mother's refusing to nurse

Discussion in 'Goats' started by shorty'smom, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    Is it a common thing for first-time mother's to refuse to nurse their babies? We began raising goats last year and it seems to me that so many of our babies end up being bottle fed by our first timers. It seems as if the Nubians and Saanens are worse about it, though I have had one Boer who decided she didn't want one of hers. I bottle fed it with her milk for a while, and she took it back after a while. I try to leave them alone together for a while, but when I see the mother kicking, jumping away from babies, or downright hurting babies, I pull them off. And how in the world do you begin to gentle those Nubian gals down to begin milking them? They think I'm trying to kill them or something. Only one of them decided she liked standing there munching her corn while I milk away. She gives about a quart a day. she's a first timer too. Anybody got any suggestions for me. Oh yeah, I'm new here. I'm Shorty's mom, he was my first bottle baby. He's a VERY friendly little Boer/Sannen cross Buckling. Perhaps my bottle babies will not be as wild when they grow up?
     
  2. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Bottle feeding future milking does is a good plan to use.....however you can tame these gals....use a hobble and an extra pair of hands...and show them naughty or nice they WILL do what you intend for them to do and always use the same routine once they "get it"

    My bottle fed does are doing Nicely on the stand by the 3rd time milking....and my non-bottle fed milkers get their legs tied a few times before they decide to cooperate....and if they kick I remove grain until I'm done...if they want it they have to stand...

    I think you should be getting more milk...how long ago did she kid?

    You can also put the moms on the stand (locked in) and put the babies on her...3-4 times a day. It may be that that will only nurse in private but better safe than sorry....my girls will all nurse right beside me...I even milk on the other side if just a single baby....

    Patience and repitition....
     

  3. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    My "nice" doe lost her baby about 3 weeks ago. She doesn't have a very large udder, but she milks really easily and it is soft. She gives about twice as much on one side as the other. I have two older Nubian does that kike like anything when I tried to milk them. Their udders got VERY large and distended prior to kidding. For the eldest doe, neither I nor the triplets could get a drop of anything out of her. I massageg her, I tried for days do get anything from her, and only got drops. I bought colostrum replacement and milk replacer, but we lost 2 of the triplets anyway. The second doe seemed to only have milk in one teat. One of her twins died before I realized he wasn't getting milk. I think we got such a good deal on these girls for a reason. It's a shame too, because both the old girls are gentle, sweet does, though they don't like to be milked.
     
  4. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are their udders hard and hot and shiny....thats mastitis and you may need to get meds for them...same ones used for cows..."Today" injected thru teat...

    How old are the old gals.....?

    My gal (nuB) gave a lot less milk last Spring and this winter she died at age 11...we thought she was 9 but she was 11...

    The udders should be soft and pliable like the best leather you could ever buy.

    How much grain/hay/mineral salts/baking soda are they getting?
     
  5. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Forgot to mention that repeated cases of mastitis causes scar tissue build up which reduces milk production in affected section....that may be why you got them cheap....

    Check out other mastitis threads thru the search tool in goat forum....I'm off to work....

    A healthy goat should make enough milk for her kids and possibly extra by about two weeks after kidding.
     
  6. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know they were supposed to get baking soda. I'm fairly new at this. They have free access to a loose goat mineral and native grass hay. They get about a half pound each of 14% crep feed and about a pound of whole corn with each milking. They have 40 acres of mixed native grass/bermuda/tall fescue pasture and woodlands to graze/browse. Plus they have 2 one acre paddocks of winter wheat pasture to cell graze. We have a watering trough with a tank warmer, a small spring fed pond and a clear running stream for water.
     
  7. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    Their udders seem soft, but with lumps. They are not hot or shiny. I think it is scar. My husband bought these the first time he bought any goats. I'm not sure how old they are, but they look older than any of the others that I have. I'm new at goat raising. I've had mastitis myself so I know how serious it can be.

    My "nice" goat (Harriet) had her baby too early. It lived one day. It was just so small. Harriet never seemed to have colostrum, only milk. I fed the baby an instant colostrum. I grew weak, lost it's ability to suck, even when warmed up. finally it died. Harriet's sister (Honey) is the mother I'm trying to milk now. Her twins look good. I got about a pint of colostrum from Honey yesterday and fed it to the twins. Today I'm feeding Harriet's milk to them. Honey goes banannas when I try to milk her. Her udder seems "flat" today. I'd just been milking Harriet once a day, and occasionally other times if she looked really full. I was going to let her dry off and rebreed her, but I didn't want her udder to get congested and ruin. Now I want to keep her going. I'm increasing the number of times I milk her. At first we didn't like the taste of her milk. We got brave enough to taste it again this week and it's great! I can't tell it from cow's milk.
     
