There is nothing better than a baby goat unless maybe it is two or three baby goats!
It is one of easiest things to prevent. Don’t let your kid suffer from something so easy to prevernt. Once the baby is born dip the navel cord into iodine. This will prevent bacteria from being introduced through the cord. Naval ill can be painful and cause swelling in the joints. Kid may not be able to stand to nurse. It does not however affect their appetite. In bad cases you may see discharge around the navel area. If this happens the kid will need to be treated with antibiotics. By just taking some time to dip the cord you can save you and the kid a lot of grief. They sell special cups to use for dipping the cords. Some breeders have been known to use an old shoot glass to dip the cord into it. Others will use a syringe to drench the cord with iodine. It is also important to keep the area in which the will be born as clean as possible. I use pine shaving is all my kidding pens. Fresh hay or straw will work too.
The first poop will be black and remind you of tar. After the babies begin to nurse, the poop will become a very thick yellow. It is important that the babies butt stays clean. Most moms are good at keeping their kids clean, but sometimes we need to help. If the sticky poop stays on and builds up; the kid could become clogged and he/she may no longer be able to poop. If you have to help mom, you can clean them with a warm wash cloth or even some babies wipes. The poop will stay yellow until the kids starting eating solid foods such as hay or grain. The poop will then turn brown. Will be tiny pellets.
Sometimes the babies ears appear to be floppy. This should correct on its own with time as the cartilages get stronger.If is best to wait to register a baby with this type of ear until you can get a picture of them standing on their own.
Bottle babies are a big commitment. The first few days they will require feeding every few hours. It is like having a newborn in the house. I bring most of my bottle baby inside where it is easier to take care of them through the night. If I am just giving a supplement bottle then I will leave them with mom.
I prefer to use whole cows milk mixed with a can of pet milk. I will dump out just enough milk to add a can of pet milk into my gallon of milk. I use only whole milk. No 2% or fat free. Babies need the calories.
I have used milk formulas designed for goats. They have worked well for me. I do not use any generic formulas.
Day one offer a bottle every 2-3 hours. 1-3 oz is about what they will eat.
Over the first week I will continue with 7-8 feedings per day. They will begin to take a litlle more. By the end of the week they may be up to 6 oz each time.
For the next few weeks I will gradually increase the amount per feeding and cut feedings down to about 4-6 times per day.
I will continue with 4 feedings per day until they are about 2 months old. At this point I will cut them back to 3 feedings per day. The next week I will cut back to 2 feedings per day. Then I will only offer 1 bottle per day. I will then go to 1/2 bottel per day and wean them around 3 months of age.
Of course they will need hay and grain offered to them duing this time. Fresh water too.
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