This was our first kidding season, so I tried to read and prepare for all possibilities when it came time for the Nigerian Dwarf does to freshen; but we learned so many things actually going through it (that just don’t seem to be covered in books). One thing that really shocked us, was that 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 to keep him going (see Tube Feeding A Goat Kid).
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 wasn’t 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.
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 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 and Jewel Box seemed to start accepting him again. After passing four weeks old – Dillinger was fully re-accepted, and doesn’t seem to have suffered for 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?