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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am stuck at home for the next few months so I was thinking that this is the perfect time to get a couple of bottle babies. I am looking at getting 2-3 Nigerian Dwarfs soon. Just wondering what advice you all can give me.
 

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Only consider well known and experienced breeders willing to offer you support.
I just put a nail in my own coffin, as i am just starting out myself.

Cheap goats are expensive problems.
Don't buy cheap goats.

Even expensive goats can be diseased.
Don't buy disease.

What are your long term goals with goats?
Pets? Breeding? Dairy? Meat?
These answers will spur more questions and then advice from the users here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Only consider well known and experienced breeders willing to offer you support.
I just put a nail in my own coffin, as i am just starting out myself.

Cheap goats are expensive problems.
Don't buy cheap goats.

Even expensive goats can be diseased.
Don't buy disease.

What are your long term goals with goats?
Pets? Breeding? Dairy? Meat?
These answers will spur more questions and then advice from the users here.
I'm looking to keep goats as pets
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I do have a few questions so far
How much space for pasture and for shelter is needed for 2-3 Nigerian Dwarf goats? Also when bottle-feeding at what age should kids have hay available to them? Should I feed grain? If so when and how much? What is the best milk replacement option?
 

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Instead of milk replacer, it is better to feed regular red top whole cows milk from the grocery store. But, with all that is going on, milk may be in short if you go that route, put a pinch of baking soda in the first bottle of the day. (Not baking powder!)

We start offering hay the first week, but they really don't even look at it until 2-4 weeks old. You want clean, soft hay. Not "goat hay", usually people sell really crappy, moldy, dusty, stemmy hay and call it goat hay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Instead of milk replacer, it is better to feed regular red top whole cows milk from the grocery store. But, with all that is going on, milk may be in short if you go that route, put a pinch of baking soda in the first bottle of the day. (Not baking powder!)

We start offering hay the first week, but they really don't even look at it until 2-4 weeks old. You want clean, soft hay. Not "goat hay", usually people sell really crappy, moldy, dusty, stemmy hay and call it goat hay.
Thank you!
 

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Goats as pets opens your options considerably.
I first recommend finding your closest farm animal rescue. (Our state ASPCA operates one, so I presume others will as well.)
If not, breeders often still have a few pet quality animals born every year. Sometimes these are genetic mishaps, like extra teats. Not an issue for YOU or the animal's health, but not a creature we should responsibly breed with. Or, frequently castrated boys are sold from first freshening does because the breeder wants to wait and see the potential genetic pairings that were just produced before selling as breeding stock. I'm personally selling a few goats as pet quality after discovering how poor their genetic material truly was for dairy purposes, and a doe who cannot remain healthy when pregnant or nursing.

As always, disease status is critical.

Some people feed goat grains, goat grower pellets, etc. I personally am against that management style and do not recommend. Grains can cause major health problems for goats that don't need that sort of caloric intake. You could always look at pelleted timothy, alfalfa, or orchard grass to offer them something other than hay.
Ideally, goats will have access to browse. They don't really eat much grass, they eat from the top of plants, trees, bushes, and downward when they can. In other words, if you can fence out a section of crazy overgrown stuff, they will be happier and healthier and will clean it up for you. They don't eat like sheep at all. Just get familiar with the few plants that are truly toxic to them (rhododendron being a common one.)

Goats need LOOSE minerals. No blocks. Not all minerals will be helpful. You'll want to chat with local goat people to have an idea of what works in your region. Knowing your water content helps.

Personally, bottle baby kids and new goat owners make me nervous. Bottling can be a challenge and each goat kid's needs can vary a little or a lot. I would highly encourage to seek weaned goats (8+ weeks) that were dam raised if possible.
 
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