Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Today was kidding day to the 9th power.  I have 2 adult does, bred, and 1 yearling, probably bred for May kidding.  This is my first kidding, and I did not know for sure when the does got bred, but  I thought not until Dec. when I turned the buck in with them, just prior to our 6 wk FL trip.  Came home, and both does where definitely bred, but thought they had several weeks yet to go.  This AM I went out to chore at 7:30, and the black doe, Cleo, was lying down with a little mucus showing.  So quickly did the chores, turned the others outside, and moved her to a seperate pen.  Called Deborah (previous owner) and sounded like things were going fine.  I stayed with her, and she was progressing slowly.  Around 11:00 I saw one hoof showing; it went back in.  At 11:45 nothing else had happened, so I called Deborah again, and she said that was not good news.  To make a long story short, I eventually was able to pull 2 female does.  Both were alive; one very weak.  My husband had called the vet, and he actually came rather quickly.  He pulled 2 more.  They were all very mixed up and Cleo was having a really hard time.  Two more little girls.  By this time it was mid afternoon.  I was talking to Deborah, heading to the house for something, and I see the other pregnant doe outside in the lot with 3 kids!  She had been crying all morning while I was in the barn, but I just thought she was missing Cleo, and I was way too busy to check on her, not thinking she was due yet.  Well, she has 3 live babies, 1 female and 2 males, and she also had 2 dead ones, since I totally neglected her.  What a day!  But, Cleo is weak in the back end.  She is totally exhausted; has got up briefly to drink, but she just spreads her back legs out and her bag drags on the ground.  I hope she will be better tomorrow.  My daughter and granddaughter came over, and Cleo's babies have been fed with eye droppers all afternoon and evening.  3 are doing pretty well, but 1 the smallest a just over 2 lbs. has not stood up yet.  I have milked Cleo with the Henry milker and by hand, as I can't get them to nurse with her lying down.  Actually, my granddaughter rolled Cleo over on her back and I milked her by hand with her upside down.  She didn't seem to mind.  Taylor took a video of that.  I brought the little weak one inside tonight.    Thankfully, Bonnie's bablies are doing fine; everyone has heat lamps and lots of straw. I want to say a big thank you to Deborah for her help in guiding me while pulling the kids, and answering all the questions I have had.  Deborah, you are the best!  If any of you experts have any advice, I am ready for it.

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Quick update/question:  Bonnie's triplets are all doing fine at 4:00 AM today.  I weighted them and they are 3 lb 8 oz, 3 lb 10 oz, and 4 lb 1/2 oz.  Cleo's quads - weak one I brought in house is a little stronger, but not up yet; 3 in barn are hungry and doing well.  They are much smaller than the others with the smallest 2 lb 3 oz (weak one).  My problem is Cleo isn't up much yet.  She tries, but she is still weak.  Yesterday she had a lot of thick yellow colostrum, but today there isn't much at all.  I tried to milk her at 4:00 but didn't get much of anything. Got to find some milk replacer soon  this AM.  From this forum it sounds like Save a Kid is a good one if I can find it, don't buy multi animal replacers, and possibly use whole cows milk from the store?  How much should I give them?  I do not want them to get the scours!   I will keep trying to milk Cleo, and I just hope she is soon up and better.  She at least was showing a little interest in her kids this AM.  PTL Bonnies babies are doing well without much attention.

I have no advice for you about bottle feeding but I hope I never have that kind of day during kidding. Hope all are doing well

Glad everything worked out for you.  I also have no advice this is my first kidding season! Good luck and can't wait to see pictures of the babies...

I am by no means an expert but, I got save a kid at Tractor Supply.  Our vet also carries it so maybe yours does too.  I always try to get some for kidding season, just in case. 

Wow! Bonnie had some huge kids for quintuplets! I don't think we've ever had a 4# kid even with quads! I don't think I'd be too worried about them. I am so sorry to hear about Cleo. I'd give the vet a quick call and see what he says. Check her temp and make sure she doesn't have an infection. Did he give her a shot of antibiotics before he left? He should have if he had to go way up in there and untangle kids. Does she seem alert and eager to eat if you put food in front of her? Is it just the fact that she can't stand? I'm worried about the no milk. That does not sound good.

With newborns, you can pretty much give them as much as they'll drink five times a day. They don't usually drink that much. I should say that I've never had a newborn drink so much that they gave themselves scours. Usually they only take 2-3 ounces at a time in the early days, and I gradually increase it, but hopefully Cleo will be on the mend soon, and you won't have four bottle babies on your hands!

