Bottle Goats

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Rob30, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Anyone with experience raising bottle goats? I have been buying bottle boys from a dairy. Raising them until 40-70lbs then selling them at an auction. However my success rate is not good. I get them healthy, but within 2-3 weks they start dying. First they get week looking, slow, stop playing, hunched up, hocks touching, most get scours, then then thin out so they look like we starved them, they shiver and look cold(but they are not). We have treated them with asprin, pen G, Kaopectate when bloated, add baking soda to their milk replacer, gave selenium/E. We just cut out the noon feed and gave electrolytes instead to cut the scours. We started giving sulfa meds to combat cocci.
    Any ideas?
    I noticed when giving the electrolytes that the kids that drank were hunched up after and shivering(cold looking). I wondered if it is the water we mix with, but it is our house water.
    Help please I lost five in the past two days. I am hoping to be running full scale by the new year, but at this point I won't be.
     
  2. Gwendolyn

    Gwendolyn Domestic Diva

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    Rob a group of us have been working with my county extension office on bring meat goats to this area.

    One of the things that the "goat" experts that they brought in to speak at one of our meetings told us, is that goats do not lend themselves to being raised the way you are trying to do it.

    They just die too easy. Also, the money that you have to spend on vacinations like CDT, and worming as well as antibiotics for shipping fever and probiotics and Vit. B to keep their gut working well, after worming... We were heavily discouraged from doing what you are doing.

    So if you do have any luck and get it figured out, let us know. I'd be interested to hear how you have done it.

    I'd trythis, when you first bring them home, I'd dose them with Pen G or LA200(shipping fever), them I'd give them a dose of Vit b 12 gel and probiotics(Stress and helthy gut). I'd also dose them with coridd(SP), then I'd start them on loose mineral in the 1st week. What are you giving them for milk? What is their bottle schedule and how much are you giving them? I had though about doing the same as you are doing, but like I said the experts discouraged us.

    Gwendolyn
     

  3. Charleen

    Charleen www.HarperHillFarm.com Supporter

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    Are the bucklings getting colostrum at birth? This is sometimes the deciding factor in life or death for kids.
    A commercial dairy might not bother with this knowing that the bucks are terminal.
     
  4. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What are you feeding them? I have heard that they will die on soy-based replacers, so if you are feeding a milk replacer, be sure it is milk, not soy, based. Do you warm the milk for them? (It should be fed at about 100 degrees). How much/how often are you feeding? Always best to give less more often the first few weeks. And yes, they need colostrum.
    mary
     
  5. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

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    Sorry to hear about your problems with bottles, although, I'm kind of surprised, because this is pretty much SOP for raising dairy kids. That's how I started with my first two this spring, and they're beyond healthy!

    I would agree with the posts about perhaps missing out on colostrum and soy milk replacer causing problems. Were they given a probiotic at any point?

    Surely some other dairy goat folks out there can answer this one?
     
  6. Teacupliz

    Teacupliz Well-Known Member

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    I* wonder too what replacer you are useing? Also where are you raising them. DO you treat for cocci? Liz in NY
    Teacup Farm
     
  7. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    i've always raised my babies on bottle, but it was goat milk. i do know some people who raise their dairy babies on replacer, and they do fine, but the get the colostrum, they start w/4 feedings a day the first couple of weeks, then down to 3 then to two by about a month or 6 weeks. the bottles start at 4 oz, when they suck those down, they increase to 6 oz, then 8 oz, then up by 2oz increments to 1 pt per feeding. then when they switch to 2 feedings, the get about 1.5pt to 1 qt per feeding, depending how they eat. try a coccidiastat in the milk.
     
  8. littlebitfarm

    littlebitfarm Scotties rule! Supporter

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    I would take a close look at the formula you are using!

    Kathie
     
  9. Lazy Daze Farm

    Lazy Daze Farm Active Member

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    My guess would be coccidia. Do you have them on a coccidia prevention program? It is so very important. There are several options. Doing a quick search will give you a ton of results in this forum along with dosage. Have you had any fecal samples tested?

