October 15, 1995
Giving new babies their first bottle(s) is sometimes a trial. Just be patient and keep, trying until you get the baby to nurse. It is usually easier to hold the baby on your lap for the first few feedings. Most of them will start sucking right away but you may have to pry their mouth open to get the nipple in. Just remember, the baby is programmed to reach up to nurse its mother so you need to elevate the bottle and make the baby reach for it. Keep some tension on the nipple by pulling the bottle slightly away from the kid. Do not push the nipple into the baby's mouth. Apparently, this does not feel natural and the baby will try to back away.
After the babies are on regular milk, give them one to two pints of warm milk in the morning and one to two pints of warm milk in the evening. It is best to feed them at about the same time every day. DO NOT OVER FEED! The babies are greedy little pigs and will eagerly drink somebody else's bottle, so keep track of who has been fed. Too much milk will make them scour. Just be sure to keep everything clean. 16oz pop bottles work fine and are cheap. Lamb nipples work well but are hard to get on the bottles. A better choice are the lamb bar nipples. They fit most bottles and the babies seem to like them. However, if you run across a kid that is weak and/or just won't take the regular nipples, you might try a Pritchard flutter valve nipple which is very soft and pliable and much smaller. You can order any of these nipples from the major mail order suppliers.
The Information Dirt Road home page
These pages were designed by the Computer Science project of the Irvine Mesa Charros 4-H Club by converting information provided by Dick & Anne Pigman.