Dam raise VS bottle raise

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by HarmonyLane, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. HarmonyLane

    HarmonyLane Harmony Lane

    7
    May 21, 2013
    Tennessee
    I am new to goats....7 months into it but have started with 6 very nice does. 3 LaMancha's and 3 Alpines. I am leaning towards Dam raising, putting the kids up at night and milking only in the mornings. I plan to use the milk for personal/family use and make a little cheese and soap. I understand all about the CAE prevention and my Does have come from CAE free breeders (only 2 breeders). I plan to test for CAE each year and I plan to show. How many people show and Dam raise and is it working for you? any problems with does ramming the kids to death (like I have heard)? any advise on this subject would be appreciated. :help:
     
  2. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Everyone has their own preference re: dam or bottle raised for their own reasons.
    Our dam fed kids are just as friendly as any bottle kid minus the obnoxiousness.
    As for ramming, do you mean inutero or after kids are born?
    No one has ever hurt someone else's kid.
    In almost 8 years only one abortion from being repeatedly rammed against a bldg by a herd queen.
    It came back to bite her in the behind, she hasn't settled since.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013

  3. J.O.Y. Farm

    J.O.Y. Farm ~Crazy Goat Lady~

    Jan 10, 2012
    New Hampshire
    I dam raise and have had no problems.. This far.. I love my dam raised kids :) not so pushy and in your face like bottle kids lol!
    I let mom and kids stay together day and night for two weeks.. At one week I start milking in the am.. Though they are still with mom so it's not much... But it's mostly to get my FFs used to being milked.. Then start a full fill at two weeks.. Then wean at 8-9 weeks..

    Any other things you would like to know? Sorry, I know I am missing stuff.. It's been a long day lol
     
  4. HarmonyLane

    HarmonyLane Harmony Lane

    7
    May 21, 2013
    Tennessee
    As for ramming, do you mean inutero or after kids are born?

    After the kids are born is what I meant, a friend said it has happened to a breeder friend of hers....and do you show your goats? does that pose a problem when you have to show and they are still on mama? that was the other "con" my friend brought to my attention; hauling the kids to the show and hoping in with mama and nurse her out before the show, and or leave them at home and struggle to get them to take a bottle. Any thoughts? I REALLY appreciate all the information, I can't tell you!!!:clap:
     
  5. J.O.Y. Farm

    J.O.Y. Farm ~Crazy Goat Lady~

    Jan 10, 2012
    New Hampshire
    My guys have always been gentle with the babies.. They let them know they mean it.. But mine have never hurt any of the kids before..

    When I have kids born/nursing in show season I either, put them in a crate for the trip to the show, and bring a dog Xpen for them and another for the does, and then after I milk the does half-3/4 way out I let them nurse.. Or I leave them home with a doe that I'm not showing and give them a bottle.. If they are hungry enough they will take a bottle.. Other wise.. That would be their loss for the day... :shrug: I have had some kids that are a little tougher to get on the bottle but after a night/day with out mom/food they take it no problem.
     
  6. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    We bring dams & kids all to a show if one happens during show season if dam is showable.
     
  7. goathiker

    goathiker I'm watching you

    Apr 13, 2011
    Oregon Coast Range
    You can also separate at night and give them a bottle or a lamb bar in the morning before putting them out with mom. Then they know how to do both.
     
  8. J.O.Y. Farm

    J.O.Y. Farm ~Crazy Goat Lady~

    Jan 10, 2012
    New Hampshire
    That's a good Idea :) I have had a few kids I had to put on bottles at a few weeks old and did that before switching them over totally to the bottle :)
     
  9. HarmonyLane

    HarmonyLane Harmony Lane

    7
    May 21, 2013
    Tennessee
    You have been most helpful :thumbup:, I think I will stick to my original plan and try the Dam feeding, I think I have 4 bred, two more to go....
     
