BOTTLE BABIES    Current Bottle Babies are fed with a human baby bottle, fast flow nipple. DO buy a cooking thermometer – the little round dial on a stick – 101 to 104 degrees.  Hot milk can kill a kid, Cold milk can cause hypothermia.  BEWARE – A cold, tired, hungry kid on the verge of death can still scream like a four year old child with its finger slammed in a car door and will stand while doing it.  Don’t think, just because you can hear it from three miles away, that it is vigorous and healthy. Watch your kid – if it is hunched up, it is cold or not getting enough.  It is up to you and your veterinarian which commercial milk replacer or homemade formula is right for you.  I occasionally add a squirt of Nutri-drench to each gal of formula.  Be careful to NOT over supplement your goats.  I have not, and will never use a commercial, powdered milk replacer.  I developed the formulas listed below before I acquired extra dairy does and only use them now if no goat milk is available. DO NOT use soy, fat free, skim, sweetened evaporated or “filled” milk. DO NOT over feed.  Over feeding will force liquids into the kid’s lungs, causing pneumonia.  You are NOT trying for a tight “buddha-belly”.  STOP for at least a minute – twice per feeding.  “Baby” will feel full with less milk. DO tilt the bottle UP.  Tilting the bottle over the kid’s head is a natural nursing position.  It helps to prevent aspiration (breathing in milk) and assures the milk is going to the right place in the rumen. These formulas were developed using actual goat milk nutrition charts and adjust for the changing needs of kids as they grow.   Momma goat milk changes as the kids age.  They produce less with lower proteins and fats.  Formula 1:  3 qts WHOLE milk, 1 can goat’s milk (avail at most Wal-Mart’s), 1 cup heavy cream (not the whippy stuff with carrageenan if you can avoid it) and 1 cup whole plain yogurt.   First few days – ½ to 2 ounces per feeding, every 1 to 2 hours.  This schedule assumes you are the only mamma the kid has – keep them warm and do NOT feed if, when you put your finger in the kid’s mouth, it is cold.  A cold kid cannot digest milk.  If the kid is cold, you have more important problems.   2-3 days to two weeks – 6 to 8 ounces per feeding, about four times a day.  Young kids may begin exploring pelleted feed at a young age.  Keep a little out for them but keep it clean and fresh – same for water and good quality, soft hay. Formula 2:  3 qts WHOLE milk, 1 can goat’s milk, 1 can whole condensed unsweetened milk and 1 cup whole plain yogurt.    Two to four weeks – 8 ounces per feeding, about four times per day.  This is based on having a foster mother at least part time.  Adjust for this and the size/needs of each kid.  Don’t forget to keep an eye on pelleted feed, hay and water consumption. Formula 3:  3 qts WHOLE milk, 2 cans condensed unsweetened milk and 1 cup yogurt Four to eight weeks – 8 ounces, three times a day. Adjust for the size/needs of each kid.  Some kids may still need four feedings per day.  Don’t forget to keep an eye on pelleted feed, hay and water consumption Formula 4:  1 gal WHOLE milk – add in the yogurt if they get loose poos.  ALWAYS be sure to treat for Coccidiosis per schedule.  That is the usual first culprit to shooting-poos.  Eight to twelve weeks – 8 ounces, twice a day.  This is more to keep an eye on young goats at a time when they can shoot up and loose condition and weight quickly.  Your choice – your decision.

This article was taken from Dancing Bear Farms WV by Susan Falcon soeder

Dancing Bear Farms



Bottle Baby Guidelines for the Miniature Goat


* Day one- 2-4oz. [1-3] (per feeding) colostrum, every 2-3 hours.

  • * Day two- 3 oz. [2-3] (per feeding) colostrum if you have it or whole milk, 8-10 times a day
  • * Day three- 4 oz.[3] (per feeding) colostrum if you have it or whole milk, 8 times a day
  • * Day four- 6oz. [4-5] (per feeding) whole milk, 7-8 times a day.
  • * Week One – 6-8oz [4-5] (per feeding) whole milk, 7-8 times a day.
  • * For the next 2 weeks-6-8oz.[4-6] (per feeding) whole milk, 6 times a day.
  • * For the next 2 months-10-12 oz.[6-8] (per feeding)whole milk, 4-5 times a day.
  • * For the next 1 month or 6 weeks-10-12 oz. [6-8] (per feeding)whole milk, 3 times a day.
  • * 10-12 oz. [8-10] (per feeding) once a day for the next 2 months.


Reviving A Chilled Newborn Goat

February 21, 2010 by Mary Humphrey

Reviving Chilled Newborn Goat

I have a method for reviving a very chilled newborn goat (kid). 

Sharing of my method is not intended to replace veterinary advice. 

Planning the breeding of a goat to ensure kidding occurs during warmer weather is optimal, but sometimes the best laid plans do not fall into place.   A dam may become confused with twins, triplets, or she simply may lose interest (or never gain it with a newborn).  What that being said, there is a necessity for knowing how to revive a very chilled newborn goat kid.

