How often to bottle feed baby goats
Bottle Feeding Baby Goats - Backyard Goats
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Once your kids arrive, you will need to decide if they will be dam-raised or if you will be bottle-feeding baby goats. There are reasons you might choose to bottle feed from promoting friendliness to managing the dam’s udder. Or you may be forced to bottle-feed because for one reason or another the dam can’t or won’t let the kids nurse or a kid is too weak or compromised to nurse. Whatever the reason, if you are planning on bottle-feeding, you likely have many questions including:
- What kind of milk to feed baby goats?
- How to get a baby goat to bottle feed?
- How much milk to feed a baby goat?
- How long to bottle feed a baby goat?
What Kind of Milk to Feed Baby Goats:
When bottle-feeding baby goats, the very first milk they must receive is colostrum. Ideally, the dam will be producing enough colostrum that you can express her own into a bottle and immediately feed it to the kids. But if her fresh colostrum is not available for some reason, your other choices are to feed fresh colostrum from another doe that has kidded at the same time, feed frozen colostrum that you saved from a previous kidding, or feed kid colostrum replacer. For this last choice, it is important to be sure it’s kid colostrum replacer and not calf or lamb replacer as the nutrient needs are different for different species. It is also important to be sure it’s colostrum replacer and not milk replacer. Newborn kids absolutely must get colostrum in the first 24-48 hours of life or their chances of survival are low. Do not substitute any type of homemade replacer at this stage and don’t try to get by with regular whole milk.Washing bottles with Pritchard nipples. Photo credit: Melanie Bohren.
Once you get the newborn kid through the first 24-48 hours, then you can switch to milk. Ideally, you will have fresh goat milk available as this is best. Many goat owners who choose to bottle-feed will milk the dam and then immediately transfer the milk to bottles and feed it to the babies. Other goat owners prefer to heat-treat the milk before bottle-feeding baby goats in order to eliminate the risk of potentially passing CAE or other diseases from the dam to the baby. I, myself, do my CAE tests while my does are pregnant so that I know they are negative and then I feed the mother’s milk to the babies raw, which feels more natural to me and I believe it contains more of the beneficial antibodies than heat-treated milk does. But if you do choose to heat-treat, remember that colostrum cannot actually be pasteurized because it will curdle, so it must just be gently heated to 135 degrees F and held at that temperature for one hour. Regular milk can be pasteurized at 161 degrees F for 30 seconds.
If you don’t have fresh goat milk for bottle-feeding baby goats, then your choices are goat milk replacer or another species of milk. I have seen goat milk replacer recipes but the advice I get from my veterinarian and goat mentors is that whole cow milk from the grocery store is more adequate and appropriate in the event that I don’t have, or don’t want to use, powdered replacers.How to Get a Baby Goat to Take a Bottle:
If your newborn is healthy enough to have a strong sucking reflex, getting it to take a bottle will be relatively simple. I like to use the little red “Pritchard” nipples for newborns because they are smaller and easier for them to suck. Don’t forget to snip the tip of the nipple as it doesn’t come with a hole in it! Hold the bottle at an angle so that the milk is flowing downward, open the baby’s mouth with your fingers, and stick the nipple inside. I find it helpful to put gentle pressure on the top and bottom of the muzzle to help the baby hold the bottle in its mouth at first. A strong kid will generally be hungry and start sucking enthusiastically.Bottle-feeding a baby goat. Photo credit: Kate Johnson.
If the baby is too weak to suck, you may need to feed a few drops at a time through a medicine dropper (be careful not to put too much on its tongue or in the side of its cheek at once or it could go down the wrong tube and into the lungs). Or you may need to tube-feed the baby. I’ve also had babies that just needed to wake up a bit in order to get the sucking response going, and I find that using a supplement like “Nutri-Drench” or some Caro syrup or even coffee, rubbed on their gums, is often enough to give them a little energy boost and get them eating.How Much to Feed a Baby Goat:
How much your babies will need depends on whether they are full-sized breeds or miniature breeds, and also on how old they are. In general, try to feed three to four ounces per five pounds of weight per feeding. At first, you may be feeding every three to four hours, and then after a few days, you’ll spread this out to four feedings a day. You can drop that back to two or three feedings a day at about three weeks of age, and then down to twice a day by six to eight weeks. For the last month, you can feed once a day as they should be eating some hay and grain by then, if not sooner.
