Sunday, March 8, 2009

Really worried

I'm really worried. Orion didn't take his afternoon or evening bottles. He showed no interest at all. I need reassurance or advice. He is with Aurora all the time, I guess he could be nursing off of her, I haven't seen him do it though. She's never nursed a baby and he never nursed from his mom, so it seems unlikely to me. He isn't acting hungry, I don't think. Shouldn't he be crying and trying to nurse everything if he was hungry?

At the place I got him from he was drinking milk from multiple goats mixed, maybe he doesn't like the taste of Aurora's milk? Should I try again later tonight, maybe with cow milk? Should I separate him from Aurora for the night to see if he eats in the morning? I'm really not sure what to do. What should I be looking for to see if something is wrong? I'm really stressed!!!


Melody said...

Don't feed him cow milk!

If worst comes to worst you can buy milk replacer at the feed store.

Or maybe go back to where you got him and buy some milk from them, but it seems strange that he wouldn't just drink your goat's milk.

My babies were sucking at my fingers and butting the bottle and being frantic when they were hungry, so it seems strange that he won't nurse.

Maybe he *is* nursing from your milk goat. He would be able to smell the milk, and she is available...

Be sure and warm the bottle; some babies are picky.

Is he trying to suckle from the bottle at all? If he tries and gives up, maybe the hole needs to be bigger.

I didn't read your last post, so I'm going to go and see how old he is and read all about him and maybe come back and add something.

JLB said...

It couldnt hurt to try and seperate him for the night either. Other than that I second what Melody said.

Melody said...

After reading the last post, I would bet that he is nursing off of the milk goat.

I would suggest that if he is nursing off her that he is played with a lot by you and Logan to make up for the missed bonding time of feeding time.

The last kids I got were bottle fed by us and they like us a lot. The previous kids nursed off of their mama and were anti-social.

Watch Orion's belly. A baby's tummy will be kind of distended after eating. If he looks thinner, that would be a sign that he isn't drinking off of Aurora and that something is wrong.

Good luck!

Melody said...

I just read JLB's response, but I wouldn't separate him from the milk goat at night, simply because she will keep him warm. I would separate him during the day, if you wanted to try that.

If you really don't want him with the mama goat though, you might want to think of getting a second kid to keep them warm...but then the mama will cry for company.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like he's nursing off Aurora. Which might explain why she hasn't been giving you much milk, too.

Babies learn quickly where they can find milk. Aurora smells like warm milk and if she is full of milk she would let Orion nurse off her.

I agree that it wouldn't be good for either of them if you separate them. The baby is too young and goats need a buddy. Is it possible for you to get another bottle goat?


Zachary and Jennifer said...

Does he seem otherwise acting normally? Maybe it wouldn't hurt calling the people you got them from and ask them some questions?

I agree with the other comments, if all is normal, maybe he is sneaking feedings from Aurora.

I hope he stops worrying you soon! I hate it when animals act differently and you don't know why.

Good Luck!


Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

no worries, he is nursing off Aurora.

only a problem if he was acting weak.

Dianne was bottle feeding SweetPea, once here, SweetPea nursed off June and Clara. 4 teats and no competition, she's one big girl.

Gail said...

Sounds like you have the answer. Good Luck!

Christy said...

I don't mind if he nurses off her, I just want him to be ok. He isn't showing any interest in the bottle at all. He is acting normal, so I'll try not to worry. I'll keep a close eye on him.

Melody - I've read many things that say cows milk is better for goats than milk replacer. I'll try goat milk again in the morning and see if he is interested. He isn't acting hungry so I guess he is probably eating.

I did read that if they are "backed up" they won't eat. This article suggested an enema.

I did email the woman I got them from and she thought he might be nursing from Aurora. I sure hope so! Maybe I should stop milking her twice a day?

Jennifer said...

If you are concerned about if he is getting enough to eat you can go ahead and weigh him now and continue to monitor his weight gain by weighing him once a week. That will help tell you how he is doing.

A kid that has nursed well will have a full belly. I gently pick them up just barely off the ground for a few seconds with my hands cupped under their stomach to feel how full it is. It shouldn't be bloated but they should feel like their belly has something in it, a fullness. A kid that is not nursing will have a stomach that feels empty and hollow.

If you feel he might be acting off in some way it never hurts to take their temperature, just to be sure they don't have something going on to cause a fever or sub-normal temp, but if he is active and not laying around or crying he very well could be nursing from your doe and that would explain why her milk production has dropped.

Pamela said...

It wouldn't hurt to give him an enema just to be sure. With the change in location and milk and all, he may well be stopped up a bit.

I also have a theory about lambs that may well apply to goats, too. Keep in mind that this theory is very unscientific as it is based on a sampling of only 4 lambs.

Maa-Maat was raised from the moment she was born by humans (mother was very ill and died a few days after her birth). She started clicker training before she was weaned from the bottle. She loves clicker training and loves learning new tricks.

Merlin, the black welsh mtn sheep was bought after he was weaned. He has no desire whatsoever to learn tricks and can't even seem to get a good grasp of the basics of clicker training.

Rachael (jacob lamb) was also bought after she was weaned. Like Merlin, she has no interest whatsoever. (Well, Rachael being Rachael, she's just flat out scatty brained so that could be a contributing factor.)

Happy Jack (southdown) was brought here very shortly after weaning--a matter of days. He knows the basics of clicker training, but so far has only shown interest in learning one trick--jumping up on the bale of straw. He doesn't seem to be able to make the leap from one trick to multiple tricks. It's as though his mind has snapped shut at the one trick.

My theory (based on a very small sample and not scientific in the least) is that sheep's brains seem to freeze up after weaning. It's as though they are open to learning anything--including learning how to learn--when very young. After weaning, this ability to learn fades extremely rapidly. If they haven't learned how to learn by then, they aren't open to learning new things.

(Sheesh....probably way more information than you wanted, huh?)

Anyway, the reason I'm boring everyone with all this is that with your little kid, I think you should really work hard, hard, hard on getting him to learn to learn right now. If this means separating him from the milk goat, then get another of his buddies to keep him company. The most important thing is that he spend huge hunks of time with you and Logan before his brain hardens up.

It also wouldn't hurt to start introducing some clicker training at this point--will make it so easy to get him ready for the show ring. (Let me know if you want some clicker tips...sheep should work like goat, right? LOL)

Again, This just my little sheep theory and may be 1) totally wrong and/or 2) not applicable to goats.

FarmHouse Style said...

Hey Christy. Sorry that I can offer no practical advise on the matter but major Kudos for all your hard work and effort.

Sounds like the ladies who have commented are very knowledgeable and full of good wisdom. All I know is that animals can be very adaptive especially when they are young and I would bet that he is nursing from Aurora.


Melody said...

I'm surprised about the milk replacer. I've never heard such a thing, but *have* heard that cow milk is so different that it could produce scours. If you do think about milk replacer, make sure it is formulated for goats. It will say so on the label.

I'm not sure about the enema thing. Usually babies die of scours, not constipation. I wouldn't try an enema unless such a thing can't be helped. I would guess that he is pooping just fine; I'd be surprised to find out differently.

Good luck!