May 30, 2013

Ziggy and Company

The first couple of days have gone well enough, but not without problems. The day after Ziggy gave birth, she still had not passed all of the placenta.

One day old.

The youngest, a little buckling. 1 day old. 

Some things I feel confident to manage on my own, but a retained placenta is not one of them.

Firstborn, a little doeling, 1 day old.

2nd born, a buckling. 1 day old and looking for something to eat (yes,
he's at the wrong end but this is something they eventually figure out)

The vet was able to pull out quite a bit more. Ziggy didn't have a fever, which is good, plus she's till eating and drinking water.  The vet sent me home with oxytocin, to stimulate the contractions needed to expel the rest of the placenta. We also got a week's worth of naxcel injections, an antibiotic for which there is no milk withdrawal.

My other concern has been whether or not they are getting enough to eat. I made sure each of them latched onto a teat right after they were born, to get a tummyful of colostrum.

2 days old. 1st outing.

However, Ziggy's udder never got very full. It's also very saggy and low to the ground, adding the additional challenge of finding it! Fortunately I had some colostrum in the freezer, and was able to offer some to each kid.

The little girl seems to have caught on to nursing, but the boys, not as well. Baby goats do not instinctively know where to find milk. They have the instinct to suck and they know mom is the source, but finding that teat with its reward of rich milk is a hit-or-miss learning process. I frequently try to guide each kid to a teat, but for the boys, there doesn't seem to be enough to satisfy them.

1st chicken sighting

So I've been supplementing with a bottle. I started with 100% colostrum and have gradually been mixing it with some of Surprise's milk. The transition from colostrum to milk varies, most say in about a week.

Meeting Lily's twins for the first time. The twins are 3 weeks old. Lily
& Surprise were put in the adjacent field for the babies' 1st outing.
Surprise has been pretty mean to the twins, so I don't quite trust her.

The doeling seems to be getting enough of mama's milk and refuses the bottle. The boys, on the other hand, latch on to it with great vigor. My concern is that they will now think of me as their source of food, rather than Ziggy. If she was producing more, I'd insist they go to here. But I can't have them hungry, so after they get what they can, I give them the bottle. Hopefully her production will pick up if they keep nursing her dry. I'd love for her to be able to feed them all.

After every great exploration comes a good nap.

Bottle feeding is more work, of course, but it's just one of those things. And I have to admit, bottle feeding a baby goat is a pretty sweet experience.

Ziggy and Company © May 2013 


A. Wright said...

Yes, it certainly adds to the chore list and is a big time consumption, but holy moley..could they be any more adorable? *swoon*

Sorry to hear it's been a little bumpy on the road the past few days, hopefully smoother days are ahead.

Tombstone Livestock said...

Hmm, looking at them and their ears are you sure these are not Elvis babies?????

Michelle said...

I agree with Tombstone; those ears tell me they are half-Kiko kids. All the full Nigie babies I've seen are born with smaller, pert ears:

Rachy said...

What cuties they are :) x

Leigh said...

April, it's the cute factor that makes it all okay. :)

TL and Michelle, before I took Ziggy to the vet I recalculated her due dates, and realized I was off on the last one. Rather than June 7, 150 days made it June 3. On top of that, Nigies can go early anyway on account of their size, which would have made it May 29. And considering how Ziggy rejected Gruffy and flirted with Elvis, there's now no doubt as to who's the daddy, LOL.

Rachy, then hopefully no one will mind the boatload of pix. :)

Farmer Barb said...

The bottle has not been out of my hand for long and I dearly miss it. The raccoon would have eaten Magic, too, so it is all for the best. If you want to wean them off the bottle, you will just have to watch them for signs of thriving and then start cutting it with water. I have been told that it is the best way to get them to choose the work of nursing.

Everybody has to have a job!

I can't get enough of the pictures! Close-ups if you can get them, please!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, they are too adorable!!

Leigh said...

Barb, I can see why some folks just prefer to bottle feed. :)

Ziggy's milk is sweeter than Surprise's, so I'm thinking that may be a big plus. I offered the kids a bottle around 9:30 last night, and each of the boys took about 4 ounces. I waited until after morning milking to offer them another, to encourage them to go to Ziggy if they were hungry during the night. This morning they each took about 2 ounces. It was 9 hours between bottles, so I figure they're learning!

I'll see what I can do about some close-ups. :)

Stephanie, I couldn't agree more!

Hannah said...

So adorable! Your second photo, the youngest, his eyes look bright blue. Is that a newborn thing like with people, or can goats have blue eyes, or just a camera thing?

