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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I've read through several posts on feeding and have seen people go back and forth between number of times to feed a day, but I haven't seen many posts on how much to feed.

I'm getting 2 Alpine girl kids who will be 2 weeks old. I'm getting a gallon of milk as the owner is bottle feeding them until I pick them up. Once I pick them up and start the transition from goat milk to the replacment recipe posted by Sweet Mama, I will feed 3 times a day for a few weeks (before school, after school, late evening - to fit my teaching schedule).

Can anyone give some ideas on how much replacer they bottle feed? Do they gradually get more milk as they are growing? When switching from the 3 times a day feeding to the 2 times a day feeding, how does the amount of replacer change?

Also - once the replacer is mixed, can you keep leftovers in the fridge OR do you need to use it or toss it?

I love this forum!

Tonia
 

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Hello,


With kids so young and taking into account that it's winter and cold, I would feed 4 times a day until they are 3 months old, then three times a day until 4 months, twice daily until they are 6 months old.

I copy my schedule based on raw cow's milk:

first week: up to 8 feedings per day; 5 ounces per feeding
2 to 3 weeks: 6 feedings per day, 6,7 to 8,5 ounces per feeding (depending on how much the kid can take)
3-5 weeks: 5 feedings per day, 8,5 to 12 ounces per feeding (increasing towards the 5th week)
5-8 weeks: 4 feedings per day, 13,5 to 17 ounces per feeding
8-16 weeks: 3 feedings per day, 17 ounces per feeding
16 - 20 weeks: 2 feedings per day, 17 ounces per feeding
20-24 weeks: 1 feeding per day, 17 ounces per feeding

I start them on grain at about 4 weeks but don't offer it free choice. Also our pastures are mostly browsing and low energy grass and weeds. I rather give more milk and less grain.
 

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We now feed lambar so they have continuous acces to food. If you are going to divide it up I would let them eat 4 times a day for the first couple of weeks, then three till they are at least 4 to 8 weeks and then twice a day.

COnstant milk on demand is ideal but not all of us can do that. I let them eat what they want of a 20 ounce bottle on the time schedule they are on. By the time they get to 4-8 weeks they are eating enough feed to compensate for the longer time span.
If they are not visibly gaining weight every day for the first two months just give them a little more at each feeding or go back a step.

The milk replacer recipe I use will keep in the fridge as long as normal cow's milk will so you can use it up before it goes sour..
 

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We had our kids on around 16oz twice a day at 2 weeks old, and increased 1-2oz every 2-3 days from there. We also found that each kid had a different tolerance for the amount of milk they got. If we noticed any diarrhea, we pulled back 1-2oz at a time until the diarrhea cleared. We increased to 24oz twice a day at the most, until we reversed the cycle and started to wean at 3-4 months old.
I know some people feel they need to be fed more often at this age, but this schedule was our only option.
 

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I don't know how helpful I will be as we don't use oz - litres instead. :) We bottle raise our kids from birth, and although I do spend a lot of time on them, I am still schooling so can't spend too much time. For the first two days or so, they get around five feeds or more a day. At this age, they are locked in the kidding pen with their mum and siblings so are easily at hand, and I just go out and milk straight from the goat into a bottle and feed it to them. They get an early morning feed (after their first 24 hours) at around 6:30am, then at around 9:00 am, then between 12:00-1:00pm, then around 5:30-6:00pm, then 9-10:00pm. This fits around my school work and two of the feeds (9:00am and -5:30-6:00pm) are the end of the normal milkings. For all of these feeds they get as much as they want , which is between .1 (100ml) and .5 (500ml). After the first two-three days, they go into the goat yard and get four feeds a day for another day or two, then three feeds a day (lunch time and each milking) and then by a week old they are on two feeds a day. It might sound really bad, but we have never lost a kid on it and I raised more than 20 kids last season this way!
After the first two or three days, the amount and size of the kids born in that batch come into play. I have had week old kids drinking .5 (500ml) a day while their hugely different quad brothers or sisters get 1.5! (1500ml) I normally only regulate their milk for the first week by how hungry and how tight they are. After that, they settle down to (for little kids) 1.0-1.5 litres a day, and for larger kids, 2.0-2.5 litres a day. Each kid needs a slightly different amount, depending on size, and also we can't afford to feed quads as much as twins, though we do average it off between the kids to an extent. With two feeds I just break the milk measurement in half for each feed.
So, for the first week, as much as they want, second week, around .6 (600ml) per feed (two feeds a day), third week, between .6 (small kids) and 1.25 (huge kids) each feed. After that, for the next several months they get around .75 a feed (small kids) and 1.0-1.25 (large kids) twice a day. We wean them to once a day (the same amount as they were getting in one feed prior) at around five months old, and they are totally weaned at around six months old.
They start getting grain at a week or so old, and start getting a lot of grain at around four/five months, between one and two cups of the same mix we give to the milkers, bucks, wethers and yearlings.
Cheers,
Cazz
 

