Milk replacer vs. cow's milk

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by cheekygreek, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. cheekygreek

    cheekygreek New Member

    12
    Apr 12, 2015
    Southern Oregon
    We are getting two Nigerian dwarf goats in the next couple of days that will need to be bottle fed. We don't have access to goat's milk so we need to use something else. There is SO much controversy over goat milk replacer vs whole cow's milk. I'm so confused and frustrated and don't know which one to use and how many ounces to feed them at a time (there's mixed information about that too). Sometimes the Internet is a huge burden of conflicting information overload!
     
  2. TDG-Farms

    TDG-Farms Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State

    Jul 12, 2013
    Id suggest doing half replacer and half whole cows milk. The cows milk is a little more stable and easier on their stomach but the replacer has a lot more of what they need.

    Need some more info before saying how much. How old will they be? If they are a little older and already on the bottle, how much is the seller feeding them? What is the seller feeding them? If they are getting goats milk, possible to get a couple of gallons from the seller to transition them over to what you will be feeding them? Id have probios ready to help if they get the runs.
     

  3. cheekygreek

    cheekygreek New Member

    12
    Apr 12, 2015
    Southern Oregon
    They will be about two weeks old when we get them. They are currently nursing on the doe. It's possible that I could get a little goat milk from her when we take the kids.
     
  4. Dayna

    Dayna Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Pahoa Hawaii
    I prefer "snowflakes" from Nutrena Kid replacer. I can't afford whole cows milk at $8/gallon locally. So I usually mix half goats milk (that I milk or have in the freezer) and half replacer.
     
  5. TDG-Farms

    TDG-Farms Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State

    Jul 12, 2013
    I hope she is teaching them to drink off the bottle. It can be very frustrating to try and teach an older kid to take the bottle after they have been on their mama. Often times you have to starve them for a day or two before they will be hungry enough to take a bottle. And even then it could still take a couple more times of starving them before they accept you as their milk source. Just this year we pulled 2 sisters late. One I finally got to take a bottle but the other sister never would. After 3 days of only getting her to suck once, the rest of the time she just chewed and fought, we had to put them both back on their dam.
     
  6. aoconnor1

    aoconnor1 New Member

    6
    Mar 9, 2015
    If they have not been started on a. Little, I would insist the current owner get them started for you before you have to yourself. I got two little bucklings that were 3 weeks old, one had been bottle fed entirely, the other not at all. It was difficult to get the nursing buckling to take a bottle, it took 3 days of watching him not eat anything before he would willingly take a bottle. I held him in front of me, his rump to my stomach, I opened his mouth with my left hand, inserted bottle with my right hand. He would fuss and fight and spit it out at first, but after three days he figured it out. It was very stressful for him, he lost weight and got clumped poop, but he finally came back around.

    It is better to have them already drinking from a bottle before they are moved. Much less stress.
     
  7. aoconnor1

    aoconnor1 New Member

    6
    Mar 9, 2015
    Should have said started on a bottle...can't edit my post, sorry!
     
  8. goatkisses87

    goatkisses87 New Member

    92
    Mar 17, 2015
    I always use whole cow's milk if I don't have access to actual goat's milk. I tried milk replacer on my first ever bottle baby a couple of years ago and he got really terrible scours. I have used whole milk ever since and have successfully raised 8 bottle babies on it. I am not saying all milk replacer does this, I don't know that since I only used it the one time. So personally if I have only the choice between the two I would choose whole Cow's milk. I will warn you though it get's very expensive that way, especially if you have more than one! My kids all got bottle babies for easter last year, so there was four of them and the price of feeding them whole milk until weaning... just thinking about it makes me want to cry lol. This year I went and bought a goat in milk because even though I am feeding another goat it still saves me money :)