The Goat Spot Forum banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some pros and cons to bottle babies! Trying to figure out whether I want one or not, as there are obviously a lot of things to consider.

The breeder I’m working with (if she ends up having a doeling) is giving me the option. I’m interested, but of course the horror stories keep me nervous. I’ve never had to look after a kid, never mind a bottle baby.

Pros-
Cuteness and cuddles!
Learning experience
Extra friendly

Cons-
Chance of losing the kid
Keeping it inside the house for 8-12 weeks
Potentially less friendly?

This is what I have so far!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,154 Posts
First thing to consider is if you can handle 2. Baby's do alot better with a goat friend.
Bottle babies are alot of fun but also alot of work. You must bottle feed baby 3-4 times a day for at least 3 months. You want goats milk from a disease free herd or whole cows milk. Avoid using replacer as some babies do not do well with it and better to choose milk that doesn't cause issue. Next you will want to weigh baby every few days to be sure they get proper amount. Over feeding baby can kill them, so use this formula to get started
Weigh baby and multiply their weight by 16 to get their weight in oz. Then multiply that by 10 % to get how much milk they need per day and divide that into 3-4 feedings. Feel babies tummy after the bottle to see if it's happy. A happy tummy will not be too poochy or sunken in. Adjust milk amount to gain that happy tummy. Not all babies can handle the same amount of milk so do all babies.
Most times a baby fed proper milk at proper amount do perfect fine and grow up healthy. For the times they dont seem well..you have us here on TGS but you also need a relationship with a local vet who looks after goats. Keep in mind a vet may not be up to date on all things goats..but in an emergency situation or when you need medication, that relationship will mean everything.
Next consider if you want horns or not. Babies need to be disbudded often with in a week of birth. Some babies sooner and some later. Nigerian goats may get by with a few weeks. Some if my lamancha bucks can be born ready. Knowing when to disbud is everything when you want a quick and clean job with no scurs later. It's easier on baby then waiting too late. A horn bump the size of a medium knuckle needs done. A horn broke through the skin will likely gain uou scars to deal with. Read read read..so you are well informed and able to make a decision best for your new babies.
The hardest part is when it's time to transition to the barn. It's not so much h hard on them as it is hard on me lol. My last two stayed in house for 6 months. But once out of the house..it is nice lol.
Another con is because they need to be fed on time, you may not be able to be gone very long.
They also get very clingy and teaching them they won't die if left in the barn
Can be hard lol.
Don't get a buck unless you plan on wethering (fixing) him. Bucks do not make good pets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
First thing to consider is if you can handle 2. Baby's do alot better with a goat friend.
Bottle babies are alot of fun but also alot of work. You must bottle feed baby 3-4 times a day for at least 3 months. You want goats milk from a disease free herd or whole cows milk. Avoid using replacer as some babies do not do well with it and better to choose milk that doesn't cause issue. Next you will want to weigh baby every few days to be sure they get proper amount. Over feeding baby can kill them, so use this formula to get started
Weigh baby and multiply their weight by 16 to get their weight in oz. Then multiply that by 10 % to get how much milk they need per day and divide that into 3-4 feedings. Feel babies tummy after the bottle to see if it's happy. A happy tummy will not be too poochy or sunken in. Adjust milk amount to gain that happy tummy. Not all babies can handle the same amount of milk so do all babies.
Most times a baby fed proper milk at proper amount do perfect fine and grow up healthy. For the times they dont seem well..you have us here on TGS but you also need a relationship with a local vet who looks after goats. Keep in mind a vet may not be up to date on all things goats..but in an emergency situation or when you need medication, that relationship will mean everything.
Next consider if you want horns or not. Babies need to be disbudded often with in a week of birth. Some babies sooner and some later. Nigerian goats may get by with a few weeks. Some if my lamancha bucks can be born ready. Knowing when to disbud is everything when you want a quick and clean job with no scurs later. It's easier on baby then waiting too late. A horn bump the size of a medium knuckle needs done. A horn broke through the skin will likely gain uou scars to deal with. Read read read..so you are well informed and able to make a decision best for your new babies.
The hardest part is when it's time to transition to the barn. It's not so much h hard on them as it is hard on me lol. My last two stayed in house for 6 months. But once out of the house..it is nice lol.
Another con is because they need to be fed on time, you may not be able to be gone very long.
They also get very clingy and teaching them they won't die if left in the barn
Can be hard lol.
Don't get a buck unless you plan on wethering (fixing) him. Bucks do not make good pets.
First of all, let me commend you on doing research before just getting a bottle baby because they're so cute. So many people jump into goats not realizing what a commitment they are and it never ends well for the goat. I think happybleats explained it all very well. Good luck and keep up the good work.
Thank you both!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
Is the breeder going to be bottle feeding them regardless? Or will she dam raise if you don't bottle feed? What I did this year, and worked great for me, was to leave kids with their dam until 2 weeks, then train them to a bottle. Then I combo dam/bottle raised them until they were 10 weeks old, at which point I sent them to their new owners. At that age they could be weaned, but would still happily take a bottle, so it was up to the new owners if they wanted to continue bottle feeding for a couple weeks to bond with the new babies, or wean them and not bother with it. If she is bottle raising either way, see if you can get them when they're a little older and more hardy.