Lactation always seems to have some bugs to work out at the beginning, but so worth it afterward. I hope things smooth out for you quickly. I knew one goat farmer that fed babies all pasteurized milk by bottle for some reason? Seems like a lot of work and missing out on benefits of raw milk.

Jocelyn said...

They are beautiful, and nothing goes as "planned" for me, either.

It sounds like you've got it under control, and I wish you and the littles a lot of luck!

matty said...

Bottle feeding is such a sweet thing to spend time doing, but you are right on to let the Mum do the feeding. It does make the bucks easier to handle as they age...

One of our does had bottle jaw after giving birth and we had to supplement for a week until she could get her strength back. (She didn't show any usual signs of parasites, btw. It wasn't until after birth that she weakened and had a problem. She had triplets!)

Now, the kids are a month old and on Mum, hay, and some grain. I let them start with grain from birth, if they want it, so it will start their rumen working sooner.

Your little guys are darling!

Leigh said...

Hannah, pasteurizing the milk for kids is for CAE (Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis) prevention protocol. Some folks do it regardless of test results, and I would do this if a doe were positive for CAE, but not negative. But then, I probably would cull a CAE doe anyway.

Jocelyn, ain't that the truth! Just goes to show how flexible we have to be. :)

Matty, so glad to hear your success story! Funny you should mention grain. I'm trying to get away from grain altogether, LOL.

Renee Nefe said...

Oh the babies are so cute! Sorry to hear about the rough start, but it sounds like the boys are figuring things out. Hope they give you a break soon.

Sue said...

They are all so stinking cute!! Sounds like the boys are on their way to figuring things out, so that's great.

One of my lambs this year took 48 hours to figure out the whole "how to suck" thing (I had to tube feed her for 2 whole days!). Once she figured it out, there was no holding her back. Worth the effort. But I was very glad that it didn't take her any longer!

Sandy Livesay said...


I know you don't mind helping with the feeding. Like you said, it would be better if Ziggy would feed and the babies would take to her. I'm sending prayers your way in hopes both will work hand in hand to where Ziggy and babies will handle the process on their own.

Leigh said...

Renee and Sue, it seems that today the brown boy caught on. Whether he's getting enough or not, I'm not sure. The youngest boy, the white one, will latch on and nurse if I guide him to a teat, but his big brother always comes along and pushes him off! So I may have one bottle baby, we'll see. I had to hold big brother off for little brother to get some, but I'm still not sure about Ziggy's production. She's eating better today though.

Sandy, thank you so much. I definitely appreciate it.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Nothing more adorable than those baby goats . . . so stinkin' cute. I know bottle feeding can be fun, for awhile, but it'd be mighty nice of the little guys to nurse enough so that Ziggy's milk machine can crank up to care for all of her babies!

Anonymous said...

Bottle feeding sure is sweet! Sorry for the lil troubles, but sounds like you have it nipped in the bud. I have to do a post soon, but Taffeta went back to her original owner cause she couldn't get along with the new crew we have. Rose, a 3 yr young pygmy and 3 - 8 week Nigerian dwarf wethers....keeping us busy, but they are weaned. Good luck, Leigh...they are adorable! :) Hugs

Unknown said...

They are just so sweet! And Ziggy looks like she's being a very good mom:)

Leigh said...

Janice, I'm down to one bottle baby, which is more manageable. I'll still try to get him on his mom, and hopefully her milk supply will pick up soon.

Pam, Ziggy is doing much better today and the babies are all fine, thankfully. I hope you have photos of your new goats 'cuz I'm on my way over to see!

Nancy, Ziggy is a wonderful mom, and I have to say she's got her "hands" full. :)

Anonymous said...

Any potential names for the new kids? My wife says the one with brown on feet and face should be called 'Tips'.

Tim in Deep East Tx

Willow said...

Oh you are doing such a great job with thse beautiful kids !

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this weekend, Leigh.... ;)

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

Poof! There they are!

Leigh said...

Oh Tim, I am notoriously slow at names! I do have a couple in mind, so maybe we'll have a grand naming soon.

Willow, thanks! But Ziggy's doing most of the work. :)

Pam, that would be great! I know it's a chore sometimes to get those photos ready. :)

Cloud, amazing, isn't it.

chris said...

OMG they are too cute for words!

Leigh said...

Chris, thanks!

pam said...

Hi there! Just found your blog for the first time and your goats are adorable!! I have had goats for about 11 years now, and have had maybe 4-5 spring kiddings. ( my memory is bad) Our herd got up to 14 at one point. Baby goats are the most adorable things ever!

Leigh said...

Pam, hello and thank you! I couldn't agree more about baby goats. They really make springtime just about perfect. :)

Anonymous said...

Awwwwww... the kids are SOOOO precious!!! Just want to snuggle them. HA!