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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I’m a brand spanking new goat owner of two goat kids (brothers) who were orphaned as of this Wednesday. I’ve seen some suggestions in others posts for some problems bottle feeding, but all of those suggestions have failed me.

First, my goat kids are 8 weeks old tomorrow. Their mother never fed them properly. I don’t know if she didn’t make enough milk or just didn’t like them feeding off of her. At 6 weeks I started trying milk replacer - that didn’t go over great. They hated cows milk. So, a local farm gave me a gallon of goat milk straight from the doe. One kid, Snowball will slurp it right up out of a bowl or attack the nipple on the bottle and suck it right down. My other baby, Flower (looks like the skunk from Bambi), imprinted on me at about 3 weeks (at least, that’s what I’m told the crazy intense bond we have is). He hated the bottle from the start. He still fights me, spits it out, turns his head; I even tried little 12 mL syringes but he hated those too, and I don’t want him to choke. Does anyone have any further suggestions? I also feed them Purina Grower feed as well as Timothy hay (I heard it is best for avoiding urinary calculi) and goat minerals (they apparently are not fond of the ones I have, so I’m looking for ones that might be more palatable to them). For feed/grain I’m following instructions of 1/2 to 1 cup 3x daily for them, and free feeding hay as well as free feeding minerals at 1/2 ounce each per day. If any of this isn’t right, feel free to correct me - I welcome the help!

Second, I look things up on the internet, but I don’t trust everything I read - I know better. These two boys are sweet and social, but they need to be castrated. I’ve read about and have been told about a few different methods, and have heard many opinions on what is cruel or not. I just wanted to ask some legitimate “goat people” (haha) what their thoughts are. I am going to consult a veterinarian - she comes to see them Friday.

Lastly, I have some questions about housing and enrichment. I know my boys are bored and I’ve read about enrichment. I have a good chunk of change set aside for all my goaty stuff, and I’m just wondering what people use for enrichment/entertainment. I’ve seen many things, but again, I’d rather hear opinions/suggestions from people who are assuredly familiar with goats. For housing, I read (of course) a million and one different things. The people I got my babies from did not exactly care for their goats right, so I don’t really know what their actual breed is. By looking, the look like Alpines, but other characteristics look like Oberhasli. Of course there is information on sizing, but I don’t really know what a cross like this might grow to. I am buying a crap load of lumber to build them housing (winters here can be nasty sometimes), but I’m just looking for some ideas on what you all do for housing, etc. I am in love with my goats - like, I spend hours outside just hanging with them and I’m not a super outdoorsy person unless I’m hiking or in the woods.

Sorry for the long, rambling post. I’m just super excited about having them and super anxious about doing things RIGHT for them. Fun fact: Flower snuck in behind me and followed me into the house three times (haha). It was frickin cute.

I appreciate you all and I’m grateful for any suggestions/advice.

-Ashley
 

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Welcome to TGS. Goats are so frikin awwsome. Please post some pictures.
Ok so boredome. Goats loooooovvvvveeeee climbing and jumping up and down. Then on lazy days just want a high area to lounge.
For shelter you must remember you must be able to clean the shelter and can put raised beds off the shelter floor. There must be a nice air flow but not cold.
 

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Welcome to TGS! We’d love to see pictures of your little guys.

I’m too new myself to answer most of your questions, so I’ll let the experienced weigh in there. For enrichment, one thing we did that was free was get the big wooden spools from our electric company. Ours gives them away. My goats also love log piles and anything they can jump up on, bonus points if they can lie on it and chew cud and chill for a while. If they don’t get to forage, giving them small limbs from good trees can be fun enrichment and let them nibble here and there to see what they might like. Obviously anything new should be introduced gradually. We spent so much time making little play things for the goats, and their favorite “toys” ended up being our flatbed trailer and picnic table. Go figure.

It sounds like you’re researching and now reaching out for advice (and you’ll get a lot of great advice here) and that these boys are in great hands and lucky to have you.
 

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Welcome to TGS! I agree with Tanya and Fizzygoats, places to climb is a great enrichment. Spools will work good, and I’m sure you can find lots of platform building ideas on Pinterest. Another thing our kiddos enjoy are walks.(Bare in mind you will want to be careful if you let them out, they may try to run away. You can put a harness and lease on them and let them walk around to be safe.) No matter how green the grass is in their pen the always love to go “outside” their bounds.

I’ve only bottle fed once and I’ve never casturated before, so I’ll let someone else with more experience answer that question.
 

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Raising Quality Show & Commercial Goats
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Welcome to TGS
210381

These are yearling does on their playground. I used large wooden spools, palletts, and wood. I think it cost me about $20. Slide off of cragslist for free.

210382

Igloo dog houses are fun too

210383

Trailers are great.fun!
210384

Wooden spools can be for feeders & toys
 

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for them being bored, i'd try like those lil tikes plastic play structures, or those big wire spools, just build them a lil ramp.

ppl have said that banding isnt a good tactic for castrating but it works well. i prefer that to other options like say burdizzo.. you just stick the band on and it really doesnt cause them much pain at all. . . before too long they fall off and you're good to go. works on cattle, idky it wouldnt work on goats haha people even band their dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Will they drink the milk out of a bowl?
Snowball will suck it right up out of a bowl or bottle. Flower is extremely difficult to get milk into. He will not drink it from a bowl. I’m working with him on the bottle, and I will keep trying, i just feel like I’m torturing the poor little guy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
for them being bored, i'd try like those lil tikes plastic play structures, or those big wire spools, just build them a lil ramp.

