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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been hearing about creep feeding kids and it seems like an easier option than separating all the kids twice a day and feeding them their grain and everything..
I'm just wondering how you set up a creep feeder (and keep adults out of it too lol), the pros and cons of creep feeding, and what you guys feed in your creep feeders for the kids. I have mainly Nigerian's, but also a couple pygmies, and one boer for now. So it'll need to work for all three types of kids :)
 

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I actually did this one year... I had a kid height trough attached to the side of the inside wall of my kidding area, a small door was cut into the gate separating that area from the main area...I start kids on grain with their dams 2x a day at around 2-3 weeks, I feed moms separately inside the stalls they sleep in with their kids...kids get a taste to try the feed around 2 weeks and once they show that they are into it, I set up the creep area with a mix of the feed plus calf manna, spread thru the trough and the kids access it throughout the day.
I stopped doing this though because I was having problems with birds leaving droppings in their feed...that and I always have a couple little piglets who choke from being greedy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you happen to have a picture of the set up? I wouldn't mind separating all the kids 2x a day, but I just would like things to be more convenient.
 

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The easiest creep feeder to make consists of an unused corner, several 6' steel posts, and a 5' cattle panel. Set the cattle panel across the corner and mark where you need to drive the posts. Move panel and drive posts. Put panel on the outside of the posts (so does pushing don't break the wires, ties, etc.), wire or zip-tie to fence and posts in 2 or 3 places. Use bolt cutters to cut wires between holes until you have a space big enough for kids to get through, but does can't fit. I would give the kids a day or so to find it and figure out there is a hole before I put grain in it, though.

Pros of creep feeding is added growth, and less stress on Mom. Con's of creep feeding is losing part of your pen, or having to add a 2nd pen, possibly sick kids if you get carried away with the grain/feed.

I use medicated meat grower pellets when I creep feed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks goat crazy, sounds easy enough. That is what I am worried about, the kids eating too much. Our pen is large enough that there is enough space for a creep feeder :)
 

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Mine is a 8X8 ply board house with a gate on it and the boards on it is wide enough that only the kids can get in.....well and a few of the smaller doelings but I don't stress about it. I was only feeding wet cob and alfalfa in there because I was selling kids at the sale. I have mostly high % Boers now and I want the big bucks so I'm gonna change the feed. I start out just catching kids that are about 2-3 weeks old that I see show a I forest in moms feed and shove them threw the hole and block it till I see then nibble then go for another. I love love love my creep feeder for so many reasons. Kids grow better it doesn't take such a toll on mom having gain and hay for them 24 7. I have used this set up with the grain there for them at all times for 100s of kids and have never had one eat too much and get sick. If you start them out young enough then they only eat just a tad to start with then they do the add more slowly naturally and their body adjusts as they grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe I'll try it out next year then. But start with just a little twice a day then move up to free choice? Sounds easy enough :)

Thanks guys!
Also, if anyone has pictures to share, please do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How long do you guys creep feed for?
 

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This year - my first year doing it - I creep fed for about a month prior to weaning. From what I've read, most people who creep feed start when the little guys start nibbling Mom's grain/pellets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I wean at 3 months, I would creep feed for about 2.5 months then?
 

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Yeah about that long. Depends in the kid. At 2 weeks they are only nibbling so you wouldn't need to buy put out all that much grain. I have a barrel set out and fill the feeders up when I see its gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alright, sounds easy enough. I'm thinking I'll build it on the back side of the goat house.
 

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So I wean at 3 months, I would creep feed for about 2.5 months then?
Yes, somewhere around that time frame. The hardest part is not putting out too much feed. I always watch to see how many are actually eating it so I can limit how much I put out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok. I'm thinking about limiting feed at first, till they are eating more. I am just concerned about them eating and eating and eating and eating till the bloat.
 

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Actually you would probably have a bigger problem with acidosis than bloat from overeating on pellets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Still kinda a newb here, what is acidosis?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Aww poor goats, that's gotta be terrible :( Now I'm almost wondering if it would be better to still build a creep feeder, but feed twice a day with supervision? I don't want any of the babies to do that.
 

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I just always have as many feed pans as I do goats, there are always a few who share and plenty for everyone. I use the $3 plastic tubs from walmart for my goat feed pans, they work great, much easier than separating and all that jazz. Babies start out eating just like, one pellet at a time, so I have never had any problems with over eating. I just start adding a little more when the babies start eating, and increase as needed as they grow.
 

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Aww poor goats, that's gotta be terrible :( Now I'm almost wondering if it would be better to still build a creep feeder, but feed twice a day with supervision? I don't want any of the babies to do that.
You just need to watch and see how many are eating when you first start putting out feed. Say I have 20 kids that are not used to feed - I will start at around 2-3 lbs for the entire bunch and count how many are eating. The next time I feed I increase to 1/4 lb for each kid that is eating, and watch to see who else comes over. I just keep building like that until they are all eating - usually it doesn't take more than about 3-4 days before they are all eating. I increase by another 1/4 lb every 3 to 4 days until they are up to 1 to 1/12 lbs/kid, but also check to make sure they are eating all of it. It also gives me a chance to give everyone a thorough once over while they are standing still. :laugh:
 
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