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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I would like to get a couple wethers and bottle feed them. Problem is I’m a nurse and work 12 hour shifts. How many times a day do kids needs to be fed. If I cant get goat milk replacer, would whole cow milk from the grocery store work?
 

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Whole milk is better than milk replacer in most cases. I use it all the time and have had no problems at all.

As for feeding. That depends how old they are. From 1-4 weeks I usually feed 4 times a day. Once every 4 hours. 4-6 weeks, 3 times a day. Once every 5 hours. 6-8 weeks, 2 times a day. Once in the AM once in the PM I feed my bottle kids for a long time so from 8-25 weeks I feed once a day. Most people will wean or start weaning at 8 weeks, so you can lower by 1/2oz per day and feed them an extra bottle if they aren't catching on to food well.

That said, I know someone who feeds kids only twice a day from 1-8 weeks. I personally don't think that is best for the kids though. There is also bucket feeding them. Some people leave milk(cold) out in a bucket for them to drink 24/7 and I heard that works well. I've never tried it though, so can't be of much help on how that works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Whole milk is better than milk replacer in most cases. I use it all the time and have had no problems at all.

As for feeding. That depends how old they are. From 1-4 weeks I usually feed 4 times a day. Once every 4 hours. 4-6 weeks, 3 times a day. Once every 5 hours. 6-8 weeks, 2 times a day. Once in the AM once in the PM I feed my bottle kids for a long time so from 8-25 weeks I feed once a day. Most people will wean or start weaning at 8 weeks, so you can lower by 1/2oz per day and feed them an extra bottle if they aren't catching on to food well.

That said, I know someone who feeds kids only twice a day from 1-8 weeks. I personally don't think that is best for the kids though. There is also bucket feeding them. Some people leave milk(cold) out in a bucket for them to drink 24/7 and I heard that works well. I've never tried it though, so can't be of much help on how that works.
And how much do you feed? Do you give grain as well. And how old when they can start eating hay?
 

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There are lots of recommendation, and charts for what to feed and when. I kinda just eyeball it. I have some kids that I swear can suck down a whole gallon of milk(obviously don't do that, lol.) and I have some that are at an age when a lot of charts recommend 16oz per feeding and they are only having 8oz because any more than that and I swear they'd blow up. You would want them full but not FULL. They shouldn't look like a balloon when you are done feeding them. They should be a little bit round, but not noticeable round. If that makes sense? It's always better to underfeed than it is to overfeed.

As a general rule(depending on the breed and size) 1-4 weeks they get 4-10oz per feeding. 4-6 weeks they get 6-14oz per feeding. 6-8 weeks 8-16oz per feeding. 8-25 weeks I will usually do 10-20oz per feeding.

I don't have any set amount though. If they are a mini I will put 4-8oz(depending on their age) and if they drink it all and they aren't big balloons, and they are actively looking for more I will add 1/2oz to their next bottle. If they are standard size, the same thing but I will do 6-10oz.

I start to introduce grain and hay at 2 weeks old. At 2 weeks normally they will start picking at hay. At 3 weeks mine usually start to nibble grain. By 4-6 weeks they usually will be eating some hay and grain but not enough to support themselves(and their rumens aren't fully functioning yet)
 

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A lamb bar is a bucket with nipples attached that allows kids to sip all day. You would just throw half a gallon of milk and a cold pack in before work and they will eat as needed while you're gone.
You can find directions online to make one or buy a premade one from www.Jefferspet.com
 

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This is year 2 with the cold lamb bar and I love it! I think especially for you and your work schedule it would be great, that way you have time to, you know sleep........the little things ;)
Also I second the whole milk. I’ve had a super bad experience with one replacer and have not liked other replacers because they upset the stomach easily or kids didn’t grow all that great. I have yet to have a issue with whole milk
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys! I really do want to do the bottle feeding thing. My parents live 2 minutes down the road so my mom could probably come over every once in a while and feed them. But the days she can’t the bucket and cold milk will be great. With my schedule the 4 shifts in a row I work 12 hours (2 days shifts, then 2 night shifts) But then I’m off 4 days in a row where feeding would be no problem!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anybody have any good links for articles on bottle feeding. Can I use just any baby bottle and nipple? Plastic or glass bottle?
 

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Any bottle works, I used regular baby bottles from Evenflo with medium flow nipples. Some folks use 16oz soda bottles with Pritchard Nipples (red nipple yellow ring) some folks use the black snap on lamb nipples on soda bottles.
It's not the bottle that's important it's if baby will take it, sometimes you have to try different ones till you find what works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I know this probably sounds so stupid. But when we talk about how much to feeds them in ounces are we talking weight, or fluid ounces like in a measuring cup
 

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I know this probably sounds so stupid. But when we talk about how much to feeds them in ounces are we talking weight, or fluid ounces like in a measuring cup
Yes, like in a measuring cup. What breed are you thinking of getting? The breeder should have given them a start on the bottle if they're selling them as bottle babies. That will take some of the guess work out of it.
An example is my Nigerian Dwarf babies will only take 4 ounces at a week old, where a baby boer might take 8 ounces but both would eat every four hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, like in a measuring cup. What breed are you thinking of getting? The breeder should have given them a start on the bottle if they're selling them as bottle babies. That will take some of the guess work out of it.
An example is my Nigerian Dwarf babies will only take 4 ounces at a week old where a baby boer might take 8 ounces but both would eat every for hours.
I'm on a wait list for 2 mini nubians
 
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