ppl have said that banding isnt a good tactic for castrating but it works well. i prefer that to other options like say burdizzo.. you just stick the band on and it really doesnt cause them much pain at all. . . before too long they fall off and you're good to go. works on cattle, idky it wouldnt work on goats haha people even band their dogs.
I hear the same thing from a lot of people. I would NEVER use the burdizzo method - that has to be terribly painful. I mean… it seems kind of cruel and my babies have had a rough enough start. I’m not going to torture them with that! Someone recommended it (a guy) and i told him to let me do it to him first and if it didn’t hurt I’d let him do it to the goats LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Banding done correctly is effective and the least uncomfortable
Just make sure you have both testes.
I did a lot of research and I came to the same conclusion. I’m having a vet do it or a friend of mine whose passion is goats (and he owns a big herd). I watched all the videos and whatnot, but I’m just not comfortable doing it myself. I do not want to risk injury to them. I will watch and take instructions unless he helps me actually do it. I’ve heard waiting until 12 weeks is best for the development of their urethra?
 

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For the bottle feeding question.
At 8 weeks they are old enough to be weaned. If they haven't accepted the bottle they aren't going to. If they have, alot of people keep them on the bottle until 10 or 12 weeks. It's really your choice. Just make sure they have free choice hay and minerals.
For the castrating question.
I think most people on here use a bander to castrate. I do. You can get a bander and bands at TSC for like $30 I think. 3 months is a good age to do that.
For the enrichment question.
Goats love to jump and climb. See if you can find a place around you that has free spools and pallets. Also stumps and logs are good toys. There's lots of inexpensive ways to make obstacles for them.

We happened to be clearing our property and had lots of stumps. So we made a huge climbing pile for them and they love it.

The housing depends on what your goals and space are. Do you need space to milk in the future? Do you plan on getting more goats? Do you want it small enough to move if you rotate pastures? Do you have a place to store hay elsewhere or do you need a hay loft?

You can have a lot of fun planning it all out! Having goats is awesome, good luck!
Sky Wood Branch Tree Twig


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I hear the same thing from a lot of people. I would NEVER use the burdizzo method - that has to be terribly painful. I mean… it seems kind of cruel and my babies have had a rough enough start. I’m not going to torture them with that! Someone recommended it (a guy) and i told him to let me do it to him first and if it didn’t hurt I’d let him do it to the goats LOL
lol i'm not confident enough to band them either 😂 i just have my dad do it lol he'd done calves his whole life, and i mean.....doing a tint buckling is a lot easier than a chunky lil bull calf that will kick ur head off 🤣
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
lol i'm not confident enough to band them either 😂 i just have my dad do it lol he'd done calves his whole life, and i mean.....doing a tint buckling is a lot easier than a chunky lil bull calf that will kick ur head off 🤣
Omg haha! The vet that saw them today is pushing for surgical removal in 4 weeks when they get their CDT booster. I’m super nervous about that. No matter how much I clean, flies like goat poop! Then I worry about ok, they have pine bedding, what if it gets stuck to them or a million other things.
 

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I had 2 wethers surgically castrated and would like to share a few tips with you. If possible, a layer of wheat straw on top of the shavings helps quite a bit with preventing particles sticking to the surgical site. If a particle of any type sticks, just remove it so the substance won't hamper the healing process or become imbedded into the wound.

Under advice from the vet, I put a partition between their side by side stalls with a temporary run for each of them prior to the appointment. It was for the sole purpose of preventing them from rough housing with each other for 2 days. Apparently, a rise in blood pressure causes more bleeding tendency.

So a total change in routine wouldn't be an additional stress, I separated a section for them together to inhibit contact with an older aged and larger sized wether inside of their dry lot. I confined them into the temp pen several days before their appointment. The day of their appointment, I added the divider into the run to section the 2 stalls and both goats completely from each other when I brought them back home later that day.

My guys were giving an injection of Valium, Banamine and long acting antibiotics prior to the procedure and an infusion of some type of antibiotic salve into the emptied testicle sack afterwards. The surgical site (bottom of the testicles) was left open and with out stiches so it could drain. There was some slight bleeding (a few drops here and there) for about 5-6 hours afterwards. They slept and rested the rest of the afternoon and were ready for their evening goat pellets when supper time rolled around.

There is a product called Wonder Dust (available at most farm supply locations) that I highly recommend for puffing onto their testicle sack until it heals over. You just shake the contents of the bottle a few times to remix the dry contents, point the tip towards the surgical site, squeeze the bottle, and it puffs out medication to coat the area. Other than a few side step maneuvers from each goat when a blue bottle was extended towards their back sides, it was really easy to use.

The vet suggested cold compresses or an ice pack held against their surgical site every couple of hours would help with pain relief. I attempted to apply coldness to them; and they backed their rear ends into the corner and had such fear of being touched "back there" the whites of their eyes showed, blood dripped faster, and I let that step slide.

They will be sore and walk gingerly for about a day and a half, but soon afterwards, they were back to business as usual. They retained a very small, empty sack and won't have that completely slick appearance of a banded male.
 

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I'm going to disagree here.... I use burdizzo as my preferred method. NO method is pain free. My vet will burdizzo, clamp one side then the other. No blood, no throbbing band for weeks around testicles or an open wound. They are sore for about an hour and playing the next. Every producer chooses what is best for them, and that is absolutely fine. Any method you choose is fine. All have benefits and drawbacks. Best wishes for your little guy.
 
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