A Kid rearing tip . . .not the human kind
So often I get messages and calls this time of year. . .
A goat emergency. . .someone has a listless kid that wouldn't eat. The very young kid was near death and vets or breeders have told the person to raise the goat kid on milk replacer. . .
My response, Always. . .
"NO REPLACER. Take the kid off now. Put the kids on Whole cow's milk (never 2%) if local, tested goat's milk can't be had."
As always, kid is then perfectly fine within a day or so.
I've been getting these calls for years now, the answer THAT HAS ALWAYS WORKED has been - NO REPLACER. WHOLE COW'S MILK if goat's milk isn't available. Every single person has saved their kids because of this.
Keep this in mind when you sell bottle kids or purchase them.
This assures the kid gets the best start in life, and that is what we want.
People will tell you how replacer worked for them fine. . .remember everyone's version of fine doesn't always equal really excellent growth and health, and also, that does nothing for the many people who simple end up with dead kids.
Another bottle kid goat tidbit that may help someone:
I also had an email dialogue last year with a lady raising some quads. Some are on the dam. Some she bottle raised since, of course, the doe wouldn't be able to care for all 4 well enough.
Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of easy to find information online as to HOW much to feed. While she knew to not use replacer, she said the 7 week old bottle kids were stunted in size. I asked how much she was feeding. It added up to about 30 oz or less a day for full size kids.
My kids get 60 oz a day, at least. They are full size kids, not miniatures. This is until at LEAST 12 weeks. I personally do not wean until older, actually.
Personally, this is what I do with success, and there is some variation kid to kid:
First 24 hours
I start offering up to 10 oz of colostrum to a newborn kid. If they drink it all, I wait about 2 hours before offering more. I continue this the first 24 hours every 3-4 hours and wait up to 6 hours overnight.
Day 2-7- they are on about 10 ounces 4 times a day
Day 7- 4 weeks - I do 20 oz 3 times a day, if they will accept it
4-8 weeks - 20 oz plus ounces 3 times a day or go to free choice lamb bar feeding
8-12 weeks - 30 oz 2 times a day
If you continue beyond 12 weeks (I do 16- 24 weeks) - a 20 to 30 oz bottle once a day.
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens
- Proverbs 27:23-27