Really odd question: Can you give breastmilk to a baby goat?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Rosarybeads, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    On Saturday our first time Alpine mother had twins, and one was very weak (buckled back legs) from the start, and the other was strong and healthy. Both are little girls, and these are our first babies! They are sooo cute! ;) But in either case, the nanny doesn't have much of a bag at all, and also wasn't letting them nurse, although she did like them. We held her for about a day off an on, and she finally let them nurse on her own now. But they aren't getting enough food, they are always hungry. I did milk a bit of colostrum from a nanny that has plenty & had her twins 8 hours later than the first, and gave that to them, but she is a wild nanny & I can't hold her on my own.
    Last night we came home from Mass, and the litte weak kid had gotten stuck under part of the side wall of the barn (we since fixed it), I think she fell asleep there and then just was too weak to get out. She was barely breathing last night, and I milked the goats what I could (4 ounces), and brought her inside. My hubby and I were up for about 6 hours, with a tiny tube & syringe, slowly trying to get her warmed up and swallowing. She slowly swallowed more and more, and then finally, she raised her head and baaed, and I gave her the remaining 2 ounces in a baby bottle. But I ran out of milk, so I gave her some breastmilk in a bottle :eek: (I am pumping for my baby, to keep my production up, and normally freeze it), and she drank down 4 ounces of that. She is doing great today, and I moved her back outside, and have been bringing out a bottle here and there. The mother goat still has barely any milk, I don't think it is even enough for the one, let alone another. So I was wondering: I have all this frozen breastmilk, I have started giving it to the two kids here and there. Is this okay, is it good for them? They seem to be doing great on it... I know that goat milk and human milk are alot alike.... We also have calf replacer we could use, but it is medicated, and so I hesitated to use it. I believe it is medicated to prevent scours in calves. Thoughts?
     
  2. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    unfortunately no. Human milk isn't high enough in what they need. Go to your local feed store and get Goat Kid milk replacer.

    I use standard baby bottles..what ever you start them on that is what they get used to. (I got tired of them pulling off the goat kid nipples off the soda bottles and I thought is was much easier for me to clean baby bottles vs. soda bottles. Just my preference..besides ... we do not drink soda pop so I was having to beg friends to save theirs for me.
     

  3. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    how cute is that :) i would have done the same. i think it doesn't hurt to give the breast milk. important is that the kids had colostrum. doesn't your second doe have enough milk for the babies? what kind of goats do you have?
    i know it can be a hassle to milk if they don't want to but if you are firm and consistent it will work.

    good luck
    susanne
     
  4. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Your kids will benefit from Bo Se shot or gel I think....weak back legs is selenium deficiency...whole milk from the store will work and I wouldnt worry about mixing some breast milk in if you have surplus! I have used baby formula (left over) on kids with good success..mixed half with goat milk.

    make sure you warm milk to 105 degrees
     
  5. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    The babies did get colostrum from their mother & from wild thing, so I wasn't too concerned with that. She does have enough milk for the babies, at least one more, and my hubby and I never imagined we could even think of milking her, so I was happy to be able to. I need my husband's help, though, and he is only here in the evenings & mornings unfortunately. When can you start regularly milking goats? I am planning to milk her, but I also want to (unconventionally) keep the kids on her, and milk her once a day in addition. When can I start? Anyone know?

    We have one Alpine doe (Alpie), she is the one with the two little ones, and then we have 3 nubians/nubian toggenburg crosses. Not absolutely sure they all are nubians though.

    Hmm, the weak back legs is selenium deficiency? I will have to take a look at our goat/sheep block we have and see what it has in it. The legs are just fine now, so would it still be a deficiency? Thanks for all your help, everyone, you don't know how wonderful it is to have a place like this for wisdom & help. Used to have your neighbors, but nowadays most of the "homesteaders" are newbies. At least in my area! :)
     
  6. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    once the baby's have had their colustrum from mom, you can give them plain milk from th store. vitamin d whole milk works great .and iwould be giving all the babies a bottle, just becaue you say she has no milk.
    and good luck.
     
  7. tduerson

    tduerson Well-Known Member

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    I am feeding a Bottle Baby right now and this is the receipe that I was told to use.

    I take 1 Gallon of Whole Milk
    1 can of Evaporated Milk
    and 1 cup of Buttermilk

    I pour out enough of the Gallon of Whole Milk to make room for the other 2 ingredence and shake it up really good.


    For everyone that says to just use the Whole Milk I wanted to know if that is enough. Am I mix all of this up that is really not needed or is this a good thing. Please let me know.

    Thanks
    Tina
     
  8. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    goats need loose mineral because their digestive system is different to sheep. a block would not be enough. also goats need a lot of copper. too much for sheep.a sheep would die from the amount of copper goats need.
    how are the kids now? still baaing and arching their back?
    susanne
     
  9. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    I've used medicated calf replacer to my kids but I mixed it one part calf replacer to 2 parts multispecies milk replacer. I don't have calves and my DH picked up the calf replacer by mistake and couldn't return it. I had no problems to speak of. The kids that I've bottle fed have grown better, and been healthier, than the kids that are being fed by their mothers in our barn.