Facts first:

  • Normal goat temperature is 102-104
  • A newborn kid will not retain its own body heat until it has nutrition in its digestive system (colostrum)
  • A newborn goat kid must receive sufficient colostrum within the first 4 hours of their life (to retain body heat, get their digestive system working, immunities built, and to protect from health problems that can occur within their first few days or weeks)
  • A very chilled goat kid cannot, and will not, nurse.  Do not attempt to drip liquids down their throat.  If they are very chilled, to the point they cannot nurse, the liquids will more than likely reach their lungs and drowning can occur, or pneumonia will set in very rapidly.  

A thermometer is the best method for taking a goat’s temperature, however, inserting your finger in a newborn’s mouth, touching the back of their tongue area, is a very good indicator of the kid’s temperature. 

When a chilled newborn kid is found, depending upon how cold they are, how wet they are, and if they have had any colostrum, they may exhibit signs of near-death such as extreme legarthy, slow respiration, drawing of the head to the left, or a weak heartbeat.  In all of these cases, run, don’t walk, to begin reviving the kid.  Minutes are left in the newborn’s life!

My method:

  • Place the kid in a sink of water (as close to normal goat body temperature as possible).  Keep the newborn’s nose and mouth out of the water.  Maintain the water as close to temperature as possible.  If the kid is very chilled you may find the water cools down quickly.
  • Maple, corn syrup, or molasses.  I keep a bottle of maple or corn syrup in a cabinet next to the sink.  As I hold the kid in the water, I pour a couple of teaspoons of syrup into a small bowl.  I dip my finger into the syrup and rub a small amount into the kid’s cheeks.  Repeat several times.
  • As the kid’s body temperature nears a safe level they will begin to jerk or shiver.  Until the kid begins to do either, their body temperature is probably not climbing. 
  • Once the kid is more alert (temperature nearer to normal) I pull them from the warm water, quickly wrap them in a dry towel, and begin drying their coat with a hand held hair dryer.  Caution, light massage is a good thing, but never be overly rough with towel rubbing, etc…, kids can only take so much when they are already exhausted.  When drying the coat, to avoid burning the skin, do not hold the dryer too close, or in one position.  Use sweeping movements.  I try to gently massage with one hand, while holder the dryer with another.
  • Once the kid is dry their body temperature has probably increased greatly.  They should be more alert, but will likely still be showing signs of impending death.  At this point I administer IV liquids.  Using a 20 gauge needle, 1/2″, I begin injecting Dextrose (50% solution), SQ (under their skin), in the area between the shoulder blades.  Pinch the skin to form a “tent” and inject just under the skin.  The kid can survive off of the IV liquid for several hours.  I normally inject 3 ML Dextrose, repeat, until a ”hump” has raised between the shoulder blades.  Within 15-20 minutes you will notice the hump going down.  This means the body is absorbing the liquid, a very good thing.  If the kid has not revived fully, revive this process as new fluids are needed.  The kid’s body will absorb all of the liquids it needs via the injected liquids.  I also keep Lactated Ringers on hand (a bag of saline IV solution purchased from the vet).  In extreme cases, I will rotate my injections between Dextrose and Lactated Ringers.  Keep the kid wrapped in a dry towel, and make sure they are in a warm location.
  • Again, do not try to force liquids down the kid.  They will develop pneumonia, and they cannot nurse (or swallow properly) until their body functions resume to a normal level.  Once the kid is hydrated and their body temperature is normal they genrally want to nurse.

Revival of a chilled kid is a gradual process.  Do not expect results in 5 minutes. 

Once you have had to do the process several times, you begin to notice the heartbeat (just by touch), respiration (by watching the nose and chest), and how the kid looks in the eyes as you go through the revival process.  Goats have what looks like an angry, not bright, look to their eyes when they are not well.

One last note, always keep frozen colostrum on hand.  You never know when you will need it this type of emergency.

If you need help with anything I have said here, please let me know!

Do not forget to talk to the kid as you work with them.  They respond to voice.  Goats give up easily when they do not feel well…your voice may just be enough reassurance to help them cross the bridge to a healthy long life!


This is a great article with lots of pictures to show the breeder how to disbud a kid!


Floppy Kid” Syndrome 

by Andres de la Concha and Ramon Juste

Texas A & M University Agricultural Experiment Station

San Angelo, Texas



During the 1995 kidding season goat producers suffered from an

unprecedented neonatal mortality in kids. Most cases we are aware of occurred in west

Texas; however, we received calls from producers in many other states across the U.S.

that described the same problem. Although for many goat producers this is a new

condition, the disease has been previously reported in several parts of the U.S., Canada

and in Europe.


Clinical Signs.

