Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Deborah and all, 

My 5 year old Nigerian Dwarf doe had 5 kids two weeks ago. Mom is getting pretty thin and I've tried supplementing with Kid Milk and the kids felt i was killing them. Now I'm feeding Mom several times a day plus her having hay all the time.  A friend suggested Infamel (it tastes awful to me! ). Any suggestions? 

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A doe cannot feed five kids. I'm honestly surprised you haven't lost a kid yet. That's pretty amazing. It says a lot about the doe's production and the kids' perseverance. I've seen kids give up after a day or two of having to fight with several siblings for those two teats. Here is more info on that:

https://thriftyhomesteader.com/how-many-kids-can-doe-feed/

You need to bottlefeed at least one, but at this point, you will probably have to take the kid completely away from mom to get it to take a bottle. If none of them are willing, then it will be a fight for a few days. Switching to a bottle is very challenging for most kids. So, if you have to take the kid away completely, then it's better if you take two of them so that the bottle baby has a goat friend. Otherwise, they get very sad when you put them back out with the goats because they don't see themselves as a goat any longer.

Sounds like the friend that suggested human formula is not a goat person. They make goat milk replacer, which you can buy at farm supply stores or online, but some people just use whole cow milk from the store. We've used both at one time or another, and I didn't see much difference. I think some people have a negative outcome with one or the other, and they blame the milk, even though the milk didn't actually kill the kid.

Starting with a Pritchard teat is much easier than trying to use a human baby bottle because the Pritchard teat is longer, and you can squeeze the bottle to drip milk into the kid's mouth until it figures it out.

You are in my online course on goat birthing and raising kids, right? There are several videos in there where I show you how to get a kid started on a bottle, as well as how to use the Pritchard teats.

Hi Deborah

I've been raising ND's for about 3 years.  I joined this group a few month ago.  I have a 4 year old doe on her 3rd freshening and she also had 5 but we lost one at birth.  All the babies were really small and we didn't think any would make it.  She is not as attentive as she was for her first 2 birthings.  I won't do into to much detail about our struggles at this point but we do have 2 healthy and big bucks that are leaving in a few weeks.  The other two are not doing so well.  One is half the size of the others(a boy) and the other(a doe) is kind of in the middle for  size and we have been bottle feeding both.  About a week ago the girl started having diarrhea.  The vet said to keep the amount of formula the same but decrease the mix by 50%.  She still has diarrhea.  You mentioned using store bought milk.  If we have to buy milk, we buy it organically or raw.  Can I give raw cow milk to my doe?  



Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

A doe cannot feed five kids. I'm honestly surprised you haven't lost a kid yet. That's pretty amazing. It says a lot about the doe's production and the kids' perseverance. I've seen kids give up after a day or two of having to fight with several siblings for those two teats. Here is more info on that:

https://thriftyhomesteader.com/how-many-kids-can-doe-feed/

You need to bottlefeed at least one, but at this point, you will probably have to take the kid completely away from mom to get it to take a bottle. If none of them are willing, then it will be a fight for a few days. Switching to a bottle is very challenging for most kids. So, if you have to take the kid away completely, then it's better if you take two of them so that the bottle baby has a goat friend. Otherwise, they get very sad when you put them back out with the goats because they don't see themselves as a goat any longer.

Sounds like the friend that suggested human formula is not a goat person. They make goat milk replacer, which you can buy at farm supply stores or online, but some people just use whole cow milk from the store. We've used both at one time or another, and I didn't see much difference. I think some people have a negative outcome with one or the other, and they blame the milk, even though the milk didn't actually kill the kid.

Starting with a Pritchard teat is much easier than trying to use a human baby bottle because the Pritchard teat is longer, and you can squeeze the bottle to drip milk into the kid's mouth until it figures it out.

You are in my online course on goat birthing and raising kids, right? There are several videos in there where I show you how to get a kid started on a bottle, as well as how to use the Pritchard teats.

Yes, you can feed raw cow milk or pasteurized cow milk to goats. They usually do fine on it. If you use raw milk, you want to be sure the cow is negative for Johnes, which can be transmitted to goats.

I don't understand what your vet meant by keeping the amount of formula the same but decreasing the mix by 50%. I hope he was not suggesting that you water down the milk. Did he do a fecal? There are about two dozen reasons why a kid could have diarrhea, and I can't imagine a vet suggesting that you water down milk, so I hope I'm misunderstanding. If a kid is malnourished, they usually wind up with coccidiosis by the time they're a month old (because coccidia has a 3-week life cycle), but there are many infectious causes of diarrhea that could hit a kid that's malnourished.

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