Supplemental bottle feeding

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by pinefarm, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. pinefarm

    pinefarm Junior Member

    I have a doe freshened four days ago. Not her first. Has one blank side but has always been able to feed two kids on that side. On herbs to stimulate milk production,dairy feed,boss,alfalfa pellets calf manna,alfalfa hay and mix hay free choice,and minerals. When she kidded I had to milk some out so the kids could nurse,her teat was too tight and full. A day later production dropped and she isn't making enough to feed them. I wormed her,she seems normal,no ketosis, energetic and a great mom. Not sure why this happened? I saved what I milked out on day one and gave that,and froze her milk from last season. Also have a doe who lost a kid and has plenty to share, so we have plenty of her milk or fresh goat milk to feed them. We are giving a bottle a few times a day to help. They are still nursing hard to tell how much though. I didn't weigh at birth but they are 7.5 lb now. How much should I offer? Half what a full bottle baby would get? I was thinking 5 oz 2xday. One is sucking down all I offer like he is starving the other isn't very interested. Think he is more persistent and getting most of what she does have. They are half mini Nubian half PB Nubian. My hope is she picks up production in a few days so I'm trying to not end up with full bottle babies. I do keep putting them under her and they do still try to nurse what she does have. I don't want them to stop trying with her because they get an abundance from me. So how much to feed them?
     
  2. pinefarm

    pinefarm Junior Member


  3. lovinglife

    lovinglife Active Member

    930
    Jun 6, 2013
    Southern Idaho
    I just feed whatever they will take, but that's just what I do and it works for me. I can't stand to see any animal hungry especially a baby.
     
  4. loggyacreslivestock

    loggyacreslivestock Well-Known Member

    I am supplementing my first kids this year. I have a doe with triplets who had a congested udder at less than a week post kidding. I have been giving each kid a bottle in the morning and evening. I am giving slightly less than I would if I was bottle feeding four times a day. So right now at 7 weeks, they are getting 5 ounces in the bottle . They weigh between 20-28 pounds and are fullblood Boers. I plan to drop the morning bottle when they turn 8 weeks old and the last bottle at 10 weeks. The dam is nursing fine now, but they seem to need a bit more than she has to offer.
     
  5. pinefarm

    pinefarm Junior Member

    Thanks for your reply. I was trying 4 oz twice a day but they seem weak and very tired mid day so I think I will do 3 X a day,maybe 3 oz? One hates it but seems like he is getting enough from mom. I syringe him what I can. The other takes a bottle very well and drinks very fast. I make him take lots of breaks . The doe next stall over only has one kid and I have to help milk her out anyway,so now the new kids get it. They seem so thin,born thin too
     
  6. loggyacreslivestock

    loggyacreslivestock Well-Known Member

    They always seem thin to me till about 2 weeks old. Be careful not to over feed the one who seems to be getting enough from mama. Feel bellies to determine fullness prior to feeding. You don't want to cause floppy kid syndrome.
     
  7. pinefarm

    pinefarm Junior Member

    I actually stopped feeding the one getting most of moms milk this afternoon. He seems healthy and strong and his belly has been full when I check. The other is just so bony. Thanks for the advice on checking the belly. I had been doing that but wasn't sure if it would be an accurate gauge to tell. I was trying to be sure no one had bloated hard bellies,and was taking breaks during feeding to check. I'm sort of winging it and taking it as it comes. Seems finding a perfect time and quantity isn't the way to go here. I have a good barn cam and since starting to bottle feed they are not crying at all,so I hope that means they are ok. They were crying a lot the second day. I just wasn't sure a general amount they should get from me. Didn't want to skimp or over do it. And I have never had a full bottle baby before to compare to. Thank you for the suggestions,my anxiety over it is lessening due to your advice and plain old understanding !