  10. J.O.Y. Farm

    J.O.Y. Farm ~Crazy Goat Lady~

    Jan 10, 2012
    New Hampshire
    You can always try it and if it doesn't work for you then try bottle raising :) you just gotta find what works for you :)
     
  11. ThreeHavens

    ThreeHavens 7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether

    Oct 20, 2011
    New Jersey
    Oooh boy, here it comes! lol!

    I chose to dam-raise. I don't think there is a right or wrong, but it's what works for me and I enjoy it very much. :)

    I test my herd for diseases yearly.

    2 weeks, babes get all the milk, then I start separating at night and milking in the morning. At eight weeks, you can begin weaning. :)

    If you give the kids plenty of love and affection, I haven't been able to notice any sort of friendliness difference between dam and bottle raised kids (I've had both). I love that the dams can teach their kiddoes respect, and be there 24/7 for them, even when I can't. I've found that often dam-raised babies have a bit more respect for boundaries and personal space (this is just in my experience).

    Do what you feel is best! If you try it doesn't work for you, you can always try a different way. :) There are people who have bottle raised who switched to dam-raising, and vise versa. It's all about what works best for you.

    PS. With the dam's udders, you just have to watch to make sure kids are nursing off of both sides. If not, you may have to even out the sides a bit. I've never had an udder ruined by kids -- I like to know that the udders can do a good job serving their original purpose, nursing! :)
     
  12. TDG-Farms

    TDG-Farms Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State

    Jul 12, 2013
    There are a couple of problems with dam raised kids on show goats. Its nearly impossible to keep the udder even. Be it 1 kid or 2 or 3, kids are going to take the side that is easiest for them to get milk outta. Its only when they are bigger will they each pick a side. Now with that being said, you dont want to keep odd number of kids on a doe. 1 is not enough and again, will take just one side. 3 is to many in that her udder will never get to expand and stretch cause it will never be full. Hand milking allows the udder to expand twice a day and that adds to a larger udder each new kidding season.

    Its easy enough to teach a bottle baby how to eat of a lamb bar if done quick enough. I start training mine within a week and by 2 weeks they pretty much have it figured out and I dont have to keep putting them on the nipple when they pop off. Though, there are some that are slow learners :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  13. happybleats

    happybleats Active Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    we dam raise....we put babies ina safe kids pen at night when they turn 2 weeks old..milk mom in the morning and let moms have babies the rest of the day... we do not show, so that is not an issue...we have onlyhad a few moms get uneven and we took care of that by milking to keep them even. Moms are always respectful of others kids..the worse the ever do is nudge then away...kids learn quick to stay away when moms tell them to. We also milk mom totally out in the morning...you dont have to leave some milk in the udder for baby..mom will hold up milk for them on her own..we never had a kid starve yet..lol..
    been doing this for 8 years :D
     
  14. HarmonyLane

    HarmonyLane Harmony Lane

    7
    May 21, 2013
    Tennessee
    This is a good point, and I DO want to test my hand at showing, so if I have 6 does now and they all get pregnant maybe that's not such a bad number to "try" dam raising, and showing. Keeping the udders even sounds challenging, but I guess you don't know until you try.
    I love Fiasco Farms information page and I believe this whole heartily...
    Goat mothers love their kids, just as you would love your own children. To take the kids away, not only breaks their heart, it causes stress, which causes diseases to surface due to stress.
    I also feel that raising the kid in an unnatural way (bottle feeding) causes stress. Kids need their mothers to love them and teach them. Without their mothers they become stressed, thus causing disease. Pasteurizing milk kills bacteria, and yes, it will kill the CAE virus, but it also kills the beneficial bacteria in the milk. Without this beneficial bacteria, the kids immune systems do not become as strong as it would on raw milk. Pasteurizing "cooks" the milk. I believe that kids especially need "uncooked" colostrum to get a proper start in life. This cooking destroys much of the nutrients and vitamins in the milk. Like I said, I am new, and this is my first time breeding, I have very good herd and plan on showing all of them, check with me next year and see if I'm still dam raising....ALL of the forums wisdom, knowledge I take in and take seriously what each one of you are saying. Don't hesitate to "tell me the way it is" LOL...
     