Having bottle kids is a ton of work and really nerve-wracking. This year was the first year I pulled kids to completely bottle raise (separate from the combo raised kids) and that was only out of necessity when a tiny doe produced 4 kids. And this is my 6th year raising dairy goats. It can be done, but for a first timer I'd definitely recommend dam raised kids, just get ones that have been socialized. I would never sell a bottle kid to a newbie (aside from my older combo raised kids) just because of the risks, but I know most people don't have that reservation.

And yes, no matter what you decide, make sure you get two!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is the breeder going to be bottle feeding them regardless? Or will she dam raise if you don't bottle feed? What I did this year, and worked great for me, was to leave kids with their dam until 2 weeks, then train them to a bottle. Then I combo dam/bottle raised them until they were 10 weeks old, at which point I sent them to their new owners. At that age they could be weaned, but would still happily take a bottle, so it was up to the new owners if they wanted to continue bottle feeding for a couple weeks to bond with the new babies, or wean them and not bother with it. If she is bottle raising either way, see if you can get them when they're a little older and more hardy.

Having bottle kids is a ton of work and really nerve-wracking. This year was the first year I pulled kids to completely bottle raise (separate from the combo raised kids) and that was only out of necessity when a tiny doe produced 4 kids. And this is my 6th year raising dairy goats. It can be done, but for a first timer I'd definitely recommend dam raised kids, just get ones that have been socialized. I would never sell a bottle kid to a newbie (aside from my older combo raised kids) just because of the risks, but I know most people don't have that reservation.

And yes, no matter what you decide, make sure you get two!
I do have other goats and I have a doe due to kid around the same time as the bottle baby coming home (If I do decide to go with it.) would it be okay to raise those kids with the bottle baby instead of getting two?

Also, if I don’t go with a bottle baby the kid will most likely be dam raised, which is why I’m also a little hesitant as I want to make sure the kid is as friendly as possible. I have had luck with dam raised kids before, but there’s always that worry that it won’t work out like it has in the past.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,154 Posts
would it be okay to raise those kids with the bottle baby instead of getting two?
Yes. You can bottle those kids too or bring the bottle baby out for play time once strong. This will make it easier for baby to enter the herd as well once old enough.
If you go with dam raised. When you bring her home..if ahes not friendly, pen her and spend lots of time with her.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,768 Posts
I think the level of extra friendly a bottle baby is should be on the con list lol I would honestly rather tame down a wild dam raised then deal with ill mannered bottle babies. They jump on you, if you don’t have a bottle they chew on you and eat your hair and run in front of you to stop you so you might give them a bottle and the crying. All these reasons is why I (myself) detest them. A lamb bar has fixed most of that but I still like my dam raised better.
Personally I would look at the breeders goats as a whole, especially the yearlings. Are they nice and respectfully friendly? Or are they more shy, stand off or flat out crazy. If her dam raised are nice and friendly I would let her raise it. Less stress on you, the kid will learn more goat things with a dam, they most of the time tend to grow better (not always but usually). She will be fed on her dime for 8-12 weeks, and if something were to happen to the kid on her time, something that is just out of our hands, you should get a replacement or a refund.
No matter which way you go, I have to say you are doing excellent on taking your time and do your homework on which way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think the level of extra friendly a bottle baby is should be on the con list lol I would honestly rather tame down a wild dam raised then deal with ill mannered bottle babies. They jump on you, if you don’t have a bottle they chew on you and eat your hair and run in front of you to stop you so you might give them a bottle and the crying. All these reasons is why I (myself) detest them. A lamb bar has fixed most of that but I still like my dam raised better.
Personally I would look at the breeders goats as a whole, especially the yearlings. Are they nice and respectfully friendly? Or are they more shy, stand off or flat out crazy. If her dam raised are nice and friendly I would let her raise it. Less stress on you, the kid will learn more goat things with a dam, they most of the time tend to grow better (not always but usually). She will be fed on her dime for 8-12 weeks, and if something were to happen to the kid on her time, something that is just out of our hands, you should get a replacement or a refund.
No matter which way you go, I have to say you are doing excellent on taking your time and do your homework on which way to go.
I personally like the freindliness it can offer simply because all the rest of our goats are very friendly and we’re used to it now. Jumping up, begging for attention and food, etc. I just deal with it because I love the extra cuddles! I have gone through this breeder before as well for dam raised goats and they’ve all turned out fine, even bought an adult doe and she’s my favourite now. (Don’t tell the others...)

