Baby goat won't take bottle, help!

Discussion in 'Goats' started by TNnative, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. TNnative

    TNnative Well-Known Member

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    We have a baby BoerX goat, 2 weeks old. He was split from his mamma at the auction last Tuesday and I got him for my son. We have been trying since Tuesday night to get this goat on the bottle and he will not take it. I thought when he got hungry enough he would, but it's not working. I have put corn syrup on the nipple to entice him. I have put a touch of corn syrup in the milk replacer to sweeten it a bit, hoping that will entice him. I've tried holding it under my leg to simulate mamma, no go. It takes two of us to feed him, my son holds him and I hold the bottle in his mouth. If I don't hold it in, he spits it out. If I do hold it in, he just mouths and gums it, but refuses to suck. We've tried a regular baby bottle nipple and found a long lamb/goat, I guess, nipple at co-op that we're trying now. He refuses.

    How we have to feed him is, we try the bottle. When he's refused to suck from it, and we give it a good long try, I have to hold my finger in his mouth, with the other hand I stick a syringe in the side and squirt it along my finger while he sucks.

    Why won't he suck the bottle, if he'll suck my finger? What are we doing wrong?
    -----
    I must add that we've raised another bottle baby goat before with no trouble. That's why I'm so surprised that this one won't take a bottle.
     
  2. LFmenagerie

    LFmenagerie Well-Known Member

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    We had one that was really tough to get to take a bottle, our trick was to cover his eyes until he started to suck. We only had to do this for a couple days until he learned that the bottle was OK.

    Tom and Pam
     

  3. TNnative

    TNnative Well-Known Member

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    We've tried that too. I do that every time I get the bottle in his mouth. He just flat refuses to suck the bottle. It's almost as though he's sulking, but I would think he'd be hungry enough by now to eat.
     
  4. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

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    How frustrating . . . I haven't had this problem TG, but I wonder if the firmness of your finger somehow stimulates him as opposed to the softer, squishier nipple?

    Are you using those long grey nipples like they have on lambars?
     
  5. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    How about taking him off milk replacer and begin using cow's milk. Maybe your not letting him get hungry enough. Goats as you know are stubborn. Do you live any near me? If you were close by maybe I could lend a hand....
     
  6. TNnative

    TNnative Well-Known Member

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    I've wondered about that also.

    The nipple we're using is a long yellowish-beige nipple. I had thought that maybe he didn't like the shorter baby bottle nipple, so was pleased to find this longer one at co-op. I thought I had the sure fire answer to the problem then, but apparently not. :grump:
     
  7. TNnative

    TNnative Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure where Monterey is, but I'm close to Memphis.

    It had occurred to me that maybe he didn't like the milk replacer, but I wasn't sure cow's milk would be alright for him. I'm going to let him get hungry, (you'd think the knucklehead would be plenty hungry by now!), and try him with cow's milk a little later on this afternoon. Maybe the different flavor and being hungry will incite him to suck.
     
  8. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    There has been much discussion on the board about milk replacer not being the best option.

    You might want to do a search on that.
     
  9. thaiblue12

    thaiblue12 Enabler!

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    I went through the same exact thing right down to age, but mine is a girl. I went to an auction to sell ended up getting my little girl at 2 weeks old. I give her whole cow's milk warmed to the temp I did for my human babies. I used human nipples cut with a very big X across it. She hated the big long nipples. I put a dot of corn syrup on it and she would drink maybe an ounce and I would have to do another dot and she might drink 4 oz in half an hour!
    I ended up putting the milk in a bowl and she now drinks 14 oz twice a day.
    She never warmed up to the bottle and it was very trying. I also gave her some hay and a bit of grain and let her graze. This way I knew she was not starving.
    So try the human nipples again if yours did not have a big X in it. Make sure the nipples are warm as well. I would switch to whole cow's milk since it is cheaper. I was also given the advice that milk replacer causes more bloat than whole cow's milk.
    Or try it in a bowl. Not much fun it for your child who wanted to bottle feed but some of these babies are so stubborn!! It is very frustrating when you are trying everything and they are not :grump:
    Good Luck
     
  10. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried the Pritchard nipple? When mine won't take the big rubber ones, they'll usually take the other. Also, I'll stand over mine with them between my legs, "holding" them and that sometimes comforts them enough to suck.
     
  11. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How warm is the milk you're trying to feed?

    Have you tried covering his eyes and tickling his behind at the same time?

    A warm bowl of milk?
     
  12. SHELBY

    SHELBY Well-Known Member

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    We have one the same way,

    We use a lamb nipple, sit on a haybale with his butt next to the haybale and our free hand on his chest, We also hold the bottle real close if not on the nipple so that when it goes into his mouth, our hand is touching him, Almost like holding his chin up.

    It took a few tries but he's got the hang of it now.
     
  13. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    I just sold the mama of twin doelings I have. The one that was always friendly only took a day or so to start sucking the milk down like bottle-raised babies dop. They are about 3 weeks old. The other one is just so traumatized. The first few days she just shivered in mt arms. She refused the bottle, I had to hold her head up and just trickle as much in as a could. She is getting a little better but it takes forever for her to get just a little because the only way she will take it is with the nipple in her mouth sideways and she CHEWS it. I tried different nipples, that only made it worse. Very frustrating!

    Jill.
     
  14. TNnative

    TNnative Well-Known Member

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    Success! He took 10 oz of milk tonight! What happened is this - List in hand, I went to the store this evening. Came home and mixed the milk/evap milk/buttermilk up, and allowed it to be warming while we ate supper. My older son and I went out to feed him, it was dark by then. We had to work with him a bit to get him on the bottle, he had already bedded down. He got a taste and started sucking. We set him on the ground and held him in place, meanwhile rubbing his hips and back. I eased my hand away from the back of his head and he continued to suck. After a bit he pulled away and walked around me. He got his head under my leg, I was sitting on a 5 gal bucket, and butted me. So I put the bottle under my knee and he latched on, with a bit of help. We didn't have to hold him, he stayed there and older son crouched beside him, stroking. I only had 4 oz in the bottle. When it was empty, he butted my leg looking for more, so I ran in and heated 6 more oz. By the time I got it back out there, he had lost interest and we had to work to get him back on. Once he was back on, he didn't let go of the bottle til it was dry and didn't want to let go then. His little tummy was comfortably full when we finished, at least it felt like it.

    Of course, as I told Aaron, he may balk at it tomorrow but this is the very first time he has voluntarily stayed on the nipple, or let go and come back to it. I really think the milk replacer was what was causing him to balk.

    Thank you all for your advice! I didn't know that they didn't do well on milk replacer, I thought the grocery store milk would not be good for them. I am going to cut the X in this nipple just a bit bigger so he can get a little better stream of milk.

    Thanks, All!