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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, I'm new to breeding/kidding, and just want to get a few things straight. Here we go:

-First of all, I am bottle feeding, so don't criticize my decision, just move on and give me advice if you can. Thank you.
-Second, Do I milk out the colostrum and give it to the kids via bottle, or let them nurse off her for the colostrum then bottle feed them milk
-Third, how long do the kids need to be separated from "mom"? When can I put them back in ten same pen?
-Fourth, teach me everything about the whole milking out, bottle feeding, etc.
-And fifth and finally, how do you pass the time? My doe isn't even bred yet and I can't wait for kids!!!!
 

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The most critical thing I can say is that they absolutely need that colostrum in the first 24 hours of life.
Whether you milk out mom or put it in bottle is up to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The most critical thing I can say is that they absolutely need that colostrum in the first 24 hours of life.
Whether you milk out mom or put it in bottle is up to you.
Okay. I do know they need if right away or it doesn't take the full effect. Also, what do you guys do for them when you're feeding them every couple hours, do you have them in a special box or something and where? Our garage isn't attached, so not there, but we have an unfinished basement, do people keep bottle babies in there? (In a box or something of course, not just roaming the basement)
 

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I don't bottle feed but if you are doing it for CAE prevention, you absolutely must not allow kids to nurse mom. Once you know for sure that the doe is in labor, you milk her out totally and heat treat the colostrum to have it ready to feed the newborns and then you'll need to milk the doe out up to 4x a day if she is a heavy producer, sterilize the milk then bottle feed.

If you are bottling just to raise bottle babies, milk the doe and bottle the colostrum....newborns should be fed often the first week, every 2 hours with just an ounce or two each time (for mini kids), larger amounts for standards. Mom should be milked out to keep production up, as often as you can for the first couple weeks...dam raised kids nurse often and little milk is ever left to stand in the udder due to the supply and demand process.
 

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~Crazy Goat Lady~
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I agree with Liz. We don't bottle raise unless we have to..
I would recommend milking mom out and putting it in a bottle from the get go.. It will be easier for them to just take the bottle from the start..
I too agree with milking momma often the first week or two, I work so can only squeeze in 3x a day most days, but more is better ;)
I would say a week and a half to two weeks maybe before putting them all back together.. I don't really know on that part.. Never pulled a kid from birth unless momma didn't want it any way so it didn't matter much lol!

And I know people keep them in their house.. Some people use old play pens to keep them in..

Hope that helps :)
 

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I don't judge you for bottle feeding! You do what's best for your situation. For you, that's bottle feeding, for me that's dam raising. No biggie! :)

If you are raising on strict CAE prevention, the kids are pulled before momma can see, lick, or nurse them.

If I was bottle feeding and my herd was CAE negative, I would let momma lick. The licking action is very good for baby, and helps start up their cardiovascular and digestive systems. :)

Most people, after baby is dried off, put the babies in a box, milk the mommas, and bottle-feed the fresh colostrum to the babies as soon as possible. Got to get that good stuff in their tummies! They should get it as soon as possible after birth, it gives them energy.

Some poeple let momma nurse the babies just for the colostrum, then pull and train to take the bottle when they are three or four days old. This is what I did when I needed to supplement my quads. I never removed the babies from momma, but I did teach them to take the bottle and supplemented them. 2, 3 days old is a great time to teach them.

There are others who keep babies on momma the whole time, and just give a tiny bit of milk in a bottle every day, to get that bottle baby effect.

Really, it all depends on what works for you. :)
 

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Also, what do you guys do for them when you're feeding them every couple hours, do you have them in a special box or something and where? Our garage isn't attached, so not there, but we have an unfinished basement, do people keep bottle babies in there? (In a box or something of course, not just roaming the basement)
If I have a bottle baby, I put him/her in a sheet-draped (to help hold warmth if it's cold) dog kennel in my living room. If the weather permits, I will take the baby outside to bottle and let him/her play and explore. Usually they do their business outside, for the most part, but I put old "goat" towels in the bottom, and swap them out as needed. During the evenings I put down puppy pads and let the baby run around. Once they have reached a couple of weeks of age, I move them to a fully enclosed shed with deep bedding.
 