Characteristically, goat producers reported that newborn kids seem to do

fine for a few days after birth, beyond which they start to show depression, weakness and

flaccid paralysis without signs of diarrhea and have normal rectal temperature. One

common clinical sign reported is distension of the abdomen. The signs of depressions and

paralysis seem to affect the animals in waves. At one particular point, kids look so bad

that they give the appearance of being dead. After some time they seem to recover

spontaneously only to go back into coma 15-20 minutes later. Affected animals that are

not treated may die within a few days. The condition does not seem to respond to

antibiotic or vitamin E and Selenium treatments. Because the clinical appearance is that

of very weak animals “lacking energy” most producers try to solve the problem by force

feeding affected kids. This only makes the problem worse since this condition seems to

be the result of over-consumption of milk.



The exact cause of the “floppy kid syndrome” is not known. We believe that it

is the result of a combination of factors including consumption of excessive amounts of

milk by the kids as well as the proliferation of an “infectious agent” in the gastrointestinal

tract. All producers that brought affected kids to TAES-SA indicated that they had

improved the nutrition of the nannies with respect to previous years. Either they were

supplementing the nannies with corn or a concentrate feed or they had put the nannies in

irrigated/improved pastures some time before parturition. For this reason milk production

by the nannies and the quality of milk seemed to be better. In addition, some producers

started to kid in enclosed pens (as opposed to kidding on the range) giving the kids an

opportunity to suckle more often and consume more milk. These observations were

supported by the fact that all affected kids that we necropsied at TAES-SA had a stomach

full of milk. The excessive amount of milk in the stomach seems to predispose to the

proliferation of microorganisms (probably Escherichia coli or Clostridium) in the

gastrointestinal tract that leads to changes in the acidity (pH) in the digestive tract,

intestinal atonia (lack of movement to the intestine) and systemic acidosis. The latter is

the cause of some of the signs associated with the disease such as weakness and flaccidity

(these signs are not the result of the lack of energy).


Necropsy changes.

The most remarkable change found in affected kids was a very

dilated stomach (abomasum) that was full of coagulated milk and had a very strong acid

smell. The mucosa of the stomach also showed multiple small hemorrhages (petechia). In

cases in which kids had been force fed it was common to find the rumen (first stomach)

full of milk. The feces in the rectum were very solid and hard in consistency. In some

cases, evidence of systemic infections including pneumonia, multi focal abscesses or

polyarthritis were found. We believe that for the most part these infections were

secondary and occurred late in the course of the disease. At least in the cases affected

with pneumonia, they seemed to have been the result of milk being forced into the

trachea during artificial feeding.



Confirmation of the “floppy kid syndrome” can only be done by determining

the venous blood gas concentration in affected animals. However, in most cases this is

not possible. In such cases, the diagnosis needs to be established on the basis of clinical

history and necropsy findings. Several other diseases need to be ruled out in the

differential diagnosis, including white muscle disease (vitamin E and Se deficiency) and

enterotoxemia (overeating).



In order to be successful, treatment needs to be initiated as soon as possible

after the signs of the disease appear. Under ideal conditions affected kids need to be

treated by a veterinary practitioner with isotonic sodium bicarbonate solution

intravenously, sufficient to replace the calculated base deficit [body weight (Kg) x 0.5 x

base deficit] over 1-3 hrs. However, in most cases a more empirical approach can be

taken to solve the problem. The first thing that we recommend is to leave affected kids

off milk for 24 to 36 hrs. Again, because the kids look very weak, it has been difficult to

convince goat producers that the problem is due to overfeeding and not to lack of energy.

However, keeping kids temporarily off milk is probably the single most important thing

in treating these cases. Secondly, the acidity of the stomach needs to be neutralized by

administering a bicarbonate (baking soda) solution. For this purpose, dissolve 1 teaspoon

of baking soda in one glass of water and administer 10-20- ml of this solution orally.

Repeat this procedure 2 to 3 times within the following 3 to 6 hours. Most kids will show

clear improvement with this treatment within the following 6 to 10 hours. Treated kids

first become more active and will initially pass very solid feces that subsequently turn

into diarrhea. This is a good sign and an indication that the intestines are moving again.

The third part of the treatment consists of administering a wide spectrum antibiotic to

prevent secondary infections. After 36 hours the affected kids can be put back with their

mothers if they take them. Otherwise they would need to be raised on a milk substitute.

Initially, artificial milk needs to be diluted with water and small amounts of milk (100

ml) need to be given 3 to 4 times a day for the first 2 days, then follow the manufacturers




There is not a good way to prevent “floppy kid syndrome” other than to

avoid over consumption of milk. In dairy goats that is done by milking the goats before

putting them back with the kids. In meat/Angora goats this is difficult to accomplish.

When weather conditions allow, it is probably better to kid in the pasture. On pasture

conditions, the constant movement of the nannies prevents kids from ingesting large

quantities of milk in a short time.





Would you like to learn how to diaper a kid?