HELP! Doe won't let newborn kids nurse!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by greenfamilyfarms, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    I have a first time mama that had kids last night. I was leaving for work and I saw what appeared to be a white grocery bag out in the pasture, but then it got up and started stumbling around! So I threw the car in park, ran out in the pasture, picked him up and took him inside to warm him up.

    He warmed up quickly and keep trying to nurse everything - me, my dog, the kitchen table leg...

    So, I woke my husband up and we went outside, held the mama goat down and helped the little guy eat. While he was eating (with me wrestling the mama), my husband went looking around the pasture and found another cold, wet baby - this one a girl.

    So, ran back into the house, got the towel and dried her off and got her to eating, too.

    We let the mama go after the babies had eaten all that they could. She backs up and butts them when they try to nurse. They cry and cry and she doesn't seem to care.

    What should we do? Should we still try to get her to take the babies by forcing her to feed them? Or should we just break down and bottle feed them?

    I must mention that the mama is a bottle baby herself and is rather clueless about what she needs to do.
  2. Biddieacres

    Biddieacres Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Oh my gosh what a worrysome ordeal you went through. There are a few goat experts who I know will help you. I am not an expert but bottle feeding seems like a really good idea.
  3. abluechipstock

    abluechipstock Songster

    Jan 13, 2009
    fort ashby, wv
    you can try penning her up with them for bonding time and supplement them but if she doesn't want them i'd milk her out for the colostrum and start the bottles, it'll be less headache and worry just to start bottle feeding, i have a doe that had twins her first time, then her second she had them and walked away, so i'm wondering what she'll do this year, we'll see in a few days, good luck
  4. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    In case anybody is wondering why we didn't have her in a kidding stall -

    We are opting for the "natural" process. They do have a shelter to get into and the kids have an igloo dog house.

    When I get home today I'm going to try to isolate her with the kids and she how she does. She is so confused!
  5. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Free Ranging

    Oct 16, 2008
    Milk her out with the kids in close proximity. bottle feed the kids with the milk.. when she becomes accustomed to your milking her, and while you are milking her let one of the kids suck on one of the teats.. gradually increase the process and eventually she might accept them both at one time..

    right now,her teats might be tender and a little tight and sore..

    good luck
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    When we've got a cow that won't accept her calf, we generally put her in the head gate and put the calf in with her so she has to let them nurse. Sometimes once the calf sucks it triggers something in mama that she'll accept the calf other times it takes many times of shutting them in together before she'll willing stand and let them nurse.
  7. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Some caprines just reject their offspring. We had a ewe who threw triplets every very year and every single lambing she rejected them. And subsequently every single year we lost three lambs.

    I'd milk her myself and bottle feed the kids as much as you can. especially for the first couple days, they need all the antibodies they can get. They have save-a-kid that you can use obviously...

    I'd have to say at this point that shes probably just not going to take them. She left them in the field, and isnt interested in them after you've forced her to nurse them. But who knows... maybe another day of trying will turn her around.

    I agree with the headstall idea from katy. If you can confine her and tie her she might eventually get used to nursing, especially if she can experience that endorphin rush a few times.
  8. Thunderhill

    Thunderhill Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    North Alabama
    squirt some of her milk on their heads. then put them all in a stall and let them be, but watch them.
    If she still doesn't let them nurse I would hold her and MAKE her do it 4 or 5 times a day...usually by the third day she will welcome them.
  9. spook

    spook Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    North Central Florida
    If anything like dairy cows, often the surges in hormones will bring them such fear (no Lamaze classes) and then that ripping pain of birth and their milk coming in, it could be registering as fight or flight. Probably with the kids grasping the teat and bunting her bag makes her want to run...I would- lol.
    So much luck to you and the babies- hang in there, but I'd hobble her or head tie her like others have said! Oh, and also its nature at work, just because she is bottle fed wouldn't mean her off spring would be- does it?
  10. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    Going today after work to get some Sav-A-Kid. Do you think they got enough colostrum, or do you think I need to pick up a pack of that, too?

    Shame on me for not being prepared. The other doe is so excellent with hers, so I just didn't go get any milk replacer and such. I should have known better!

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