Here are two useful charts to use as a starting point. You may need to modify the schedule and number of feedings per day based on your own schedule and time constraints, but this is a good place to begin:Bottle-Feeding Nubian Goats (or other full-sized breeds):
|Age||Ounces per Feeding||Frequency|
|0-2 Days||3-6 ounces||Every 3-4 hours|
|3 Days to 3 Weeks||6-10 ounces||Four times a day|
|3 to 6 Weeks||12-16 ounces||Three times a day|
|6 to 10 weeks||16 ounces||Twice a day|
|10 to 12 weeks||16 ounces||Once a day|
|Age||Ounces per Feeding||Frequency|
|0-2 Days||2-4 ounces||Every 3-4 hours|
|3 Days to 3 Weeks||6-8 ounces||Four times a day|
|3 to 8 Weeks||12 ounces||Twice a day|
|8-12 weeks||12 ounces||Once a day|
As a general rule of thumb, when I’ve decided on bottle-feeding baby goats, I try to feed doelings for at least three months and bucklings or wethers for at least two months. Sometimes I go longer if I have extra milk, but this seems to get them off to a good start and by two to three months they are eating grass, hay, and even some grain, so their need for milk is greatly reduced.
Bottle-feeding baby goats is a time commitment, but it’s also a fun way to bond with your babies and make them oh so friendly!
Goats: How To Bottle Feed A Kid
The bottle feeding process is easier than you might think, and it ensures proper nutrition and forms more docile milk goats.
by Lisa SegerMay 22, 2017
PHOTO: Lisa Seger
At our farm, bottle babies are the rule. We are a dairy, and so we bottle feed for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it allows us to make sure kids are getting enough milk to grow well and thrive and that the business gets what it needs. Second, and nearly as important, is that bottle babies, who are handled several times a day from birth, are generally more docile and easy to handle as they grow up to be milk goats. This is why many people who show goats or raise them for milk or meat also raise their kids on bottles. But for most hobby farmers and pet owners, there is no real need to ever bottle feed.
Until there is.
Whether it be a newly purchased kid, the loss of a nursing mother or the rejection of a kid by an otherwise fine dam, with enough years in raising goats, eventually you will probably find yourself needing to raise a bottle baby. Here are our tips on how to make that as painless as possible. Photo by Lisa Seger
What To Feed
If you have a goat in milk, even if it is not the mother of the kid you are raising, start there. Goats’ milk is obviously the best choice to bottle feed if you have it. If you do not, we recommend whole cow’s milk. This can come from either your own farm (if you have a milk cow) or just from the grocery story. If it’s store-bought, just be sure it is whole milk. We do not recommend milk replacer. To start with, it’s more expensive and less accessible. Also, I just do not believe something made in a lab is a better option than the real thing. Mammal babies drink milk.
If your kid is a result of a death in childbirth, this may sound grotesque, but you should milk out what you can from the mother right away. The first milk mothers produce is colostrum, which contains vital nutrients and antibodies. Without getting colostrum in the first day, kids are unlikely to survive or do well. Feed stores do carry powdered colostrum products for an emergency.
How Often To Bottle Feed
On the day of its birth, a kid will need several small meals. We generally bottle feed about every four hours or when the kid squawks. Don’t worry if the kid doesn’t eat much more than a couple ounces for the first several meals. It will come around. After that first day of feeding colostrum, we move to the following schedule through weaning.
Photo by Lisa SegerDays 2 Through 4
Feed eight to 12 ounces of warm milk, four times per day. The kid might not always eat it all. That is OK. Generally you can tell a kid is full during any feeding when it starts chewing on the nipple instead of sucking.Days 5 Through 14
Feed 12 ounces (and more if kids is still hungry, as much as 20 ounces) three times per day. Make the bottles progressively less warm to get the kid to cold milk by two weeks.Weeks 2 Through 7
Feed two times per day, about 30 ounces. If the kid is not drinking that much, or if you have the time and don’t mind doing it, remain at three times per day with a little less per feeding.Weeks 8 Through 12
When kids are reliably eating hay and nibbling goat feed, start the weaning process by reducing the number of feedings and volume per feeding. You can do it abruptly all at once, but your kids will be angry. I suggest a multiday process.
These are rough guidelines for raising kids with limited time and resources. We devised these to help working folks fit bottle raising into busy schedules. Also possibly helpful to reduce time spent feeding is building and using a lambar. Obviously, if you have the time, you can feed less milk more often, which is how they would feed if nursing.
There is no right or wrong way to bottle feed, as long as your kids are eating well and gaining weight. They should put on about 10 pounds a month on average. From about 2 weeks onward, make sure they have free access to hay and water. At about 4 weeks you can start introducing grain. It might take a while for them to start eating it. Again, do not wean them fully until they are eating hay, grass and feed reliably.
I love bottle feeding. I also think the time spent bonding with the kids is why our adult herd is so loving and people-oriented, and why they are almost always gentle, easy milkers on the stand.
Feeding kids from the first days of life: diet and norms
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From the first days of life, a newborn kid needs the care of his mother and his owner. Feeding kids is an important process that requires breeders to be responsible and know the basics. After all, the further health and performance of babies depends on proper care and diet.