  15. lovinglife

    lovinglife Member

    790
    Jun 6, 2013
    Southern Idaho
    Another thing to consider is weaning. I had one doe raise her kids and the rest I put on a bucket. All did great until time to wean, the bucket babies no problem at all, those babies were with the herd when they were one month old and still on the bucket, all we had to do was start slowing down on the milk in the bucket. The dam raised ones different story. We seperated them for three months and when we tried to put them back with the herd, right back to mom. So that was a pain, had to tape my doe to dry her up, otherwise the kids would not leave her alone. If you have plenty of space to keep them seperated longer that would be great, if not, for me just better to bucket them.
     
  16. J.O.Y. Farm

    J.O.Y. Farm ~Crazy Goat Lady~

    Jan 10, 2012
    New Hampshire
    I have a separate pen set up for kids... When we wean them they go in that pen till the next spring... I could probably put the. Together sooner.. But I'd rather less head butting/adding new goats while I have bred does... So it's easier for me that way.. But, the majority of my kids are sold by 9 weeks old so it isn't a major problem for me... And I find after the first few days of crying my dam raised kids quiet down and have no problems.. Where with my bottle kids yell when ever they see me or hear me.. It has been harder for us to wean those guys most of the time.. But that is just us.. I know people have trouble the other way around too. :)
     
  17. happybleats

    happybleats Active Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    Mine are usually sold before having to worry about weening late...those we retain will stay on mom as normal..put up at night..but that does decrease milk production...We also get every kid used to the bottle just incase, this saves a lot of hassle if we end up having to bottle raise one, we learned to do this one year when one of our does got very ill,,,she could not feed her kids, so we had to fight to get them to take a bottle, when mom was better and she was back to full milk, she took them back, but they never forgot what that bottle was for lol...also a good idea if someone wants a bottle baby...
     
  18. Dani-1995

    Dani-1995 New Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Greenville, NC
    Love how you put this.!

    I raise boers and will dam raise kids, like the majority of boer breeders. I want the doe to be able to do her job and I really don't have time to bottle kids, nor the patience to do it all the time.
     
  19. black-smith

    black-smith New Member

    117
    Jan 20, 2011
    Canada
    I've gone back and forth on this too... found out it can be a very touchy subject!
    I dam raised this year, milking them out completely once a day so as to keep my udders even. Then as the shows grew nearer I would separate the kids at night to see what the does udders looked like full.
    It worked really well because my work schedule didn't allow time for bottle raising this year. The only problem I had with it, is that my best doe had a single buck kid who would only nurse on one side. Milking her out every day kept her udder even, but her teats were different sizes. Because he kept one side empty all the time the teat never filled with milk and never stretched out so at the show they were never the same shape or size. Don't know how to prevent that but if you have twins that should be ok!
     
  20. milkmaid

    milkmaid I'm not addicted - I'm in love!

    Sep 15, 2010
    North Alabama
    I feel very strongly about this, but no offense is intended. :) Every situation is different and there is no cut-and-dried answer.
    I do not show, but I do dam raise. The does really do love their kids, and personally I think it's cruel to take them away. For me this outweighs all other considerations unless the doe is CAE positive.
    Also, it is SO much less work to dam raise! I have supplemented with a bottle when kids are not getting enough, but that's all. I do test regularly and so far it's always been negative.

    It is not bottlefeeding per se that makes a kid friendly, but positive contact with humans. If you want a kid to be friendly, instead of preparing and feeding a bottle several times a day, try going out once every day and spending a few minutes with the kids. They will be just as friendly, and more respectful.

    I've never had a kid seriously hurt by being butted, though it is of course possible. Those other does can really be mean! Overcrowded conditions would make it worse. My solution is to keep the new family separate from the herd until I judge they are ready (I have to go by my gut feeling on this - in my situation it's usually just a couple days) and then watch closely to make sure they aren't being picked on much.

    Lovinglife is right in saying it can take the kids months to forget how to nurse!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013