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If I have bottle babies they stay out with the rest of the gang. Only if they are weak do they get brought into the house, and that's only for a day or two at the most.
 

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I keep my bottle babies in the living room in a playpen for the first 1-2 weeks but only to sleep during the day and of course at night or if I have to go some where . The rest of the time they follow me on the porch or in the yard to play . After they get too big and start jumping out they have a small pen with a house right outside our back door where hey stay until big enough to go out with the others . But I'm a softy and treat them like real babies...lol
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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We bottle feed most of our babies and here is the program.

Born, leave em on their dam (if you know for sure she is CAE/CL free) for the first 24-48 hours IF they are strong enough to eat on their own. OR you can pull them right away and milk about 1/3 of colostrum outta the udder and feed the babies outta bottle. If you know you are CAE positive, then you will need to heat treat the colostrum to kill the CAE virus. When you need more milk, go get some more or milk 1/3 to 1/2 of the dams colostrum out 12 hours after the first milking or if she is full and needs it earlier. I know others say to milk out right away but its dangerous to milk out a doe right a way and can cause them to go into milk fever. New born kids do not take all the milk outta an udder and neither should you.

When we pull the kids, if they are dirty they get a bath with dawn dish soap in the utility sink. We have a high tote with a folded towel and doggy pads put over the top of the towel for easy cleaning. In the first day or so they will have a tar like poo bomb go off and there will be tar looking sticky poo all over the place :) If bad enough, may need to bath again.

In 5-7 days, when their poo has turned yellow and they are starting to make tiny berries, we switch over from the towel and pupply pads to pine shavings or depending upon the weather, move them out to the indoor kid pens we have in the barn.

We never let the kids back in with their dams but would guess if you intend to do so, to pull the kids right away so they have no idea thats their mom and hopefully in two weeks the mom will not know them either.

After the first day or so you can milk the doe as you see fit, twice a day. At first you will most likely have more milk then you can feed the babies and may have to freeze some.

Here I try to get the babies onto the lamb bar as soon as possible. But the moment they get moved from the house out to the indoor kid pens in the barn, I start teaching em how to eat off the lamb bar. Regardless of how I feed them though, I let them eat until they are done. I then put the nipple back in their mouth and let em have another few sucks. If they are full then they will stop eating and thats that. I feed them twice a day and both times let them eat until they decide they are done. With the lamb bar I keep track of how much they are eating and try to fill it just past the point they are currently eating so there is some left in the bottom of the bucket but not enough to consider it as wasted.

As for waiting... facebook games :)
 

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Well said everyone.

This year, my bottle kids lived in a bucket/tote box for about a week (I only bottle fed 2) then they lived in one of those preschool plastic childrens playhouse for about a month :laugh: I threw some straw down, hung a head lamp in there and they were good to go! They loved their little house when they were teeny. In the day they would run around the yard, at night they would wait till I fed them, then they would run to their house before it got too dark. And if the door on their house was closed for some reason, they'd sleep on the steps until I went out and opened the door for them.
It looked so cute at night, the playhouse was glowing from the lamp, the baby goats were all snuggled up for the night :)
They eventually got too big and learned how to jump out the windows..... so then they had to go in their own pen, but it worked for the time that I needed it to! :)


I keep the kids on bottles for about 5 days or so, then they get moved on to the lambar. If it's for CAE prevention they are taken away at birth and fed nothing but heat treated milk until weaning.

Make sure they are all eating, and growing. Try and start them on hay as soon as possible. Offer grain around 8 weeks or so. Make sure they dont have worms or cocci problems or they will not grow and thrive like they should.
I do the first worming at 6 week old, and every 6 weeks then on.

