Thursday, December 8, 2016

How to SUCCESSFULLY raise goats kids on a bottle. Do not USE milk replacer ever. Follow this schedule, and you will have healthy kids

I cannot tell you how many calls and messages I get yearly about dying, bloated or dead goat kids.

My first statement (not even a question) is always, "You were feeding powdered milk replacer, weren't you?"

The answer is always a weak, "Yes, I was."

Sometimes they say the vet told me to, the breeder told me to or that they had used replacer with calves and thought it would be ok.

Listen, goats are so fragile. Yes, you can raise puppies, foals and calves on replacer. But it is so risky to use powered replacer, my FIRM recommendation is to never, ever try it.

This advice has saved many a weak, dying kid.

Feed real (tested free from CAE) goat's milk or WHOLE cow's milk only. No replacers. Pasteurized, store bought is fine.

Bottlefeeding Full size goat kids on my schedule:

First 24 hours
I start offering up to 10 oz of REAL COLOSTRUM to a newborn kid. If they drink it all, wait 4 hours before offering more. If they take 2-4 ounces, I offer milk again in a few hours.  I feed only colostrum the first 12 hours. They must have colostrum from a goat (not a cow).

You can go to Whole Cow's milk thereafter

Day 2-7: They are on about 8-10 ounces 4 times a day

Day 7- 4 weeks:  I do 20 oz 3 times a day

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 chose to feed longer (I do)

12-24 weeks - One 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

"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington