HELP PLEASE ~ Bottle Feeding Boer kids

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by agilitymaster01, May 31, 2016.

  1. agilitymaster01

    agilitymaster01 Rose Creek Acres

    376
    Sep 25, 2013
    La Crescent, MN
    Hello. I have a doe that is going to kid soon. She looks to be big enough to have quads, and I want to be prepared!

    My question is what is the feeding schedule for bottle boers, and how much do they get? I know colostrum for the first couple of days, but how much and how often? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Little-Bits-N-Pieces

    Little-Bits-N-Pieces Active Member

    Apr 7, 2013
    CA
    Don't do the feeding schedules/feeding by weight. From birth feed as much as they will eat 6x a day, after they are a few days old you can feed 4x a day, then move to 3x a day. You can stay at 4x, or do as little as 2x though. Feed as much milk as they want, do not feed replacer, if you must feed replacer mix it 50/50 with goat or cows milk.
     

  3. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    She should be able to support all of the kids on colostrum for the first 2 days, I would leave them with her and just head out to the barn every 2-4 hours and help them all latch on and make sure she is standing for them, even if that means putting a halter on her.

    After the first 2 days you can either leave them with her or pull them completely as bottle babies. Feedings every 4 hours for the first week (you can probably squeak a 6 hour stretch in at night depending on how thrifty they are). I use 20% of their body weight in ounces as a guideline of how much to feed PER DAY broken into as many feedings as your schedule allows. But some need more and some less - frequency is key. When they finish a feeding their bellies should be flat and firm, not rounded out like a ball, and no longer sunken at the hips. They will always ask for more, but it can be dangerous to overfeed.
     
  4. lottsagoats1

    lottsagoats1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Middle Maine
    I fed my Boer bottle kids like I have always fed any kids. I fill a 20 ounce soda bottle with colostrum/milk and let them have as much colostrum/milk as they want 4 times a day. The amount is capped off at 20 ounces each feeding even as they get older.

    Every morning, I put a pinch of baking soda in their first bottle.

    I start with a Pritchard teat, changing over to the black rubber ones at 2-3 weeks of age.

    At 3 months of age, I cut them back to 20 ounces 3 times a day.

    At 6 months of age, I cut them back to 20 ounces twice a day. They stay at that until weaned when the does are dried off for the season. I have tons of extra milk, so I keep my kids on milk until there is no milk to give them.

    I put grain out in a creep feeder starting when they are about 2 weeks old.

    This is how I have done it for 35 years and never had a sick kid. They are nice and growthy and ready for breeding their first fall/spring if I want to breed them.
     
  5. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Holly - how many kids did your doe end up having?
     
  6. agilitymaster01

    agilitymaster01 Rose Creek Acres

    376
    Sep 25, 2013
    La Crescent, MN
    Sorry for the way WAY late response. She ended up having 3. I took one to bottle feed, but it didn't make it. The birth weights were 10.5lbs, 8lbs, and 3lbs. The 3 pounder made it for 3 weeks, then when I came home from shopping one day it was gone. It looked like it passed away in its sleep. I was crushed.
     
  7. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    US
    I'm so sorry :( That's a very big weight difference.
     
  8. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Awww glad she was able to raise two healthy kids. I'm so sorry you lost the bottle baby. Sounds like it must have been a bit deprived in-utero with such a drastic size difference.
     
  9. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Sorry for the loss, but glad the others and momma are OK.