Okay, I messed up!  In my tremendous rush yesterday to get Bonnie/kids inside I barely glanced at what I took to be 2 dead kids; actually one was afterbirth.  It was a ways away and I didn't check it out until this morning.  Sorry about that misinformation.  I hope my weights are accurate; I am using my kitchen cheese making scale, and putting a big pan on it, but the kids don't want to hold still, and it was fluctuating a lot.  Bonnie's babies did not want to be weighted.  So I will reweight them soon.

 

I asked the vet yesterday to give Cleo a shot of antibiotics, and he said she just needed a tetna shot.  I told him not to give her anything that would hurt her, and he said it wouldn't.  I was wondering why he wouldn't give her an antibiotic, but I was so busy trying to get/keep kids breathing I didn't ask.  She is eating, keeps her head up and is alert.  Just weak, mostly in back end if she stands, which isn't often.  Her temp a little bit ago was 100, and I know that is a little low.  I called the vet back and told him her symptoms and he said she needs a shot of calcium.  Dave is picking it up now; 50cc's.  He said to give it to her just under the skin in the neck area in several different places.  Does that sound like something I should do?  Got a little bit of cholstrum out of her and gave it to kids, and topped them off with kid goat replacer.  They loved it and all are eating well.  No I don't want 4 bottle babies!  Thank you all for your help and support.  As soon as things calm down a little I will get pics.
Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

Wow! Bonnie had some huge kids for quintuplets! I don't think we've ever had a 4# kid even with quads! I don't think I'd be too worried about them. I am so sorry to hear about Cleo. I'd give the vet a quic,k call and see what he says. Check her temp and make sure she doesn't have an infection. Did he give her a shot of antibiotics before he left? He should have if he had to go way up in there and untangle kids. Does she seem alert and eager to eat if you put food in front of her? Is it just the fact that she can't stand? I'm worried about the no milk. That does not sound good.

With newborns, you can pretty much give them as much as they'll drink five times a day. They don't usually drink that much. I should say that I've never had a newborn drink so much that they gave themselves scours. Usually they only take 2-3 ounces at a time in the early days, and I gradually increase it, but hopefully Cleo will be on the mend soon, and you won't have four bottle babies on your hands!

WOW! You sure have had quite the first kidding experience! When I messaged you earlier I hadnt seen this post! Everyone will get things ironed out. It was hectic for everyone with or first kidding exp. Don't blame you not wanting bottle babies! I did that with my first 4!   You, momma and kids will get it all ironed out  :)

Low temperature at kidding normally means milk fever, more accurately called hypocalcemia. A low temperature can also mean a goat is dieing. That's where I screwed up with my Viola that died two days after kidding this January. I couldn't find my thermometer when she first got sick, and by the time I got one, her temp had started to fall, so I thought hypocalcemia rather than infection. All day long I was injecting that poor goat with calcium, and she wasn't improving at all. By evening she was dead. I had her necropsied, and she had pneumonia and sub-clinical mastitis, either one of which could have killed her, and antibiotics might have saved her. If you just stick a couple clean fingers into a goat, it's not a big deal, but if he had his whole hand in there and was re-arranging kids, I wouldn't rule out an infection.

When you do the calcium injections sub-q, you don't do more than 10cc per injection site or you could wind up with nasty abcesses, so you have to split up the injection into five places. She should improve after the injections. If not, I'd go for antibiotics.

Location doesn't really matter as long as it's sub-q. Being a small goat, I can't imagine injecting in five different places on her neck. You will probably need to do it a couple more times today. You can do it over the ribs and belly too. It just needs to be sub-q.

You are all so wonderful!  Thank you for the kind thoughts, encouragement, and advice.  So far, so good.  I don't know if the little one will make it or not.  She is in the  house, and still doesn't stand.  I wrapped her up and put her in a little tote bag and she is currently sleeping on my husband's chest.  Cleo has had her 50 cc calcium, and she hated it.  We did it in 2 settings, about 4 hrs apart.  Thanks for your help, Deborah.  I really don't understand why the vet didn't give her an antibiotic shot yesterday.  If she isn't much better in  the morning I will pursue it.  Maybe pics tomorrow.

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

Location doesn't really matter as long as it's sub-q. Being a small goat, I can't imagine injecting in five different places on her neck. You will probably need to do it a couple more times today. You can do it over the ribs and belly too. It just needs to be sub-q.

Just curious and maybe I missed it in an earlier post but did you give the little one anything to maybe help perk it up??

Keep an eye on her temperature. If it keeps falling, it means her body is shutting down, and I'd start her on antibiotics.

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