Orphaned baby, what to do???

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Spinner, May 22, 2006.

  1. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    I have an orphan that is so young it still has the dry umbilical cord attached. Any idea how old she may be?

    Next question...
    what do I feed, how often, and how much? Do I set my alarm and give night time feedings?

    Sorry if this sounds like some dumb questions. I've never raised a baby goat before so I don't have any idea where to start.

    For tonight I have tried giving her a few eye droppers full of warmed store bought milk. Someone on another forum said it would be okay to give that to her. I also have ordered a human baby bottle from my DIL, should have it tomorrow sometime. But need to get some food into this tiny baby in the meantime so I've been using an eye dropper.

    Will post a pic as soon as I figure out how to post it.
     
  2. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    Well, they can have their umbilical cord for quite a few weeks. So that isn't much help. Did the baby get colostrum from it's mom? If not, it will most likely not survive. They must get that colostrum within the first 12 hours.
    What breed is it? I never feed through the night. I give the last bottle around midnight & not again until around 7:00 a.m. They do not need to eat through the night. I give as much as they will eat 3-4 times a day for the first 4 days & then go to twice a day feedings. For large breeds I give 20 ounces twice a day. For Pygmies I give 10-12 ounces twice a day.
     

  3. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I have six-week-old kids that still have the dry umbilical cords attached so you can't necessarily use that as an indication of age. When you got the kid, was anything said that would tell you how old it was? Do you have any idea if it had colostrum or not?

    You don't need to get up in the night to feed it unless it seems really weak. Is there a feed store near you? The best nipple for a tiny baby goat would be what's called a Pritchard nipple -- the nipple itself is red, with a yellow screw-on lid. It attaches to a pop bottle (though it's hard to wash inside a pop bottle).

    Use whole cow milk for feeding it. There are a couple of things you can add and someone will probably mention them, but that will get you started. Maybe a teaspoon of live-culture plain yogurt mixed into the milk would be a good idea. Don't use kid milk replacer -- they don't usually do well on that, and it's expensive. You can start out feeding warmed milk, then slowly switch to cooler milk, until you are feeding it straight out of the refrigerator in a few days. And by the time it's a week old, if it is doing well, you should be able to have it on two feedings a day. I've been putting my kids on two feedings a day by the time they are three days old, and they do fine.

    I've got to go do some things -- hope this is enough information to get you started.

    Kathleen
     
  4. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    You have gptten soom good tips.

    I feed my babies store bought whole cows milk. I pour it in a bowl and take the chill off in the microwave then pour it in a pop bottle and use a prichard nipple. A human baby bottle nipple works, but the prichard nipple (red and yellow from a feedstore or goat catalog) is better, keeps the baby from aspirating milk into the lungs.

    I start my babies on four feedings a day. Only at night if my baby is sick/weak. Normal babies can go all night without eating.

    Then after a couple of weeks i go to three feedings, then to two. My babies are ten weeks old and they are still on two feedings a day and I will wean to one feeding a day eventually and will keep them on that til they are about 14 weeks old or so.

    Provide hay and alfalfa pellets for your baby to experiment with. it will want something to practice eating on before you know it...no hurry right now, but don't wait forever on it.

    Keep us posted on your little ones progress or problems, good luck!
     
  5. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    We found her by the side of the road out in the middle of nowhere so there was no one to ask for information. Her mothers body was not far away. I'd say the mom took care of her for a short time so she most likely got the colostrum and nursed until today.

    She tries to walk but is wobbly. She's real thin, looks hungry, but I have trouble getting any milk into her. Maybe she'll do better when I get the bottle instead of using the eye dropper.

    She's about 12 inches tall and weighs 3 1/2 pounds.

    To give you an idea of her size, the box she's in is 12" x 16".

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    She is a Boer goat. Three and 1/2 pounds is small. You need to keep her hydrated. Do you know how much you are getting into her with that eyedropper? If she is not peeing regularly, she is dehydrated. She needs at least several oz per feeding.
     
  7. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Can you get a bottle tonight? is there any kind of store near you? This is a small kid and if you are not getting a signifigant amount of fluid down it, I would be concerned. It should be able to walk fairly well and hop around. Kids are shaky for only a short time after they are born and then are pretty nimble, especually Boers.
     
  8. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for IDing her for me. I know we aren't getting enough milk into her. She hasn't peed since she went into the box a few hours ago. Will try to get more milk down her. I'm worried that forcing her to drink from the eye dropper might get milk into her lungs so I'm being very cautious, maybe too cautious. What about feeding her with a syringe? I have a turkey baster that I could also use.
     
