Hypothermia or birth chill is one of the main killers of baby goats. It is when a newborn kid has been exposed to the wind, cold, and has not been cleaned and dried by their doe or has not eaten soon enough after birth. It can happen in the summer as well as winter. In many cases these newborn goats can be saved, but you must act quickly.
Household Supplies to Have on Hand
- Clean dry towels for drying and wrapping the newborn in.
- A Ziplock bag partially filled with uncooked rice or beans for heating in the microwave for heating source.
- Blow dryer or space heater with blower for making warm air for the newborn to breathe.
- Digital Thermometer for recording their temperature.
- A glass bottle, screw top bottle that will fit Pritchard teat.
- Strong coffee for caffeine in the “Kid Saver” formula.
- Molasses which has iron, sodium, calcium, and potassium to add to the “Kid Saver” formula.
- Karo Syrup which is an easy form of sugar to digest to add to the “Kid Saver” formula.
You can get by with just these things, but it makes life a little easier if you also have these vet supplies on hand, most can be found at your local feed stores or online.
- Pritchard teat which has a special nipple for babies who are weak or very small.
- Weak Kid Syringe for tubing babies in extreme cases.
- CMPK solution which is a supplement to add to the “Kid Saver” formula.
- 50% Dextrose solution which is an easily digestible sugar for immediate release into the system that can be added to the “Kid Saver” formula.
You can use whatever you have on hand, if you have all these things use them all, if not use what you have, there is no set rule. The coffee is important though. Keeping a jar of instant coffee on hand is a good idea for non-coffee drinkers. Caffeinated coke or pop will work too, so will tea.
Start by giving baby a jumpstart of 1/2 hot coffee and 1/2 either dextrose 50% solution or molasses in a syringe. Never try to give baby more than 5ccs of anything at one “feeding, and at that, only dribbling this drip by drip in their mouth (if they are able to swallow) and then allowing them time to swallow each few drips. Feedings should be about 5 minutes apart. For severely weakened kids do not attempt to give them colostrum or milk as they cannot yet digest it and it will sit in their stomach and get toxic. It is better to give them electrolytes and whatever sugar source you have as well as the coffee until they are able to suck.
10 Steps to Saving a Newborn Kid
You find a cold, wet baby born minutes ago that is comatose or near to death.
Step 1 – Get the baby in the house Open your coat or shirt and bring the newborn in holding it against your bare skin if possible.
Step 2 – Keep the baby against your body while you prepare fill a sink with warm water and get a supply of clean dry towels.
Step 3 – Fill the with water that is warm than tepid but not hot.
Step 4 – Immerse the baby up to its neck in water while making sure to hold the kid’s face out of the water. Stimulate the kid’s chest area to help circulation. Be brisk during all of this but not rough. This may take a half hour or better.
Step 5 – When the kid starts to come around or begins to cry place a finger placed in its mouth to determine if their mouth starting to warm up. Remove them from the sink and towel them off briskly and then place them in front of a heater or blow dryer.
Step 6 – Leave them in front of the blow dryer or heater on a fresh dry towel and get a clean syringe. Make a mixture of coffee, molasses, karo syrup and if you have it either dextrose 50% solution or CMPK. Make sure this solution is warmer than tepid.
Step 7 – Make a “tent” with towels or a sheet over you, the kid, and your heat source to warm the air the kid is breathing. Do Not blow hot air directly on the kid. The idea is to warm up the air it is breathing.
Step 8 – Dribble solution, using a syringe with no needle, into the kid’s mouth a drop at a time. Too much will choke the kid and do not tilt their head back. Allow the kid to swallow in between dribbles. You can help by stroking their throat after each dribble. A chilled kid cannot suckle, so trying to give them a bottle right now is not effectives.
Step 9 – Alternate feeding the kid with holding it and stimulating the baby to get moving. Rub their chest and legs and hold them up to help them stand, essentially whatever it takes to get them to come around.
Step 10 – As soon as their temperature reaches 100 degrees you can try a bottle with colostrum and coffee and molasses in it or you can bring the mother goat in the house and see if the kid will begin to nurse. Do not try to take baby outside until they have fully recovered.