  8. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't know where you live i.e. weather conditions, but my gosh, my girls get a CUP of cracked corn each twice a day PERIOD. A pound and a half of grain each twice a day is way too much in my opinion. Milk is mainly produced via roughage and water not grain, grain produces FAT, makes birthing difficult, and hard on everybody. If you are serious about milking and raising goats you may need to learn to cull the non-cooperative girls if you cannot tame them down in a short period of time. You will be just wasting your time and $$ struggling with inappropriate goats for your needs. No one can really afford to breed, feed, and lose kids consistently. Please do some checking on feed requirements and really consider doing some adjustments.
     
  9. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    I give my girls, alfalfa hay, and goat chow. when the yare dry, they get the hay, and then about 6 weeks beofre kidding, the yget the chow back. I start slowely, and then when the ykid they have worked back up to about 4pds a day. the grain does help make the milk, and when yo ucut it out , yu will see a big difference in the milk volume. I also free feed the hay, and the minerals, I use loose minerals by purnia. I have have vry good luck with this. and have had very few problems.
    It sound s like your doe as mastitis, you can get a product called today, use it once a day, for 5 days, on your does, and give 6 to 8 cc's of pen -g, for 10 days.
    some use another antibotic. you can ask your vet as which one to use. sure that the does are milked out, and that thye are kept very clean. I bottle feed all my babies for this reason. I have found that I hav less problems with the does. hope this helps.
     
  10. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Free choice (atall times)baking soda and minerals....and I would suggest probios gel(by mouth)and put some cider vinegar into their water.... about 1 cup to 4 gallons water

    the reason you didnt like the milk at first was because it was colostrum...goats have colostrum up to 7 days....

    You can tell how old a goat is by the number of teeth(large ones) it has...

    checkout www.fiascofarm.com for lots of wonderful goat info.....

    A regular milking schedule and 16 - 18% animal or goat feed would be better than straight corn IMHO on the milk stand

    My pasture will not be green until the end of May...all white...but my hay is high quality green/gray not yellow hay

    Hope this helps!!!!
     
  11. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    I may be off on my weights some. I was just sort of guessing. Volume-wise I'd say it might be about 2 cups of corn. It's chilly and wet here. We've been treating for pneumonia a lot. We've used the new Excenel antibiotic. It worked great where Agrimycin didn't. They get all the water and good grass hay they want. It is green inside the bales. They don't always finish all the grain. The chickens clean up after them. They only get to eat it as long as they are being milked. They were so thin when I got them, and young. I have been worried that they were too thin. They look thin now, but they aren't gaunt like they were. I wormed them well when I first got them. I'm thinking it may be time to worm them again.
     
  12. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    Most of our goats are Boer and Boer crosses. We feed them out and sell them. We also raise stocker cattle so I'm used to animals that need to eat and gain weight phenominally. I may need to relearn how to feed my Nubian girls.
     
  13. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    It does. I've relied on fiasco farms for a lot of information. It's a great site. I really appreciate that one. My old girls have all the teeth. One of my older Boer does is getting really long in the tooth. We call her Granny goat. She is such a good mother though. We don't ever have a problem with her, except that she's a bit bossy at times with other does. She presented us with a quality set of perfect doelings last Summer. She even beats the dog off from her babies. We've got several mothers like that. The dog had better keep his distance.
     
  14. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    My first freshener Alpines were all excellent mothers. My yearling this year might be a bit difficult. All through the year leading up to their kidding you have to do a rehearsal. Get them up on the stanchion twice a day. Go over their would be udders and get them used to being handled and the routine. You should not have any problems when they do kid.
     
  15. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    I'm doing that with my Nubian bottle babies already. I'm trying to desensitize them as one would a horse, so that they are comfortable with me washing, brushing and rubbing them anyplace on their bodies and know that I won't hurt them.

    I have a hard time keeping the routine some weeks. I know that is a big problem. I don't have anybody to stand in for me if I don't get there to milk and doctors laugh at you if you tell them you can't show up for some test, make an appointment, be hospitalized, have surgery and be on crutches for 6 weeks because you have to milk your goats. My husband will feed the adults, but he balks heartily at bottle feeding kids, and refuses to do milking, just as he will not mow the grass, weed the garden nor keep it picked for me if I can't do it. I must say, he actually does have 2 jobs of his own to maintain. I can't really blame him.
     
  16. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is another one of those nation differences again...here we work it like this....we take the kids as soon as they are born and milk the doe to feed the kid. 99% of people here that milk goats do it this way...specially Nubians, I dont know anyone that leaves Nubian kids on their mothers. With my doe I am her baby and to her baby's I am their mother...so everyone is happy. The triplets live with Penny but dont drink from her cos I am the mother...she teaches them how to be goats but I feed them. Nubians here have like 4-5 kids at a time...unbeleivable, God made them with the smallest Udders and they have the most kids....some are such delicate little things too. This is Pennys third kidding and when I got her she was 4 mths into her second lactation....when she had her triplets she also refused to nurse them, because she had never nursed her babies before, apart from that i didnt want her to any way...she cleans them and loves them though. :)
     
  17. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Only a few times have I asked my husband to milk and every time is just shy of disaster...

