Do I bottle feed or leave them on momma?

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by Cinder, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Cinder

    Cinder New Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    I can't believe this is such a difficult decision for me. I'd decided to leave my kids on my doe and let her nurse them until it was time to wean them. I did start separating them at night when they were 2 1/2 weeks old Thus, I milk her every morning and then the kids are with her all day until night again. The two doelings were nursing off the same side (left)- all the time. Thus, my does other side/teat were getting engorged while the side the kids are nursing on the teat is MUCH smaller. I have actually been milking the right side (morning and night) since day two after freshening. The kids are 3 1/2 weeks old now.

    Here's the reason I'm struggling with pulling the kids and starting to bottle feed them. This doe would be a 4 star milker if her mom had actually been tested (the breeder just couldn't ever get her to the milk test (the closest one was hours away and she didn't have the money). The breeder wants me to do the milk test to get a star this summer on my doe (she's trying to set up having them come to her ranch to do the test). Thus, she obviously wants me to get the doe up to top production (which will be about 1 1/2 glns. a day) and says it will be better if I pull the kids now. I'm not actually too concerned about the quantity as I'm getting almost a gallon a day from one teat now! (14 cups a day)

    However... if I pull the kids now will her smaller teat enlarge? It's really tough to milk it right now because it's so small. Last year she was wonderful to milk - both large teats (her kids last year were bottle fed). I'm not looking forward to milking that small teat for most of the next year till I dry her off next year.

    If I leave the kids for the next five weeks and then wean them will that teat get larger then? If it's not going to make any difference on the teat getting larger then I'd rather leave them on her.
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    With my experience with my nigi doe, having one kid on one side just caused a lopsided udder, when he was weaned I continued to milk her, her teat size wasn't any different. :shrug:

  3. Shantarskiye

    Shantarskiye Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    I don't think it will make a difference. I have two does that happened to and they still have lopsided udders. :shrug: But, I always pull them off at two weeks.
  4. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    It is your doe do what you feel is right in your heart......If you decide to leave the kids on can...teach one kid to nurse from the opposite side ...the kid will learn ....pretty quickly....put one kid on that ignored teat.....
    eventually you won't have to milk her out on that side.....but before you try to teach the 1 kid ...make sure your doe is not bursting at the seems... and is in pain.....she won't allow the kid to nurse........keep training one little kid ...and before you know it ...the kid will claim that side.... :wink: good luck in whatever decision you make.... :hug:
  5. Amy Goatress

    Amy Goatress New Member

    Oct 1, 2008
    I agree with Pam, it is your doe, do what you think is best for you! We dam raise most of our goats unless we need to bottle feed them otherwise but we usually milk the excess off if they are too full on one side, once the teat is down to a reasonable size the kids will nurse from it a little better.
  6. rebelshope

    rebelshope New Member

    Sep 20, 2008
    Again ditto Pam.

    What are your beliefs on raising goats? What do you think will be the best for you and your goats?
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    thanks Amy ... :wink:
    ...good point ....forgot to mention that..... :wink: :D :hug:

    thanks rebelshope.... :greengrin: :hug:
  8. Amy Goatress

    Amy Goatress New Member

    Oct 1, 2008
    You're welcome Pam, we usually check the teats to make sure they aren't too filled up with lots of milk!
  9. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    my concern would first the kids. I have never gotten a 3 1/2 week old kid to take a bottle. I wouldnt risk it. Tell her that you will milk test her when the kids are older and can be away from mom for a good length of time - 8 weeks. Then you can pull to bottle feed next year from the start if you dont get the results you want. she will be a peak production at 6-8 weeks anyway so doing the milk test now wouldnt be real effective. :shrug:
  10. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    :wink: :greengrin:

    that is a good point....
  11. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    I agree with stacey. If you can milk test her when the kids ar older you will hit her peak production. Also a doe that is bursing kids tends to give more milk. When you take the kids you only milk two or three times a day. When the kids nurse they are taking milk every few hours keeping the udder just about empty. The more a doe is milked out the more she is going to produce because her body is telling her that she needs to feed her kids. If you wait until they are eight or nine weeks old its no problem to sperate them fora twelve hours before the test. amd you will probably get more milk.
  12. grandmajo

    grandmajo Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    Pioneer, Ohio
    I also agree with Stacey. I have 2 kids that are 9 weeks old, dam raised that I'm weaning. Just out of curiosity, I took a bottle out. The doeling would have nothing to do with it at all. The buckling thought it was the greatest thing he'd ever seen.