Premature Boer/Nubian Cross Twins

Discussion in 'Kidding Koral' started by prettykittymb, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. prettykittymb

    prettykittymb New Member

    Mar 20, 2013
    We purchased a couple does back in January that were thought to be bred. We had no dates to go by, just hopes. On 03/15/13 we found that one had kidded in the night and both babies died before morning check. She hadn't displayed any real prominent signs the night before when we checked. It was very sad as it was our first birth on the farm.

    Now on 03/19/13 our second doe had a set of babies. Again, she didn't look like it was going to happen that night but at eight am check I saw one on the ground that she was just staring at. She had pulled the sac but had done nothing else. It was still wet and in 25 degree weather. Luckily I had moved her to a birthing stall. I waited a minute and the doe still just stood there doing nothing. This was her first birth. I went in and cleaned the baby off with towels and placed it in the barrel warmer I had set up with a heat lamp. She was having another and I had to reposition it because it only had one leg out and the other turned backwards. Once it fell, she just walked away. I pulled the sac and cleaned it up and put it in the warmer.

    She stayed away from them completely. She wouldn't let me near her to try to get them to nurse and they were very weak. I pulled them out and put them close to her but she went to the opposite side. They never stood up and she was determined to not let them nurse, despite my attempts.

    We called the vet in because she had a weird lump in her belly and we were worried she had one retained inside. It had been around 6 hours and hadn't produced a placenta. Between myself and my husband we tried to get her to nurse but she only produced a secretion that looked like vaseline. (There was no color to it, just thick goop) Finally we just let them nurse off the doe who lost her babies last week as that was our only option. Hers had never nursed so she still had all her milk/colostrum. We had to hold them up and help as they were very weak. Our vet said they were premature based on their size (each low 5 lbs) and he gave them both a series of booster shots as well as both mommas.

    He said they had little chance of survival in the barn especially if momma wasn't interested even if we forced her to nurse. So I brought them home. We have been milking the momma's (quite poorly I will admit, this isn't my talent) and giving what we get to them. But mostly they are getting a mix of cows milk, evaporated milk, and buttermilk that I found online to give them. The first day I added in a tiny bit of coffee and gatorade to give them a bit of pep and it seemed to help.

    They are three days old now and they have been pooping (now past meconium and into orange kid poo) and lots of pee. They eat vigorously and just today got better at standing and taking some steps. I had them in my kitchen in their barrel until today when I moved them to my living room that has heated brick floors. I figured that would be better than the barrel so they can practice standing and walking.

    Question is, I am very unsure how much to allow them to eat. I read the bottle feeding thread but I wasn't sure if it was the same with premies. They have hair, teeth, everything really, just little, and very wobbly. The first day they ate 2-3 ounces of milk about every 2-3 hours. Yesterday they ate about 3-4 ounces every 3 ounces. But today they seem starved. I have let them have 5 ounces about every 3-4 hours (whenever they get vocal). Is this too much? They seem to be digesting it. They pee a lot! We have them in diapers so I know how much. And they are pooping every 2-3 feedings in their diapers, pretty good size poops. Their little bellies look full after they eat, not really tight, still squishy and they don't look full when they beg to eat again.

    Are we doing this right? These are my kids goats so I can't imagine if they don't make it the same week we lost the others. Any advice?

    Or any advice on making momma more of a milker? She has tiny nipples. Like pinky size and only about an inch long. I would much prefer to give them the momma milk than this mix, I'm sure it would be better for them.

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  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Congratulations on your new kids. I would be careful of feeding too much. What I do is start with feeding 1 ounce per pound for 4 feedings. Then adjust from there. If you feed more, I would put more time in between bottles.

