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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings, I will be getting my first 2 Toggenburg goat newborn kids this Friday. I will be bottle feeding them to raise as future packers. The breeder suggested I let them nurse for the first 24 hours to get the vital colosstrum from the mother before I take them home. Do you think this would be a good idea? I've heard other opinions to take the kids right away. I plan on abundant daily interaction, and training to bond with them. Any experience with this would be much appreciated.
Thanks, Goat Vader
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice Rex. My family has deep roots in the cattle business. My grandfather called a calf a doogy if it didn't get the mothers first milk. I've heard of colostrum substitues, but I highly doubt it is as good? I'm a newbie to pack goats, and am looking forward to learning all about them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, Evies Togg farm out of Oakville, WA maintains a CAE negative herd. Evelyn is highly knowledgable, and has been very helpful. Having a quality breeder close to my home is one of the reasons I chose Toggenburgs. I hope to end up with a doe, and a whether. Down the road, I was thinking of breeding my Togg with an Alpine, Oberhasli, or other dairy breed? I need to look into that further, as I don't know what would be the best cross. Here is the web site to Evie's Togg Farm.

http://eviestoggs18.tripod.com/
 

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The only thing I might be concerned about would be switching them to using a nipple. No personal experience on this but have been told that once they get used to nursing off the dam they don't like to switch to a bottle. But the dam's colostrum is much better for them than any store bought colostrum or replacer.

With the two babies we have now.... we pulled them at birth and they are being bottlefed using CAE prevention.Our newest Toggenburg doe is still very skittish and we were worried she would run them over. So far this seems to be working well. They eat well, are playful and energetic and follow us everywhere. Thankfully our doe is producing more milk than the babies can eat so we haven't had to worry about using cow's milk or milk replacer.
 

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tiger408 said:
The only thing I might be concerned about would be switching them to using a nipple. No personal experience on this but have been told that once they get used to nursing off the dam they don't like to switch to a bottle.
This can be somewhat of an issue after a week of nursing on the mother but most readily take to the bottle once they figure out what is in it.
[attachment=1:1nj4v2os]Rex feeding kid.JPG[/attachment:1nj4v2os][attachment=0:1nj4v2os]Steelhead Goats 017.jpg[/attachment:1nj4v2os]

The few who stubbornly refuse to suck on the bottle may miss a meal or two before they get hungry enough to try it but they all do eventually. One trick which really helps is to hold the kid between your knees with one hand under its chin. Shove the nipple in its mouth and stroke its neck to make it swallow. That will usually get them going on the nipple right away.

We usually fed 10 or more at a time so we used a bucket with multiple nipples. Once they were feeding off the bottle we switched them to the bucket so we could feed them all in the same time it took to feed one.
 

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If you plan to feed only bottles you will need to milk out the doe and feed the first couple of milkings which is what colostrum is. Assuming you plan to milk the doe anyway, just keep this for the kids. If you don't have access to the colostrum from the dam the person you are buying the kids from needs to supply you with at least a cupful. Make sure the doe has been tested for CAE as this is a common way for CAE to be spread.

Goat's milk in general is much better for kids than powdered replacer. It can cause all kinds of digestive upsets.
If you plan to feed replacement milk, use this recipe instead. Buy a gallon of whole cow's milk, a can of evaporated milk and a quart of buttermilk. Mix a cup of buttermilk and the cow's milk and the can of evaporated milk together and use that for milk. It's much easier on their digestion. Make sure you supply regular goats minerals as early as they will eat them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for that recipe. Just so I got it right?
1 cup whole cow milk
1 cup buttermilk
1 can evaporated milk

Or do you just add a cup of buttermilk, and 1 can of evaporated milk to the gallon of whole milk?

I already bought a tub of Land-o-Lakes Doe's Match, but have been told that there is a better product called Snowflake? Live, and learn. I'm going to the Edelweiss Acres pack goat seminar on Saturday, and hope to learn lots.
 

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Goat Vader said:
Rex, In that Steelhead goat picture I like that slat style feeder with the square steel panels for the feed to rest against. Looks like 4" squares? How does that work out for the goats?
It works very well. Its hard to tell in the photo but it has a tray to catch the loose stuff. Which is the key to preventing wasted hay.
 

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It's a
gallon of whole cow's milk
one can of evaporated milk
and one cup of buttermilk.
Makes just over a gallon. This is recommended by the vet on the wsu elist.

In addition to stroking the neck you can put a towel over their eyes to help them decide to nurse. They are programmed to look for the nipple in shadow. Also make sure the milk is really warm. Don't scald yourself but warm enough you can feel it on your write.

Of course, all this stroking and eye covering requires at least4 hands or two people at first.
 

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My first 2 goats I was lucky enough to feed them goats milk that I got from the breeder. The following year I got 6 kids from the same breeder but realized she wouldn't be able to supply me with that much milk (she uses for other things too.) So I hummed and hawed going back and forth several times. I just went with plain whole cows milk from costco. Everyone did really well. I only had one guy that got constipated once so I cut the milk a bit with water for a few days and he got some mineral oil and all was well. I also gave them albon to prevent coccidia. It was easy for me. Everyone is growing big and healthy! I think the key, if you use replacer, is to mix on the lighter side rather than richer and mix ahead and let stand in fridge for a day. Also not over feeding no mater what kind of milk you use. I'd have to go back and look at the specifics but ask someone for a feeding regiment by age and ounces and stick to it. They will gobble it down and you may think they are really hungry and starving so you feed them more. That only leads to digestive problems. One thing any goat seems to be....is ALWAYS HUNGRY! :lol: But they are not really.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My 2 Toggenburg kids are doing great. They were born March 27th. They nursed from their mom for 2 days, then I brought them home. I've been feeding them Land-o-Lakes Doe Match. Their seems to be varying opinion on how much to feed. The Doe Match instruction's tell me to feed my 4 day old goat's 6 oz. 3 times a day. Donna's pack goat manuel from the seminar I attended last Saturday tells me to feed my 3 days to 2 week goats up to 10-12 oz. every 4 hours. Yesterday, I fed them 8 oz. every 6 hours. I'm a little worried about overfeeding. They are now getting 1 quart (32 oz.)each a day now. Doe Match says to give them just 18 oz each, and my pack goat manuel says to give them up to 72 oz. each.
 

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Our newest kids were born March 21st and are eating between 10-13 oz 4x a day... but for the first week I was feeding 5x day and they would eat between 6-10 oz a feeding. The buckling is more of a piggy than his sister lol

I've been monitoring how many ounces per feeding and just let them eat until bellies are full and they don't want anymore. So far this seems to be working well for us... I think the overeating problem comes in as they get older and the rumen starts working (at around 2 weeks or so I think) that is when you are supposed to start giving them hay and grain/pellets to try. Don't want them to get an excess of milk and not enough roughage once the rumen is working.

We weighed them this weekend and both have gained 2.5 lbs each. And are healthy and active.

Not sure if that helps any but just thought I would tell what we are doing and what seems to be working.... seeing as how your babies are just a week younger than ours.

PS... our's are getting goat milk instead of replacer .... not sure how much of a difference that would make
 

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Goat Vader said:
Doe Match says to give them just 18 oz each, and my pack goat manuel says to give them up to 72 oz. each.
The most accurate way to feed is by weight. Unfortunately I haven't seen a reliable chart anywhere. The problem with age charts is that they don't take into account the size of the kid. Goats bought from a packgoat breeder are usually larger in size. Our kids often weighed 12 lbs when they hit the ground, which is almost twice the size of some dairy kids. Feeding according to the chart would have left them starving so we adopted a simpler method. For the first few weeks the kids will eat till they are full and stop. Use this time to feel their stomach and see what they feel like when they are full. Older kids will sometimes gorge themselves so once we noticed that was happening we started pulling them off the feed bucket (we fed with a 10 nipple bucket) when we felt they were full and lock them out of the feeding area till the other kids were finished. One by one we would pull them off till there was only the younger slow eaters to finish up the bucket. If there was any milk left we'd let them all back in for a minute to polish it off. We fed free choice hay and grain from birth till about 6 weeks or so. At that point the kids start to gorge on that as well so we fed the grain at the same time we brought in the milk pail. Any kids who left the bucket to eat the grain let us know they were ready to start being weened.
 

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Your best source of the answer to how much to feed at any given age should be your breeder they came from. As Rex said, size of the kids makes a huge difference. My kids would starve if I fed what many people do. At two weeks they are getting at least 60 ounces a day. Overfeeding is not much of a problem as long as the meals are divided up into three or four feedings. Also, the powdered milk replacer is more of a problem than the goat milk or cow milk mix recipe, since the particles don't dissolve very well and cause all kinds of digestive upsets.

I also put out hay and minerals from birth, and by two weeks they know what alfalfa is. I start grain shortly after that.
 

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I am almost afraid to reply, my dairy friends say I over feed. But my babies I have so far are not dairy babies.

Here is an schedule that was given to me two years ago. It has worked great for us. My babies usually hit the ground at 7-12 lbs.

Birth to 1 month 4 x daily 8-10-12-16 oz. up ea. week.
1-3 months 3 x daily 16-24 oz. up if you can.
3-4 months 2 x daily 24-32 oz.
4-6 months 1 x daily 24-32 oz.

Right now my 6 monster babies are 6 weeks old and one is 5 weeks old. They are weighing from 29-35 pounds (the 5 weeks old is actually the 35 pounder). We are only bottle feeding them twice a day this year, morning and night on 30 oz. bottles, and then they have their milk bucket the rest of the day. It holds abut 2 gallons and I fill it twice most days. They are going through a flake of alfalfa a day, they are eating all the grass down in their pen, they also have access to medicated pellets and Dry Cob, baking soda and minerals and salt. They don't eat the cob or pellets as fast as their hay though. These are not fat babies. They have a play gym in their pen and lots of room to run and jump. They are going on daily walks with us now, now that the weather is nice again.
This group of babies this year is full of it, I am calling them the brat pack!
 
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