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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Next weekend I am going to make the ultra-fun three-and-a-half hour trip to pick up a Nubian wether that I purchased. He's a little over a month old, and I was wondering when I could introduce minerals and/or suppliments into his diet. Also, are there any recommendations as to what minerals/suppliments I should give him and others that I should steer clear of?

Thanks,
Elizabeth Willett
 

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Hello Elizabeth,

what's the basic diet you're going to feed him? F.e. if it's milk replacer, it will already have the necessary minerals included.
 

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I start putting out sweetlix meatmaker when they are about a month old. THey don't eat much of it till they are a little older but they develop a taste for it.
 

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Elizabeth,

will you feed him goats milk, then? In my opinion, 4 weeks is WAY too young to be on solid food only.
 

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At four weeks he should still be on milk. He should not be weaned until he's at least 8-10 weeks, preferably longer. You can make milk replacer with this recipe and give him 20 ounces twice a day.

One gallon cow's milk, 1 can evaporated milk, 1 cup buttermilk. If he won't take a bottle just put it in a pan and dunk his nose in it, he'll learn to drink it pretty fast.This is actually better for kids than expensive milk replacer. He should also have good grass hay free choice and some alfalfa and grain added. And minerals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought that was a little young to let him go. I've had goats previously, but it's been a while, and I've never purchased a goat this young before. When I had goats before, specifically babies, they were born on my property and nursed from their mothers. How often should I give him the milk replacement? Somewhere around one to two times daily? I did some reading on the Internet that had a chart with the number of daily bottle feedings in correspondence to age, but I would like to hear your opinions. Thank you guys for the help.

It's also important to note that he is slightly older than a month, being in the area of six weeks old (he was born on October 25).
 

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Elizabeth,

at age 4-6 weeks I fed our bottle lambs 4 times a day. At this age you will have a hard time switching him to a bottle when he has fed on his mother until then.

Frankly, I don't understand the breeder to give away a lamb so young that is not used to the bottle. And during winter with the coldest period of the year still coming!

Will he be an only goat or will he have a companion?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
He will be an only goat for now, so I can give all of my attention to him. Perhaps later I will get him a brother or sister to play with. The lady I'm getting him from offered me a buy-one-get-one-half-off deal, but I don't want to over-do it with trying to singlehandedly bottle feed two babies at once. I understand that goats are pack animals, but I want to be sure that he can get the care he needs. I may change my mind once I get there and recruit my mother and/or boyfriend to help play "Nanny Goat" with me, but that is a very low chance.
 

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Elizabeth,

you're aware that THIS is the best way to cause behaviour problems in the future? He will bond so strong to you that it can very well make him unable to bond to goats again in his later life.

Please, please, reconsider! It's not that much a deal to raise two kids with the bottle at the same time - you have two hands for two bottles for two kids. Resp. it takes them less than 5 minutes to empty a bottle (often less than a minute) and you have to go out at feeding time anyway. So, what's the deal with heating up some more milk replacer and fill a second bottle?

He will grow up much happier AND healthier (body and spirit), will have a partner to play with, sleep with, snuggle with, eat together when you are NOT with him (I assume that you won't be able to spend 24 hours a day with him). Especially in winter times goats LOVE to have a second warm body next to them - and a goat THAT young NEEDS it.

Can please somebody else jump in here, too? I don't think my English is adequate enough to convey what I mean!
 

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I'm sure, you won't regret it.

For clarification: I'm very sensitive to this topic because three years ago I resocialised a wether that had grown up as a single goat into a herd. The beatings he took until he re-learned "goat-ish", how long it took him to learn to browse and climb and all other things typical for goats and his awkwardness around the members of his own species were heartbreaking.
 

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I will add my 2 cents in about getting two at a time.The stress that a kid goes through being a only goat has been know to kill them. Goat are herd animals. I can understand thinking getting just one would be nice so you can bond,but unlike dogs this is not the case. A couple kids will bond to you just as tight as one. I have noticed out walking if I take just one goat they do not stay as close to me as taking out 2 or more. With 2 goats one is allway watching me and will call to the other when we get ahead. With the added bonus of getting to grow up mentaly heathy and play goat games of tag and head butt that they can never play with you.
 

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You can feed him twice a day. He will eat and drink enough to get plenty of food. But, please listen to the other people who have expressed concern for him being an only goat. You and he will not be happy with the outcome.

He needs a buddy to face the world with. The two of them will love you just as much. And that's why we have two hands; so you can feed two goats at the same time. :D
I can feed four but no one else around here seems to be able to juggle bottles like I can.
 

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Young goats can die fairly easily of stress. This even happens when there is a lightning storm and they are in a herd. They are fairly sensitive to loud noises, changes in environment, etc. It's not so scary when you have a buddy in the barn with you. They are somewhat prone to cardiac events, ie, heart attack, when overstressed.

Goats are not like dogs where they can be with people 24/7. They need their own kind for company.

Please let him have a buddy.
 

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Elizabeth,
I agree with everyone above. Two is better than one. Not just for the health of the goat, but for you. I know that giving all you your time and attention seems like the best way to raise a kid just one at a time. However, what happens when you are in work or in bed? I know how exciting it is to get a kid. You will want to shower him with affection. BUTTTT, I assure you he will cry and cry and cry the moment you walk away. It will continue until you go back because your heart will be breaking to hear him crying. Especially if you have no other animals in the barn, the baby will be in solitude. It sounds like from the start that you may be facing some health/feeding issues related to being pulled away from his dam so young. It may not be wise to add to his stess. My advise would be to get two 2litre bottles, two pritchard nipples and 2 goats.
If you are anything like the rest of us, soon there may be four goats in your barn. A happy goat is a well behaved/ healthy goat. A happy/ healthy goat leads to goat mama's and papa's who want MORE GOATS. They are addicting.

Good luck and let us know what you decide to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The lady I'm purchasing him from has a Nubian/Boer female that she will sell to me for a decent price. I am pretty sure that I am buying her as well. Regardless of whether or not I buy this particular female, I am coming home with two goats today.

Thank you all for the replies.
 
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