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New Alpine twins won’t nurse.

1684 Views 21 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Caprice Acres
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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That's wonderful news!
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yearling does can milk just fine. All my girls kid out at around their first birthday, and are bred their first fall at about 70% of adult body weight (80lbs, at about 7-8 months of age) Milk her if that is your goal. With good management and care, she'll keep growing just fine. They don't and shoudln't look like mature 4 year old does at a year of age, doesn't mean they can't be functional by 1 year of age.

As for kids - colostrum, colostrum, colostrum in the first 2-4 hrs is absolutely critical. Even if you dam raise they need checked on as often as bottle kids to ensure they're EFFECTIVELY latching. I hate prichard nipples, have a few different kinds on hand to switch between. Tube feeding is a good skill to have so have your vet or an experienced mentor teach you. I sit on the ground, cross my legs behind their butts with them facing me between my legs, cover eyes with my left hand, and offer nipple with right hand. They should nipple search if not too far weak. Put nipple in mouth over tongue and away they go. Before tube feeding, ensure they are 101* and if need warming, rub karo syrup on gums every 15 minutes until warm. Tube feed a full dose of colostrum (minimum 10% of body weight - I usually give 8-10 oz for full size kid) if warm and can stay upright/sternal (to prevent aspiration). After that, feed smaller meals (usually around 8 oz every 6-8hrs) regularly. Once clean, dry they should stay warm if well fed.
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