HELP! My goat won't drink the bottle!

chivas_bonitasMay 16, 2007

I just got 2 nubian baby goats. One is about 2 weeks old and drinks the bottle perfectly after the first 3 feedings. The other goat is 4-5 weeks old and still isn't understanding that the bottle is food and not a torture chamber afterI stick the bottle in her mouth and she just bites it or holds on to it, a little gets in her, but not enough. I heard Kyro syrup on the nipple helps, I'm gonna try that tomarrow morning. I talk softy and nuzle her and stroke her and tickle her tail when I try to feed her, and she still won't eat! I have even sang to her! I guess that i might need to be more patient, I mean, I've only had her for 3 days, but she has not got it. I am still going to stick with it, but do you guys have andy tricks? She seems active and eats her grain and hay and grass that is growing in her fenced area, but she won't take the bottle! I know i have said that like 6 times, but, i am a bit concered for my Lily!

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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

I'm not a goat person but a few things occur to me.

How was she being fed before you got her? If she was bottle fed, check with the person who sold her to you and find out what's different. Different formula? different type of nipple? different temperature? etc.

If she was nursing, she may be having trouble adjusting. If you have extra nipples, you could slightly enlarge the hole in one to see if that helps. Don't overdo it, though. The karo sounds like a good idea.

Good luck. Hope the goat people on the forum chime in with better advice.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 9:51AM
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Is that kid right off the doe? 5 or 6 weeks old may be a bit late to make an easy transition from mom to bottle.Why not give it hay and some ration? Do you have pasture to let it out on to graze? Tom

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 9:52AM
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Hey Chivas!

skagit goat man asked good questions. My experience is limited, as we started our kids bottle feeding at birth. Here is a web site through which you can contact a really neat lady in our dairy goat club. Her name is Hughlene Dunn and she knows her stuff. You could also ask her for Georg Ann Mundis phone number. Georg Ann is the president of our club, a retired veterinarian and raising LaManchas full time now. Between these two ladies we have always gotten the help we need. Our youngest daughter loves calling them both.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 12:57PM
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At that age, she should be drinking water... perhaps put some milk in a bucket for her and let her drink it that way. Also, put her on creep (pellets). That will give her the extra nutrition she needs in addition to the alfalfa.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shari's Gone Country

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 1:14PM
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yes, the kid was right off the doe. i put some karo syrup on the bottle nipple and she sucked down an ounce while sucking the syrup, but then wouldnt suck anymore. Yes, she has a pasture to graze and eats her hay and grain. She drinks water also. I put the bottle in her mouth today, and she let it sit there and have the milk drip slowly into her mouth and then drank it. She drank about 1 oz doing this b4 she pulled the bottle out of her mouth. I suck it back in and got her to drink 5oz. Today, she had a total of 8oz. I also tried pan feedin lily, but she just sniffed the milk, took one sip, and didn't touch it 3 hrs later. I read that goats rumens aren't fully developed till 12 weeks of age, and that they still need milk, but i dont know...what's ur guy's opinions on that? THANKS!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 10:33PM
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How does the kid look and act? Are its sides rounded out like the other, is it active and playful, is its coat sheen good? If the animal looks and acts OK I wouldn't worry about it. The rumen is developed by eating forage and sounds like this is happening with hay and pasture. Everything may just be OK. Tom

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 10:17AM
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YES! THAT BABY NEEDS MILK! Yikes. Not to worry you, but she absolutely cannot just live off hay/pellets/water until she is at least 2 months old.
It sounds like you have done everything you can to get her to suck. I would keep working on her every day to try and get her to suck (keep doing everything you have been) but she also needs to have that milk in her tummy- even if she doesn't suck it.
Call your vet and ask if they have a small animal 'tuber' or a sterile catheter and a 60cc syringe. Basically, you are going to 'tube' the milk straight into her stomach so that she is nourished until she gets the hang of sucking.
Once you have it, hold her between your legs firmly and hold her head in one hand. With the other hand, put the tube in the right side of her mouth and gently start sliding it down. You will be able to feel it going down her throat.
She is not going to like this! You have to keep a good grip on her or she will struggle free.
Listen to the sound that the syringe makes when you have it in her (oh yeah, make sure that you have the plunger part out before you put the tube in her stomach). If it sounds like air is coming out of it when she screams, DO NOT put milk in! If it sounds like that, pull it out and try it again.
Usually it (the syringe) will make a sound every once in a while that sounds kind of like gurgling. That is normal.
Once you think you have it in, go ahead and pour the milk in the syringe. You should give her about 16oz. in the morning and 16oz. at night.

Good luck! I sure hope she starts sucking for you soon.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 7:03PM
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Chivas, how's the kid doing? Tom

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 9:02AM
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If you have never had someone show you how to bottle feed you may find that you need to change the position you use, when holding the bottle. With goats you need to hold it high enough so that they have to tip their heads back when they drink. Otherwise, if you hold it too low, they can get milk down the wrong tube. Also, be very careful not to get milk up their nose when presenting the bottle to them. Nubians seem a little more tolerant of this "abuse" :) but I imagine some individuals are less tolerant. We have a doeling who, with the slightest bit of milk in the nose, would stop eating and refuse the bottle. We had to be very careful with her and sometimes feed her away from all her companions (all bucks/wethers) who were more boisterous.

Katherine's advice sounds very good.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 9:22AM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Is the doeling drinking water from a bucket? If she is, is there any reason why her milk can't be fed from a bucket?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 7:14PM
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Lily (hte goat that wont drink) is still not drinking. We bought her grain and hay and she has gained weight and chews cud. She is playful and happy and i have even taught her to come and to "jump on the milk crate". she plays with dahlia (the one that drinks and is younger) and my dogs and me and everybody! she will follow you around the yard and seems fine. she is drinking water from a bucket, but when i put milk in a pan, she sniffed it, licked it, and didnt touch it like 2 hours later. if she's gaining weight and is active, does she still need the milk?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 11:03PM
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Glad Lily is doing fine. I've found that if a kid is active and is eating ration, hay and grass that it's doing fine. At 5 weeks old you have to keep your eye on them but if they seem OK they probably are. Enjoy her! Tom

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 9:07AM
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