a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks

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How to help chilled newborn goat kids

This is for goat people reference only. Don't read it unless you are bored or are preparing for goat babies. Free advice can sometimes be priceless rather than worthless.

OK, and always there will be a really chilled kid born - you didn't get there in time, or whatever the reason...the kid is not suckling and is standing there hunched over and it's very cold out there. Or it is just born very weak and can't get up (you have tried to get it to mom because you have watched the birth and stood there with the mom and the kid(s) but the kid is just too weak.

I won't get into BO-Se shots (for possible white muscle disease) or anything like that right now - but I will get into the need for:

1. Colostrum that you have on hand in the form of "ice cubes" in your freezer - hopefully you have that from your milk goat's first colostrum milkings.

2. Eye dropper

3. Thermometer (rectal)

I have found with these weak babies that if I snuggle them into my lap and have determined they have a temp over 100 degrees (so I know they are not suffering from hypothermia) - I can eye drop warm colostrum into their mouths (toward the back of the tongue) slowly - perhaps 2 oz at first -

and they will gain strength - let them rest after their feeding - and warm up - and when they begin to stand up (you might need to feed once more an hour later - 2 more ounces) - when they begin to stand in earnest and begin to pound furniture with their noses looking for the teat, put the kid out with mom...

Bottles are good, too, with those special nipples - but those are for the more lusty eaters. It was Sandy Sands who taught me (a long time ago) the wisdom of using eye droppers for the really weak ones and I have pulled many severely chilled kids through with the eye dropper and warm colostrum.

Sometimes you have to go out there and husband or child must HOLD the mom while you milk from her teats into a pan, getting that warm colostrum from HER - then bring into the house and feed her kid.

That's if you don't have any colostrum in the freezer already.

I could go on and on, but this is a good "primer" on weak/chilled kids. The basal thermometer will tell you if your kid is suffering from hypothermia. If the temp is 99, then you must WARM YOUR CHILLED KID before feeding. A heating pad is nice to have - put a towel over it, put the kid on the heating pad (medium setting) - place a blanket over the chilled kid. Keep taking temp til kid is 100 - 101 and then feed...

It is recommended that you don't try feeding a chilled kid with hyperthermia - for there is no digestion process yet and it is basically in "coma" -- until warmed to 100 plus degrees...

Tube feeding? Have the little catheter tube sterilized and on hand, but I hate going that route - it is definitely last in my line up of "things to do" to save a kid.

Paula Simmons' book (about sheep and lambs, but it sure has helped us a time or two with our goats) called "Raising Sheep the Modern Way" has helped us dozens of times in our shepherding/goatherding sojourn. Our copy is tattered and worn, but still well used...

Hope this long post helps someone.
Tags: angoras, breeding

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