Questions about bottlefeeding kids!!!

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Tollhouse, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. Tollhouse

    Tollhouse Member

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    My Nigerian Dwarf doe is due in 7 weeks, and I'm trying to figure out the bottlefeeding process. Can the kids nurse the colostrum from the doe and then be removed after a day or so to start on the bottle? Is this too hard on the does and/or the kids? If the doe has 2 or more kids, can I leave one on her to be dam-raised and bottle feed the rest? When I do remove the kids, must they be totally out of earshot/sight from the doe? As you can tell, I'm feeling badly about removing the kids from the doe, but at the same time I really do want to bottlefeed. Any suggestions? Thank you!
     
  2. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    It is easiest to start them on a bottle from the get go. If they nurse mom for a couple of days, you will have a harder time getting them to take to a bottle because of the different nipple & taste. You could leave 1 of the kids on the doe if you wanted, but in my opinion, they are never as friendly as a bottle raised kid. It is also a good idea to keep them out of earshot for at least a week. My does are so used to me taking their kids that they don't even act like they care anymore when I do. :D
     

  3. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I always dam-raise my kids but want the option of moving them to the bottle in case something happens or I want to sell one early. If you've never milked before, and it sounds as though maybe you haven't, you might want to move them onto the bottle after a few days with the dam. Milking twice a day and bottle feeding are a collosal pain and a whole lot of work. It wouldn't be a bad idea to leave yourself the option of letting the dam take care of it for you, as long as she's disease free.

    So here's what I do when I have the time and inclination. In fact, I just did it with a set of triplets that are about six weeks old because of some damage to the dam's udder. It took four feedings before the kids were sucking down their whole ration in one go. Please be aware, though, that this isn't foolproof. A kid may simply refuse to use a bottle until it starves to death. I've never seen this personally, but my friend had a close call once.

    After the first few days, I separate the kids at night. In the morning, I milk the doe and feed the milk back to the kids in a bottle. There are a few things you need to know to make this work. First, the milk has to be the right temperature. I bring a bucket of really hot water out to the barn. Before I give the kids the bottle, I warm the milk in the bucket of hot water until it feels warm on the underside of my wrist. Second, the flow in the nipple has got to be right. The best nipples are amber, like for a human baby bottle, or the Pritchard teat (red and yellow). Both of these types have a longish, pointy thing on the end that you trim to adjust flow. The black Nipples will work, too, but aren't as nice. Buy several nipples so when you mess some up, you still have some to work with. Once you get the nipple so it will flow a little bit, fill it up with water, and try to milk the water out. It should flow similar to a regular goat teat. The Pritchard teat is expensive, but is especially nice because it won't allow enough vacuum to develop to cut off the milk flow.

    Sit on something low, or the stall floor. If the milk bottle drips when you turn it upside down, squeeze it before you invert it and let the vacuum stop the flow. You don't want milk pouring down the kid's throat. Gently tuck the kid in so it can't get away. Soothe the kid until it calms down and accepts being constrained. Open the kid's mouth and put in the nipple. The kid will holler and try to spit it out. Hold his head and keep the nipple in the kid's mouth while he chews and hollers. Until he starts sucking, keep his head horizontal, not tipped up, to reduce the chance of him aspirating milk. You can close his mouth and draw the nipple out to release a few drops of milk so he can get an idea that that's where the milk is. Just keep the nipple in his mouth, unless he starts coughing or shows other signs of having tried to breathe some milk. If the flow is correct, this shouldn't be a big problem, since there will be only small amounts of milk coming out of the nipple. If he just can't get over it and start sucking a little, give him a break after a few minutes and try again later when he's hungrier. With a kid that young, I'd only wait a few hours.
     
  4. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    See, I disagree witht that. While it is a lot of work, I find milking to be very relaxing & I also like to bottlefeed because it makes me spend time with the kids & therefore I can check them to see if they are all acting fine, not scouring, eating well, etc. Things you might not notice as quickly on dam raised kids.
     
  5. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I almost always pull kids at birth and bottle feed, also. The doe I'm milking now, I have to milk three times a day, in order to have enough milk for her twins and for the house (I'll switch them to kid milk replacer after they are four weeks old or so, so I can start making cheese). It is a lot of work, but the babies need the attention, since I've made myself their substitute mom. No baby will grow well without some loving and petting -- remember the horror stories of orphanages in Eastern European countries, where the babies were never held and most of them died?

    I'm using the black rubber nipples for these babies -- I'll probably get some Pritchard nipples when my Kinder doe kids, as her babies will be smaller. But I learned something. Last year when I got the Kinders, the four kids were all at least five weeks old, so I got the black rubber nipples, and bought some soda in plastic bottles so I'd have baby bottles (we don't normally buy soda). I had a lot of trouble with milk leaking during feedings, but it wasn't until I started feeding these new babies a few days ago, that I really looked to try to figure out why those nipples were leaking so badly. Turns out it wasn't the nipples at all. The plastic soda bottles have grooves in the threads, which allows the milk to run right out! I have quite a collection of water bottles, saved for camping and emergencies, and all my plastic bottles turned out to have the same grooves. So, I had to go by some more soda bottles, glass this time (and the soda was so bad we threw most of it out -- Jones brand), and finally am able to feed babies without milk running down their chins the whole time! So, if you use the black rubber nipples -- I wouldn't recommend them for Nigerian kids, which are going to be pretty small, Pritchard would be better -- and you have trouble with leaky bottles, check the threads!!

    Kathleen
     
  6. ursula

    ursula New Member

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    you are smart! ive fed several babies with dripping bottles and a llama. never thought to check the bottle. but from now on i will.
    thank you
    ursula in virginia
     
  7. ursula

    ursula New Member

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    you are smart! ive fed several babies with dripping bottles and a llama. never thought to check the bottle. but from now on i will.
    thank you
    ursula in virginia :worship:
     
  8. Starsmom

    Starsmom Well-Known Member

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    I had the same problem with the 20oz soda bottles. I pulled the plastic ring that stays on the bottle off and brought the nipple down just past the threads and the leaks stopped.