    Liz
     
  10. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I dam raise my kids, but it seems odd to me that they're getting coccidia so early. When they get scours, what does their poo look like? Are they getting as much as they want to eat, or are they left a bit hungry? Are their surroundings clean, and do they have a draft-free place to go? What is the temperature of the formula (or electrolytes) you're using? I understand kids will do better on store-bought cows milk than on mixed-up replacer. We could definitely use some more info here to help you save those kids.
     
  11. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes I agree...if they were getting "Goats Milk" they would be thriving from the word go. It cant be cost affective to buy milk replacement...it is rather expensive here...I buy excess milk from other Goat breeders to raise my lambs and to add to the kids feeds..(they are drinking more than their mothers can supply) it cost $1.50 per litre here.
    A local Goat dairy was told by their Vet (they also bought replacer for their kids) that the quicker they could get the kids to eating grains etc the better off the kids would be...getting the rumen going early so they could wean off the milk...they were also doing it in large numbers and were having trouble with the replacement and kids dying.
     
  12. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    My Nigerian Dwarf doeling and my Nigerian/Alpine cross doeling had coccidia when I bought them. But they had no symptoms such as you are describing other than their poop sometimes came out looking more like human poop than goat poop. The lamb/kid starter grain I use is medicated for this problem, but the lady I bought them from had been giving them horse grain!!! She also was giving them straight whole cow's milk in their bottles. I switched them to the lamb and kid starter grain, but I did not change from cow's milk because they were already almost ready to begin the weaning process. I did use the coricydian the vet gave me after we did a fecal on the one we brought in for an abcess on her belly.
    This may sound dumb, but how warm is your barn---hunching and shivering I have only seen once, and it was hypothermia on the little Nigerian doeling. And it wasn't even that cold! They will do this more noticeacly after a bottle, I don't know why. Feel inside the ears and especially the mouth when you see this. If it is cold all the way down in their mouths, they are probably hypothermic. I am sure this could weaken them considerably, especially if some of the above factors are a consideration too---I mean what some of the other posters mentioned---no colostrum, soy formula, and etc.
    I hope you find what the problem is and post it here!

    Blessings. Jillis
     
  13. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    Need more info. At what age do you get them from the dairy? Have they been nursing at all? Colostrum is critical. Young kids are so sensitive to changes of any kind and I would urge you to use goat's milk to feed them. I'm not a fan of replacers and would rather use whole cow's milk than replacers. Also, are the dams of these kids vaccinated pre-delivery for CD&T? Enterotoxemia a possibility here. Cocci, like one poster said is kind of rare for very young kids but not impossible. But it's not clear how old these boys are when they start going downhill so it could be cocci. I would first look at diet and vaccinations.
     
  14. popscott

    popscott Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As some of the other post asked.....COLOSTRUM...they must have it or their chances are slim....if they are not getting it from momma, then you may try the following

    Jeffers have a colostrum replacer (don't use a supplement)
    http://www.jefferslivestock.com

    Also, the milk replacer....I have not done very good on calf replacers, but use the ones that say lamb replacer (Land o' Lakes is one recommended to me), they have the right "stuff".

    Coccidiosis…..fecal check at the local vet (or do your own) will give you the answer to that one…

    Thanks,
    Pam and Scott
    http://www.justkiddinfarm.com/
     
  15. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have done this once before, and did not have good luck that time either. However my father in law did it and only lost 4 out of 45 kids. they say expect 20% loss.
    My milk replacer is a name brand replacer that is milk based. I began mixing thin when they started scouring, I think that was my first mistake. I have begun treating any kid with scours fo cocci. Most of the scours are yellow/brown, one I noticed was green. I feed three times daily, but I just began giving any with loose stool electolyes at lunch instead. I just began giving Pen G to anyone down looking before meals. Pen G given every 12hrs, for 3 doses, 3mls orally. One problem is after a feeding they all look hunched up, slow and shiver.
    Thhe problem is they go down quick. They start looking down, hunched up. Then they get week and unco-ordinated, then so week they can't stand, then they go into the 'death stage' tremmers, their head bend back until it touches their back. This all happen between feedings usually, some longer, but within 1 day. I have had some that rebound a little but still die.
    When I pick them up all kids are healthy, bottle drinking, 1 week old or older. They are left on the doe for 4-5 days. All the does are farmed out to be raised and are doing fine. 2 losses I believe. I have that daily.
    I will be buying a different milk replacer next time.
     
