Bottle baby: How often do you feed?

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by JearDOE Ranch, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. 2 hours

    0 vote(s)
  2. 4 hours

    4 vote(s)
  3. 6 hours

    3 vote(s)
  4. 8 hours

    1 vote(s)
  5. other

    2 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. JearDOE Ranch

    JearDOE Ranch Active Member

    Aug 23, 2018
    Have I asked this before? I don't know...
    If you are curious to my nursery I'm now running read on, but I just wanted to get everyone's input on how often they have fed their own bottle babies.

    We are currently on a 4 hour rotation but I don't see where there would be an issue with a six hour rotation instead. My husband wanted me to do every two hours and I just looked at him like he was crazy. His thought was that is the closet to what they would be getting if they were nursing on mama. I get that but then I would never leave the barn.

    We have one doe that this is her first time kidding... her bag never dropped. She had twins. Then if you read my one of my other posts you know that we had one doe that had preemie triplets. The vet had started supplementing milk for the kids and suggested we do the same. We kept the kids in the next pen over and put them in with her every day. She has since rejected two of the three. We no longer put them in with her but the third one now stays with her. There is another one that had triplets and one was beginning to get pushed out so we started supplementing her, but we never removed her from momma and she still nurses.
  2. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    It really depends on the age. At first I feed them at least every 2-3 hrs throughout the day and once in the middle of the night. At 2 weeks I drop the night feeding and at that point they've slowly progressed to 4 times a day. Then at like 4-5 weeks they go to 3 times a day and so on.
    KirDay, SandyNubians and Karen Kuntz like this.

  3. Oliveoil

    Oliveoil Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2019
    Well... I don't have an "ideal" feeding schedule compared to most people. I feed once in the morning and once at night. I am at school all day, so feeding throughout the day isn't an option. Unlike @Suzanne_Tyler I would never be able to feed in the middle of the night. I simply sleep too deeply to wake up from anything-trust me I've tried and I like my sleep way too much. However, this year I'm going to try bucket feeding and see how the kids do on that.
  4. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki

    You can supplement the one being pushed away and still leave it with mama too. Or go out and make mama stand for only that one to nurse.
  5. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    It depends on the age of the kids... how old are your bottle kids?

    Can the bottle kids run with the herd? you'd be surprised how smart they get about sneaking feedings from does that are busy with singles as they get older.
    Robinsonfarm likes this.
  6. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    So these are not new born new born? If not and you want a schedule then what I do is 4X a day, I don’t do night time feeding either but I do get up early and feed the 4th RIGHT before bed. So that is usually at 5:30 and the last being at 9. At about a month old then I will drop them to 3X a day. I want to encourage them to start picking at feed. At 2 months, 2X a day, 3 months I still give a night bottle before bed.
    Now the last two years what I have done is get a lamb bar (a bucket that holds milk and has nipples coming off) and I fill it up with cold milk and let them go to town. The cold keeps them from eating them selfs to death and they have it when ever they want. I still let them hang out with the herd, I have a stall that only kids can fit threw and they are the only ones that know (and care) that’s where the milk is so they come and go as they please. Because I am not “mom” they are more willing to hang out with the other goats and learn things like eating hay and I’m not having to cut down the amount they are being fed to get them to go out and really start on feed.
    A lot of people do not like this idea, I didn’t for a long time. One worry is the cold will chill them. Last year I put a lamp in the stall but they really didn’t drink enough to get too chilled. This year I kept it off and they have been fine BUT I don’t have insane -200 degrees lol if I did I still would have that heat lamp up. Another reason is because you can not measure how much they are and are not eating. This is true! If one is off and not eating as much then there is no measurement to go off of. But I also have no measurement to go off of with dam raised either so I just treat them like the rest and watch for signs of not feeling good.
    Your choice but I’m sold on the bucket
    JearDOE Ranch likes this.
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    We cannot do the survey or answer your question, without knowing age.
    It is really different.
  8. JearDOE Ranch

    JearDOE Ranch Active Member

    Aug 23, 2018
    22 days for two, but they are the preemies I posted about earlier. The third one is one week old today. They look all about the same size. We just started letting them run with the herd a few days ago. Our biggest concern was one of them getting hurt. Those does can be rough on kids that aren't theirs! There are two others that I supplement that are have not been removed from their mother-though one is now refusing the bottle. And that's fine by me as long as momma and babies stay healthy. I only removed the one's being rejected because the mother's were getting rough on them.

    Thanks! right now I'm doing 6x's a day at three weeks. It's hard to get anything else done, including sleep. I think I'll start transitioning them to go without a bottle during the night and take up some of your other feeding advice.

    Speaking of.... time for a bottle.
  9. JearDOE Ranch

    JearDOE Ranch Active Member

    Aug 23, 2018
    Thanks! I was looking for a good guide. Especially when I can drop the night time feedings!