Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

I wasn't sure which category this would go in, so I just picked.

I have a Pygmy mama doe who had twins. She is old and didn't have any milk, so I am bottlefeeding the babies. They are 3 weeks old, growing like crazy, and healthy. I have sold the mama and one twin, and they are here waiting to be picked up.

My question is, what do I do with the twin I'm keeping, to make sure she's okay? Should the doe and the other twin stay here for a while longer? I worry about Panda staying warm enough without her mama and brother, and also her getting picked on by the other goats once she's alone. I have a Pygmy/Fainting first time mama who is a terror with the other babies, and in the other pasture I have 4 Nigerian does.

We don't get excessively nasty winters here, but we do get serious cold snaps, and sometimes ice storms and the like. We will have a stretch of balmy 80 degree days, and then will get a cold front with a wind chill of 10. (I'm glad we don't live way up north.)

Any thoughts?

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I would say keep it in at night in a box or big dog cage with blankets for a little while. If that seems over the top, then give him a dog house inside his pen with some blankets or straw in side for warmth. Smaller goats will use this small shelter eagerly. if its still to darn cold maybe add a heat lamp? I wish you the best!


If it were me, I wouldn't remove the mom and sibling until she is 8 or 10 weeks old! She is going to be lonely and sad and if she's alone, and that could easily lead to illness or worse. 

I would keep the mother and twin until the kids are at least 10 weeks old. Of course, after that, you will need to either find another home for the lone kid or get her a companion. Lone goats are miserable goats. They are herd animals and they will be deeply unhappy alone, and very soon you will be deeply unhappy because they will treat you as a playmate and you won't enjoy being head-butted.

I was thinking also that three weeks is way too young for mom to leave baby.  I cannot see how baby could thrive with that sudden, and early, separation, even if there are other goats elsewhere on the property (they will not be kind to baby).  Of course it must be stated that I am still a new goat owner with only two years behind me but I did not even consider selling my boys until they were two months old and waited until three months to actually list them for sale.  The two months was for them, the three was for me.<g>

Diane, I do have other goats, so she won't be growing up by herself.

There isn't a set date yet of when the mama and brother will go to their new home. The buyer is waiting for me to call when the goats are ready. So I'm not trying to ship them off real soon or anything.

So even though the twins aren't nursing on the mom at all, it's still better to keep them all together?

I personally like keeping kids with their mom, even if she isn't nursing them. I had a doe reject one of her kids last year, and I bottle fed him, but kept him with her in the herd. Even though she didn't let him nurse, he did well with her, and was able to be part of the herd without getting hurt by the rest of them. I don't think he would have faired well without being left with his mom. 

That's just my personal experience, anyway. :) 

Rachel Griebenow said:

So even though the twins aren't nursing on the mom at all, it's still better to keep them all together?

I'm sorry, Rachel! I read your post too quickly and missed that part. She probably would be too little to go out with the other goats until she's closer to their size. Maybe after she's about 10 weeks old, you can set her up with a place she and other smaller goats can hide from the bigger one who is aggressive to kids?

No worries Diane! :)

I was hoping she wouldn't be too young cause I kept hearing all this stuff about people who bring home very very young bottle baby goats. It seemed like that would not be good to do. But I didn't know if it was just me not knowing how the goat world works.

Hopefully my buyer will be amenable to waiting that long.

Well, so much for THAT idea. Now I have two lone kids. I just lost their mama this afternoon. I found her off by herself, quietly moaning, grinding her teeth, too weak to get up. I got her into the shed, out of the 11 degree wind chill, but she died just a few minutes after I found her.

I am sick over this. She was a $25 yard goat, not one of my fancy Nigerians, but I feel horrible that I didn't see that she was having problems. She acted all right yesterday, coming in to eat, and hovering over while I fed her babies. If I could have done something to help her... But I don't know what I could have done. Here begins the cycle of self blaming.

However, I did call my vet and he thinks from my description it was either just old age, or possibly cancer that we didn't know about. I will not blame myself. I will not blame myself. I'll just go and bawl my eyes out.

So the two bottle babies are mama-less. When I go out for their night feeding, they are usually dog-piled with the other 4 babies, with the mamas in a ring around them, so it seems like for sleeping they'll be okay. But now they won't have their mama. :'(

Oh MAN!! Hugs, Rachel... I'm so sorry. 

Oh sooooo sorry Rachel! Hugs to you.

So sorry Rachael!! Poor babies!

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