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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we have a dilemma over here. Our little guy Murphy who's mom passed on is now 16 weeks old! And still on the bottle, can't change out the nipples, can't miss his morning 8 am cup of milk nor his 4 pm one cup of milk. If your five minutes late, everyone suffers for it. He is on whole cows milk has been from birth, of course he eats everything else, so this is more about being nurtured and wanting his bubby. My husband and sons fight with me about this, and when they have tried to not give him the bottle and tell me they did, Murphy rats them right out. I don't have the heart to pull it from him. But I know the average ween on bottles is eight weeks, but I recall seeing mom fed babies still eating from the mom six months in. Is it terrible what I am doing? I just don't have the heart and I think my neighbors would string me up to pull it now.
 

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That is up to you. He will give you a hard time for a while when you stop. If you can get through that, he will be fine.
 

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It looks to me like you are simply delaying the inevitable. Every kid raises cain at weaning - that is just the way it is. My bottle babies are weaned as soon as they are eating a pound or two of feed and a good amount of hay. Did I mention I don't like bottle babies? :laugh:
 

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I always bought cute lil floppy eared bottle babies from the auction growing up...always ended up as pet wethers. Loved it. NOW I have goats to milk and a whole farm of animals to take care of as well as monster gardens and well......bottle babies just arent as cute and fun....in fact having to feed them 3 times a day is sometimes burdensome. I wanted dam raised babies this year...haha the joke was on me and from May 1st on I became the proud bottle holder of two cute little doelings....and since I was already strapped down I figured why not add a third! Next year my motto is gonna be "no long term bottle babies" they will be sold!(unless its a perfect gorgeous doeling, then I may make a tiny exception :)
 

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its not going to harm him -- but like was stated you are only delaying the inevitable.

Try cutting his bottles down to one a day - either in the morning or afternoon. That way he will slowly get the idea. And yes he will not be happy but very likely will only cry when he can see you or knows you are around. Once you are off to work or dont respond he will settle down.

or you can try a routine my friend did: she fed the bottle kids grain first then went out later with the bottle. Once they learned this routine they settled in to eating their hay and grain first and then getting their bottle later. And it was easier to cut out the bottle.
 

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I hear ya! Then take it one step further to the fact that they don't fit in with the herd, don't know they are goats, and are always underfoot and it gets to be a real problem if one has more than just a few. The only time a bottle baby is a good thing is at kidding - they sure make things easy then. ;)
 

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I dont ween before 3 months old..and then with some I keep them on the bottle longer..there is no harm in it and can make him very strong...go with your gut..I have had some on mom for 6+months..you might want to begin cutting him back..a slow ween is easier on them..if you feed 3 a day...feed only 2 bottles...dont increase the amount in each feeding..just cut the noon bottle..after he is used to that...give only a morning bottle...and so forth...have a goal date to ween and meet it ..He will be fine..I promise..You want him to eating a fair amount of brouse and hay and you want a strong rumen function..good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
He did integrate with the herd amazingly. He doesn't whine all day, just 8 am and 4 pm. Murphy had a rough start, his mom passing away at a few days old. We moved him inside and babied him for weeks, he slept with the dogs and sometimes snuck in with me. Then we moved him with the herd and he bonded to a pregnan doe, who then had no time for him when her babies were born. He is a good boy, eats grain and hay found his place in the hierarchy out there, however he is a very serious little boy, not much for playing, I suppose the bottle is both of our way of saying its been hard but your still a baby, I love you. I'm sorry. If it isn't hurting him, I like the fall (windows are closed so neighbors won't kill me) six months gives us both time, time frame.
 
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