help with weaning

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by moday, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. moday

    moday Member

    160
    Oct 10, 2007
    Our boer kids are 6 wks old next Wed. We would like to begin weening them soon, as they lost their mother after the birth. They have little to no interest in grain or hay. I think that browse a bit in the pasture.

    Any suggestions how to speed it along?

    It's been a long road feeding them by bottle and would like to get them going on other foods.

    Isn't 6 wks plenty of formula ? Any suggestions on how to get them interested in more "adult like" food.

    Thanks, MO
     
  2. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    There really isn't any way to speed it up...it takes time....We at minimum.. wean our babies at 2.5 months old... but ...they can be weaned at 2 months... if you don't want to do it... any longer....but..only if.. they are eating everything on there own.......The longer they get the bottle ....the better... they will do for you......I know... you are already burned out ...on the feedings ...but.. it is essential for them... to have it longer than 6 weeks...they need to be eating real good on there own for one.... if they aren't eating hay/grain on their own yet ...it is because they don't have a taste for it...... sometimes.... we need to put the feed literally.. in there mouths.... to get them to taste ...and start liking it....do it daily ...here and there ...until ....they begin to eat it on there own.....Browsing isn't enough... Your boer kids ....aren't ready to wean yet...I am sorry to say...it is alot of work ...and I know bottle babies... can take up alot of our time... :sigh: ..Hang in there....give them a little more time.... good luck :hug:
     

  3. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    8 weeks is the earliest that they should be weaned but you can start gradually decreasing the amount that you are feeding from bottles to try and encourage them to eat other things. Is your grain a sweet feed or is it pelleted? It seems to be easier to get them started on the sweet stuff. Are they in with the other goats? The adults may not let them near the food without a momma to protect them...creep feeding might be a good thing to try because then they could still live with the goats and learn goat behavior but also have a safe haven where they can eat without being pestered.
     
  4. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    How many time a day are you feeding them and how much?

    I agree with the others, we do not wan until they are at LEAST 2-1/2 months, even if they are eating hay and grain and drinking water, I believe they still need mom's milk.

    Maybe if you feed a little less, and make sure they have the hay and grain to pick at. They are still a little young to eat a lot.
     
  5. CrossCreekTX

    CrossCreekTX New Member

    356
    Aug 10, 2009
    Central East Texas
    I let mine get good and hungry between feeds. I feed the same amount of milk, but in two larger feedings. I give 16oz twice a day to my dairy doelings. They are on good pasture and I see them eating quite a bit very early. I'll wean them at 3 months by decreasing the milk and making up the quantity with water, little by little until they are only getting water then stop it completely.