- Preparing for the first feeding
- Methods of feeding
- Under the uterus
- Without queen
- Diet and feeding schedule during the milk period
Preparing for the first feeding
Most goats give birth naturally and without complications. After giving birth, the female's umbilical cord is cut, the udder is washed, and first the first streams of colostrum, which contain bacteria, are expressed, and then it is put into a clean bowl.
A newborn kid is wiped with a clean cloth, the mouth and nose are freed from mucus. It is important that it does not get into the lungs of the baby, as it can infect and cause inflammation. In a newborn baby, the skin is not able to absorb or give off heat, therefore, in order to avoid hypothermia, especially if it is winter, the kid must be wrapped in a warm blanket and brought into the house.
From birth and first feeding, no more than 1 hour should pass: the protective functions of the baby's immunity are weakened, and the body is not able to resist bacteria and dangerous viruses. In order for the immune system to start actively producing antibodies that fight harmful microorganisms, it is necessary to provide the kid with access to the mother's colostrum as soon as possible. This fluid contains all the nutrients necessary for proper development.
Methods of feeding
Depending on the direction of the female's productivity, feeding goats in goat breeding can be carried out in two ways: rearing on suction under the uterus and feeding without a uterus.
Under the uterus
Feeding kids under the uterus is the most optimal and convenient way and is practiced only with goats of low milk production. The cubs stay with their mother until they reach 3-4 months of age and suck the udder provided to them in free access as many times a day as they like.
When growing kids naturally, it is necessary to take care of the mammary glands of a goat: although the kids feed on their own, they do not suck out all the colostrum, especially in the first days. The secretions accumulate and can lead to the development of mastitis. To prevent this process, the female's udder is checked after feeding, and in the presence of colostrum or milk residues, they are milked.
After 3 weeks, the diet of babies begins to feed: 5 g of salt, the same amount of bone meal or chalk. At 3 months, this norm increases by 2 times.
As they grow older, the amount of additional feeding becomes larger and the goats begin to be given concentrated feed: a mixture of bran, oats and sunflower meal.
Upon reaching 3-4 months of age, within 7-10 days, the kids are weaned from their mother (it is allowed to let the kids go to the uterus every other day). After natural feeding, it may be difficult to transfer to artificial nutrition. The first day the kids endure it very painfully: they worry, bleat and refuse to drink milk mixtures.
After weaning from a goat, the diet should not be changed abruptly: milk is replaced with oatmeal, mixtures and mash of bran and wheat flour. The transition should be gradual, and after a week the kids should be ready to feed on their own.
The scheme of feeding kids under the uterus has many advantages and advantages:
- Thanks to the beneficial substances in goat milk, kids have a strong immune system and are less susceptible to diseases;
- development and mass gain is faster;
- observing the behavior of the mother, the goats get accustomed to hay and concentrates faster;
- The breastfeeding process is simple and requires minimal effort on the part of breeders.
The method has the following disadvantages:
- kids born in summer or late autumn completely suck out the goat when pasture;
- damage by babies to non-working (rudimentary) nipples, which causes their swelling, soreness and anxiety of the mother.
This method of feeding is more troublesome and requires constant monitoring and care by the farmer. It is used in the breeding of highly productive dairy goats.
After the baby goat is born, it is immediately removed from its mother and fed with warm milk from a bottle with a rubber nipple or from a cup. The optimum temperature for warmed milk is around 38 ºC.
Even with this method of feeding, goat colostrum must always be fed to the kids. It cleanses the stomach from the primary feces and contains in its composition all the useful substances necessary for the further growth of the kid. Babies, in whose diet mother's colostrum is introduced from the first days, are less susceptible to diseases and infections.
A newborn baby goat should immediately be taught to drink milk from a cup. All utensils must be sterile to prevent contamination by germs.
For artificial feeding, when the mother is absent, for example due to death or if she has mastitis, goat's milk substitutes are used instead of goat's milk. The composition of the mixture includes dry skimmed cow's milk, vitamin substances, fats of vegetable and animal origin, useful elements, emulsifiers and flavorings.
Feeding without a queen, like natural feeding, has its advantages:
- from the first days of life of goats, the farmer can independently control the process of feeding and their diet;
- obtaining high milk yield from a goat for dairy productivity.
The method of artificial feeding has significant negative aspects:
- kids weaned from their mother at an early age are more susceptible to diseases and infections;
- if breeders do not provide proper care for offspring, then the development of kids is slower and some of them may have a weak immune system and sickness;
- the method of rearing young animals without a queen is more costly and complex, requires financial investment and considerable effort on the part of the farmer.