I let them eat until they cant possibly swill down anymore when they are on bottles. If they are on lambars they self feed and limit themselves throughout the day. If I have a lot of kids on the lambar, I fill it up and let them eat as much as they want. I feed warm milk until they are around 4 weeks old, then they get cold milk. When they move onto cold milk, I throw an ice pack in the bucket and it stays good and cold for a long time, pretty much all day.

Kids just dont grow that well on measured amounts, they need what their individual body needs, so its best to feed them until they are full. The more times a day the better, but that is not vital.

I wean bottle/lambar kids at 12 weeks, just like I would a dam raised one.

Pretty sound advice from everyone :)
 

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Last year we had 4 bottle babies we put a temp. Pen in the our basement. THEY HAD BEEN ON THEIR MOMS FOR ABOUT A WEEK. It was always warm as we use wood to heat. They were semi housebroken as we fed them outside when good days and they would do their business outside. Sort of like puppies. We fed them every 4 hours to start then 6 hours then stayed at 8 hours for several weeks. By that time they were trying sweet feed and fine hay. After that we fed less in the bottle every 12 hours and then out they went at about 12 weeks. We have nigerians so we use regular baby bottles. The black nipples are way too big for nigies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't judge you for bottle feeding! You do what's best for your situation. For you, that's bottle feeding, for me that's dam raising. No biggie! :)
Thank you!!! I have everyone telling me it's a bad choice, that I'll regret the work!!!
 

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I'll tell you one thing bottle babies are way better to handle than mom raised unless you catch them every day several times a day and handle them. Of course if you have standard breeds you may not want them in your lap as yearlings, yikes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'll tell you one thing bottle babies are way better to handle than mom raised unless you catch them every day several times a day and handle them. Of course if you have standard breeds you may not want them in your lap as yearlings, yikes!
That's what I was thinking... Yes I have standards but I don't mind!!! ;)
 

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If I have bottle babies they stay out with the rest of the gang. Only if they are weak do they get brought into the house, and that's only for a day or two at the most.
I would sure like to know how you get away with that! :confused: I've tried leaving the bottle babies with the herd, and the other mothers knock the crap out of them.
 

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Thank you!!! I have everyone telling me it's a bad choice, that I'll regret the work!!!
I don't know that there are any "bad" choices when it comes to bottling or dam rearing - it depends on the individual, their operation, and what works best for them. Personally, I don't like bottle babies because they are a pain in the butt, they require a lot of work, they don't know they are goats and don't fit in with the herd well, and they are always underfoot when I'm trying to do something in the pens/with the girls. On the other hand, they are a dream come kidding time because they trust me completely.
 

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Thank you!!! I have everyone telling me it's a bad choice, that I'll regret the work!!!
Not at all. For me, dam-raising works because I have a very small herd (four breeding does). My does are all pets, and the kids are socialized like crazy. All of my kids ADORE people. My Patti still lays down next to me, begs for kisses, wants on my lap, etc. They're like that because we have the time to socialize them. If I had a large herd, or didn't have the time to really be sure the babies got socialized well, I would have to either bottle or supplement to be sure they were tame.

Anyway, I don't think it's fair to be judged either way. We all love our goats and do what is best for our situation. :thumb:

Oh, one tip -- it is actually safer to under-feed than over feed. Sunken hips mean they could use a bit more milk -- round and tight means you may want to give them less. You want them flat, or gently rounded. That's how I knew how much to supplement my little quadlings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks!

See, I have a doe and two wethers. But the thing is I don't have TONS of time each day to handle each baby, even though I will anyway :) so I'm bottle feeding! :p
 

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I would sure like to know how you get away with that! :confused: I've tried leaving the bottle babies with the herd, and the other mothers knock the crap out of them.
The girls are pretty mellow. If someone else's kid bothers them they just gently butt them out of the way.
Plus one of the LGDs is a self appointed baby protector.
 
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