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Handling newborn goat? Mother rejection?

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  • Handling newborn goat? Mother rejection?

    So goat had an adorable baby. I don't think the new mother was being attentive to her little one, but I don't know anything about baby goats. The day the kid was born the weather turned bad ie cold and drizzling and even though the kid was under cover friend and I wanted to put baby inside their shed, which we did. Took a minute to take photos of friend holding baby - then into the shelter baby went - bedded down in hay- which also kept her mother closer to her.
    Subsequent days the mom not taking care of her baby. It is now being bottle fed. I hope our handling the baby was not harmful in regards to the mother not caring for her kid properly. Thoughts please. I am worried and feeling guilty.

  • #2
    Go to Homesteadingtoday.com. They have a goat board with wonderful people who would be willing to help you.

    Is it her first time? Some goats don't always make good Moms their first time around and might need a little help.

    I have read that you can hold the goat and force her to let the baby eat. After a day or two, she will hopefully start taking care of it. Sometimes they don't and you just keep forcing her to stand still for nursing or milk her and bottle feed the baby.

    How long has it been since she gave birth? You are sure she doesn't have more in there? Goats often have more than one baby.


    • #3
      dacasodive has made some good points.

      What kind of goat is the mom, a pygmy, dairy or meat goat??? Do you know how to milk her out??? Is the doe eating and drinking?

      I doubt your actions contributed to the doe not being a strong mom. If you can get the kid to suckle she may put two and two together. Otherwise bottle feeding a kid isn't a big deal and is actually a lot of fun. We always bottle fed our kid goats.


      • #4
        We have had good luck by bottle feeding ONLY mom's milk to the kid. When it starts to come through she seems to recognize it as her kid.
        If you feed other milk or milk replacer then chances are pretty slim that she will accept the kid.

        Don't feel guilty, you handling the kid has nothing to do with the Mother not accepting it.
        You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


        • #5
          Handling the baby had nothing to do with mom's care. We had 9 babies (from 5 moms), and I 'handled' each one as it was born - partially dried, syringed out nostrils and dipped navels the instant they came out, then after letting mom lick throughly, weighed and gave an imumo boost shot immediately after each baby stood and nursed for the first time. All the babies and moms bonded well. Sometimes (especially the first time) a mom just doesn't 'get' it.

          Confine them together alone in a fairly darkened, small stall area(no bigger than 6'x6'), and since goats are strongly motivated herd animals, the odds are that they'll go ahead and bond. It is also possible to make a 'stanchion' with wings (just big enough so she can't see what's going on behind her) to confine the mom's head (with a bucket of feed to keep her busy) to allow the baby to nurse. You might have to hobble her to keep her from kicking, if so just use a piece of soft rope above the hocks. Chances are, the relief of having the milk pressure reduced will go a long way toward her accepting the process. If you do this, and have only one baby, be sure to milk out the other side at least once as well. (use the milk to bottle feed the baby - to give it a bit of extra while the learning process takes place) Once the mom's milk works it's way through the baby, it will smell right and she'll usually accept it just fine. (this is also the way to 'graft' a baby on a different mom by the way).

          On the other hand, she might very well be a goat that never gets it, in which case unless you want to bottle feed every baby she has (only worth it if she's a milk goat or produces exceptional kids) you might consider just not breeding her at all.
          "The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear" ~ Socrates


          • #6
            Many times with a new mom we had to hold her and then let the kid suck, several times before she took over and let him on her own. One time my pygmy doe, Thystle had FOUR baby goats. Vets said this was quite rare. They were soda can size with little itty bitty legs. Cutest things you ever saw. Much smaller than normal. One died at one week old.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks replies. Doe is first time mom - miniature. Pet. You can only imagine how cute they are. BO took the baby home to his farm to care for. I have not been able to go to the barn past days, so I don't know anything. I hope the little one is ok. Hopefully can find out tomorrow and hope is good news - but I have a bad feeling about it. The day I saw the baby it did not look "right" - not very active. I don't know how hours-old kids are supposed to act.


              • #8
                Originally posted by grayarabs View Post
                Thanks replies. The day I saw the baby it did not look "right" - not very active. I don't know how hours-old kids are supposed to act.

                They really aren't all 'that' active the first day - they'll stand, (sort of) wobble around a lot, shuffle over to mom, wobble away, shuffle back over, try to suckle on virtually any part of mom they can get their nose to, and sleep. About half way though the 2nd day, they're beginning to get a bit more coordinated, but still not really active, mostly figuring out what those stilts attached to the underside of their bodies are for and how to get them to move in the same direction. They'll begin to explore their stall, but not by bouncing around - rather they get pointed in a direction and that's the way they go. By the third day, they are beginning to act like everyone's impression of a baby goat, you see the beginnings of bounce, the first uncoordinated attempts to move faster than a shuffle, and the start of intentional exploration, but they'll still sleep quite a bit. From about day 4 on, it's all activity interspersed with eating and sleeping with the proportions of each activity changing daily (more play/eating, less sleep).
                "The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear" ~ Socrates