Diet and feeding scheme during the milk period
Within a month after birth, it is recommended to feed the offspring first 5, and then 4 times a day every 4 hours in small portions, gradually increasing the amount of food.
Up to 10 days of age, only fresh goat colostrum is included in the diet of kids (the first 3-4 days), and then milk - first 200 g per feeding with a gradual increase to 300 g. After 10 days, they begin to give freshly boiled and strained liquid oatmeal . You can add it to milk for 1 tbsp. spoon, increasing its amount every day.
At the age of 2 weeks, goats are fed with roughage (hay) and green grass. From 20-30 days of age, they begin to accustom to concentrates, starting from 20-30 grams.
In the summer, young animals at the age of 1 month are recommended to walk on the pasture.
From the 31st day of birth, finely chopped root vegetables should be present in the diet of babies.
As a top dressing from minerals and instead of green grass, for the prevention of vitamin deficiency, babies are given fresh needles, fish oil 4–8 g per day, table salt and chalk with bone meal.
At the age of 5 months, the grown offspring are transferred to keeping in the stall. In order for the body to receive all the substances indispensable for growth and development, the diet includes 1.5 kg of hay, 300 g of concentrates and about 1 kg of root crops. Feeding babies according to this nutritional scheme will provide them with a monthly weight gain of up to 4 kg.
Regardless of the method of feeding, clean and not cold water in large volumes should always be freely available to the goats.
If you provide kids with proper care and feeding, balance their diet, then with any of the methods of nutrition, they will grow up healthy and prolific. It is only necessary to show attention and surround them with care, and they will definitely thank you in the future with delicious milk or fresh meat products.
More to read
Feeding goats at home: norms and diet
Goat feeders: requirements, DIY
How to milk and milk a goat: tips and description
Goat milking machine: requirements , DIY
Bottle feeding kids, my thoughts. | Fermer.Ru - Farmer.Ru - Main farm portalGo to full version/Return
Posted on Fri, 03/21/2014 - 08:18 by bg13
I read a lot of debate about whether it is worth weaning kids from their mother and feeding them on their own, or not. And how much I read, I leaned so much that it was not worth it. Moreover, bottle feeding was terrifying - how to get the baby to take a pacifier, how many times to feed and "how many grams to hang", and so on.
As they say, thought is material. At the end of February, our first-timer Duska brought us two charming girls. They were terribly worried about Duska throughout her pregnancy - she turned out to be completely unprepared for her new state, she was terribly nervous and she absolutely did not like everything about herself. As a result, the girls were born, Duska licked them as expected and turned away. We encountered this for the first time, before that God was merciful and we did not have abandoned kids.
Well, there's nothing to do, my husband grabbed a bicycle and rushed to the nearest district center for baby bottles and nipples, since February was exceptionally warm this year. They took the children home and placed them in a box. I surfed the internet and dug up as much information on self-feeding as the search engines could give. And it still seemed scary. The husband arrived, the children are hungry and willy-nilly, the eyes are afraid - the hands are doing. They milked the happy (that she was finally left alone and she can return to her free royal way of life) Duska and ran to feed the children.
From experience - the first day with feeding was torment. The kids were looking for the udder, but they categorically did not perceive the nipple. The issue was decided this way - we sit on a chair (or standing, if convenient, the owner’s posture does not matter, since the owner’s convenience is purely personal and the goat is not of interest to business :-))), we take the goat with one hand, press the bottle and nipple to the other corner of the mouth. That is, the logic is the same as with kittens, and with puppies, whoever drinks it knows. The nipple falls a little into the mouth, we shake the bottle so that a stream of milk goes under the air, and that's it. Usually the goat itself understands what needs to be done, and intercepts the nipple more comfortably. Looking ahead, I’ll say that now we already have five kids to feed, there were those who didn’t see the pacifier for a long time, but feeding from the corner of the mouth always gave a positive result, even with those who fell asleep along the way and with those who stubbornly did not want to suck milk.
We fed the first girls and the next three we feed in five hours. We take walks with us according to the weather - if it is warm and without wind. They took from the first week of life. Feeding rate - started with 50 g per feeding and gradually increased, by the end of the second week of life, the volume of soldered milk per head was 800 g. From the middle of the second week, we reduce the milk a little and add liquid semolina porridge - but the daily volume is still at least 800 grams.
In the third week of life, gradually increase to 900 grams per head.
The goats in question were born on February 27th weighing about 1,700 grams. Now at the moment they haven’t weighed it, but it’s already hard to hold it in my hands, we will weigh it the other day, the goats are frisky, jumping, jumping, chasing chickens around the yard. Photo, as well as measurements - later.
What conclusion did I draw for myself? Feeding is a chore and takes time, but - Duska, our star, gives about 500 grams per day.