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 3. Birthing & Neonatal Care

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bagies Posted - 04/27/2018 : 10:13:42 AM
We were fortunate enough to be home the morning of Easter Sunday to welcome (and assist with) the birth of a tiny female cria born at 279 days gestation. Her birth weight was 7lbs 0oz. For two days we spent every minute in the barn doing everything in our power to keep this little miracle alive. Mom (a maiden) wasn't very happy with her new bundle of joy and the attention she was getting from the two-legged strangers who were hogging all the time with the baby. We tried desperately to get mom to hold still enough so we could get the baby under her to nurse, but baby was too weak to hold her head up and/or stand. Mom wasn't very cooperative when we tried to milk her out, not much milk, either. We did an initial tube feeding with mom's milk and bovine colostrum we had on hand in the freezer. Resorted to bottle feeding with bovine colostrum every two hours round-the-clock after that. A couple days later the vet took blood for IgG and baby hadn't gotten enough maternal and bovine colostrum so she got a plasma transfusion. She lost weight the first couple of days but then gained it back a couple of ounces at a time. In fact, it took 14 days for her to reach 8 pounds body weight. We named her Minimum Exposure 279 and call her Minnie. She is still being bottle fed as mom has rejected her completely. We tried a surrogate mom by putting a t-shirt on the mom's cria and then putting the t-shirt on Minnie, but no luck. We are waiting for our other girls to deliver first of June so we can try a surrogate again. Until then, we are still bottle feeding every 4 hours. We will weight Minnie again today and are hopeful she will be 10 pounds. She is such a bundle of joy. She is running around the maternity ward and the big girls are very attentive, even our Great Pyrenees LGD is watching over her. Just wanted to pass along our story that seems will have a happy ending. Not sure how to post pictures, but once I figure it out, I'll send a few.
Barbara Gies, PhD
Red Barn Farms LLD
Cobbs Creek, VA
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Willow Glen Farm Posted - 04/27/2018 : 10:46:39 AM
Good luck. I know how hard it is to bottle feed round the clock. Hopefully it won't be too long before Minnie tells you she can skip one of the night feedings. When it got to the point that ours didn't drink enough to be worth it for us to go down as often in the middle of the night, we knew we could cut back a little!
Have you tried vanilla on Mom's nose and Minnie's tail?


Mary Ianni
Willow Glen Farm
Capron, IL 61012

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