The Goat Spot Forum banner
1 - 20 of 93 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I'm new to the world of goats as well as this forum.

I got my first kids last night. We weren't planning on getting goats until next year. Hubby and I just bought our first home in January. We live on 8.6 mostly wooded acres in the country. Money's tight. But a situation arose that ended in me becoming the owner of two 5 week old Boer cross baby girls.

The previous owners had to find homes for them immediately. A neighbor of theirs turned them into their county and the law showed up to tell them they had to be re-homed. They didn't want to put the babies on craigslist because they fell in love with them and didn't want them ending up as someone's dinner or sacrifice. They new I love animals, have chickens, and have a nice size property. So they asked me if I'd take them.

At first I said no, due to the money situation. But they were persistent, and the more I learned about the babies, the more I knew I would end up with them. Not because I couldn't resist their adorable faces, but because I was afraid if I didn't take them, they would die.

The previous owners (as well as me) know nothing about raising goats. Fortunately I have a family member (her name is Barbara) who has raised Boer goats for two decades, so I have her to call with questions. Anyhoo, here's how they were raised by the previous owners.

They got them at a few days old, having been abandoned by their mama. They bottle fed them goat milk replacer until day 11. Then they began to wean them off the milk. They offered them grain. The babies wouldn't touch it. So they put the grain in a blender and bottle fed it to them. The babies wouldn't drink water from a bowl, so they bottle fed them the water. They never offered them hay.

Three days ago they stopped getting milk. Instead the previous owners were feeding them electrolytes three times a day from a bottle. Water from a bottle. And maybe the blended grain mixture...from a bottle (not sure if they did the grain...she just said electrolytes and water).

The bottles are human infant baby bottles with the holes in the nipples cut bigger. When the babies drink, they cough. Aspiration I believe.

I picked them up last night. When we got home, I looked them over. They are COMPLETELY infested with lice. This morning when I woke up I checked on them. They were both covered in diarrhea, all over their tails, butts, and back legs. I had no milk to give them. So I didn't know what to do but give them more electrolytes until I got back with milk from Southern States. (I now know I just added to the diarrhea problem by doing that).

I called Barbara in tears, convinced they were going to die. The diarrhea is so bad that they can't control it. It just runs out. She said they had scours. I told her everything I just typed above about the previous owner's care and she flipped. She said they were way too young to be weaned. Electrolytes are not to be given like that, and the diarrhea is probably from the amount of electrolytes they were given, as well as lack of solid food/milk. She told me to give them each 2 TBSP pepto bismol, then feed them 4-5 ounces of milk as soon as I got back from SS. Then tonight give them 1 TBSP pepto and another 4-5 ounces of milk. Does that sound about right?

I am going to dust them in diatomaceous earth as soon as I can get the diarrhea to stop. Will that work for the lice?

I picked up two kid/lamb nipples (the red ones that attach to a soda bottle) while getting their milk. They don't aspirate anymore. But they still have diarrhea. And they sleep a lot. Is that normal? A lot of the time they look like they are sleeping while standing up...which they didn't do last night.

I'm sorry for all the questions. I don't want to lose these babies...it will break my heart. I'm at a loss...I feel like I'm in wayyyy over my head. I wasn't ready for goats. But I knew if I didn't try, they'd probably die. Any advice and help would be greatly appreciated! And any treatments that don't cost much is needed...we are new home owners with two young boys and are just barely getting by.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
wow!! you were handed a can of worms. those babies are way too youhg to be off milk. i agree with barbara. do as she says and you may just pull them through. good luck!!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,746 Posts
first..welcome
yes way too young to ween...I recommend no milk for 24 hours..electros only 3 cc pepto and 3 cc C D Antitoxin given just under the skin
they cannot digest the milk right now with the runs being so bad...their tummy is way off poor things...after their poop begins to thicken..start milk...use whole cows milk from the store...weigh each one and multily that number by 16 to get their weight in Oz's then multiply that by 10% to see how much milk they need in a 24 hour period...divide that into 4 feedings...hee is a good link to read on caring for bottle babies...best wishes..
http://www.tennesseemeatgoats.com/articles2/overfeedingnewbo.html
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,746 Posts
here is a electro recipe you can make

