Please help me feed these babies!!

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by gracie04, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. gracie04

    gracie04 New Member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Hi Everyone,

    I've been reading this forum for quite awhile now in preparation for getting some Nigerian babies. Well, yesterday we picked up two four week olds, a brother and sister. They had been eating from mom up until we picked them up, and we're attempting to get them to take a bottle.

    I know, I know, not the best situation, but the person we got them from needed to get rid of them because she was having health problems and she said the mama goat wasn't feeding them too well lately, anyway.

    They spent the night penned in our dining room because we got home late and didn't want to put them all alone in the pen in the dark. So far, we've tried feeding them twice last night and twice today, and they fight it like crazy. :GAAH: I know they haven't drank from mama for almost 24 hours now. The previous owner said they were eating a little sweet feed, but I haven't gotten them to do that yet. They have nibbled a few green leaves and they are drinking water. We currently have water, hay, some picked greens, and some sweet feed sitting in their pen.

    We've tried feeding them with the pritchard nipple on a soda bottle, and once with a regular human baby bottle/nipple. We are feeing them warm, whole cows milk. How much milk do they need to be getting at this point? Any ideas as to how to get them to take it would be GREATLY appreciated!! :) They're strong little guys and they are really fighting us. Oh, and they can't go back to mama because we picked them up four hours from our home!! Also, I know they weren't getting much human interaction previously because of the owner's health.
    They do run from us when we try to catch them, but calm down pretty quickly after we get them.
    We love them dearly already and just want happy, healthy goats! Thanks in advance for any suggestions, you guys seem to know a lot and seem willing to help out newbies. ( I have owned goats, but never babies of this age.)

  2. PznIvyFarm

    PznIvyFarm New Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    My limited experience says to be persistent. I have a preemie baby that was too weak to suck at first, and now mama decides off and on that she won't stand still to let her nurse for more than a few seconds. I have to check on her every 3-4 hours to make sure she is full. (I was checking every 2 hours for the first 4 days, then every 3, last night i stretched it to 4 hours) I am giving her a bottle about twice a day at this point, although i was bottle feeding her 6 times a day. (and making sure she nursed off mom the rest of the time) I am using the pritchard nipple and she generally fights me. This morning was the first time that she willingly sucked the nipple. (and she is about a week old) If they get hungry enough, they will nurse off the nipple if they have no other choice. I don't know about the cow's milk, I am using goat milk, either from mom or my other doe. I thought any diet change would cause scours, so i am not even considering milk replacer. These are my first babies, so i don't even know if they are still nursing much at 4 weeks, but i thought most people weaned at about 8 weeks.

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    first off that owner should know that at 4 weeks the mom is still nursing her kids you jsut rarely see it happen. She will call them over or let them sneek little slurps all day long. so frustrating when people dont recognize thats how their behavior is and its normal and doesnt mean mom isnt feeding them :sigh:

    Ok on to how to care for your little guys -- problem #1 is the fact that the milk is not what they are use to and #2 they are much to old to be transferred to a bottle easily. So you are in for a fight and you may never get them to take the bottle (not trying to be doom and gloom but be practical).

    Can you try to get some goats milk from another breeder in your area? most will either give it away or sell it to you for your animal.

    Bottle feeding is my least favorite of all goat things. sorry
  4. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I start all my babies on a bottle at 2 weeks of age ... Some go right for it - some don't. I had one girl that would not go near the bottle. When she was a month old I sold her mom! It took some time and being persistant - but when they get hungry enough thy will take it :)

    I do suggest though sticking with one bottle... Less confusion for the babies. Small area like you have them in, with all the things you have out. You can add a can of evaportaed milk to sweeten the milk and put a little karo on the nipple. Good luck!
  5. gracie04

    gracie04 New Member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Hey Everyone,

    Thanks for all the tips. At the last feeding I got some milk into them, but not much! :sigh:
    They clench their jaw on the bottle and cut off the milk flow and just stay that way! They scream and cry like I'm trying to pour vinegar down their throat! :roll:
    Unfortunately I don't know any breeders in my area, so I can't try to get some goat milk.
    I will try sweetening the nipple with honey, that's the only sweet, sticky stuff I have. I'll also stick with the one type of nipple.
    Please keep tips coming, and any stories of getting stubborn goats to take to the bottle...I could use the encouragement.
    Thanks! :)
  6. PznIvyFarm

    PznIvyFarm New Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    What about goat milk from the grocery store? Or try posting something on Craigslist?
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    goat milk from the store tasts nasty I hear so i doubt its in the same taste family they are use to. Craigslist might work
  8. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    The goat milk from the store is only fit for the garbage, plain cow milk from the store is much better. I bought a quart of it once, before I had goats. Plus it costs an arm and a leg.