  9. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    She was bouncing around when we found her, but seems to be getting weaker as time goes by.
     
  10. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    Can't get a bottle tonight. We are in a very remote area. Nearest store is about 50 miles away. We'll have a bottle tomorrow, I hope that won't be to late. :(
     
  11. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    if a baby aspirates into the lungs, they generally get pneumonia, as you probably know. if you use a turkey baster, you would really have to be very careful. i would worry some about that. Is she taking anything with the eyedropper? Are you measuring it? A baby like that should be gobbling down ounces at a time several feeding a day very hungrily. Measure what she is taking in so you know what her intake is.
     
  12. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    You really need to keep trying to get her to take warmed store bought cows milk. It was hot out today and who knows when she got a good last meal if her mom died. Just give it your best shot.
     
  13. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    I found a small kitten bottle in a kitchen drawer. My daughter is feeding her now. It's so funny, the little darling is trying to suck from the bottle and the whole bottle would fit in her mouth if we let it! She has the idea, but isn't real happy with the tiny bottle. Yes it's working! Keeping my fingers crossed that she'll eat enough to gain back her strength.

    She's took about 1 tablespoon so far. We'll keep working with her trying to get more milk into her.

    Thanks again for all the advice.

    edited to add: just measured her. 11 inches from floor to top of shoulder and 11 inches from chest to butt.
     
  14. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    FANTASTIC!

    I imagine she really needs that milk in her. it might be touch and go for a while since she is a bit on the small size and has been a good while with out food. If she were mine, i would get up through the night and keep putting as much milk into her as I could with that little ktten bottle. If you can get her through this night, and get her to taking the regular baby bottle, which if she has decent strength, she should go after pretty well, then maybe you can breathe easier, just a bit.

    We had a three pounder born, that was 'dead in the sack". She was one of a set of triplet doelings. The other 2 weighed 7 and 8 lbs. I CPR'ed her back to life and it took 5 hours with a hiar dryer and heating pad to bring her temp up to normal. She was unconscious most of that time and floppy. She took way too long to ever take any colostrum, but my husband got 2 oz down her that night. We just knew she would die. She didn't. We kept her in the house for 1 month. She got pneumonia from the milk in her lungs and we had to fight that with antibiotics. That little goat now lives outside with her sisters and is 10 weeks old. She went from 3 lbs to 35 lbs plus. Hang in there, it may be hard tonight, just get some milk into her.
     
  15. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again. We will take turns feeding her thru the night.
     
  16. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Oh, also, i didn't suggest using a heating pad because the little goat is most likely very dehydrated and a heating pad will only dry her out more. The container you have her in is fine. If she starts actively shivering, then wrap her or hold her close. Or heat her box up with a heating pad under it and then turn the pad off. people have killed their little goats with heating pads because it dehydrates them faster than they can take fuid in. I am really praying for you and your little baby goat. :)
     
  17. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Good morning spinner.......just wondering how the little goat is doing. Hope she made it through the night. I told my husband about you and the little doeling, showed him the pics you posted and he became just as concerned as i am. he even asked me a bunch of questions about her. He became very attached to the little one we had in the house for so long, she became "his" baby. Hope all is well. i know the night must have been tough and touch and go. :)
     
  18. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    She made it thru the night in good shape. This morning she drank about 2 oz of warm milk and is now out in the back yard running and playing. I think she will be fine. Today I will get a full size baby bottle so that should help her eat more and easier. The little bottle holds about 2 oz and she emptied it once this morning and wanted more so my grandson is feeding her a second bottle.

    It so funny when I feed her. I hold my hand over her head and she head butts my hand. The tiny bottle has a nipple that is about a half inch long. She gets ahold of it and tries to nurse it. She pee'd this AM so that is good news, also had to wipe her rear as she had a bowel movement. All is looking well. Thanks again for helping me so much last night.
     
  19. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Oh, I am SOOOO HAPPY to hear that!

    To tell you the truth, i was REALLY worried. I was afraid that she may have been already really down and out when you found her along the road, who knows for how long?, and that she may have not pulled through. The fact that she is peeing and playing is great! Keep us posted of any problems.
     
  20. Sweet Goats

    Sweet Goats Cashmere goats

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    Congratulations, You have done such a great job. We are all so glad to hear she made it through the night. Keep up the good work. Do you have any other goats? How did you come across her and her mother? Keep us posted on her progress.