    As for the human milk question, I would probably do the same in a pinch. I doubt that the breat milk harmed the kids at all, and may have saved them until something better could be obtained. Humah milk has about twice as much lactose (energy) as goat milk but about a third as much protein as goat milk. Goat milk also has more fat then human milk. In effect, our milk would be like weak sugar water to a goat. Whole cow's milk compares a lot more favorable to goat's milk for kids. Goat's milk has a little more fat. Some people advocate feeding kids cow's milk. Where I live, the milk replacer is less expensive per gallon than cow's milk from the grocery store. The best milk replacer I've tried so far is Superkid.
     
  10. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    Man, thanks for all the answers. Kids are doing better, I have been bringing bottles out to them. I think by what you all said, I will use some of the calf replacer, and some of my milk, or store milk perhaps. I will see what the hubby thinks too. They are still getting a bit of milk from Mommy, but not a whole lot, so the bottles are doing wonders for them. They are not as hunched, and generally better, but their poo is ever so slightly on the runny side, but not enough to be of concern. I will keep a close eye on them. They can't figure out if I am their mommy or the nanny is! :) They sure are cuties, wish I could share some pictures...

    Natalie
     
  11. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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  12. ShadowPhoenix

    ShadowPhoenix New Member

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    I have been searching for goat stuff and am looking to buy goats of my own. When I ran across this I remembered this posting and thought some of you might be interested in it. It might help you in the future.
    http://muextension.missouri.edu/xplor/agguides/dairy/g03990.htm
    From: University of Missouri
    It includes a recipe to help with diarrhea
    Beef consommé — 1 can
    Fruit pectin (Sur-Jel) — 1 package
    Lite salt — 1 teaspoon
    Baking soda — 2 teaspoons
    Water — to 2 quarts

    Make sure the solution is thoroughly mixed. Mix a fresh mixture daily and feed in place of milk. Double the rate you were feeding. Feed as soon as you notice diarrhea. Use for 1-1/2 or 2 days, then return to the regular milk diet.

    After four to six months of age, the kids may be fed a ration similar to that of the milking herd. Good hay and 1/2 pound of grain per day should provide an ample growth rate. Poor hay may require 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of grain daily.

    Shadow Phoenix
     
  13. MamaDee

    MamaDee Well-Known Member

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    Natalie,

    Your story reminds me of when our outside cat had kittens and then ran away for a few days. I sat up with them for hours one night giving them my breast milk out of a syringe! I would have done the same thing in your place. If you have an excess of breast milk it seems to me you could add it in small amounts to whatever method you eventually decide on.

    In fact, we got two month old goats two days ago. Hubby said it was hilarious watching me bottle feed them. I've never bottle fed ANYTHING! LOL! I have four kids (human) the fifth on the way and have been nursing for 10 plus years. DH said it would look more natural for me to just go out and nurse the goats! Funny guy!

    Good luck to you!

    Dee
     
  14. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    i bet the kids would learn very fast where the milk is. lol
    fortunately human babies don't bump :)
     
  15. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    All I can say is,,,,, OUCH!! :eek: :grit:

    niki
     
  16. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Many people use plain whole store bought cows milk with great results. Feed them four times a day to start with the bottles warmed up of course, better a bit too cool than too warm. And yes, you can leave the babies with the mom full time and milk once a day. I do that sometimes with fine results. Then you can wean the babies and milk the mom twice a day. You will not get a lot of milk while the babies are on full time, but they will do fine and you will keep milk production up. Make sure the doe gets plenty of alfalfa pellets to insure she is getting calcium.
     
  17. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm glad the babies are doing better. First of all, I would not feed them milk replacer of any kind, especially one made for calves. They are notorious for giving babies the scours and I've also seen kids bloat on it. I would also not give a goat a scour formula with a beef product in it. If your hubby is available to help you milk the wild doe twice a day, I would mix that milk with whole cow's milk and use it for the supplemental feedings. I raised a pen of babies on a blend of cow's and goat's milk this spring and they are doing just fine. If you do have a kid who has bad scours, a product called Re Sorb works great. I give that in lieu of milk for 1 or 2 feedings and do not feed milk during that period. For babies with cocci or bacterial scours, liquid sulfa works great, followed in an hour by a product called Diarsanyl.
    By the way, do you have a milk stand? I find mine invaluable in training my does to stand to be milked and it's also handy for trimming hooves and other grooming.
     
  18. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I thought this title sounded familiar, and sure enough, this thread was started 16 months ago!
     
  19. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad this thread came back to haunt, I've learned ALOT! LOL.
    I'm glad human babies don't bump too! LOL! :nono:
     
  20. copperkid3

    copperkid3 Well-Known Member

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