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Two years ago I was posting about lambars and bottles and how much to feed and several people chimed in about filling a lambar and leaving it out. I think one person gave gradually colder and colder milk and then was filling the lambar with cold milk and the goats were okay with that.

I have some questions for people that do this.

Do you still do a bottle at all? If you do a lambar when the weather is warmer, I would think you would need to be concerned with the milk warming it up and souring the milk.

A few people made it sound as though the kids didn't necessarily drink all the milk right away and the lambar was left outside for a period of time.

When calculating milk for the lamber do you just do the math of one goat would be getting 16 ounces and I have 10 goats on the lambar so multiply 16 x 10? This seems silly but I guess I'm asking if you add extra milk knowing that some goats eat faster and some eat slower?

I've seen people clip lambars to the fence and others use the stand. Is there a preference out there?

At what age do you switch from a bottle to a lamber?

Two years ago when we had kids we only did bottles and after 4-5 months of bottles, it was a lot of work. We are thinking of doing the lambar buckets this year with our kids.

Tonia
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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4,805 Posts
Ah! You have come to the right place :) I raise an average of 30-40 kids a year on lamb bars and its easier then you might think. So here goes.

I like to start off with prichard teats (they have a breather hold and makes it easy for kids to eat) and either a 20 oz. or 1 liter plastic bottle as they screw onto just about any pop bottle. Remember to cut the ring off the bottle thats left over from twisting the cap off. The teat needs to be able to screw down all the way or it will leak... badly :) Depending upon the vigor of the kid, I will start them on the training lamb bar anywhere from 3 to 8 days. Ive had kids that have took right to it and others that needed me to put them on the lamb bar teat the entire time. This year we have been blessed with amazingly smart kids. I pulled a kid off her mom 2 days ago at 6 days old. She was left for about 20 hours before we tried to feed her. They never wanna eat from a bottle right away. When I offered her milk in the bottle, she took right too it. The next feeding I tested her on the lamb bar and after a few seconds gave it a try but didnt stay on it long enough to get the milk all the way to the tube. By the 3rd feeding she knew I was the mama and had the milk. I put her on the lamb bar and within 15 seconds was drinking like an old pro :) It will be another 5 days or so before she will start to go on the nipple herself. More on that in a few.

So start off with prichard teats. I like to hold the kids in my lap on a towel the first couple of feedings. This way I can control them if they dont wanna take to the teat right away. I feed about 16-20 oz of colostrum total the first 12 -24 hours. Just depends on the kids vigor to eat. I change over to milk after 24 hours. I feed 3 times a day for the first 5-7 days. (morning before work, home from work, just before bed).

Moving from bottle to lamb bar should be done as soon as the kid is strong enough to eat off it. The longer you keep em on the bottle, the more they will fight the change and the longer it will take you to teach em you dont have to be the one to put the teat in their mouth. If on the bottle to long, they will be turning away from the lamb bar towards you waiting for you to shove a bottle in their mouth. They now make check stop valves... or is it stop check valves... Anyway, they make em for lamb bars now and can be bout outta jeffers I think. I havent had to use em but will buy some just to have on hand for any runts that need the added help. more or less they stop the milk from falling back into the bucket and it stays in the straws.

I use a 2 gallon bucket bought from home depot or wal marts paint second. I also get the clear tubing there (home depot) as well. This size bucket doesnt hold much so I only put 4-6 holes in it. (ill take a pic of mine and post it). The nipples you will need will be the gray or black rubber ones. Also available in jeffers or most feed stores. I wanna say the holes you need to drill are 5/8 but maybe 1/2. In any event, Its small enough that ones a kids sucks for a couple of seconds they get milk and away they go. Its actually easier then them sucking the milk outta the pritchard teats. The holes in the P teats are small. I like to cut an X on the tip just to widen the hole. Within 1-2 days the kids have the hang of it and all I have to do is guild their mouths onto the lamb bar nipple. In about 5 days, they understand it enough that if you step away outta sight, they will often get on the lamb bar themselves without help. But if they see you, they will be used to you doing it. A general rule I like to follow is, regardless of bottle or lamb bar, I let them eat till they stop. about 20 seconds later I put them back on the nipple / teat and let them eat till they stop again. And I wait about 1 minutes and I put them back on for the last time. I just like to make sure they get their fill before I pull the lamb bar. Once they start using the lamb bar on their own without me putting them on the nipple, I let them decide.

I dont leave the lamb bar outside ever. The farm i worked on before did and you cant imaging how nasty that milk gets in there and how fast regardless of how cold it is when you put it out. At some point it gets way to nasty for the kids to eat BUT when it comes time to take the lamb bar, the kids have no idea you didnt just put it there and will start to eat that nasty spoiled milk before you have time to get it away from em. About the only thing you could do is to use a "milkarator with check stop valves with the nipples on the outside. But no worries, there is a very easy solution and you will automatically know the answer as you feed.

I feed the kids as much milk as they can eat. I try to pay enough attention and warm up enough milk so that there is maybe an inch left in the buttom of the bucket. But it can change from day to day. If the kids were out all day playing (i house all my milk babies inside the barn and let them out between morning and night feedings to play) then they may eat more. Or if the night feeding is a couple hours early, they could eat less. But thats ok because the moment they are done, i take the lamb bar out and put the un used milk into a container and save it for the next feeding. As I wash my lamb bar after each feeding I dont have any worries about it spoiling the milk. Though, you have to pay attention to how much and how many times you are re feeding the same milk. If say you fed and there was extra, so you save it for the next feeding and then at that feeding there was extra so you save that, then again and again, by this time, there is a part of that milk that has been heated 4 times and been out in the air and is most likely starting to spoil. Even a small amount can quickly spoil fresh milk. So what I like to do is if by the next day I have extra, I will under feed a little on a feeding to make sure I dont have anything left of the day befores milk. But as you feed you will learn and adjust the mount of milk to feed. For me, I move kids from the training lamb bar to full sized 5 gallon ones. I either have 8 or 10 nipples on each one. I put bigger kids on the one with 8 so they get more.

So to sum it up. Get them onto a smaller lamb bar quick. Teach them early to get the milk themselves. Give only as much as they will eat in a clean lamb bar. Take and clean lamb bar, save extra milk for next feeding. Done :) Sorry for the long read but I am nearly asleep at the keyboard and tend to ramble when in such a state. Which also makes me garble my sentences :) Night
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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4,805 Posts
here is a pic of my training lambar. This lamb is 3 years old. If maintained, they will last along time. Notice the holes around the top? They are there so that when you push the lid on, it doesnt shoot milk out the nipples and allows air in when the kids are eating.
 

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