Homemade Electrolytes
A half gallon of hot water
2-6 Tablespoons of Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses( or what ever you have on hand or honey)
1-2 Tablespoons of Either Sea Salt, Epsom Salt, Baking Soda or Table Salt.
1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix well and drench or let them drink it.
never give plain water from a bottle...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,746 Posts
as for lice try kitten flea powder...comb them well
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,746 Posts
Electrolytes are not to be given like that, and the diarrhea is probably from the amount of electrolytes they were given, as well as lack of solid food/milk. She told me to give them each 2 TBSP pepto bismol, then feed them 4-5 ounces of milk as soon as I got back from SS. Then tonight give them 1 TBSP pepto and another 4-5 ounces of milk. Does that sound about right?
I do agree they were given too much of "nothing" so this is why they have the runs so bad....a quality electro will keep them hydrated while the pepto gets them dry and sooths the tummy...the recipe I sent is a good one and well balanced...you are between a rock and hard place...because their body needs food...so here is what you might try...one bottle milk...second feeding electros..and so forth...if they turn very watery..no milk...if things begin to taper off..and thicken up..then continue the rotation until they are fully recovered...then go full milk...I hope I did not confuse you lol...
 

·
Boers & Nubians
Joined
·
1,911 Posts
You definitely did the right thing by taking them!

Water from a bottle is bad for a kid! They get hemoglobinuria from it. Bad, bad, bad. Solid food in a bottle is not great either. Electrolytes actually help with scours, but there is no reason to feed them bottles of it if there is no problem with the milk.

Can you get a temperature on them? If they get fluid in their lungs, like you said, I would worry about them getting pneumonia.

I have never heard about the milk replacer that you use, most will use Land o lakes or whole cows milk (not to say that yours is bad, but there must be a cause of the scours).

I would continue using the pepto, just making sure that they don't get constipated. If you have any probios or yogurt, than I would give them that as well. And the electrolytes, like Cathy said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If this info helps...I weighed them today...I weighed myself first, then held each one in turn, and weighed myself again. Then subtracted.

The larger of the two babies (named her Butterscotch) is 9.4 pounds. The littler one (named Caramel) weighs 8.4 pounds. I was told they were 5 weeks old.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The milk replacer is called "Ultra 24 All milk protein nursing formula" for mult-species, including goats. It was what the lady at Southern States told me to get. I called Barbara to make sure, and she said yes, to get it.
 

·
I'm watching you
Joined
·
22,525 Posts
Yes, they are very small. They should be around 30lbs. Poor starving babies. They are at an age where they may have Coccidiosis causing the scours. You can use Sul-Met drinking water solution for that. (from your feed store) Give them each 2cc. on day 1 and 1cc. days 2 thru 5, by mouth. If you can find liquid or injectable Di-Methox, it is even better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
here is a electro recipe you can make

Homemade Electrolytes
A half gallon of hot water
2-6 Tablespoons of Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses( or what ever you have on hand or honey)
1-2 Tablespoons of Either Sea Salt, Epsom Salt, Baking Soda or Table Salt.
1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix well and drench or let them drink it.
never give plain water from a bottle...
I don't have molasses, but I do have honey. Is that ok? I also have ACV with the mother ( I put it in the water for my chickens), and sea salt.

So I should NOT use the powdered electrolytes the previous owner gave me, correct? Barbara told me to stop them completely.
 

·
I'm watching you
Joined
·
22,525 Posts
Honey is fine, that's what I use as my neighbor has bees.
I won't give them the powder anymore and not a lot of the good electros. maybe 1 to 2 ounces between their milk bottles.
 
1 - 20 of 93 Posts
Top