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There are too many opinions on this subject to get a good consensus. Pick through all the schedules and find something that will work for you. Obviously if you work away from home you aren't going to be able to feed four or six times a day. It may be better for the goat but we have sucessfully raised hundreds of kids feeding twice a day after they were three to four weeks old. I agree with Carolyn that the lambar system is awesome for multiple kids.

Here is our schedule when they were on the bottle:
We always left our kids on the mother for the first week (closed herd all CAE free) the doe was happy to get up and feed them every couple of hours and we were happy to sleep. After a week we pulled them from the mother and bottle fed them three times a day. We didn't worry about how much to feed them we just let them eat till they were done. After a few days you will start to get a feel for how much they need. When they hit 3 to 4 weeks we went to twice a day feedings and made sure they had free choice grain and leafy alfalfa to nibble on in between. For the most part we let them drink milk until they were full. When they get older you will have a couple that sometimes try to drink too much but by then you will know how much they normally eat and regulate it a little better. Trying to measure and figure exact amounts for multiple kids of varying age and weight is way too much to worry about for me. Just feed them till they are full and like Huckleberry said, if we noticed any diarrhea from any of them we simply cut their milk intake back until it cleared up.

Our kids were usually around 50lbs by by three months and weaned by four months. Having free choice grain and alfalfa available till they are three to four months old is important and we saw kids weaning themselves to eat the grain instead after the third month.

Don't forget to have some sort of Cocci treatment factored in as well.
 

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Ideally, you'd stand out in the pen all day like mom does so you could feed on demand. THe only way to get close to that is to use lambars.
Goats do amazingly well on many schedules as lonng as they get enough when you give it to them.

We start out with all they can eat out of a 20 ounce bottle 4 times a day. (Sometimes only 4-5 ounces) At one week they get the same 20 ounces three times a day and a lambar let out for in between. After a week of that the lambar is left and no bottles. We put out 5 gallons of milk for 6 kids till they are a month. After that we cut it back to 3 gallons per 6 kids per day, fed three times a day, or 1/2 gallon total. THey have hay in front of them from the time they are born so by 6 weeks or so they are eating a lot of hay. We plan for weaning and sale by 8-10 weeks although most people continue giving them one bottle a day of 20 ounces. I prefer to give the doe kids and kids that are staying here about double that much milk till they are 5-6 months.

Kids will do fine an ony of these regimens as long as they don't get diarrhea or look too fat or thin. Giving the milk makes it easier to administer cocci meds, wormer, and any other meds necessary.
 

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We would use a lamber, especially when we had more than two dozen kids over a few months last year, but we train all of our kids tricks (kneel, rear, lay and sit) with the bottle, so even though it takes a lot longer, they end up knowing a lot more and have a good friendship with us, even if we have been flat out with kids and not spent that much time with them. :mrgreen:
Cheers,
Cazz
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We start out with all they can eat out of a 20 ounce bottle 4 times a day. (Sometimes only 4-5 ounces) At one week they get the same 20 ounces three times a day and a lambar let out for in between.

Carolyn,

Do they have a hard time going from the bottle to the lambar? Do you start with the lambar nipple on the bottle? We started with a Pritchard nipple and are now thinking it would be nice to do a lambar bucket once a day. Will the kids be able to switch over with no problem?

Do you notice a difference in friendliness when on the bottle versus lambar?

Tonia
 

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We put the lambar in the pen and work with the kids to get used to it. It's mostly a matter of plugging them in a few times. I haven't noticed any difference because they see us as the source of milk and that we help them eat at first so they come running just like a bottle baby. Only in groups of 6.
 

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We put it in warm for the first few days but it has to be replaced often. SO as soon as they are really going for it they can start getting it cooler and cooler till it's cold. It sits in the lambar longer that way.
You don't want to keep hitting them with cold milk if you see them shivering.
 
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