  16. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    All of my babies, are bottle fed. on heat treated colustrum, and pasturized milk, from the mothers. at 3 weeks, they go on coccii meds, for 10 days, are given BO SE shot at birth, and cd&t.
    shots. they are all healthy, and growing.
    if I didn't have goats milk, I would make sure they got the colstrum, from the goat, or the farmer, then I would put on regular vit. d cows milk from the store, and give human baby vitamin drops in the bottles.
    milk replacer, doesn't work well, at all usually on baby goats. you can also order goat cloustrum replacer, from a goat supply house on line. but the real thing works wonders, and they only need 4 ounces. so if you are getting these as new borns, I would get it from the farmer where you are getting your kids, if you are getting them older than a day, I wuld make sure, that he is making sure they are getting it. or they will die. hope this helps.
     
  17. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't dilute your milk replacer. It has to be mixed per directions, as they can not digest properly with extra water in their tummies.
    mary
     
  18. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    The program you are using is fine for single stomached animals, but it kills rumiants. The whole premise of a ruminant is that the milk goes into the stomach, stomach acids and acidic saliva mix with this milk and it forms a curd like cheese in the stomach. This banana consistancy cheese goes into the large intestine where more liquid is taken from it, into the small intestine where more liquid is gleaned, and all the benefits of the milk go into the bloodstream. By then the poop is drier, forms berries and is pooped out. When you take them off their milk and feed them electrolytes which contain NO CALORIES, it's and empty meal they do not absorb anything out of, it also adds more and more liquid to the stomach, there is nothing to make into a curd so it comes out liquid. You then dilute the milk replacer in hopes of clearing up the diarrhea you caused by feeding so much undigestiable non curd forming liquid, and you now have a train wreck starting. You then give oral meds, which further destroy the stomach bacteria, aspirin, antibiotics, sulfas, and the kid fails to thrive. He is hunched up after feedings because the stomach is full of material he can not form into a curd, it causes spastic contrations of his stomach. He is not able to stabalize his body temperature because he is not absorbing any calories, hence the bug stomached kids with no flesh over their bone appearance.

    Beware, colostrum of any sort given after 12 hours of life, up to about 24 hours of life is not going to do anything but waste your money. And most colostrums have few to no IG in them that help with true immunity. After the initial feeding of colostrum the intestine which appears as cheese cloth, shuts down it's ability to absorb any immunity factors out of the colostrum, at the point the colostrums value is only high calorie meals that also cause loose stools, to get the black meconium sealing tar out of the intestine that the kid had in uterio.

    Green diarrhea is almost always ecoli, it has a very distinctive smell to it, destroy the kid before it passes this, or quranteen and try the pig pump on it, the red syrup spectinomycin.

    Kids can't be distressed with cocci scours until 21 days and that would mean getting occysts on the day they are born, before then yes they will have cocci in a fecal sample, but the harmful lifecycle of cocci starts on day 21, all kids though in the conditions you are purchasing should be on 5 days of a sulfa drug from the day you get them, mostly because it is the best at treating bacterial problems including pnemonia. Than move them on a every 21 days cycle for 5 days of sulfa or amprolium, making sure your feed you use contains a cocci med (deccox, rumensin etc).

    For the meat market it would be a waste of money to vaccinate these kids, especially with Bo-se or CD&T. You aren't disbudding or castrating and really by the time these kids are sold they would just then be getting imunity from their last vaccination after 12 weeks, so why start it?

