Kid rearing question

Discussion in 'Kidding Koral' started by keren, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Come July I will hopefully (fingers crossed) have four dairy does kidding down. Now, I want to bottle raise the kids, because in my experience, I like the temperament on bottle fed dairy goats better than dam raised. I know that dam raised can be just as good, and I really dont want this to turn into a dam vs bottle raise.

    My problem is this - and it might seem a bit silly but I'm worried about it - I'm a wimp when it comes to taking the bubs away from their mums. I HATE weaning time, I just cant stand the cries of sad mum and sad babies, but at least I can justify it by saying that it needs to be done, its time and they no longer need the nutritional or social aspect of mum.

    But the thing is, I honestly am worried about taking new, fresh, tiny little babies away from mum who has only just had them. The more I think about it, the worse it gets. Put her through the pain and stress and hard work of labour then take away her reward - her baby. Take her baby, which belongs to her, not me? And I dont know honestly that I'm gonna be able to put up with the crying of the mum, the mourning for her baby.

    I know this is silly. But is there any way to leave mum and babies together but still bottle feed? Teat tape perhaps? Or maybe just give top ups with the bottle, or separate off for a little while and give a bottle? That way mum and bub still get the social link but I still get the temperament of bottle babies?

    Or do I just need to get over it? Those of you who pull for bottle feeding, how to you cope with the grieving mums?
  2. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    It's possible to bottle feed and dam raise. I did that with Dawn's kids because she was known to reject kids and I wanted them to know the bottle in case that happened, but it didn't. Instead she got mastitis and had to be put down. SO in the end it was good that they were trained to the bottle.

    Also, once some of the other kids saw Dawn's getting the bottle they would want to see what it was and soon figured out it was a food dispenser. lol

    So yes, you can dam and bottle raise.

  3. ProctorHillFarm

    ProctorHillFarm New Member

    I know lots of people that dam and bottle raise too

    Their secret to success has been to bottle fed the kid colostrum when they are born, before they nurse of their mom.
    Then from the get go, they know what the bottle is.

    We had a doe lose her two kids- she was a FF, but she looked for them for days- it was really sad.
    I always wonder how farms can pull all the babies and bottlefeed- they must have a pen full of crying mommas! I feel so sad for them too! :oops:
  4. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    if you pull the babies before mom even knows they are born she hardly even cries for them. Go right to milking her and she will attach herself to you as her baby.

    I have never tried bottle raising and dam raising at the same time but I know like others have said it can be done.

    You could try and just take one and leave another if she has two
  5. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    keren ...I know how you feel... :hug: .. when I wean my boer kids at 3 months old ....they scream and cry then........ as if ...they were being killed or something...... it is horrible.....So either hard on them...from ripping them at birth to 3 months old....when weaning..... :(

    It is possible to bottle feed and have the kid(s) on mom.....In the past... I had to supplement a bottle....because one of the trips didn't get enough.....I still left the kid with mom .....but the kid was getting the bottle from me..........taping might be an option for you if you wanted to milk out mom and feed the kid(s) from a bottle instead....and still leave the kids on mom... :wink:
  6. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    We have bottle fed Cleo from birth. We let momma clean her up, but we hand milked the colostrum and bottle fed baby. we kept the baby in a pen next to momma for a week then turned her in with the rest of the goats once she was fully a bottle baby. the pen we made was about 3' tall and ran the width of our goat enclosure(20') and was about 3' wide. momma could reach in and lick and nuzzel, but couldn't feed. worked for us.
  7. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    thanks for the ideas everyone.

    I dont know, I think even if I was standing behind her with a catcher's mitt, and took off with the kid straight away, my goats would still know, they are smart little boogers.

    I also wouldnt want to do that to the FFs, I'd like them to at least clean the kids off, that way if someone kids while I'm not there, the kids should survive.

    The second last doe I've had that lost her kids (a work doe, actually) cried for two days straight, even though I left the dead twins with her, the third day she bust out of her pen, left the two dead ones and gallivanted around the farm looking for live babies. Her mothering instinct was just so strong, it was incredible. I threw a 4 wk old bottle lamb that was allergic to milk replacer into the pen with her, just to see what would happen, she took it straight away, happy lamb, happy mum. In contrast, the next one that lost her kids, I found her in the yard with three dead triplets all still in their bag, and she couldnt give a hoot at all. Never looked at them, licked them or cried. When I gave her an orphan lamb, however, the mothering instinct kicked in, and oh boy she was livid when it was time to wean that lamb, she was so mad she got out of the yard, ran around till she found the poddy pen, jumped into it and helped herself to another lamb. When that one was weaned she raised two doe kids. After that she was finally dried off and now she's springing again, couple months after she dried off.
  8. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    I would just be glad you have such great mothers!

    I have one who has yet to raise her kids! So this year will be fun if she doesnt because she is so big I am thinking twins with a small chance of triplets.
  9. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    oh yep, for sure I am glad they are good mums

    I do NOT like does who dont do their job. If they reject a kid ... well I tie them up until they learn to accept it. If they have dead kids they raise an orphan. They get a second chance, if they repeat the performance I send them down the road