Hi guys. So our two bottle fed weathers which are being weaned refuse to drink water on their own. They’re down to 4 ounces twice a day of milk replacer. Tried molasses in the water. Tried the sucking finger trick. Any ideas? Were just worried to stop the bottles completely without them drinking from a bucket first. We’re pretty green to goats so any help would be much appreciated.
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Yes- I unfortunately had 2 kids die within a week of each other from lack of water consumption after they were weaned from the bottle before they had learned to drink water from a bucket. They were my first goats, and I just assumed they were drinking the water that we were putting out. I was changing it every day and was not really noticing that they were not drinking. Necropsies showed that they died from dry compacted rumens that were full of food but no moisture. Once we figured out what was going on, we immediately put the 3rd doeling back on the bottle and she is a thriving happy doe today. We bottle fed her until she was about 4 months old, when we were sure she was drinking plenty of water on her own.
I know this sounds weird, but be sure to use a light colored bucket. They are more prone to drink from a container that they can see the bottom of clearly. My goats will rarely drink from a dark container, if given a choice with a lighter one available. Plain water is all they need- molasses is just going to create an environment for bacteria to grow if it is not changed out very frequently.
I need more details. How old are they? How much do they weigh? Why do you say they are not drinking water?
There is NO reason you have to stop giving them a bottle. They are not being stubborn. They are either drinking more water than you think, or they just don't know what to do. You don't need to put molasses in the water or any other tricks.
I'm pretty sure it was Tammy who had a couple of kids die because of weaning in a situation like this (due to bad advice when she was new).
And do NOT under any circumstances put water a in a bottle. Some kids can wind up consuming way too much water in that situation and wind up peeing blood.