Questions about weaning

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by Arkansas Goat Mom, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. Arkansas Goat Mom

    Arkansas Goat Mom New Member

    Dec 14, 2020
    Hello! I have seven babies that were born the first week of December. We are keeping two and selling the rest. None are on bottles and I planned on having them weaned by mid February when they will be going to their new homes.
    I am separating the babies at night to milk the moms in the morning. The babies stay with their mom the rest of the day.
    I have watched lots of videos and read lots of articles so I know that when I wean I will need to separate the babies from their moms full time. From here I have lots is questions.
    I have a pen I can separate them in but they can see their moms? Is it possible to wean when they can see mom?
    When do I separate? A week before they leave? A few days?
    Is there a way to ease their stress because I already know there will be lots of screaming?
    Should I put my wether in with them so they have an adult?
    Do I also separate/wean the ones I am keeping?
    Will I need to separate my bucklings from my doelings at a certain age? I read that can breed as early as 7 weeks.

    Thank you for your help. It is my first go around with babies, selling and all that. I love my babies so much. I will be sad to see them go.
    MadHouse and AlabamaGirl like this.
  2. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    It IS sad to see baby goats go to new homes, but I like to tell myself that I would never have gotten into goats if someone hadn't sold theirs to me. It's a way of spreading the love around. :)

    You can wean babies even if they can still see (and hear) mom, but it can be a lot harder. When I sell babies I don't wean them before the sale. They day they go to a new home is the day they get weaned. The reason I do it this way is because both weaning and going to a new home are stressful, and if I wean first and then sell, I'm just prolonging the amount of time that they have to be stressed. It's also more stressful for the moms if they can hear their babies crying. If the babies just leave, moms often look for them and cry for a little while, but since the babies aren't crying back the moms forget about them a lot faster. I do like to allow my mama goats so see their babies getting loaded into the trailer and driving off so they aren't left wondering what happened. Mamas who think their babies mysteriously vanished are usually a lot more frantic.

    With kids I keep, I don't usually bother weaning the girls. Most of them eventually wean on their own at around six months. I've had the odd exception, but most of my mamas don't tolerate nursing kids AND getting milked by me so they kick their kids off. I do wean the boys away from their moms though and I put them with my pack wethers and/or bucks in a separate pen at around 3-5 months old, depending on how rough or randy they are. Usually by the time I wean the boys, the mothers are ready to be well rid of them so there's not too much crying.

    That said, everyone has different ways of doing things and what works for me might not work for you. If your moms and kids are already used to being separated at night, weaning completely may not be any big deal at all. Mine are never separated until weaning time and that makes a difference.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021

  3. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    Just shows you how smart these animals are. I'm sure a lot of people would overlook that step.
  4. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    What damfino said! (thumbup) I thought I was the only one to let does see their kids get loaded in a vehicle and leave.
  5. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    Yup ditto here. We dont sneak babies away..seems harder on mom.
    We dont ween sooner than 2.5 months old. We rather push to 3 months old. Bucks sometimes mature a little sooner and if too young They are penned and mom comes in 1-2 times a day to feed and shes removed.
    Our kid pen is within the moms weening kids do see and visit moms via fence. Moms come fence line less and less. We dont ween girls. As Damfino said..moms kick them off before long. I have had a few I had to pull because mom would not ween but those are few and far between.
  6. Arkansas Goat Mom

    Arkansas Goat Mom New Member

    Dec 14, 2020
    That is so helpful. I think I would rather wean that way. It does seem a lot less stressful. And I will make sure the goats see us packing them up.
    Thank you.
  7. Arkansas Goat Mom

    Arkansas Goat Mom New Member

    Dec 14, 2020
    Thank you very much. I will follow the advice. I appreciate you all!
    toth boer goats and happybleats like this.