How much should new baby nurse? Need quick advice.

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Tollhouse, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. Tollhouse

    Tollhouse Member

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    Our nigerian dwarf goat kidded 2 hours ago. She has kidded twice before, but both times her former owner took the babies away instantly for bottlefeeding -- I was a little worried that she wouldn't know what to do with a new baby. But she immediately started licking her kid, talking to her kid, etc. We helped the kid find the teat about 15 minutes after his birth, and he sucked lustily for about 20 seconds. This happened 4 more times over the next 25 minutes. At this point, my instinct is to leave them alone and just watch them from the next stall. The thing is, the mom is so busy licking all the remnants of yuck, etc, from everwhere she's ignoring him (although she still is talking to him and coming over for the occassional lick). I assumed they bonded well b/c of her seeming great interest in him (cleaning, etc.) but now when she lays down, he has no access to her teats, and when she's up and around she just leaves him in the corner and pays no attention to him. Should this worry me? How much should he nurse today? He's just standing their bleating -- but if I urge him under her, he will eventually find a teat w/ me holding her a little. Please reply!
     
  2. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    I am definitely NOT a very experienced person, but our ND doe had triplets and at first they just seemed to sip frequently. I didn't see how they were getting enough, but they are growing by leaps and bounds and are quite healthy and rolypoly. Think how tiny his little tummy is. 20 seconds of lusty nursing probably filled him right up.

    I am sure someone with more experience will post a better answer soon!
     

  3. Tollhouse

    Tollhouse Member

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    The doe is walking all around, giving him an occassional lick, and he's trying to follow her but can't keep up. When she lies down, he tries to nurse but can't find a teat. Can this go on for a while? Or should I make sure he gets on a few times an hour.
     
  4. lazybee

    lazybee Active Member

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    For the first day, we often "help" the babies get on so we know they are getting enough. The colostrum is so important to their development and that comes in the first 6 hours or so. Sometimes we've had to hold legs and such to help the baby get to the teat without the mom walking away.
     
  5. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tollhouse! How is the baby doing today?
     
  6. Tollhouse

    Tollhouse Member

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    Good morning! Mother and son are doing wonderfully so far. Mom looks to be recovering very well from an extremely difficult birth (she actually had 2 kids, but the first was breech and four times the size of the buck who survived -- it was virtually impossible to get him out, and he was already dead, and I was really worried about whether Mom had been injured in the process). She has had quarts and quarts of warm water to drink, and has been enjoying her grain and hay continually all night.

    As for the buck, he is very active. I haven't seen him nurse alot on his own, b/c I've been in and out of the house checking on my own kids, but I have pointed him in the right direction and made sure he has at least a few great sucks each hour. This is our first kidding ever, so I'm glad he's looking so vigorous after the day we had yesterday.

    Thanks so much for your interest. One more question - Mom hasn't rejected him by any means (she licks him every few minutes, and talks to him all the time), but half the time when I check on them they are both resting 4 or 5 feet apart. We've been leaving them to bond except for the times I come in to make sure he is nursing, b/c the Mom is so completely focused on humans (she was a bottlefed baby) I wanted to give her lots of time to refocus on her baby. She seems to want to come out into the pasture and see our other goat. Should I let her out of the kidding stall for a few hours today or wait? Is it normal for them to be sleeping apart half of the time? At 24 hours old, is it OK if he's just nursing a few good sucks every hour? He's definitely favoring one teat -- should I try to help him with the other? Thanks so much for your help!
     
  7. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    Sounds pretty normal to me and I mainly dam raise my nigies. Some are extremely attentive, while others - those moms who were bottle fed I've found - aren't the most "hands on" moms. One of mine who just delivered yesterday even slept in my other minibarn away from her twins last night! But she makes sure they get fed every now and then and they're doing fine. Generally singles tend to favor one teat. You might want to milk out the other to avoid lopsided udder.