Technique Suggestions Needed: Getting Milk into Orphaned 7wo Kids

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Tricia, May 30, 2008.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia New Member

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    I lost a doe yesterday (I need to start a separate thread on this: she died within 8 hrs of first signs of illness, we have her body down at Tufts for necropsy) who was dam-raising two kids, now just over 7 weeks old. The kids are 40 and 34 lbs, not yet introduced to grain but eating alfalfa pellets, grass and legume hay, and browse strongly. I've just started introducing grain: they're just getting tiny bits twice a day to start.

    They seem to so closely associate milk with the comfort of nursing that milk served any other way isn't worth paying attention to. I'm reluctant to pan feed since I've always heard that milk tends to get into the rumen rather than the abomasum: is this true? Should I try it anyway? Bottling has been a fiasco. Just wean early? We normally let kids have milk until at least 12-14wo.

    Ideas?
     
  2. Kaye White

    Kaye White Guest

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    Trisha,
    This is where perserverance and LOTS of patience come in. Let them skip a bottle-12 hrs. (Some take two skips) then sit down and hold 'em and encourage them to suck from the bottle. Maybe the hunger will entice them to suck.
    If that doesn't work...then pick them out a new momma. Preferrably a gentle, not caring one and put them up to her twice a day.? Also a little vicks on the nose to hide the smell of the other doe will help until they will nurse her readily.
    Kaye
     

  3. Tricia

    Tricia New Member

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    Kaye --

    This evening will be 48 hrs since they last nursed with three go-arounds so far with the bottle (I'm getting pretty addicted to their bottle of milk). They are exceedingly interested in nursing their mother's sister Meg and their mother's sister daughter Clara so I can skip the Vicks. Both does rest, graze, play, and feed at the hay racks with these kids so perhaps I'll encourage two-year old Clara into the nursemaid role.
     
  4. Kaye White

    Kaye White Guest

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    LOL...I know what you mean about the addiction.

    Sounds like the foster mother idea will work better and built in babysitters through the day. At least they'll get their milk until weaning time.
    Kaye
     
  5. Legend Hills

    Legend Hills New Member

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    I hope it works for you. Keep us posted. :)
     
  6. Tricia

    Tricia New Member

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    Kaye -- Thanks for getting the brain cells working. Mission accomplished.

    When I went up for evening chores, my orphans broke out of the herd siesta and came to greet me. So I took them out behind the barn to browse on maple leaves I picked for them. That brought out 2yo Alys, daughter of the Kay --the orphans' mom. While I held a branch down for Alys, the two kids eagerly nursed until they had her udder empty. In her 13 month of lactation, Alys is producing around 8#/day, so that should do. Alys is slightly freaked out (but she's generally been freaked out the last two days about her missing mother), but when I left the barn tonight, she was facing and resting next to the kids. I'll cut some browse in the morning and try the distraction technique again if Alys seems dancey about allowing the kids on.