  3. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    The first week of this mo I had a Boer girl who though got colostrum I didnt see nursing after day 2.
    I started her her off on about 5oz whole milk, buttermilk, evap with a pinch of probious. This was every 4 hrs.
    Then increased it to 6oz for a few days. Then 8.
    She is now up to 12.
    I would do about the same with %s.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  4. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    if their tummies feel a loose water balloon..they need a bit more...if they bulge out too much and tight..they need a bit less...we like to see a firm tummy...sometimes right after eating they will bulge a tiny bit..also watch the poo..its a good indicator.. if it remains firm then all is good..if its runny then they may have milk scours..and need less...from what you said I think they are doing pretty good..pooping often : ) the % per pound is a guide..some need more some we start with the guide and watch the tummy and poo and how they behave...such as are they active playful and bright eye...or lethargic..and dull eyes...crying... : )
  5. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    as for mama...tiny teats are no once the udder is a bit can grab a bit more by adding some to get the tightness down will get better as you practice..milk her totally out every 12 hours...this will keep her milk production up enough to feed the kids..and mom will begin to appreciate the comfortable udder.
  6. prettykittymb

    prettykittymb New Member

    Mar 20, 2013
    Thanks guys. I think I am going to cut them back a bit and see if they are okay with it. I know that they will eat until they pop they just seem so hungry all the time. With this being our first kids I have a lot of doubts so I wanted to check. I thought I had read enough on this forum and watched enough you tube videos to be ready for anything but I was wrong. At least I knew how to correct the foot issue. The poor thing was struggling.

    Thanks again everyone. Once they get a little older and stronger I will put up a birth announcement. I have been lurking this site and waiting to post one for months. :)
  7. prettykittymb

    prettykittymb New Member

    Mar 20, 2013
    We are milking at 8 and 8, tonight it seemed a bit easier and she wasn't so firm. Thank goodness because those babies love that bit of milk we bring home. Her teats even seemed a tiny bit bigger. May have been my imagination though.

    Their little poops just look like squishy yellow little hot dogs. Not as firm as an adult goat poo but not loose at all. And their bellies do still have give. I wouldn't say "tight as a tick" but still loose. They seem to deflate pretty soon too.

    I can't believe how satisfying it is to take care of baby goats. I was ready to throw in the towel last week when I found our first babies dead in the stall. But this is so rewarding. I love it.
  8. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Awww they are precious!!!! My thoughts and prayers are with you that your babies make it just fine, goodness, what sweeties ♥
    With how thin they are, they definitely look like premies.
  9. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas got the goat bug....its ok..dont be are in good company lol
    Moms teats will enlarge some with use..Make sure to message the udder real well before and after milking..then milk a bit might a a few extra cups : ) and sing or would surprised how relaxed the goat gets and lets down a bit more milk : )
    I have been raising goat for about 8 years..and Im still not ready fro some situations lol..its good to have a place to come ..lots of good folks here..tons of knowledge..very priceless..
  10. prettykittymb

    prettykittymb New Member

    Mar 20, 2013
    They are much smaller than the two we lost last week. It was in the twenties here and the momma was a first timer. We had thought she was ready to kid and had moved her to the birthing stall. Then checked her about every 1-2 hours for several days, day and night. We don't live on the farm, it is a 5 minute drive out of town. So my husband decided we misread the signs and put her back in with the other girls. Then she just dropped the kids in the stall with outside access that gets colder than the birthing stall. It was very sad.

    With this one, as soon as I saw any sign I just moved her over and kept checking several times a day. I had decided to not do nights until they showed better signs but never saw any with her. Her ligaments were gone for over 3 days so I assumed since she was a first timer too that it may not be a true sign.

    I may never get a hang on when these things will kid. I have another right now that is as wide as a bus. As soon as she drops I may just move into the barn. It isn't set up and there are no heated rooms but I can't take loosing another to the cold. My seven month old daughter will have to phone me to come home to nurse I suppose. ;-)
  11. MsScamp

    MsScamp New Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    Yes, you will. As with everything else, it takes time and experience. I have found that the key is to know my girls. When I know their normal behaviour, I know when something is not right. I have also found that, for my girls, the best indication they are ready to kid is when their bellies drop and they become hollowed out in front of the hip bones. Cut yourself a break and remember that no one learns everything over night. As a wise man once said, "Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement."