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Hi all,
I'm too excited for my future goats. So I'm trying to learn as much as I can in the mean time. :bookgoat:

I'm planning to adopt a pair of wethers and bottle feed them this upcoming spring. Again I'm sorry if this info is already somewhere obvious and I failed to find it.

When should they be separated from their mom?
What, how much, and when should I feed them?
When do they switch over to hay? When should I provide loose minerals and baking soda?
When should they be castrated?
Should I keep the babies inside when it's really cold out?
What questions should I ask the breeder? Any red flags I should be aware of?
What vaccines do they need, and when to vaccinate them?

and OMYgosh there's bears in my neighborhood! I'd like to build them a secure shelter that bears can't get into at night. Any suggestions, any of you have difficulty with bears?

Any thing else I should know? Books you recommend?

I'm planning on talking to the vet and double checking with goat owners in town, but I like to gather as much data as possible from a variety of sources. Thank you all, you've been so awesome in answering my questions. I really like this community so far.
 

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Baking soda should NOT be offered free choice. They create their own bicarbonate and offering them baking soda will stop them from making their own plus it deactivates ammonium chloride and can contribute to urinary calculi.

You may as well bottle feed from the beginning. Either milk mom's colostrum and feed or let them stay on mom for first 24 hours then bottle feed.
 

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When should they be castrated?
As late as possible. 4 months would be ideal.

Should I keep the babies inside when it's really cold out?
You should have a good barn/shed that will keep them warm.

What vaccines do they need, and when to vaccinate them?
At the very least they will need CDT to start with.
Any thing else I should know? Books you recommend?
Raising Goats Naturally by Deborah Neimann, and Holistic Goat Care by Gianaclis Caldwell.

What questions should I ask the breeder? Any red flags I should be aware of?
If the herd is routinely tested for diseases. How parasite resistant they are/what methods/how often they need to deworm.
When do they switch over to hay? When should I provide loose minerals and baking soda?
They start to nibble on hay and loose minerals when they are ready. I would offer it even before weaning so they can get accustomed to it.

baking soda?
NO baking soda.
 

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