Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

We had our first kid born last night!  He was a singleton buck and is the cutest little guy we've ever see.  The delivery went well and was very quick...or at least it was a lot quicker then I was imagining it would be. 

Our doe is a FF and was very uncertain about her baby.  She was aggressive toward him at first and it has taken some getting used to him.  She is letting him nurse mostly on the right side.  If he tries to nurse the left teat she kicks him off.  I'm thinking she is going to get mastitis if she isn't nursed on that side...is that possible?  Should I be milking the left side, if the kid isn't?

I'm also curious as to what shots you recommend for kids and when to give them?  I've also read about deworming the doe after kidding...would you recommend that?  I did give her some probios today just to keep her gut in check.  

Thanks for any input :-)

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Congratulations! I hope things have improved this morning. Many first fresheners are not so sure about mothering and/or nursing. We had one last week that loved the idea of licking her babies, but every time one tried to nurse, she'd kick it in the head and take a step forward. We gave her feed to distract her and would put our hand in front of her leg so that if she kicked, she was less likely to actually kick the kid. Within an hour or so, she had decided nursing was okay, and by the next morning, the kids had gained 8 ounces, which is phenomenal. Some first fresheners may take a bit longer to figure it out, but most do.

Yes, you should always milk a side if a kid isn't nursing. Otherwise, you could wind up with a doe that had only one side working. We learned that one the hard way! Many years ago we had a doe that had only one kid, and when the kid was a week old I happened to look at the doe from behind as she was walking away from me, and it looked like the had one teat! I knew she had two, so I was completely freaked out. When I looked more closely I realized one side had completely dried up already, and the tiny little teat was flat against her abdomen, so she had a rather large udder half that filled up the whole udder area. It looked like she had one teat in the middle of her udder. The udder was completely ruined in terms of appearance, but the other half did work the next year when she freshened. The one side was quite a bit smaller though. Mastitis is always possible in a situation like that but not as likely as a lopsided udder.

I don't recommend any vaccines, but CDT is the only one routinely given. It is usually given at one month and two months of age. 

You should never deworm any goat as a matter of routine because of the problem with dewormer resistance. People who do that are unaware of the most current research on this subject. If the doe becomes anemic (has low FAMACHA score), has low body condition, gets diarrhea or starts pooping like a dog, gets bottle jaw, or any other symptoms of a heavy worm load, she should be dewormed. Here is more info on dewormer resistance:

https://thriftyhomesteader.com/dewormer-resistance-in-goats/

If you have my book or are in Goats 365 or Goats 101, there is a lot of info on parasites.

Thank you for your response, Deborah!  I just purchased your book, I'm really looking forward to diving into it when it arrives!

The doe I wrote about previously is doing fantastic.  Her little buck is nursing like a champ on both sides now.  I did end up milking her a bit to give her some relief.  And I haven't vaccinated, thank you for your input on that too :-)

Last night we had triplets from our other doe that was expecting.  They weighted 3.1 lbs, 3.2lbs, and 2.13olbs...so all good size.  We've been watching closely to make sure they all get their fair share of colostrum.  In your experience, do you think our doe could feed all three by herself or would you anticipate us needing to bottle feed one?  I just want to be prepared!  And if so, would we milk the doe and give that in a bottle or is it possible to milk our doe that only had one kid and give it to one of the triplets (or is that a bad idea)?  

Thanks in advance!!!

Congratulations! If the doe with triplets is a yearling first freshener, the odds of her making enough for three is pretty slim. I'd weigh them daily to see how they're doing. They should average 4 ounces per day, meaning that if they gain 3 ounces one day, I expect them to make up for it and gain 5 ounces the next day, or vice versa. 

You really should be milking the doe with a single. Otherwise you wind up with a very fat kid and a doe with a low milk supply. You can absolutely use her milk to feed one of the triplets, if needed. You might start milking her now to get ready. You can keep the milk in the fridge for quite a few days. You can also freeze it, although it gets tiny clumps in it if you freeze it. Lots of shaking or putting it in a blender can get rid of the tiny lumps. They will clog up the nipple otherwise.  

Our doe that had the singleton buck is now not letting him nurse and is acting all out of sorts.  I can't figure out what is going on with her.  She has been a great mother so far (other then her initial annoyance with him) until we let her and her buck out today to meet our other doe with triplets.  Now she won't let her baby close enough to nurse, so we have to hold her while he nurses.  We separate the does with their babies at night and had the hardest time getting the doe in her stall tonight, she did not want to go in with her baby, which is not typical.  Any thoughts?  She's just not acting like herself.  I've been milking her 3 times a day with not much success.  She really doesn't like it and she only produces about 1 oz each time I milk her.  Maybe she's mad about that and is taking it out on her baby?  I'm at a loss as to why she's acting so strange...

If she was upset about you milking her, she would be giving you a hard time -- not the baby. 

Don't worry about only getting one ounce. You're still learning, and so is she. Just do the best you can. 

As for her behavior, goats can be funny animals. They definitely have a herd hierarchy, so putting her back into the herd forced her to find her place again, which can be harder for some goats than others. She may be feeling picked on by the other goat, which could distract her from mothering. How is she today?

She's doing pretty good toady!  Still not back to herself and prefers to not be super close to her baby.  She is letting him nurse without intervention from us, so that's good.  Today seems like a turning point after the whirlwind of a week we had with the deliveries and new babies.  It's a learning process for all of us!

The doe with triplets seems to be producing enough for all of them.  They are all gaining weight.  We are offering a bottle 3 times a day just so they are familiar with it in case she doesn't produce enough with they get older.  They prefer to just chew on the nipple though.  

Their cuteness makes everything better!

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Be sure that they are averaging 4 ounces a day. If they don't gain that much, they will be much higher risk for coccidiosis in a few weeks. About 2 weeks their demand may outstrip her supply. It's not unusual for them to be clueless about the bottle if they're nursing. Good luck! Keep us updated!

Melissa said:

She's doing pretty good toady!  Still not back to herself and prefers to not be super close to her baby.  She is letting him nurse without intervention from us, so that's good.  Today seems like a turning point after the whirlwind of a week we had with the deliveries and new babies.  It's a learning process for all of us!

The doe with triplets seems to be producing enough for all of them.  They are all gaining weight.  We are offering a bottle 3 times a day just so they are familiar with it in case she doesn't produce enough with they get older.  They prefer to just chew on the nipple though.  

Their cuteness makes everything better!

Thank you!  I am so grateful for this community you have created and will definitely keep you up to date because I'll probably have more questions :-)

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