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I just recently got my future packers: four little little Saanen bucklings. As these are my first kids, I'm trying my best to make sure they get the best nutrition and health care for maximum growth. The problem is, I've searched all other the internet, without success, for some kind of "growth chart" to tell me if my kids are growing below, right at, or above the norm for their breed (plenty of stuff on Boers and other meat goats, but nothing for dairy breeds).

The boys just turned 3 months old this week and, although I haven't weighed them yet (need to get a bigger scale!) I did try -- with mixed success -- to measure their height. The shortest kid was about 22" at the withers and the tallest was 24".

They seem a little "lanky" to me but their coats look pretty good and they have a lot of energy. Recently their horns have started peeling pretty significantly. I've read some information that said horn peeling at this age is just the result of normal horn growth, but others say it may be a sign of parasite infection (although they have been wormed) or poor nutrition (oh no!)

Anyway, I'm just curious if my goats are growing normally and are on their way to becoming good, sturdy packers in the future.

Ken
 

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Horn peeling is totally normal at that age. It is the natural sharpening process. I am not aware of any reliable growth charts either. A lot depends on the breed and the individual goat which makes a generic chart problematic.

In general I like to see our goat hit 50 lbs at 3 months and 120 lbs at a year. That puts them on track to hit 220-240 lbs as an adult.
 

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Horns peel a lot as they grow. And there are no hard and fast rules as some breeds such as Ovbers and LaManchas grow a lot slower than other breeds. Around 100+ at a year is a good weight but not necessarily accurate as far as finished size.
I do like to see them about 165 at a year and a half which seems to be a better predictor as least for my genetics.
 

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Ken,

Congratulations on your new little guys!

Our Saanen babies just hit 2 months this past week. We noticed a HUGE spurt in both height and solidness as they started spending time in the pasture. One was pretty lanky while on milk only, but now he and his brother are both filling out nicely. They are out in the pasture all during the daylight now and only taking a nighttime bottle.

It doesn’t help with rate, but we really like the weight estimation chart from NW Pack Goats (http://northwestpackgoats.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=6).

Our yearling Saanen wethers were 135 and 143 lbs at their first birthdays. They’re kind of like human kids...when did they sneak in all that growing??

Can’t help with horns, sorry, as ours have all been disbudded. It worked well for our latest babies, although our yearlings were disbudded late and have suffered with scurs ever since. I don’t think scurs behave like normal horns...nasty things!

Rose-Marie and the Saanen boys
 

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Rex and SweetGoatMoma,

I have two Alpines. What growth should I expect to see by 3 months, 1 year, and full grown? Also, we are still bottle feeding them, and planned to do so until they are 2 months old. Is that a good amount of time to bottle feed for growth?

Thanks!
 

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8 weeks is the minimum for bottle feeding. I like o see them getting milk for at least 3 months. Once they are drinking well they only need it in a pan once aday, but they can really use the calories and nutrition it provides.

100 pounds is a minimum at 1 year, as an adult that translates to about 200 pounds.
 

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Just a thought. Remember the figures here are not engraved in
stone. For as with anything else. Genetics play a role. Some goats
mature faster than others. Some grow faster, some mature late.

My Sully, Who I got at age 3. Grew some more in this last year.
Not height. but bulk.
Julio, is now a yearling. He is haveing a growth spurt at this time.
Weight is hard to put on him. All nutrition is going to height not bulk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is just a follow-up to my original post:

I took the boys in to the vet last Thursday for castration (after reading all the opinions on this website we opted to use the burdizzo method) and finally got our first "official" weights on all 4 of them.

Three of them were exactly 4 months old at the weighing, with the 4th guy (Tater) being a week younger.

Tater = 62#
Cy = 65#
Clancy = 65#
Fringe = 79# (WOW!!!)

The vet said all four looked very healthy and were not overweight for their size (even the giant "Fringe").

When they hit three months old we cut them down from two bottle feedings a day to just one. We will continue to bottle feed them once a day for the rest of this month then ween them completely.

Regarding the castration, they have been pretty subdued ever since. Obviously they are feeling some discomfort, but hopefully will regain their previous "spunk" as they heal up.
 

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Those weights all sound about normal for our wethers and bucks. We weighed some doe kids year before last, and (very small for their ages) they were, at six months old, between 20 and 30kgs - roughly 50-75 pounds I think. Their brother, born at the same time, was about 35kg or more.
Cheers,
Cazz
 

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I weighed a few of my boys tonight. All are 1/2 Alpine, 1/2 Ober

Used a bathroom scale, picked them up, weighed us both and subtracted my weight.

Briggs, 14.5 months, 135 lbs (won't be using this method much longer!!)
Baker, 20 weeks, 80 lbs
Boyd, 20 weeks, 80 lbs
 

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I measured mine with a tape today. A couple of them measure 37.5 and the largest measures 38.5 which translates to about 152 lbs and 162lbs. They were born in the first or second week of March last year so they are 14months old. They stil look really bony to me. I guess I am not use to looking at goats. I wonder how they will mature.
 
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