The Goat Spot Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to this forum and new to kidding. I have owned goats for almost two years. I have seven new babies and had hopes of selling all but two. When do I train them on the bottle? My oldest is two weeks old. I was thinking you could transition any time, but finding out that isn’t true or what’s best. Am I too late to train on the bottle? And how do you practically do it? Do I move the babies inside so they don’t see their mom? Do I do two at a time so they won’t feel alone? I am suddenly feeling totally overwhelmed trying to think through this selling thing. I will also start milking the moms within the next few days. Am I too late for that? Any other advice you can give me on selling and how best to do it without stressing everyone out, including myself. Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,199 Posts
It will be a tough road to get them to bottle feed at this point but usually can be done. But what are your goals for switching at this age? Selling such young kids to (usually) inexperienced bottle feeders isn't a great option for the kids. One option is to begin separating kids at night (with hay and feed and water available) around 2-3 weeks of age, milk the does in the morning, then let the kids be with them the rest of the day. (Or some folks do, separate during the day, milk at night, then put together if that works better for your schedule.) Then you can sell the kids at an appropriate weaning age of 10 weeks or thereabouts. Be sure to get them disbudded very soon if they will be pets and all the bucks wethered later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
At this point I would go with Salteyloves suggestion with the separating. As she said it probably could be done at 2 weeks, starting a bottle, but I had 2 week twins that ended up being orphans. 1 took the bottle fairly willingly after a few days the other would rather die then eat from a bottle.
For the future though I would either pull at birth since you have dairy does and just milk the colostrum out and feed to the kids, or what I do since I have boers and not overly easy to milk is leave on the dam for 24 hours and then pull. The older the kid the harder it is to get them started on a bottle.
Also with you being fairly new to the bottle baby game I would also just casually do some research on bottle babies. How much they should be eating, signs to watch out for, that kind of thing. I’m assuming your wanting to pull the boys off and sell as bottle babies, and little dairy boys usually I again agree with salteylove and they do end up going to someone that wants a pet and not much goat experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for your advice!! I had been going back and forth what I wanted to do and before I knew it they were here. So, my goal now is to cause the less amount of stress for mom and babies and still sell the babies. It sounds like for this kidding, I should just wait until weaning can occur. I have bottle fed babies before (with new goats I purchased) and I know it is a lot of work so maybe that is what was making me hesitant. And having that many babies at once. I have already learned a lot for next year!
Do disbudded goats sell better? I know I prefer them that way but wasn’t sure about selling and what others prefer.
Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Definitely disbud. If your not sure how see if someone can show you how. It's a little intimidating to just jump in and do. I still jumped in and learned but I had a lot of scurs until I finally got it figured out. You can contact whoever you purchased your goats from or even your local 4H club.
If bottle feeding is something you want to do in the future and you will have a good handful of kids look into a lamb bar or even something like this that will hold the bottles
IMG_4029.jpg
they make bottle holders that hang on the fence too. I personally like a cold lamb bar. It's super simple and I put milk in a bucket in the morning and night and let them eat as they wish. So no sitting with them every few hours. I can explain it more to you if it's something that might be interested in ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes. I would love to hear more. I might do this for some babies next kidding. I am not going to bottle feed this time... if I can help it. I have a mom with triplets with one that is a runt. She is good some days, but yesterday I was concerned because she wouldn’t let the kids nurse but about 2 seconds. My poor little Ruth (runt) got hardly any. (I gave her a little whole milk). This morning mom did a little better with the others but again, by the time Ruth wants to feed, mom moves on. I am watching to make sure and will pull her separate this morning to make sure she eats. And check mom too.
I appreciate everyone’s advice. So helpful. I will work on getting them disbudded this week and next.
 

·
Registered
Capriculturalist and Goat Slave
Joined
·
1,532 Posts
Yes. I would love to hear more. I might do this for some babies next kidding. I am not going to bottle feed this time... if I can help it. I have a mom with triplets with one that is a runt. She is good some days, but yesterday I was concerned because she wouldn't let the kids nurse but about 2 seconds. My poor little Ruth (runt) got hardly any. (I gave her a little whole milk). This morning mom did a little better with the others but again, by the time Ruth wants to feed, mom moves on. I am watching to make sure and will pull her separate this morning to make sure she eats. And check mom too.
I appreciate everyone's advice. So helpful. I will work on getting them disbudded this week and next.
Keep an eye on her. Topping her off with a different milk will cause mom to reject sometimes. Depends on the doe. But they smell their behinds because they're supposed to smell like mom's milk. I have a doe with trips. The littlest one does get topped off, but I use mom's milk. (I milk all mine anyway). I can tell her buckling gets the most...boy is he chunky.

Bottle feeding takes practice in knowing how much is good. Too much can cause problems, not enough can cause problems. We use a lambar bucket for ours as they can "nurse" more like normal. But also I don't have to do bottles multiple times a day, I just fill the bucket at specified times.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
58,925 Posts
It sounds like you are definitely going to need to supplement the runt. Slow starvation death is painful. You won't realize the kid is starving to death until too late.

You need to weigh them all daily with a scale that weighs in pounds and ounces or pounds and tenths of pounds. You can easily supplement the runt and keep her with mom and siblings. Adjust the amount of supplemented milk as needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
It sounds like you are definitely going to need to supplement the runt. Slow starvation death is painful. You won't realize the kid is starving to death until too late.

