Tube Feeding Kids
Why tube feed?
In the moment when a kid needs tubing its usually a pretty stressful time hopefully this tutorial can help relieve that stress. Kids who aren't eating on their own, are to weak to suck or to stubborn to do so will need some additional help to receive nourishment. When first born this is a crucial time to get colostrum in them as they can crash quickly. While syringe feeding can work for many I find tube feeding MUCH easier and less stressful on myself and the goat. While the kid in the video seems stressed she's immediately happy when her belly is full. She just came from a warm environment inside mom into something cold, then into a bright lighted kitchen. She's uncertain about her world let alone someone stuffing something into her mouth. Yes its a little uncomfortable but I go gently and this tube is designed to feed small goat kids like herself so it does not harm her in anyway.
Something I forgot to mention in the video (that I know by instinct now) is to measure from the mouth to the abdomen with the tube. Eye this spot up on the tube and know if the tube doesn’t reach far enough into the kid you are likely in the lungs.
Hold kid in your lap, squeeze the sides of her mouth with your thumb and index finger. Take the tube and gently insert the tube. Attempt to work with her swallow reflex (if the kid has one, sometimes its necessary to tube because they don’t have one!).
If the kid cries out you know you aren’t in the lungs, as a kid will have difficulty crying if the tube is in the lungs. (In the video you can hear screaming its just her sister crying because newborn kids cry a lot, she was already tube fed prior.) She eventually lets out a small cry and I know all is good.
Attach the syringe to the feeding tube and usually you will need help at this point with someone else pushing on the plunger as you hold the tube in place. I've successfully done it on my own but only on weak kids who can't push the tube back out. If you don’t hold it in place you run the risk of pushing liquid into the lungs as the tube reaches to far up in the throat as liquid is coming out (did that accidentally once, so now I try to have help when tube feeding).
Hopefully you won't have to continue tube feeding for long but this can be done for a few days as the kids learn to suck a bottle and gain energy. At times only one tubing is needed which is ideal.
Hopefully this video helps you feel more confident to tube feed your weaker kids until a sucking reflex is in full swing.