when do you start feeding kids grain?

Discussion in 'Kidding Koral' started by use2bwilson, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. use2bwilson

    use2bwilson New Member

    213
    Aug 3, 2011
    Niwot, CO
    When do you start feeding kids grain?
    How much?
    Do you give them special baby goat grain? or same as the mamas?
    And you need to put it in a space where the adult goats can get to it and eat it all ... correct?
     
  2. firelight27

    firelight27 Hopelessly Addicted

    Apr 24, 2009
    Southern Oregon
    I start separating kids at night at two weeks old so I can milk mama in the mornings. I usually put a handful in a shallow rubber dish for each set of babies. At two weeks they usually just sniff it and wander off, but they start eating soon. I give the same stuff as mom. I start out with a little and give them up to half a cup once a day once they are weaning age. I like to feed all kids grain at that rate up to one year old since they are doing so much growing. But everyone does it differently.
     

  3. RPC

    RPC Boer Goat Breeder

    I start feeding grain when the kids are 1-2 weeks old and my kids get an 18% pelleted feed that is a meat maker show feed. That is different then what my does get so they will eat some of momma's then go to their creep feeder and eat their own feed. In the beginning don't put alot out because they will just play and waste it so don't waste alot of your money. I have a creep area so I can feed my kids the different feed and so the dams can not get to it. I have this thread showing out set up. viewtopic.php?f=13&t=28205
     
  4. shibby7

    shibby7 New Member

    387
    Feb 19, 2012
    Canada
    My kids have free access to grain from day 1, but they usually don't get the hang of it until about 1-2 weeks old. We creep feed the babies free choice everything.
     
  5. liz

    liz New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    All babies here have access from day 1 as I feed mama's in their stalls until I start milking.... At the afternoon feeding, I put a handful in a dish in a creep area for kids to taste while mama eats on the stand. I use a mix of 50# 18% Caprine Challenger to 5# BOSS and 10# either Calf Manna or Manna Pro Goat Balancer.....as kids get more into grain I find that they want to be piggies at around 5-6 weeks and will choke so I pick up any feed that is left before I leave the barn.
     
  6. J.O.Y. Farm

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

    Jan 10, 2012
    New Hampshire
    I do the same :wink:
     
  7. shibby7

    shibby7 New Member

    387
    Feb 19, 2012
    Canada
    Feeding free choice will eliminate the "piggy effect" because its always there for them. Mine nibble on the grain all day long, taking tid bits here and there. Its way more natural for them and I found my kids grow excellent this way. I never have choke, bloat or scours. That's why I start from day 1, you can't go to free choice if you feed limited quantities once or twice a day.

    I also have only standard sized goats, so it may depend also on the growth rate you'd like. And I won't comment on the ration to use because I have a completely customized feed program.

    ETA: Also, I actually end up using LESS grain then I would feeding them a set amount once or twice a day. So its cost effective for me too!
     
  8. liz

    liz New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I did free choice in the creep area last year and the year before....I found I was throwing out more because of bird droppings than anything and I certainly did not want my kids eating dirtied feed.
    I have found that around 7 weeks is when the kids here actually eat and enjoy their feed....yes, there is a large enough trough for all to get without shoving each other and the rate of gain is consistent wether I left it free choice or scheduled as well as being on their dams through the day...by the time my ND kids who are multiples are ready to leave at 8 weeks they average 20-25 lbs, singles are usually around 25-30lbs
     
  9. shibby7

    shibby7 New Member

    387
    Feb 19, 2012
    Canada
    Yes, we all need to do what works for us! :thumb:
     
  10. liz

    liz New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    :thumbup:
     
  11. desertlily

    desertlily Senior Member

    169
    Jul 22, 2011
    Arizona
    Liz, you say your ND kids are about 20-25 lbs at 8 wks? I just bought a little buckling from some non-goat people (the kind of parents that buy their kids a bunny for Easter). Anyway, he weighs 12 lbs. Having not had kids before, I've been trying to find out what he should weigh I'm surprised that he's so far off. He seems very healthy otherwise and is extremely friendly.

    I've been giving him 1/2 cup of grain am and pm plus hay and browse free choice, does that sound ok?
     
  12. desertlily

    desertlily Senior Member

    169
    Jul 22, 2011
    Arizona
    I forgot to give his age - he's about 9 wks old.
     
  13. My kids have access to grain starting day one. I do one feeding of the does as a group and the kids start to nibble at around a week or 2. The other feeding does get on the stand so kids dont get that option.
     
  14. use2bwilson

    use2bwilson New Member

    213
    Aug 3, 2011
    Niwot, CO
    We seem to be on track based on everyone's responses. Our 2 doelings are just over two weeks & have been nibbling on grain for a few days ... But not exactly eating it for real yet. We are working on a creep space so they have access all the time. But right now we are offering them grain a few times a day ... And they are only nibbling ... I think most of what goes in gets chewed a bit and then falls back out!!