I live in NC with my wife Lisa, four cats and a dog. We are renting right now but looking to buy a house in the country soon.
Our landlord has a house next door and they have many animals on their farm.
Early Sunday morning March 12th was a very cold (33 F), rainy and windy day. Early that morning I went outside and heard the bleating of baby goats. I found two, cold, wet and shivering on the ground with afterbirth nearby and the mama goat standing by not sure what to do. Of course I knew I had to intervene or these babies would be dead within the hour.
We took them inside wrapped in warm towels and set then in a box with a blanket and a heating pad. We then warmed them with a hair dryer on low and toweled them dry. The boy and girl were in shock and close to death. In fact, the girl who is very small almost gave up. She was on her side breathing about 1 breath every 10 seconds with her neck fully extended. I know from experience that posture is NOT a good sign. I rubbed her all over and flexed her hind legs and eventually she responded and opened her eyes.
About an hour later they were lifting their heads. My wife had gone to Tractor Supply to get some feeding supplies and soon returned with a feeding bottle and some colostrum. We mixed some up and after they got warm tried to feed them. The boy eventually took some in but the girl was still too cold. Later that day we set them up with a nice warm place in our laundry room and were able to get some colostrum in both of them. We repeated the feeding every few hours a into the wee hours, getting up at 3 am to get some in them overnight. For the next day we kept a close eye on them. I'm off work this week with a cold so fortunately for the goats I've been able to be with them.
Tuesday I set up a shelter with some heat lamps securely
in place overhead and lined the floor with dead leaves and a covering of hay. They spent the afternoon with mama goat who had a hard time with getting milk to flow. She was swollen with milk! I managed to work both teats, which was a struggle because she was very sensitive and not used to human contact, and get milk flowing and they both got some time on the teat. We brought them in for the night because the low temp was to be 25F. Too cold for babies!
As of last evening the boy weighs 6 lbs 3 oz and the girl weighs 4 lbs 2 oz. They've both gained several oz so that's good. The boy will bottle feed just fine but the girl remains difficult. With a lot of coaxing and finger poking in her mouth we can eventually get her to suckle but she only takes in an oz or less. She has NO problem with Mama though.
Right now she is outside with mama by herself with the boy remaining indoors for now. I want her to get some time alone so she can get some of that good mama milk with all of its antibodies into her system. They are both active and as the day warms up they are doing the usual crazy things baby goats do which makes us smile.
One more thing about mama. Yesterday I noticed that one udder was very swollen with milk and the other smaller with less milk. She was not letting them feed on that larger udder. I got hold of her and checked her teat. It had a small lump about an inch from the end so I massaged it and got milk flowing out. I checked it later and the lump was gone and milk was flowing but they still prefer the other udder.
So now I'm asking for any advice on how to proceed forward. The next week is going to be in the 20s so I'm very reluctant to leave them outside even in the shelter. Even with the heat lamps it's going to be under 40 degrees in there.
Here's a few pics to give ya'll an idea of where we're at. Thanks in advance for your help. We are determined to save these babies!