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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a little confused and need some help. I am bottle feeding my two baby Boer cross doelings and was feeding them 4 times a day, the number of ounces based on their weight times 16 times 12 percent divided by 4. I was told to cut them down to 3 bottles per day (by a family member who raises Boer goats), so I did, and just used the same formula divided into 3 feedings instead of 4.

But during my research (I've been reading a LOT about goats), I found an article that says they should be getting a bottle 4-5 times a day until they are 3 months old. Here's the link: http://goat-link.com/content/view/94/76/#.Udv3wfltgjY

It says : Guideline for Bottle Baby Dairy Goat Feeding Schedule
Pygmy and Nigerian Goat Baby Amounts in [ ]:

* Day one- 2-4oz. [1-3] (per feeding) colostrum, every 2-3 hours.
* Day two- 3 oz. [2-3] (per feeding) colostrum if you have it or whole milk, 8-10 times a day
* Day three- 4 oz.[3] (per feeding) colostrum if you have it or whole milk, 8 times a day
* Day four- 6oz. [4-5] (per feeding) whole milk, 7-8 times a day.
* Week One - 6-8oz [4-5] (per feeding) whole milk, 7-8 times a day.
* For the next 2 weeks-6-8oz.[4-6] (per feeding) whole milk, 6 times a day.
* For the next 2 months-10-12 oz.[6-8] (per feeding)whole milk, 4-5 times a day.
* For the next 1 month or 6 weeks-10-12 oz. [6-8] (per feeding)whole milk, 3 times a day.
* 10-12 oz. [8-10] (per feeding) once a day for the next 2 months.

I am not feeding 10-12 oz...they don't weigh enough for that. They are both getting 6 oz. per feeding, 3 times a day.

Am I doing it wrong? Should I put them back on 4 bottles per day???
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They are 8 weeks old, and each weigh between 10-10 1/2 pounds. They were on death's doorstep when I got them...they had been taken off milk and being fed ONLY electrolytes and offered grain which they did not touch. When I got them 3 weeks ago, the smallest one weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces and the other one weighed 9 pounds 4 ounces. They both were infested with lice, infested with worms, and had scours. With the help from all the wonderful members here, I have brought them "back", and they are growing...even their tiny little horns :).
 

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at 8 weeks Im usually feeding three bottles a day..I dont add the milk from the forth bottle to the other bottles I just drop the forth bottle...at 8 weeks they are eating hay and feed some and so lessmilk encourages then to eat the hay and graze and build their rumen, however your little gals have been stunted and would benift greatly from the milk, unless there is a reason it needs to be cut, such as the milk source is drying up..I would continue to feed 4 bottles a day for another month then drop to three...just drop the forth, dont add its milk to the girls other bottles...too much milk at once will cause tummy upset and the runs..

on goat-link.com the amounts are assuming healthy growth weight...your little ones need extra care and so do not fall into this pattern..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok Cathy, so I should go back up to four a day then? Should I drop the ounces per bottle...they are both getting 6 oz three times a day...should I drop it back to 4 ounces four times a day?
 

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Once you get a weight on them..see how much per day they need...then decide if that amount in 3 bottles is too much....for ex. If in three bottles it will be 12 oz and there is no way they can drink that with out tummy upset...then split it between four bottles...: )
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, Butterscotch weighs 13 1/2 pounds and Caramel weighs 11 1/2 pounds. So based on the formula Butterscotch should be getting 26 ounces a day...divided by 4 feedings would be 6 1/2 ounces for each bottle. Caramel should get 22 ounces a day...divided by 4 feedings would be 5 1/2 ounces per bottle. Does that sound about right?
 

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At 8 weeks we had our Nubian trips down to 2 bottles a day, and weaned them completely by 3 months. You should be decreasing the bottle size and frequency so they will be encouraged to eat more hay and begin the weaning process.

Good for you for saving them! :)
 

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Ok, Butterscotch weighs 13 1/2 pounds and Caramel weighs 11 1/2 pounds. So based on the formula Butterscotch should be getting 26 ounces a day...divided by 4 feedings would be 6 1/2 ounces for each bottle. Caramel should get 22 ounces a day...divided by 4 feedings would be 5 1/2 ounces per bottle. Does that sound about right?
Do this! I have to agree with Happybleats they will do better with milk longer due to their previous circumstances. Normally as I have bottle fed 5 out of my 10 animals, I would be weaning as normal 1 month 4 bottles a day, weaning down to 3 a day in week 3. 2nd month introduce grain/hay and continue the 3 bottles until week 3 of 2nd month down to 2 bottles. Then on month 3 1 bottle on week 3, and finished in 12 weeks. Your girls are different they need the extra boost, so I don't think the run of the milk feeding would be wise. Some people that respond might not be familiar with your whole story... Your doing a great job:)
 

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Go with what feels right...there are always many different ideas..not that one is better than the other..you need to weigh the advice against what your situation is..
what ever you choose to do will be right..you have already proved you have good sense in careing for these girls...you have got them through the hard part..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well if I'm gonna follow my gut, then feed them four times a day is what I am going to do. They may be gaining, but they are still way below what they should be...and as long as feeding them four times a day doesn't make them sick, then that's what I'm going to do. I do wish they'd eat a little bit of grain though. They still won't touch it.
 

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Well if I'm gonna follow my gut, then feed them four times a day is what I am going to do. They may be gaining, but they are still way below what they should be...and as long as feeding them four times a day doesn't make them sick, then that's what I'm going to do. I do wish they'd eat a little bit of grain though. They still won't touch it.
The grain might take awhile, but they will start to eat it eventually.
 

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It takes time for some to grow a taste for grain...hay and graze is more important to establish their rumen IMO...just keep offering a handful of grain daily and one day they will gobble it up : )
what feed are you feeding?? any loose mineral??
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
At all times they have access to: water, hay, grain, baking soda, and minerals...WHEN they are in their pen. Otherwise it's water and browse...that's when I tether them if I can't be with them, or let the roam around the yard when I can (to make sure they don't eat something toxic or something I don't know the toxicity of). The grain I have is Purina Goat Chow, the mineral is Southern States.
 

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Just a suggestion, as this is what I've done with my bottle babies to get them used to grain. After I give a bottle I offered grain by hand, then just put a little cup next to them. At first they just played with it. After a week or so they nibbled out of my hand, and then by the next week they wanted their grain:) I would just try that with your 1st bottle of the day, and last. Just a suggestion is all. Mind you mine are "all" spoiled rotten brats...... I honestly love it though:)
 

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Might try a change of feed???...when your Purina chow is about gone, might try a different feed they might like better...but make the change slow by decreasing the chow and increase the new little by little ...
 
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