I also really would like the experience of bottle raising and seeing if they’re any different than the goats I have now. My main worry is that the kid will get sick and I won’t have the resources to save her. We have a vet but they’re not specialized in goats or anything, just livestock. Not sure if that’s a worry I should have.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,154 Posts
The main issue I see with bottled babies is being over fed or them not do well on replacer.
Weigh baby every few days and adjust their milk amount. Always feel tummy after the bottle to be sure its a happy belly as explained in my first post. Make sure milk is warm in the stove top, never the microwave. Put a pinch of baking soda in first bottle of the day and a bit of probiotics in the last bottle.
Make sure baby is pooping and peeing, playful and active and alert. The rest should take care of itself. There is no guarantee baby won't get sick. This is true of dam raised babies as well.
 

·
Registered
Kinder Goat Breeder
Joined
·
4,608 Posts
Just my two cents, I have never bottle raised, but I have a doeling who was dam-raised who is just about as in your face as she can be. Chews on you, tries to get in your lap... the works. So if it were me, I'd ask the breeder how her kids are and use that as a judgment. I cannot stand goats that are fearful and standoffish, so if that's the trade off, I'd probably pick bottle raised. I can't imagine a goat being so friendly that it was annoying, but that's just my opinion. I can imagine a kid yelling for your company all the time, could get real old, real fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,716 Posts
I love my dam raised kids! But I play with them daily, so they are well socialized. I recently sold a yearling buck who was born here and dam raised. He was the sweetest, most easygoing guy I've had so far. I've had trouble with bottle kids not staying fenced because I abandoned them and they just had to break out and come find me. Sorta sweet...but mostly annoying! I did some bottle kids this year, and made sure they integrated with the rest of the herd at an early age. They were not house pets. They know they're goats, but they still are a bit more clingy than I'd like from time to time.
I also feel sorry for the poor mamas, who often have their kids snatched away to be raised as bottle babies. Maybe it's not so bad for those who have never raised their own kids, but I know some of my girls would be terribly upset if I took their kids away before weaning time.
However, if you want to try bottle babies, have at it! There's nothing wrong with getting that experience!
 

·
Registered
*Gotta love ‘em kids!*
Joined
·
750 Posts
If you spend time with dam raised babies daily, they can be just as sweet as bottle babies. We prefer to dam raised. Bottle raising sounds nice, but it’s a lot of work and stress. In my opinion ovoid it where you can.

I wouldn’t say bottle kids are annoyingly sweet, but if definitely makes them louder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I normally always bottle feed all kids. This spring we were bottle feeding 11 kids. Ive never had any issues EXCEPT for when I used replacer one 3 of my kids. I lost 2 out of 3 of them. Definitely do goats of cows milk.
I definitely plan to use whole cows milk since I don’t have any goat milk on hand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good idea. You should totally go with bottle feeding. Its a learning experience.
I think I just might! I just want to make sure I have as much information as possible first. Definitely a learning curve for someone who’s never bad to bottle feed anything before, but it’s needed if I plan to continue on with goats in the long run.
 

·
Registered
Breeding Quality Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Joined
·
1,575 Posts
You have gotten some great advice!!

I just wanted to add that I also prefer dam raised kids. The seem to grow so much better/faster and they are not brats! I've only had two bottle babies, bur they both turned out to be a big pain in the rear. One was a wether who was very pushy, didn't respect people's space, reared up at any little kid, and was mean to other goats. We sold him to be a companion for a lonely horse and it's a MUCH better situation for him. The other bottle baby is a doe I currently still have. She doesn't like very many people at all, rears up at lots people, and she is also a HUGE brat to my other does. I'll probably be selling her this spring after she freshens, hopefully she'll do better in a different situation as well.
 

·
Registered
Breeding Quality Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Joined
·
1,575 Posts
Oh and about whole cows milk, I know it works for a lot of people, but it didn't work for our wether. He was always hunched up, didn't jump/play around, he just wasn't acting like a normal baby goat. We called the vet and told him our problem, he asked what we were feeding him and after we told him whole cows milk he said it was HORRIBLE for baby goats and didn't recommend any one feeding that. He said that new needed to switch him over to goat milk ASAP. Once we switched over to goat milk, Toby was a whole different goat! He was acting and doing everything a normal goat kid should do. We could tell he felt sooo much better!

So just be careful when using whole cows milk, it doesn't work for everyone.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top