    The girls wont let down for him....they dont like his singing....and his hands are too big and too slow....

    He loves to watch.....what he cant get done in 30min I get done in 7min.

    Shazza....I had a Nubian doe that was raised and her babies reared the exact same way as you do it and her udder was much larger than any other girl I've seen...she gave a gal. a day of nice creamy milk. Her teats were bigger than my friends Jersey cow teats..... she recently died of old age...but I have two of her daughters that are well-built too but for effiency I am letting them raise there own kids....I may bottle feed one doeling to keep this year to make a gentle milker for the future....
     
  18. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    You are going to be soo much happier when you start milking your bottle raised doelings you have! It's alot faster to start off with someone else's milkers, but kids you raise yourself just can't be beat. They learn your ways, you teach them manners from an early age, and best of all they are dog tame, no rodeo's on the milkstand.

    Milking someone else's goats especially boer crosses that have only known raising kids, is a loosing proposition. If you want milk, and milk for 10 months don't buy someones pets who raise kids and only milk for 3 months. They are accustumed to nursing, they don't hold their lactaion past weaning time at 12 weeks, and since they aren't milked to take out the extra milk the kids do not use, one side dries up, they get mastitis, it's simply not worth it. I would think of it however as a good lesson in how you want to raise your own goats, what breed you want to have etc. Boers are bred to make meat, they have very high fat, low volume milk and only milk for a short while because they are a meat animal. A Nubian is bred for milk with meat production, she easily produces large volumes of milk, in fact so large that in most meat situations, it gives you once again the large volume of milk that dries in the udder if you don't milk it out until the kids have larger tummys.

    In the US, Nubians are of course the largest breed. They have been bred from their old English Anglo Nubian bloodlines to not only have a much prettier look about them in conformation (the rump especially), but a much nicer udder. High production, high butterfat, with a personality only a Nubian lover can appreciate :) We also have bloodlines that give you high multiples, quads in our 2nd freshening 2year olds and triplets in our 1st freshening 12 month olds. But they are healthy and strong, even when weighing 5 pounds.

    The biggest thing is to learn nutrition, it's alot cheaper to feed a good loose mineral, the best hay you can find, then use your grain as a energy and calorie replacement for babies growing quickly from 100 to 150 days bred, and during milking. It should complement your hay, and your hay or alfalfa pellets should be the mainstay of their diet, not grain.

    Learn from someone in your area that is doing what you want with your goats. I couldn't make a profit off goats who where not grained on the milkstand, not only would they not give as much milk, but they certainly would not be in any shape to show. It doesn't take but the loss of one sold doeling to make it worthwhile to worm, vaccinate or change your nutrition. Vicki
     
  19. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the good info. I've about come to that conclusion. I think I've bought somebody else's headaches. I don't plan to milk my Boers but will end up milking some of my boer crosses. I had a Nubian buckling that I wish I hadn't sold so soon. The younger Nubians of mine have really small udders. Do they get lager as the does get older? The older Nubian Does have massive udders, but no milk. Again, somebody else's culls, I imagine. I got a bit more milk from Harriet today, but I had to be gone early this morning until afternoon. I got supplies to work on Honey with at the farm store. I tried to get milk from her. The poor baby is heavily infested with lice. I wasn't aware we had them so bad, and none of the other goats seems to have them quite like Honey. I got medicine for that too. (rest of the herd too, it's time) We treated for paracites just prior to breeding, but don't like to treat during pregnancy. I did'nt get but maybe a dribble of milk/colostrum from her. She tries to climb to the moon on me. I think she just won't let down, but she's not engorged. In fact she's flat as a pancake. She doesn't have the greatest shaped udder, but I was hoping for ability to feed kids. Harriet has a well shaped udder, and good placement, she lets down easy, and milks out easy. She's just not large. Those two older gals look like they maybe gave a gallon at a tme from the size of their udders. Honey keeps close by her babies in the barn. I have them in a room all to themselves. They might be nursing her, but I doubt it. They already know me when they see me. They know milk comes from this thing somehow if they can just butt it in the right place. LOL
     
  20. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    I figured out why Harriet appears to give twice as much milk on one side. That's just it, she "appears" to. I measured. My right hand is much more efficient at milking! LOL It gets more milk per squeeze. I finish one side and move over to strip out the other side then with the right hand. I have some nerve problems and the left hand is weaker. Duh! Silly me.