Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats


I need some help fast ladies. I know its the holiday and maybe I wont get response back but I have to try. 

Two nights ago, I noticed one of my triplets wobbly on his legs. He sways when he walks and holds his head a little lower. Looks weak. I have seen him eat a little hay and minerals, tiny bits of grain. But have not actually seen him nurse lately. They all have been mostly eating hay except they attack her at night when they get put in her house. I've tried to hold the mama during the day and he wont nurse then either but he could have when I didn't see. I tried to give him a bottle, wouldn't take that. I did give him nutri - drench for goats and sheep. It recommended 2 pumps per newborn. I gave him 3 last night and 2 this morning. 

I also have not been able to sit out there for very long periods of time. Had a grandbaby just born and obligations.

If he gets startled, I have seen him run, but usually he is lethargic. He goes for the hay right away though. I feed him a little to the side also. 

Any ideas? 

Could this happen if he ate something he shouldn't like some pipe wrap. I did see a little chewed off the pvc pipe but not who did it, of course.

All other 6 babies are healthy and running around thriving.

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Not sure... I know those things can be symptoms of other things... how are his eyelids? When you catch him, does his tummy feel full? 

How old is he?

Sorry, ignore that. I had a blond moment.

I would check belly for fullness and eyes for anemia as well, like Rachel suggested. Has he had any diarrhea? Has he been on cocci preventative? I'm sorry, there are so many reasons he could be weak, again like Rachel pointed out.

Rachel in Wonderland said:

How old is he?


Sorry, I've been working with him quite a bit today. His eyelids are the same as the others, pink. He took only an ounce of  milk from a bottle today. Ate minerals and 1 pump of nutridrench x 2 ( morning/eve). I saw him jump into the feed dish and ate a little hay. Seems slightly better. Yes his tummy feels full. Oh, and I gave him 2 syringes(12 ml) of water very slowly also. Just to make sure he isn't dehydrated. Not sure how much to give and how often. 

My friend has a selenium gel on order and will give me some when she gets it. She had already ordered. 

No, I haven't used a cocci preventative. What do you recommend? Stool is pellets this morn and evening. 

I read the post of goat polio on here byKolti Ishler. This does not look the same as what was described there.  

There is no need to give him water. A kid that age needs milk. If he is dehydrated, it is because he has not been getting enough milk. Based upon your description, it really sounds like he is not getting enough milk. It can be tricky when you have more than two kids. Unless this doe has a history of producing more than 1/2 gallon at her peak, she may not be producing enough to feed three. And sometimes kids just do not have the personality to fight for their right to nurse on those two teats. It is entirely possible that he can be starving and not wanting a bottle. When a kid has been dam raised, they can be very stubborn about taking a bottle, even if they are in bad shape. We just had a really tough time getting one of our quints to take a bottle even though she was not gaining weight nearly as fast as she should have.

This post explains more about does feeding multiples:

Ok. I have not milked this mom before. She has only raised twins twice.  My other doe has quads that are 6 1/2 weeks old and doing very well. I hesitate to take milk from her but I did milk her once to get this one some in a bottle. He is really not wanting the bottle but he is doing a little better. I saw him drinking the water in the bucket. But I did see him giving up trying to nurse when the others were nursing. I've tried holding her for him but he still didn't try to nurse. Should I try a milk replacer? Don't you think it is strange that it happened at 5 weeks and all of a sudden? They were all so healthy and bouncy. 

It is probably not as sudden as it seems. As prey animals, goats hide their weaknesses as much as possible. When I was new, I had kids "suddenly" go downhill, but now I handle them daily and weigh them when a doe has more than I think she can raise. Had I not been weighing the quints, I would have thought that one of them had suddenly gone downhill, but because I was weighing her, I knew she was not getting as much as her siblings, so it was not a surprise when I walked in there one day and found her laying under the hay feeder without enough energy to nurse when I stuck her under her mother. The only reason I had not taken her away from her mother already was because she would not take a bottle, but luckily she did finally take it.

As I said in the article, there are a lot of things to take into account when a doe has multiples. There is huge variation in the amount of milk that does produce. Some barely produce enough to feed twins while others produce 3 quarts a day, so you can't make any assumptions about what a doe is producing.

It is usually easier to get kids to take a bottle if you are using goat milk because it tastes the same as what they have been drinking. But if you don't have any, you can use either cow milk or goat milk replacer. 

If he is not getting enough goat milk, he could also start to have problems with coccidia or worms because kids rely on the antibodies in the milk to keep them healthy until their own immune systems are mature. If he had some type of disease that was making him lethargic, it would have killed him already. Coccidiosis kills kids via dehydration from diarrhea. Barber pole worm kills them because of anemia. You should check his eyelids. They really should be dark pink or red in a kid his age.

Update: Woody is doing so well today that you cant tell the difference between him and his siblings! I continued the nutridrench once yesterday once today and increased mom's grain a few days ago. The babies are eating a little grain too. Mom seems to not mind too much, lol. I'm so happy! I think you were right on, Deborah! Thank you.

Yay! Glad to hear he is doing better!

Tammy Lee Birrer said:

Update: Woody is doing so well today that you cant tell the difference between him and his siblings! I continued the nutridrench once yesterday once today and increased mom's grain a few days ago. The babies are eating a little grain too. Mom seems to not mind too much, lol. I'm so happy! I think you were right on, Deborah! Thank you.

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