  9. LuvmyGoaties

    LuvmyGoaties Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    I am cetainly no goat expert so no help here in getting them to take a bottle but as someone else suggested, I would post an ad on Craigslist under "Farm and Garden" saying that you are lookig for goats milk to feed baby goats - I bet you will quickly get responses and offers.

    Can you try to get them to take milk form a pail? I know that foals are often introduced to milk in a pail instead of a bottle if they are orphaned later.

  10. PznIvyFarm

    PznIvyFarm New Member

    Jul 25, 2010

    My grandad had a dairy farm and my dad said the other day that they removed the calves from the moms at a few days old and trained them to drink milk from a pail. (the implication was that true farmers wouldn't waste their time bottle-feeding individual babies - this said as i was bitching that my baby still fights the bottle at every turn)
  11. Bellafire Farm

    Bellafire Farm New Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    NW Oregon
    Whole milk or Buttermilk - I've had friends who added Sweetened? Condensed milk a bit too.
    But ugh... I would think with such a dramatic and stressful change you are going to be getting some very sick babies soon! Be exceptional watchful! Keep ProBios and some yogurt on hand!
    Definitely check craigslist or this link for some goats milk (DONT BUY STORE GOATS MILK! It's disgusting, even the goat will tell you that!)

    Gosh, stick with it... don't give up.
    And just for a note- BAD prior owner, BAD, BAD, no-no!
  12. gracie04

    gracie04 New Member

    Aug 14, 2010
    We're still struggling really hard to get milk in these babies. They are as persistent as ever in refusing it! :(
    I'm getting worried. Have posted on Craigslist for goat milk, but I wonder if that will help? You would think they'd be hungry enough by now.
    I'm worried because my husband will be going to work tomorrow, and so far at each feeding it's taken both of us just to get anything down them.
    I sure wish I could go buy their mama and bring her home! :slapfloor:
  13. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    If the breeder was ill and wanted the kids rehomed ASAP maybe she'd be willing to have you go get their mom.
  14. Chi Chi

    Chi Chi New Member

    Mar 7, 2010
    I am not sure if this helps but I thought I would throw it out there....A girl from my daughter's soccer team has a little sister who is allergic to milk, soy etc...the doctor recommended goat's milk. Her mom told that she had not been able to consistantly get fresh goat's milk- said store milk is yucky but found powder goat's milk at the health food store. She said they mix it up and she can't believe how good it is. I am a newbie but thought maybe someone would know if this would work for you.
  15. gracie04

    gracie04 New Member

    Aug 14, 2010
    GREAT NEWS!!!!
    My little boy, Granite, actually ate 5 1/2 oz at one time just now! :cool:
    Who thought you could be THIS happy about a goat drinking a bottle??
    Now next time I have to get the girl, Gaia, to do the same! :wink:
  16. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Congrats that is great news......... :thumb: :stars: :clap: :leap: :cool:
  17. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    haha just wait till you are excited over poops -- then you know you are a true goat owner :p
  18. PznIvyFarm

    PznIvyFarm New Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    I know exactly how you feel. Aurora has finally stopped fighting the bottle - she won't willingly take it, but once i shove it in, she will drink.
  19. gracie04

    gracie04 New Member

    Aug 14, 2010

    OMG, it's already happened! My 7 yr old son heard me saying, "Granite, those are beautiful poops!" today because they were so nice and perfectly formed! I think he thinks mom has lost her marbles! :shocked:

    How old is Aurora, PznIvy? My girl is still fighting me something terrible! Granite will still balk at the start of a feeding, but then he settles down and takes it. Tonight he actually willingly came up and put his mouth on the bottle and starting sucking it after his sister spit it out for the upteenth time and I was sitting there with it in my hand. I nearly fainted! :leap:
  20. Tallabred

    Tallabred New Member

    Aug 28, 2010
    Tallahassee, Florida
    I am new here :wave: so this is a delayed post. How are your babies doing? I had to bottle feed 2 week old nubians after their dam died. It really helped to cover their eyes. I would lock them into place with their head under my chin and the bottle by my ear. I would be covered in milk at first but it did work. I poured off the top of the cow's milk and added 1 cup of butter milk and a can of evaporated milk. They grew just as fast as my other dam raised babies.

    Don't forget to add some baking soda once a day to the bottle. Plus it is really easy to give them corid when they are on a bottle.