Bottle raising question

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by .:Linz:., Feb 18, 2013.

  1. .:Linz:.

    .:Linz:. Look for me in the barn...

    So, my plan this year is to try a sort of combination of dam-raising and bottle-feeding, where I'll let the kids nurse 24/7 for awhile, then switch to bottle-feeding but leave everyone together and use first-aid tape like I did for weaning last year.

    My question is this - what's the earliest I can start switching to the bottle without having to do night feeds? I'd like to switch sooner rather than later, but honestly just don't relish the thought of getting up for night feeds. :rolleyes: :p I know the breeder we bought our first two from starts bottle feeding at 4 days old.
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I don't do night feeds. If I have to bottle feed starting at birth, I do first bottle at 6am and last bottle at 11pm - midnight. I have found that it is easier to get them on the bottle the younger they are.

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    I dont do night feedings either -- the only time I do is with preemie type weak kids on their first couple nights. But otherwise nope I do as ksalvago does
  4. .:Linz:.

    .:Linz:. Look for me in the barn...

    Ok, good. We did some foster lambs that way - late and early feedings - so good to know it'll be ok for the goaties too. Thanks!
  5. JaLyn

    JaLyn Senior Member

    Oct 9, 2012
    I pulled Amyah at two days old and i never fed her through the night. I fed her the last feeding around 11 I think it was and morning feeding around 6:30 to 7:00
  6. ThreeHavens

    ThreeHavens 7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether

    Oct 20, 2011
    New Jersey
    I would pull earlier than 4 days. My bottle baby was 4 days and he was a PAIN to get to take the bottle.
  7. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    If you pull them at birth you will only need to do a night feeding for the first day or two and it's so much easier if they are on bottles from the probably won't even have to deal with the hastle of taping teats.

    When I have bottle fed, I usually offer a bottle every 3-4 hours for the first couple of days and then go to every 6 hours (4 bottles/day) for a couple weeks and then every 8 hours (3 bottles/day) for the next couple months. Of course, you can avoid frequent feeding by giving cool milk free-choice from a lambar that is cleaned and filled 2x's per day...also easier if you have several kids to feed.
  8. Maggie

    Maggie New Member

    Nov 5, 2010
    Floyd, Va
    I would pull them right away for bottle feeding, its sooo much easier! We never have fed bottle kids at night.
  9. .:Linz:.

    .:Linz:. Look for me in the barn...

    Thanks! I'd actually rather not pull them right away... one of the parts I like of dam-raising is the strong bond between doe and kids. I'd like her to take care of them in every way, except I'll soon take over the feeding. :)
  10. ThreeHavens

    ThreeHavens 7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether

    Oct 20, 2011
    New Jersey
    Someone else on here pulls at birth and bottle-feeds in a crate next to momma. She ends up with goats who are bonded, but the baby still is on the bottle :)
  11. .:Linz:.

    .:Linz:. Look for me in the barn...

    That would be good, unfortunately with the weird way our setup is, there's really no way I could do that, short of just keeping them in a dog transport crate or something, which I don't want to do!

    My reasons for bottle feeding are due to better udder health for the dams, ease of medicating (it was such a pain to have to hold them down and drench with di-methox for cocci prevention!) and comparative ease of weaning off the bottle rather than the dam. I feel this is the best of both worlds... the mommas get to enjoy their babies and bond with them from the beginning, the babies get to be with everyone and learn how to be goats and do goatie things. [​IMG] I've talked to a few people who've done it this way and they said that as long as the kid is good and hungry, it should be a pretty easy transition to the bottle. Hopefully it'll go well for me too. I'll definitely pull sooner rather than later - 2 or 3 days, probably. :)
  12. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    i pull my kids at birth. the mothers are in a kidding stall and i just put a gate up sp baby has its own pen. after a few days they go back with the mothers, they still have that beautiful maternal bond but they dont suckle them and kids dont know milk cones from boobies lol

    i bottle raise for many of the same reasons as you.

    i know lots of people let tjem nurse for a few days to a week an then pull, i feel it is beasier on them to pull them.straight away. very important if you then want to put them back together - if they have suckled for a few days not only is.mum going to be more persostent about letting them feed, but kids are going to know where the milk.comes from.
  13. .:Linz:.

    .:Linz:. Look for me in the barn...

    Hmm I just had a thought - would it be absolutely necessary to separate if I bottle feed from birth? Would it be, esp. with my FF's, that if I'm there and their first meal comes from the bottle, and if I stay with them and keep offering the bottle if they try to nurse, they'll soon stop trying to nurse from mom?

    I'm not opposed to bottle feeding from birth, but I would really like them to stay completely together from birth on. Perhaps I'm trying for the impossible here, but I'd just so LOVE to combine what I love about bottle raising with what I love about dam raising - being with mom from birth and with the herd pretty soon after.
  14. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    You could try taping mums teats and do what you mentioned - it will really depend on the doe. I know with some of my does that would work no worries as they are not 100% maternal does, but then I have other does who will continue to try to feed the kids.

    With the way I do it, they really arent separated at all. There is a gate between them but mum can stick her head through and lick them, and they snuggle next to each other. Just there's a section of wire between them that stops them from getting to mums udder.
  15. .:Linz:.

    .:Linz:. Look for me in the barn...

    What do you use for the gate? I don't think I have anything that the doe could get her head through but the babies couldn't get out.

    But you've given me some good ideas - I'll figure something out! Thanks. :)
  16. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    sorry stick her head OVER not through - cut a cattle panel or similar to size and just make it low so kids cant get out and mum can reach over.
  17. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    wow..I feed every three hours until 1 week old then every four hours..I dont skip night time feedings until 2 weeks....
  18. .:Linz:.

    .:Linz:. Look for me in the barn...

    Ah that makes sense. I could do that.
  19. MaeMae

    MaeMae New Member

    Dec 9, 2012
    Slippery Rock PA
    I do feed on demand for the first 3 night (hides the fact she has dark circles under her eyes) THen I feed every 3 hours for the first week and every 4 hours for the next and then so on and so on.

    We bottle feed our babies because they are used in the petting zoo and we need them more socialable too humans. Sonya is 7th gen bottle baby her mother did nto even want to do anything with her.