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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
This is my first time breeding a goat (although I have owned 3 Nigerian dwarfs for over a year and have bred other livestock). My Nigerian dwarf doe (1st freshener) doe gave birth to twins yesterday without complication. She let's them try to nurse, but I don't think that they are getting any milk. I tried to get them to latch and only has success with one. I know they got some milk yesterday and a little this morning, but I don't think either is getting enough. I milked her and tried to get the babies to drink it out if the bottle, but neither one would. I just came outside to check on them and one of the babies is panting and loosing it's playfulness (the other is too, but doesn't seem as bad). It's only 60 degrees and last night it was 55 at the lowest, so I don't think the weather is the problem. I know that time is of the essence here, so any help would be appreciated! Thank you for your help!
 

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Fair-Haven
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You will either have to hold mom and let them nurse very frequently in the first couple of days, or pull them entirely and bottle feed. If mom's udder is very tight, she may not want to stand. They will starve to death if you don't make sure they are getting enough milk. Track weight gain - weigh each kid every 12 hours for the first 3 days to make sure everyone is doing well.
 

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If they won't nurse, give a shot of vitamin B complex, 1/4-1/2 cc, sub q (under the skin). Then you may have to tube feed them. Time is of the essence. They can die in a very short time if they are not getting enough milk. Check the roofs of their mouth for a hole (cleft palate). Have they pooped and peed?
 

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I agree with what has been said. Even giving some B Complex orally may get their appetite going. Definitely make sure they are pooping and peeing. If they are not pooping they could be constipated, and that can also kill them, so if they are not pooping and stopped up you'll need to give them a warm water enema (Dawn/plain dish soap and warm water in a syringe), it can take a few tries and several minutes if they are stopped up to get it loosened.

Otherwise make sure they are nursing frequently. Milk mom, keep milk warm and tube feed, or if you don't know how or don't have the tube, then at least try to slowly syringe feed. Very vital you get those babies fed. Keep an eye on temp, make sure it doesn't go above 103.0. BTW, is that the one that was panting of the lower temp?

Pneumonia can be a worry at times. Constipation and the one we have dealt with is e coli or e coli symptoms - belly ache, maybe has a temp/mild fever, diarrhea or might even have constipation that turns to diarrhea - we give Spectogard Scour Halt (labeled for pigs) at about 2x the pig dose. I usually give babies 2-3cc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you so much for your help. I sat with them for about 40 minutes a few hours ago and was able to get one baby to drink lots of milk out of the bottle (I held it against my body while covering it's eyes) and the other to drink some out of the doe. I'll keep a close eye on them and start tracking intake and weight gain. They are already a lot more active after eating and both have drank from the mom on their own since I forced them to drink. I will save all of the information that was given to me here for future reference. Thank you everyone!
 

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This might contradict others just slightly but if you need to supplement bottle feeding absolutely do this. If mom is taking care of them, I'd suggest instead of pulling them and you being the primary care taker you just bottle feed and leave with mom. It's an entirely different ball game when you are totally taking care of them. mom licks their bottoms to make them poop, they will still get the nurturing and some milk from her and protection from others in the herd and learn how to be a goat.

We have one doe we've had to supplement bottles with her kids...pretty easy as mom does the rest. this year though we had a doe totally reject her kids....wow what a lot of work to have total bottle babies. First week up every 2-3 hours then 2-3rd week every night for 2 am feedings, and trying to find people to feed every 3-4 hours when we're working. Plus watching closely for constipation, learning to give enemas, when they won't eat you then need to worry about overeating disease. (OH, if you don't have any, I strongly suggest that you order C & D antitoxin now to have on hand) we ended up having to use it 3x on one of the does. It's a ton of work having bottle babies that are pulled from their moms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's good advice. I would feel so bad taking them from her all together... She is very attached to them. They are doing much better now. I set up a camera in their pen so that I can make sure they are drinking (which they are) throughout the night and when I'm at work. If I notice them getting dehydrated again in the afternoon when they are grazing with the herd I will start to supplement with a bottle. Thanks for the advice!
 
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