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New to having goats and two of the 3 yearling does we purchased came pregnant. (We were very surprised to discover this.) The first one gave birth to twins about 14 hours ago. Mama is being really good about taking care of them but neither are nursing. We’ve tried holding them to her teats, bottle feeding, getting our fingers wet... The little doe tries rooting around and will take the nipple in her mouth but won’t latch on. The buck won’t even take it in his mouth. I’ve managed to get about 5cc’s down both of them with a syringe but we were all soaked by the end of it. I’m really worried about them. They are standing on their own but are really wobbly and can’t walk more than a step or two. I’ve tried repeatedly to feed them and though they will suck on my finger for a second, anything with milk is a no go. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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It's been a few hours since you posted, so maybe they've figured it out. In case not and it's been 4 hours, you may be running out of time to get colostrum into them. If this is the case, you may choose to bottle feed, at least colostrum. I have approached this situation two different ways over the years -
1. Decide to make them bottle babies permanently. Milk Mom out. Put milk into a bottle (if you do it right away, no need to heat) but if you delay, it needs to be heated to Mom's temp. Feed via bottle. This can be messy and challenging, but eventually they will take the bottle.

2. Decide to bottle feed colostrum and continue to work with them to latch onto Mom. Milk and feed as above, but in between, put them on Mom. Keep them in a fairly small enclosure so they don't wander off. In my case, Mom calls out to them and will even nudge them onto their feet when she feels they need to eat.

I personally have never had to tube a baby. I have the equipment but have never had to use it (thankfully).

Hope when all is said and done, your babies have latched onto Mom and are doing well.
 

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It's been a few hours since you posted, so maybe they've figured it out. In case not and it's been 4 hours, you may be running out of time to get colostrum into them. If this is the case, you may choose to bottle feed, at least colostrum. I have approached this situation two different ways over the years -
1. Decide to make them bottle babies permanently. Milk Mom out. Put milk into a bottle (if you do it right away, no need to heat) but if you delay, it needs to be heated to Mom's temp. Feed via bottle. This can be messy and challenging, but eventually they will take the bottle.

2. Decide to bottle feed colostrum and continue to work with them to latch onto Mom. Milk and feed as above, but in between, put them on Mom. Keep them in a fairly small enclosure so they don't wander off. In my case, Mom calls out to them and will even nudge them onto their feet when she feels they need to eat.

I personally have never had to tube a baby. I have the equipment but have never had to use it (thankfully).

Hope when all is said and done, your babies have latched onto Mom and are doing well.

Thanks for the reply. We’ve managed to get them to take about 1/4 - 1/2 cup each. They just don’t want to cooperate. They’ll suck on a finger but won’t take the bottle or latch on to mama. If we dip our fingers in the milk they don’t really want them either.
They are trying to suckle the doe but won’t latch on. Even helping by putting the teat directly in their mouths doesn’t work.
The crazy thing is that they aren’t acting lethargic or slowing down any.
 

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Don’t touch their heads or even the front half of their bodies. It overloads the senses. Get another person to direct the kid with a hand cupped under the kid’s butt.

You patiently put the orifice end of the teat touching the kid’s mouth and wait patiently while it roots around.

This works immediately after the kid is born. I hope you haven’t missed the window of opportunity on imprinting.
 
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If they do not learn to suckle pretty quickly, you will find you have bottle babies, whether you intended to or not.
Can you set up a trail camera to see if maybe they are nursing when no one is around? If so, it may explain why they are resisting the help.
 

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The crazy thing is that they aren’t acting lethargic or slowing down any.
They must be getting something then.
Do you have them confined in a small area to themselves?
(By small I mean 4' X 4' or so.)
That prevents the doe from walking away, and keeps the kids from wandering too.
 
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They must be getting something then.
Do you have them confined in a small area to themselves?
(By small I mean 4' X 4' or so.)
That prevents the doe from walking away, and keeps the kids from wandering too.
They are in a 10x10 horse stall in the barn. Mama is good about not walking away when they are trying to nurse. They just can't/won't latch on. I'll put her nipple directly in their mouths with milk on it and they'll move their heads and try to suck my fingers. The little boy has eaten about half a cup of store bought colostrum replacer but isn't interested in any more. His belly is still round so I've relaxed a bit about him. The girl just won't eat. I got about 2 tablespoons in her and she spit it all back up. She's gotten very lethargic. I managed to get a small amount of honey water in her hoping it might rouse her a bit. So far no luck.
Bill is meeting the livestock vet at another farm to get some selenium shots and a few other things. I'm hoping the vet will show him how to tube feed as well. She's breaking my heart.
 

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Good luck with them.
 

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You are too close to their face with your fingers. They are confused.

Yes, it’s a challenge to hold the kid’s fanny, support the teat so the kid ONLY sees it, etc.

Tube feeding is good at this point. Or bottle feeding.

What nipples are you using for the bottle feeding attempts?
 
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Best ever.
Those are the nipples we're using.

The vet gave Bill a selenium shot for the boy and some sort of "cocktail" mixed with hers. She gets her shot 3 days in a row.

I used a syringe to feed her this last time. (No needle, just the tube part.) She took 1.5 cc's ok, but the energy it took to swallow wore her out. She couldn't swallow the next little bit. Yay for the small victory of 1.5 cc. I guess we'll just keep trying the syringe every 10-15 minutes until the shot and the sips of milk start kicking in.

As for tube feeding, our vet is against it. He says it massively affects their ruben later and starts a whole new round of issues. So we keep on with where we are and pray.

Thanks for all the help and well wishes.
 

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Humans have been tube feeding goats for a century or so. Their rumen isn’t developed yet.

Ah, well.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
We lost the baby girl around 8. I've been working with the boy since then. We've got him in the house. He's in a blanket laying on my chest. I'm giving him a syringe every 10-15 minutes. He seems like he's getting stronger. He's fighting me to not take the syringe now. I'm going to keep to this schedule until 11:30-midnight then give him 30 minutes and try the bottle. I'm really hoping to pull him out of this.
 

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Tractor Supply has feeding tubes.
 

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The little boy passed at 2:45. He seemed to be getting stronger then went down hill fast. Now I need to know the best way to dry out the mom. Since she is so young we want to wait until she kids again before milking her.

After this I pray our other girl”s baby(ies) have no issues. I don’t want to have to go through this again.

Thank you everyone for your help.
 

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I am sorry you lost your kids.
 

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Sorry you lost them.

The best way to dry her off is feed nothing but hay and don't milk her at all unless it's needed to relieve pain from an overly large udder. If that's the case, only milk out as much as needed.

Keep plenty of clean bedding available to help prevent mastitis
 

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Jhean, I tried to send you a private message, but I think your settings won’t let you receive messages.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Update:

Urd quietly (read sneakily) had her baby today. We were away for a couple of hours this afternoon and came home to find a bouncing (literally) baby girl. She appears to be in good health and thriving.

She is also more than twice the size of Dandi's babies. This makes me wonder if they were premature which is why the weren't able to nurse.

Anyway, Urd and baby seem to be doing great. Thanks again for the help.
 
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