

one thing is they won't really need grain that much, so i wouldn't have it out at all time. you can offer hand fulls of them morning and evening (kind of getting them used to getting grain twice a day), but they're really young and probably won't eat much until a few weeks later. don't worry that they're not drinking any water. they're likely getting all the liquid they need from the milk for now.

it's great they're eating greenery. goats love blackberry leaves, so no worries there!

maybe instead of keeping grain out for them all day, leave out some baking soda instead? in case their little rumens get too acidic.

i live in the tropics, and my goats do fine in the heat, except when it's full sun, but only my black goat gets a little hot. the buckling doens't seem phased by the heat. if he's hot he'll find a shady spot. if they're laying in the sun, maybe they just want to get a tan??? lol

you're doing great!!! those girls are aboslutely lucky to have found you!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I tried giving them baking soda last night. They wouldn't touch it. I even put some on my finger and tried to get it in their mouths, but they just fought me. Have you ever tasted baking soda? Tastes like soap to me LOL, I wouldn't eat it either!!! Hehe :)

And thank you, nchen...I think I'M the lucky one to have found THEM! They are precious!!!
 

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Goatless goat momma
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it's ok...animals seem to know what's good for them. just leave some out, and they'll go for it when they need it.

sounds like you're loving having them!!
 

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Sounds like you are doing great with these munchkins!! They are fortunate to have you.!!:) just leave the baking soda out. When my wethers were a month old they didn't eat it either until one day the came upon a grove of blackberry bushes, that night they ate some. They seem to know about the as needed basis with baking soda:)
 
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