Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, Texas
Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, TX
Lohn, Texas
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WEAK AND ABANDONED NEWBORNS

Weak Kid Syndrome is the term used to described newborns who are unable to stand and or nurse -- regardless of cause. Floppy Kid Syndrome occurs when kids get too much milk. The condition is actually overeating on milk and will kill the kids if not immediately treated. See my in-depth article on how to diagnose and treat this condition on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com. The article's title is WEAK KIDS OR FLOPPY KIDS?

Cleft Palate is a lengthwise split in the roof of the kid's mouth. In most cases, it is a developmental problem rather than hereditary, but it is not repairable. The kid can live with a cleft palate for a while, but as it grows, the split will widen and the kid won't be able to chew or swallow its food well. The kid's growth will be stunted, it will have trouble breathing when fluid comes out its nose, and pneumonia will develop. A kid with a cleft palate should be euthanized. Check each kid at birth for a cleft palate.

Atresia Ani is lack of an anus (rectal opening) that prevents solid waste from being expelled from the kid's body. Like cleft palate, atresia ani in goats is usually a developmental problem rather than hereditary and is also not repairable. The kid should be euthanized immediately. Check each kid at birth for atresia ani.

Fever in newborn kids occurs occasionally. Kids with fever seem perfectly normal but *stupid* about nursing. A kid with fever won't nurse. Take the rectal temperature of any newborn that seems healthy but won't nurse. If fever is present, inject the kid with 1/2 cc Nuflor Gold or Excenel RTU into the muscle (IM) and 1/10th of a cc of Banamine IM, then hydrate the kid with Lactated Ringers Solution as described above.

If the kid won't nurse and doesn't have fever, it may be a buckling who hasn't quite made the mental connection between food and nursing, so the producer will have to stomach tube him until he figures out how to nurse. Premature kids of both sexes have problems nursing because they are developmentally not ready and because their teeth (with which they hold the teat) are still in their gums. Preemies usually require stomach-tube feeding until their teeth erupt through the gums.

Entropion is an eyelid condition of some newborns. The eyelid and eyelashes are turned inward, scratching the eye and causing discomfort. See my article on Entropion on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com.

If you must bottle feed:
Getting a kid to nurse a bottle takes time and patience. Sit or kneel and place the kid between your legs. Placing your thumb across the bridge of the kid's nose and your fingers under its chin, insert the nipple of the bottle into the kid's mouth, using your other hand. Put your thumb across its eyes to simulate the darkness of being under its mother's legs. Hold the nipple in the kid's mouth, moving it in and out of the mouth and squeezing gently to stimulate the kid's interest. Once the kid learns that the nipple delivers milk, it should begin to suck. Getting a newborn to accept a bottle is much easier than an older kid. By then the nipple does not feel like mom's teat and the older kid will fight acceptance of it. Sometimes it is necessary to let the kid get hungry by waiting six or eight hours before offering it a bottle. Do not let the kid have access to dam's milk or water during this waiting time. When the kid gets stronger, you can sit on an overturned five-gallon bucket, place the bottle under your knee, and the kid will feel like it is under its dam's legs nursing her teat. If at all possible, graft an orphaned or rejected kid onto another dam. Bottle babies are not desirable. They are expensive to raise, almost never fit in with the herd because they view themselves as people, and are dangerous when grown because they still perceive themselves as that eight-pound kid who used to climb into your lap. The most dangerous goat on your ranch is a grown male who still believes he is a bottle baby. Someday he will hurt someone unintentionally -- probably you.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 4/5/14

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Important! Please Read This Notice!

All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.

In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Suzanne Gasparotto is not a veterinarian.Neither tennesseemeatgoats.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.

The author, Suzanne Gasparotto, hereby grants to local goat publications and club newsletters, permission to reprint articles published on the Onion Creek Ranch website under these conditions: THE ARTICLE MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE AUTHOR'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REPRINT. We would appreciate notification from any clubs or publications when the articles are used. (A copy of the newsletter or publication would also be a welcome addition to our growing library of goat related information!)

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