Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

One of my quad boys has scours. He is 13 days old. I have been trying to get three of them onto bottles to give mom some relief and in order to sell them. Two boys were fine and latched well. This guy thought I was killing him. I separated him and another boy so He would be hungry enough to eat. I think I overfed him the one time he latched on. Anyway today he is inside and on electrolytes(Bounce back) for 24 hours. He hasn't pooped yet today but I am hoping for no scours tomorrow. We are far from any stores to get any other supplies which is why I went with electrolytes.  He still isn't wanting to latch unto the pritchard nipple...any ideas?

When he is out of the playpen he is active and running around as well.

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Seems like it's pretty obvious that the scours is stress related... so I wouldn't be worried about the scours due to illness... Pepto works well to firm things back up too. However, if you aren't sure the scours are from stress and could be from actual illness, Pepto will only cover up symptoms, not treat the cause... I usually treat once with pepto, and it's always been enough to get things back under control. If I ever had to treat more than once, I'd probably start treatment for Coccidiosis. The thing that kills in coccidiosis is the dehydration, so my theory is that treating with pepto helps keep that from happening and gives me some time to figure out what's wrong. (to be clear, I don't think your baby has Coccidiosis.)

If two kids will take a bottle, I'd just go with them and let the third one back on mom. If she is nursing less than two, her production is going to be pitiful anyway. I have never given electrolytes to kids. If you overfed him, that would correct itself by you simply avoiding milk for a few hours. I've only overfed kids once, and they bounced right back with no problems other than a very messy back end. I would definitely NOT not feed a 13 day old for 24 hours. That sounds dangerous. A kid that young really needs protein and calories and everything that is in milk. In other words, I would give him another bottle about six hours after the last one, but only a few ounces. You didn't say what his weight was, but if he weighed 5 pounds (60 ounces), I'd only give him about 2 ounces for the next feeding. Then I'd put him back with mom after a 3-4 more hours.

When a tick rudely woke me up on my neck at 3:45 this morning, I had an epiphany about your post. I was assuming you were giving the little guy goat milk. However, there is a big difference between goat milk, cow milk, and milk replacer. If you switched him to another kind of milk, that could caused the scours also. If you are feeding goat milk, he should not have been taken off of it. Kids gain several ounces a day the first month, and they need lots of protein, calcium, and calories. However, if you were feeding milk replacer or cow milk, he should be switched back to goat milk because it is the easiest to digest, and then you should mix it with whatever you switch him to.

I do have a ton of experience with getting dam raised kids to take a bottle because we do milk test, and the kids are away from mom for 24 hours when we do that. After having a few harrowing experiences that kept me awake at night, I no longer test does that have kids less than 3-4 weeks old, and then it depends on the kids and how big and healthy they are. You can get the majority of kids to take a bottle, but it's those few that refuse that made me feel like a very bad goat mama. I also don't switch kids to a bottle simply because a buyer wants a bottle baby. I came very close to having a kid die once, and that was more than enough for me! I beat myself up for days.

My little guy is doing great today. I have been feeding only goat milk as we are overflowing in milk here and I haven't had time to make any milk products.  He is eating a bit of hay and grain as well. 

I weighed both boys this afternoon . The bigger one, who scoured, weighed 4.5 # at birth and now weighs close to 9#.  is little brother, the fiesty one, weighed 2.5# at birth and now weighs a bit more than 5 #. Both are active and today there is no scouring at all.  Thanks for thinking about this even though it was too early in the morning to be awake!

That's excellent! Can you imagine doubling weight in only two weeks? It takes human babies months to double their birth weight!

Jan said:

I weighed both boys this afternoon . The bigger one, who scoured, weighed 4.5 # at birth and now weighs close to 9#.  is little brother, the fiesty one, weighed 2.5# at birth and now weighs a bit more than 5 #. Both are active and today there is no scouring at all.  Thanks for thinking about this even though it was too early in the morning to be awake!

That is great Jan. I am so glad you posted your weight gains because I was wondering about that the other day. I decided to weigh Marleys Twins because I was sure they had grown a lot. Sure enough at two weeks they had doubled and I sure hope they slow down just a little. I don't want them to be grown by the time they are a few months old.

Don't worry about them growing up too fast. It is normal for livestock to double, triple, quadruple their birth weight really fast. In fact, an ND goat should go from 2-3 pounds at birth to 20 pounds or more by two months of age. That's 10X increase! And I like them to be 40# before I breed them.

Margaret Langley said:

That is great Jan. I am so glad you posted your weight gains because I was wondering about that the other day. I decided to weigh Marleys Twins because I was sure they had grown a lot. Sure enough at two weeks they had doubled and I sure hope they slow down just a little. I don't want them to be grown by the time they are a few months old.

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