You need to weigh them all daily with a scale that weighs in pounds and ounces or pounds and tenths of pounds. You can easily supplement the runt and keep her with mom and siblings. Adjust the amount of supplemented milk as needed.
I agree. This is why I detest triplets. Usually they are fine but there is always that one every now and then that just can't compete. And mom is doing nothing wrong. That is how does feed their kids.
The cold lamb bar is a bucket that has nipples on it. I put cold milk in and give enough for the day. The cold milk keeps them from consuming too much. So I just dump cold milk in the lamb bar in the AM and they are good to go all day long. I myself keep a heat lamp in the stall with them so they don't get too chilled but most people do not. I am actually going to set mine up today and start working with my bottle kids to realize that is their new way of getting milk so I'll get you a picture. This will be my third year doing this and I am sold on it. Kids grow great, I have a life, and the bottle kids are still very friendly but not annoyingly friendly.
But there is quite a few different ways to make life easier with many bottle kids. The thing I showed up above and as mentioned warm milk in a lamb bar and just put the amount the kids are going to eat in that feeding. I myself tried that once and I wasn't thrilled with that way. There seems to always be 1 that eats faster then the others and I would have to step in and pull the kid off so the others can get their fair share and the one doesn't get sick. But just trying to give you ideas for next year ;)
 

·
Registered
Capriculturalist and Goat Slave
Joined
·
1,532 Posts
I am actually going to set mine up today and start working with my bottle kids to realize that is their new way of getting milk so I'll get you a picture.
We are doing that too. Some kids are annoying with it. LOL. Do you have an easy way to accomplish it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am in need of more help. We have held the mom today several times and the little one just eats and eats, while mom kicks and kicks. It is a little traumatic for everyone. I tried milking her by hand and milking machine but the same thing. So if I feed them from a bottle, will mom be mean to her?

I love the bucket and nipple idea. That sounds perfect for those of us who work!! Thanks for sharing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
We are doing that too. Some kids are annoying with it. LOL. Do you have an easy way to accomplish it?
Oh gosh probably not lol hunger is the key I think. I really wish I had started them earlier but everything seemed to come up all at once. But I will just keep putting them at the nipple to eat. Usually it's a total strike the first day and I will give them their morning and evening bottle as well until they do start figuring it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
I am in need of more help. We have held the mom today several times and the little one just eats and eats, while mom kicks and kicks. It is a little traumatic for everyone. I tried milking her by hand and milking machine but the same thing. So if I feed them from a bottle, will mom be mean to her?

I love the bucket and nipple idea. That sounds perfect for those of us who work!! Thanks for sharing!
No mom should not reject her if you give her a bottle. But your going to have to be very consistent on offering a bottle to her. She is not going to want to take it to start with.
This is a doe that you are wanting to milk correct? If so she needs to knock that off. I'm going to assume you have a milk stand. Put her up on it, with a little grain to keep her occupied. If you need to hobble her. You can buy some or you can just use a rope and tie both of her legs. Look up hobbles and you will get the idea of what they need to be. Then you can either keep putting the little doe kid on her, or go with salteyloves idea and separate mom from kids at night and milk her in the AM. That will give you milk for the little girl. There is no point in buying milk if you have the supply right there. Oh and If you do put her on a stand to milk and have to use hobbles I would put the stand against a wall or a fence so she can't fall off the other side. She is probably going to fight those hobbles a lot at first
 

·
Registered
Capriculturalist and Goat Slave
Joined
·
1,532 Posts
I am in need of more help. We have held the mom today several times and the little one just eats and eats, while mom kicks and kicks. It is a little traumatic for everyone. I tried milking her by hand and milking machine but the same thing. So if I feed them from a bottle, will mom be mean to her?

I love the bucket and nipple idea. That sounds perfect for those of us who work!! Thanks for sharing!
Sometimes, not always. I have a mom out there and her two kids are on the bottle. She wants them and looks after them, but she doesn't nurse them. However, I have a sneaky suspicion the little girl does get a bit during the day...just by my milk weights LOL.

Oh gosh probably not lol hunger is the key I think. I really wish I had started them earlier but everything seemed to come up all at once. But I will just keep putting them at the nipple to eat. Usually it's a total strike the first day and I will give them their morning and evening bottle as well until they do start figuring it out.
Same here, in the past. But we just waited today until they were good and hungry and it was time for the bottle. Stuck them on the nipple and held until they were sucking...they picked it up easily. Of course, there are only 3. But a couple I had to keep showing it to them. One figured it out immediately. I did leave some for overnight and we shall see if they take to it or not. Might have to give a refresher in the morning haha. I really didn't want to fight them too much so hopefully they got the idea and that will make my life that much easier lol. Actually now I need to figure a way they can have access to that stall without the adults going in. Last year I had a grown doe I caught drinking out of the top of the bucket!! LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I see a bucket on amazon. Does it matter that it doesn’t have a lid? Seems like it would get stuff in it during the day without it. Is that a concern at all? Are the kids that are feeding from the bucket in a different area than the other goats? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
I personally want a bucket with a lid. The first time I got one it did not have a lid so I just got a plastic bag and tied a string around it, and then every time I washed the bucket I tossed that bag and got another bag out. It is SO hard to find a bucket with a lid! One wouldn't think so but OMG is it hard lol but this place does have buckets and lids and even buckets with the holes already drilled out. I bought the 2 gallon bucket and then the lid and drilled my own holes but I had the correct drill bit at home.
At first I leave kids locked up by themselves until they really know that the Bucket is where they get their food. Then I open the gate just enough that the kids can get threw and then tie it so they can come and go as they please. Some of the other kids end up going in as well, especially with the heat lamp in there but they leave the bucket alone

https://www.premier1supplies.com/list.php?mode=list&species_id=ALL&search_cat_id=&criteria=Bucket
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top