Bottle babies for 1st-time goat keeper?

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by BarnOwl, Feb 23, 2021 at 9:31 AM.

  1. BarnOwl

    BarnOwl Member

    31
    Sep 6, 2020
    Southeast TN
    I have the opportunity to purchase several nigerian dwarf bottle babies from a breeder that seems purposeful and responsible, focused on milk production and health. They like to let their goats go at one week but no later than 1 month. They say the kids will be taking a bottle readily. I've been researching goat care, but have not read much about bottle-feeding at all--hence I am reluctant and will probably let this opportunity pass.

    I guess, my question is, how wise is it for a first-timer to take on bottle babies? Will I have difficulty finding breeders who keep their kids until they are weaned? I only work part time (two nights a week 7p-7a) but on at least one day it would be difficult to bottle feed multiple times without enlisting my husband (who would probably prefer to father our human kids).

    I understand that if I want to milk a doe someday, i'd have to breed her, and if there was an emergency I would find a way to bottle feed the babies, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

    Bottle babies sure are cute though...and a very tame pet-like goat would be appealing.....and I'd be sad if no other opportunies came along later.

    Anyway--bottle babies for a newbie: good idea, bad idea?

    Sorry this post got so long,and sorry if this question has been answered a million times before!
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 10:41 AM
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  2. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    If they are well started on a bottle it will certainly be easier but I think the real challenge comes later. If your ultimate goal is to milk a doe for home use, and you have never ever done that before, then beginning with a doe that is already trained to the milk stand and accustomed to hand milking will be MUCH easier.

    If you do purchase the bottle kids, aim for the 3-4 week age ones that should be well started on hay and pelleted feed in addition to their bottles.
     

  3. Caileigh Jane Smith

    Caileigh Jane Smith Well-Known Member

    503
    Dec 1, 2019
    Missouri, USA
    You can definitely tame down goats that were not bottle raised, even if they are adults. Though it is easier to start with kids. I have done that, and it has worked for me very well so far. I have one kid right now who was dam raised, but he's every bit as friendly as his mom, who was a bottle baby. I have had him since he was born, and played with him everyday. My buck was already several months old when I bought him, and quite wild, but he is now also very tame, and easy to catch and handle.
     
  4. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
  5. MadHouse

    MadHouse Well-Known Member

    I have never had bottle babies, but either way, make sure you get more than one, or else there will be a lot of screaming whenever you leave.
     
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  6. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    TEXAS
    I agree to get two so when you introduce them to the herd they have a buddy. Singles are often picked on and bullied.
     
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  7. BarnOwl

    BarnOwl Member

    31
    Sep 6, 2020
    Southeast TN
    Oh yes that is a good thought. I will make sure I get a least two!
     
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  8. BarnOwl

    BarnOwl Member

    31
    Sep 6, 2020
    Southeast TN
    Thanks! Yes, I was planning to get either two doelings or a doe and bucking (to be wethered). I don't have a herd yet, but in the future I'll be careful if I'm adding a single. That is really good to know.
     
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  9. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    TEXAS
    Since you’re just starting you need two anyway. Goats are herd animals and don’t do well alone. They tend to get treated like dogs not goats and often come to a sad demise. I’m not saying that’s you but sadly it happens a lot. Goat baby’s are the adorable but they grow and can get pretty full of themselves and demanding but if there’s two it’s less likely to happen.
     
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  10. BarnOwl

    BarnOwl Member

    31
    Sep 6, 2020
    Southeast TN
    Thanks everyone! Breeder says they might be able to keep the kids until 6-8 weeks and by that time they'd be okay overnight when I work (two nights). If they have to live in the house though, that might be where the husband draws the line, haha. I'm really tempted, but I'm probably not experienced or prepared enough for bottle-feeding. Better hurry up and get the new fence built. And just because I need to vent--I've been stood up by 1 builder who said he was coming today, ignored by the person who installed our pig-fence last year, and had two false leads. ughh!
     
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  11. MadHouse

    MadHouse Well-Known Member

    Good luck with getting the fence in!
     
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  12. BarnOwl

    BarnOwl Member

    31
    Sep 6, 2020
    Southeast TN
    Thanks! I'll need it. Just found another contracter that seems more professional and established than some of the others. Going to talk to them tomorrow. Fingers crossed. It's expensive not to be handy! :D
     
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  13. MadHouse

    MadHouse Well-Known Member

    Fence is expensive even if you’re handy!