    Mix your milk replacer per the instuctions on the label, if you are able to feed some goat milk to the kids the first 2 weeks, all the better. Do not add more liquid or feed electrolytes, this is a very old fashion calf notion that does not work. Use only sulfa's orally on infant goatlings. Make sure the same temp milk is offered at each feeding and that your mixture is consistant. Giving probiotics to kids from the first day you get them until they are about 2 weeks old will go a long way in making healthy bacteria in that stomach to form the cheese you need.

    Wormings, what problems are in your area, one fecal sample per 10 goatlings is much cheaper than worming, find out if tapes are a problem in your area. It is in ours, in fact it's the only worm that bothers our infant goatling pen, until they are well grown and mingle in the woods with goats who are older. So I use Valbazen on them at 3, 6 and 9 weeks, 1cc per 10 pounds given orally. Tapes can mimic enterotoxemia, or bring on bouts of it, from the stress on the system.

    With the age of the kid your are getting your first big problem is the huge change from momma milk to fake milk. No soy period. Use the smallest amount you can per doe. Remember just because when I bottle/bucket my kids they are eating 16 to 22 ounces each per meal 3 or 4 times a day, you can not do this with milk replacer. In fact if you read the label on milk replacer the Purina brand, they are saying 3 meals of 6 ounces, my goatlings would think they are starving, and that really is the point of using milk replacer....you feed it just to sedate them, than they get hungry quickly, wanting to eat hay and grain early. Problem is with goatlings, they pick up everything off the barnyard floor and pen first, infecting themselves with fecal material from their penmates, cocci, worms, bacteria in trying to find anything to eat. Cleanliness is a must, getting all your goatlings at the same time, new ones are placed in another clean pen, we call this all in all out.

    So you will be offering hay and grain much earlier than you would if you could use goat milk. Another excellent thing to do if you can find it in your area is outdated cow milk, if you can find a source. We used to raise all our kids on this.

    Here you can find dairies (cow) if you bring your own container you can get all the milk you want for $2 per gallon. This would be perfect for what you are doing, since it's a terminal market, I wouldn't do this with the Johnnes concern of cows milk.

    Good luck with this. Alot like the deer raisers have found out, it's an art to raising small ruminants. Take all the old cow info you have and get it out of your head right now. The babies are not pigs, so stop treating them like they are. Less is more. Prevention is key, treating disease is not going to work, and every day of diarrhea means money you will not make, sell all kids with diarrhea the day they get it, they will not grow. Most diarrhea scars the intestinal lining so nothing can be absorbed until it heals and you don't keep them long enough for this to happen.

    Hope even one thing helps. Vicki
     
  19. cjg24

    cjg24 Cindy

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    Vicki is right on the money. I have raised bottle babies and not lost any yet (knock on wood). They need the milk replacer - mix according to the goat instructions using warm water. I feed four times a day for 10 days starting with 4oz each feeding increasing to 9 oz oer feeding. Day 11 I start three feedings a day, 16 oz each time. I order the medication Hoegger Goat supply sells that is a preventative for coccidio and give that according to their instructions.

    I agree with Vicki, they are hunched due to cold. I put a pile of hay under a heat lamp - they will lie close if cold and further away if too warm. Remember they burn sugar when they shiver and you might need to give warm honey water to help with the low glucose. Suppliment with the warm honey water only. They still need the milk.

    I keep my stalls meticulously clean - put all the hay for feed in a feeder, rake and clean twice daily. I put babies in the protected pasture during sunshine times. None of my goats get shots unless injured. None get dehorned. I try to raise them as natural as possible and they are all healthy and do well.

    The big thing is to remember they are just babies. They need food (which includes milk, hay, sugar and water), warmth, love and sunshine to survive.

    Good luck.
     
  20. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    Rob, you didn't say whether the replacer you have the kids on is the same they were placed on originally when taken off the dams. You've really got to be careful on switching replacers or mixing the formula. I lost a kid when I first started in a situation very like yours - the kid died at five weeks in the same manner w/ same symptoms. I'm sure it was the replacer I was using. I have to say, whenever I've bottle fed with non goat milk, the whole cow's milk has worked well.