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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We brought home our two Nigerian Dwarf doelings yesterday. They are six weeks old and were with their mamas (never bottle fed) until yesterday. I was prepared to bottle feed them for at least two more weeks but neither one wants to take a bottle. I'm using whole cow's milk (warmed) in a human baby bottle. I just bought a couple of Pritchard nipples and will try those tomorrow . One of the doelings will suck a little bit from the side of her mouth but the other won't suck the bottle at all. I waited 12 hours from separation before I tried the first feeding so they'd be good and hungry. They are eating hay and I think they have nibbled on a few grain pellets. I've seen one drinking water and I imagine the other one is, too. I just checked on them at 9pm and they were relaxing and chewing their cud. They haven't been crying a lot today so I'm hoping that means they aren't really hungry. I probably got less than 2 ounces of milk in each one today.

Any suggestions? I'm worried about them being hungry!

Thanks in advance!
 

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Unfortunately, that is an age that is extremely hard to get them to take a bottle. You can try again with the pritchard nipple but don't be surprised if they no longer drink milk. The owner you bought them from really should have either kept them an extra 2 weeks or got them transferred onto the bottle before you picked them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wish I had left them with the breeder two more weeks! But I think this will be okay. I just had some success with the Pritchard nipple and they are both eating hay and grain. I just want to do my best to give them a good start!
 

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It can be hard to get them to take a bottle now but it can be done! For my doelings I want them on their dam or on a bottle until they are twelve weeks old. When they are that old you have to force it a little. Hold the nipple in their mouth so they can't spit it out, this is harder than it would seem! Then gently squeeze the bottle so milk comes out the nipple while keeping the nipple in their mouth. Make sure they don't choke. A lot of times they will just sit there with milk running out of their mouth all over the place but pretty soon they get the idea to start sucking. It will be weak at first but soon they realize what they have been missing ;) Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, you guys! I am only able to get an ounce or two of milk in them but they are eating well (hay, pellets, grass). Their poop looks good and they aren't crying. They chew their cuds. So I think they are going to be okay. I'm going to keep trying to give them milk for the next week or two as added insurance.
 

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Years ago I lost a doe that had 5 week old kids. I couldn't get them on a bottle either but I did get them to drink out of a bowl. If you try this way make sure you hold the bowl for them. If you place it down on the ground and poop and crud get in the bowl your asking for e coli or salmonella. But if you just get the little guys and dip their nose in it they might take it that way. If not I have often wondered about top dressing grain with the powdered milk......I would wait till someone else says yes or no though since its been just a thought and never tried ;)
 

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at 6 weeks old they will be fine without the milk..once they chew a cud their rumen is built and growing....they will eat more grass and hay and feed....I wouldnt want to stress them or me by training to a bottle at this age if they are eating well other wise..: )
 

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I bottle fed my 2 boys so they would bond to me. I started Sully at 8 weeks and even up until I weaned him about a month later I had to help him latch on every time.
I started Jakey at 8 weeks as well and he had no problems taking a bottle. He was a hard one to wean and wasn't fully weaned until he was around 5 months lol.
I tried Sully on a baby bottle at first, it didn't work so I switched to a Pritchard. Make sure the hole is big enough for milk to come out fairly easily. They'll get frustrated and not want to even try otherwise.

If they are eating well on their own I wouldn't worry too much about it. You could always supplement them with nutri-drench or something similar if you are worried about them not getting enough nutrition.
 
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