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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a four week old bottle feed baby that lives in the house with me.
He was rejected by his mother and is a lot smaller and less agile than his sister.

He loves his bottle but has very little interest in his hay or goat feed, having a few pieces of each a day.

He goes around the house testing every thing with his mouth and yesterday found some carrot and beetroot pulp in our compost bin and went mad for it, he also had a little apple today which he also loved, is this bad for him being so sweet?

How do I get him to eat hay? I am not sure of the type of hay I have but I read that it is best to give them alfalfa hay, is it more appealing than other hays? as it is very hard to get around where I live it will cost be five times the price of my normal hay so only want to get it if he is more likely to eat it and if it is better for him.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated
 

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I agree.
Learning by watching others does help.

Alfalfa is the best.
I usually have a creep feeder and put a little bit of hay and grain in there so they can go in and nibble at it when they want to at first. It takes a little while for them to get like the grain and get into eating more of it. When they clean it up really good, then you feed some 2 x a day. Then gradually increase to where you want them to be for daily intake 2x a day yet always cleaning it up in a reasonable amount of time. I start them out with a 16% protein grain.
You can put a little bit of hay/grain in the kids mouth daily on and off throughout the day, until the kid gets a taste for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for your help.
I bring him out every day to spend time with is sister and mother but he seems a little scared of both as his sister is very boisterous.

Do you think alfalfa hay is more appealing than other hays or just more nutritious?
 

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You need to create a pen in the barn right inside the goat area so he can consistently interact with them. Bring him his bottles out there. I know emotionally it is really tough and yes he is going to holler quite a bit but honestly it really really is best for his long term mental health. He will never understand how to interact with a herd if he doesn't learn now. I have seen far too many goats who were bottled raised young and are then picked on by herds for year and years.

Is the hay you have now fairly soft and fragrant and green when you open a bale? Or is it pretty coarse and stalky and yellow? If he doesn't like soft green grass hay then it's not worth it for you to spend the money on alfalfa.

You can try offering him some leafy branches and other browse to get him started as well.

At this age he should have hay, a water bucket, loose minerals, and some type of goat grain available 24/7 in his pen in the barn.

Once he acclimates to the barn a bit, you can open a small door in his pen so he can come and go as he pleases but can keep safe from the adult animals.
 
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