This kid rejection story describes why one of our does rejected her kid, how we dealt with it to keep him alive, and what we did to get her to re-accept him. We hope to prevent others from making the same mistake.
It was our first kidding season, so I’d tried to read and prepare for all possibilities when it came time for our Nigerian Dwarf does to freshen. However, we learned a lot of new things going through that first season that just didn’t seem to be covered in books.
One of those things, was when Jewel Box rejected one of her triplets (Dillinger) when he was five days old – totally surprising us.
He went downhill so fast after she rejected him that we nearly lost him, and ended up learning how to tube feed a kid (quickly) to keep him going (see Tube Feeding A Goat Kid).
What Caused Kid Rejection?
It was actually our fault that Jewel Box rejected Dillinger, but it took us a bit to figure out what caused her to do it.
It turns out that a friend handled Dillinger while wearing cologne – causing Jewel Box to decide that he didn’t smell like her kid. After that, she wouldn’t let him nurse, and by the next morning, he was in rough shape.
I hadn’t read anything about being careful about perfume or cologne when letting others handle the kids (I suppose it should be common sense), and we’d been handling them since they were born and never thought about it.
So, lesson learned: Be Careful Whan Allowing Others To Handle Young Kids! After that experience, we didn’t let others handle the kids until they were about two weeks old.
How To Feed The Rejected Kid?
Jewel Box’s rejection of Dillinger left us with a problem – she wouldn’t let Dillinger nurse, but he didn’t want to drink from a bottle and we wanted to keep him with his brothers if possible.
So, we fed Jewel Box her grain ration on the goat stanchion four times a day, and while she was occupied eating grain, she didn’t have much choice but to let Dillinger nurse.
It didn’t take either of them long to learn the drill – as soon as we’d open the stall door, Dillinger and Jewel Box would run to the stanchion. Jewel Box looking her usual graceful self, and Dillinger bouncing along as fast as his little legs could carry him.
After about two weeks of feeding Dillinger on the stanchion, he started sneaking in when his brothers were nursing in their pen and Jewel Box seemed to start accepting him again.
When Dillinger turned four weeks old, he was fully re-accepted and doesn’t seem to have suffered from the experience. He’s a gorgeous little buckling, and is very friendly too – probably because he ended up getting handled so much – who could resist that adorable little face?