Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

I had a Nigerian dwarf give birth about 40 hours ago. The babies seemed healthy after day one but today the mother has seemed to neglect one for the other. The other was very week and seemed to have little or nothing in its stomach. The mother definitely tends towards the bigger, more healthy sibling, too. Is this a case of an orphaned baby or am I too quick to diagnose?

 

This site is so helpful, thank you already before I even post.

 

 

Jamey

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It could be the case. Check her tummy just behind the ribs, if its soft but a little rounded she is getting enough food.  If the doeling is not getting enough food you may need to milk out mom and feed the doeling with a bottle. I had a doeling unable to nurse in Feb, I thought it best to go ahead and keep her on the bottle. I still think I made the right choice despite her death two weeks later after a seizure. Better to be safe than sorry. If you have to bottle feed her, she will still learn from the rest of the herd how to eat solids. Hope this helps! Good luck!
You can also work with your doe to accept the kid by putting her on a stanchion and keeping her still while the kid nurses. It may be that the kid isn't latching on well... you might be able to get a better feel for that by observing them on the stanchion. (if you have one) I haven't personally tried this, but I have a friend that has, and it worked for her to help the kid get it's strength up enough that it's mother quit trying to reject it.

If the mom walks away when the kids starts to nurse, it could be that the kid is not nursing correctly and is causing her teats to be sore. I have a blog post and pictures here:

http://antiquityoaks.blogspot.com/2008/06/sucking-disorder-in-goat-...

If the kid is not taking the initiative to nurse, it could be a problem with the kid.

I think the kid is lacking his instinct to nurse. I have put the doe in a stanchion and he puts his face next to her udder but won't nurse. I am force feeding him with a syringe. I force fed him milk from the mom Wednesday and Thursday. Could I feed him regular cow's milk now? I haven't yet began milking his mom and it is driving her mad so I would rather let her and the healthy kid be.

 

Thanks again.

I'm not clear on whether or not the kid has received colostrum, because you said he won't nurse and you haven't milked her. If he does not receive colostrum, he'll die. What is driving her mad? What is she doing exactly?
my doe kid was a little lame about nursing, the buck kid had nursed both teats, while the doe was still trying to figure out where they were.  i would do the same thing, i would put Ma on the stanchion, squeeze the teat to get some milk smell and hopefully get some on the kids mouth - agreed the kid will be a little unnerved by you trying to interfere, but maybe instinct to feed will be the driving force.  but i did just keep pushing the doe up to the teat, when mine was learning.  i did notice that if i stroked their sides (?? dont ask me??) their nursing desire increased - vigorously.... maybe they thought it was another kid trying to nudge in.??
This isn't really a reply to this discussion but it does involve an orphaned goat. I have a Nigerian doe, now 3 weeks old, whose mother not only wouldn't nurse her, but seeks her out to butt and bite. She is part house goat now, mom will let her nurse when she is eating on the milk stand, but otherwise obsessively dotes on her son and actively hates her daughter. Because the little girl is tiny (a lb at birth), I don't feel safe keeping her with the other goats without supervision. Has anyone ever encountered not just abandonment, but active aggression from a dam toward a kid?

Did you ever post a f/u to this story? Did the doeling learn to nurse correctly? I need to know the end of the story! 



Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

If the mom walks away when the kids starts to nurse, it could be that the kid is not nursing correctly and is causing her teats to be sore. I have a blog post and pictures here:

http://antiquityoaks.blogspot.com/2008/06/sucking-disorder-in-goat-...

If the kid is not taking the initiative to nurse, it could be a problem with the kid.

sounds like you will be bottle feeding.

Cheryl K. Smith said:
This isn't really a reply to this discussion but it does involve an orphaned goat. I have a Nigerian doe, now 3 weeks old, whose mother not only wouldn't nurse her, but seeks her out to butt and bite. She is part house goat now, mom will let her nurse when she is eating on the milk stand, but otherwise obsessively dotes on her son and actively hates her daughter. Because the little girl is tiny (a lb at birth), I don't feel safe keeping her with the other goats without supervision. Has anyone ever encountered not just abandonment, but active aggression from a dam toward a kid?

just thinking - did you give the kid a little skirt of NutriDrench or Goatade?  it is a great boost for appetite

James Samuel Sturgill said:

I think the kid is lacking his instinct to nurse. I have put the doe in a stanchion and he puts his face next to her udder but won't nurse. I am force feeding him with a syringe. I force fed him milk from the mom Wednesday and Thursday. Could I feed him regular cow's milk now? I haven't yet began milking his mom and it is driving her mad so I would rather let her and the healthy kid be.

 

Thanks again.

If you're asking about my blog post, yes, she did learn to nurse! In fact, she's still here at age three, and she and her mama are very close. I should put a P.S. on the blog post. Thanks for asking!

Jackie K said:

Did you ever post a f/u to this story? Did the doeling learn to nurse correctly? I need to know the end of the story! 



Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

If the mom walks away when the kids starts to nurse, it could be that the kid is not nursing correctly and is causing her teats to be sore. I have a blog post and pictures here:

http://antiquityoaks.blogspot.com/2008/06/sucking-disorder-in-goat-...

If the kid is not taking the initiative to nurse, it could be a problem with the kid.

I would help the baby try to nurse regularly, and see how the mother treats the little one. If she allows it, it may need some help to get going and get in there. I would also give some nutridrench to get the littler one some more energy to get motivated. Unless the mother is purposely not letting that one nurse, I wouldn't say she is an orphan.

Another option is to help her nurse on the mom and then also supplement with a bottle. I have done this until they get established. There is no reason the mom shouldn't be able to feed the two.

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