I'm new to this and new to owning goats. I got two baby Nigerian dwarfs on Saturday, last week and they are about 10 weeks old. I noticed that one of them, the smaller of the two had a way larger stomach than the other but being that I was getting them from an old time farmer who has had goats for years and years, I didn't think much of it. Figured if something was wrong or odd about them he would know.
So anyway I've been feeding the goats orchard grass hay, mineral and also oats although they are eating very little of the outs as in I put in a 1/4 of a cup 3x in a week and they haven't finished the last bit of it. Anyway after having them for about 6 days I went out to feed them and noticed that one of them, the smaller had a little foam coming out of his mouth. Then when I got home from work the other one did too but they are acting fine, eating, running around, etc. The next day I checked on them several times and nothing but then the next day, which is today, I noticed the smaller one had a little bit of foam again. I called my friend who is a vet tech and she came over to look at them. She listened to their heart rate, checked their gums, took their temp, etc. And basically she said the same thing, that the one looked kinda fat (bloated) and his stomach was a little hard so she called the vet and he didn't seem to concerned since they were still running around and eating. He just said to remove the alfalfa and get them a bloat block. Anyone else have any other ideas or had this happen?
Sounds like you are getting poor advice. You goats need food. They aren't eating their grain. They should still be getting milk. Never heard of an "bloat block". Worms or coccidia could be a factor. What do they weigh?
Are they weaned or being bottle-fed? Alfalfa is good, but if they aren't used to it, they can get bloaty, so introducing it slowly is good. Have they been dewormed recently? The big round hard tummy could be a heavy worm load. Can you check their eyelids and see if the inside is nice and pink? Up to date on vaccines? Perhaps the oats aren't real palatable to the little babies-are they whole or rolled? They might need some grain in a different form, or if they are not on milk, you could try to get them to take some. If you don't have goats milk store bought cow milk will work well. If they were dam-raised and won't take a bottle, they might take it from a pan-at 10 weeks it would be okay for them to drink it that way if they will.
The foam at the mouth could be from (unsuccessfully) trying to nurse each other and creating foam that way... 10 weeks old? I'd put them back on milk. Either store bought milk or a very good quality (whole milk, no soy) calf milk replacer (not everyone is going to agree with that last suggestion, but since they are already off goat milk now, and eating some solid food, they should be more than fine on the milk replacer and it's cheaper than store bought milk or goat milk/goat milk replacer). At ten weeks I still have my kids on milk or milk replacer and goat pellets instead of whole grains. I usually switch them over to a mixed feed with whole grains when they are around 4 months old.
Bloat block, hmmm, never heard of that either, but I'm guessing it's 'goat block' which is a mineral block. They (TSC for example) sell small buckets with a goat mineral block in them. Free choice minerals would be much better, though. You can buy a small bag of 'goat minerals' at TSC for about $10. Expensive per pound, but since you have only 2 small NDs, buying a 50 or even 25 lbs bag would probably not be feasable. Just have a bit of the goat mineral sitting out for the kids to lick/eat evry day, make sure you don't put out too much and refresh it preferably daily.
Marion Venema, East Leroy, MI
Saanen, LaMancha, Nubians
Also, I'd give them a bit of baking soda. A pinch swiped in their mouth or a bit in their bottle. If they are getting *bloaty* from new food, this will help.
Have they been started on cocci prevention, wormings and vaccinated?
ETA: Welcome to the forum. Just starting out, you've found a good place to be.
Ok, so you said you are feeding them orchard grass hay, minerals, and oats, but then later you mention alfalfa. So are you feeding that, too, how much, and in what form? What were they eating before you got them? I think that they really would be better off, assuming that they are already weaned (since you don't mention a bottle) getting a pellet designed for young, growing goats, than on just plain oats, BUT all transitions gradually with goats, always. A loose mineral (as mentioned above) will work better than a block. Agreed on the baking soda. Have they ever been wormed or treated for coccidia?
Bloat blocks are made by Sweetlix. They are a block of molasses and salt with Polyoxypropylene and polyoxyethylene glycol impregmented...Not what I would choose to feed. They are meant for cattle grazing immature alfalfa fields.
I would start with baking soda also. Nobel Goat Grower R16 or DQ16 is easy to come by and works.
Oregon Coast Range
Working pack goats and experimental pack goat breeding stock.
I agree what everyone said on the feed and "bloat block", etc.
If you suspect bloat, I would syringe some Mylanta down them. Since they are so small, maybe a 6cc syringe. They will start to burp and the distended stomach should go down. You can do this every 30 minutes. However, if it really were bloat, I would think they would not be feeling very well at all.
More details will be needed from you about worming and cocci prevention.
I too agree, baking soda, and a kid growing pellet, I would try a meat goat pellet with rumenisin. They need the alfalfa for the calcium in it so please do not take it all away. And yes the Orchard graas is needed also. There is a ratio that they will need of both in their diet. I would not say that they were weaned too early as we wean at 3 months. I would also do as advised on slowly changing diet, diet is a biggie for growthy kids. Watch what you kids are eating, look in Goat Keeping 101 and find all you can on kid rearing, diet, worming protocol, cocci protocol and everything else you can. There is a wealth of knowledge sitting there waiting for you Hay, alfalfa and a kid grower such as meat goat pellets have raised healthy bouncy goats here.
Welcome to the forum, may you gleen all the information you can!