raising bottle babies on ad lib cold milk

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by keren, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    has anyone had any success raising bottle babies on a self feeder full of cold milk, where they get to drink however much they want, whenever they want during the day? You keep a calfeteria/lamb bar style feeder full of milk with a frozen bottle of water in it to stop it spoiling during the day. I have heard of this method with lambs. And wondered if anyone has tried it with goats and how it turned out. The reason i ask is because later this year i will be getting my two little saanen doe kids but with my work schedule and having to agist them forty five minutes away from home because im now living in the city, i can only do twice a day bottle feeding. Or, i thought maybe trying this method. They will be about three or four weeks old when i get them.
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    two bottles a day at 4 weeks is fine - thats what I am doign with my 4 week old kid I have because of my work schedule as well

  3. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    The farm where I bought my first dairy goats did that, they did 24 hours of warm colostrum feeding then switched the kids over to ad lib cold milk. The kids wouldn't overfeed themselves because they had been fed that way since they were 2 days old and because the milk was cold. So yes it does work :)
  4. cyanne

    cyanne Senior Member

    I know a breeder who raises all her kids that way. She starts them with a bottle, then has them all in a pen with a free-choice milk bar that she built out of a cooler. It is one of those long, rectangular coolers with holes drilled in one side. She has a lambar nipple that sticks out of each hole for a total of 4 or 6 available nipples. Each nipple has a plastic tube/hose that goes down into a mason jar full of cold milk. She can fit 2 or 3 big mason jars in the cooler at one time and the cooler keeps the milk from spoiling.

    On really hot days she says she adds ice to the cooler around the jars and she refills/replaces the jars twice a day. She only bottle feeds until she sees that the babies have gotten the hang of using the bar on their own.

    It seems to be working well for her and I am thinking of stealing her idea for my next large batch of bottle babies.
  5. Lexibot

    Lexibot New Member

    Jul 27, 2010
    I always read never to feed cold milk to babies, obviously I read wrong >.>.
  6. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    It does sound strange eh Lexibot? I started my boys at about a month old on milk straight from the fridge.
    Sure took ME some getting used to!!
  7. GotmygoatMTJ

    GotmygoatMTJ New Member

    nancy d. I tired it once too on our last bottle baby. Didn't feel the same, not as much bonding as your not putting as much time in. :p lol

    But I think I'm gonna try the cooler idea that cyanne talked about, because I have a long cooler like that too. How do the nipples connect to the tubing that goes into the jars though?
  8. Lexibot

    Lexibot New Member

    Jul 27, 2010
    I noticed when my bottles were cooler than the baby was used to, they tended to drink slower, sometimes took them a while to actually take it.
  9. cyanne

    cyanne Senior Member

    The nipples she uses are the lamb-bar nipples that you can buy online for the lamb-bar buckets. They are made so the tubes just stick right into the back of the nipple, they are not the pritchard teats that screw onto a soda bottle.
  10. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    though I've seen lambars that used the pritchard teat..forget where though
  11. cyanne

    cyanne Senior Member

    Yep, I think Jeffers has a bucket feeder with the pritchard teats for around $30. I thought about getting that one, but I do like the cooler idea as it is so hot here in Central Texas that the milk would spoil pretty quickly in the bucket feeder.
  12. GotmygoatMTJ

    GotmygoatMTJ New Member

    You could always put insulation around the inside of the bucket, put in a jar of milk, and fill with ice around the jar. ;)

    Would the lambar nipples work for Nigerian and Pygmy babies?
  13. carmen escamilla

    carmen escamilla New Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    hey this is a very good idea i bought feed one buck he is 5 weeks old and i have been feeding him since he was 3 deays due to om had twins and did not have enough milk i would feed him twice a day but now i fee him at leat once he now eats hay and goat feed well nibbles on it and he gets a little from mom so he is doing real good i have heard on here that their is alot of ppl that do bottle feed all their kids well i cong.them cause it takes alot of work to do so and try to keep up with the rest so maybe the cold milk is a good idea but i was woundering dont u think they would get colic with the cold milk i guess not since everyone is feeding cold milk to their kids maybe i should try this sometime...
  14. cyanne

    cyanne Senior Member

    Yes, the lambar nipples work for nigis, the breeder that uses the cooler design breeds Nigerians and La Manchas and both size kids use the same feeding station.

    The problem with insulating the bucket is that the one I was looking at does not use nipples with tubes, it just has holes around the bottom with pritchard teats screwed on there. Though I guess you could insulate the outside of the bucket. I will probably just use the bucket during cooler months and use the cooler for the hot months.
  15. bknthesdle

    bknthesdle New Member

    Feb 3, 2012
    Does anyone have a picture of the cooler? Would love to see it.
  16. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    carmen no, they dont get colic, because the milk is cold they dont overeat therefore dont get an upset stomach. they just go and have a few sucks and go away, come back later have a few sucks, go away. kind of like mumma goat. I have been giving my two boys cold milk - started them warm, then room temp then straight from fridge - it really does slow them down, its been really handy with my nubian because he was choking and coughing from drinking too quickly

    I have recently bought a couple of coolers, will post pics once I've attached nipples
  17. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I switched all my bottle kids to cold milk this year and they do just fine on it, can't even tell a difference between cold fed and warm fed. :)
  18. tiajo27

    tiajo27 New Member

    Apr 13, 2015
    Thank you so much to everyone that posted here. I used your advice and went with this method. I am into my first week with 23 babies and I am so impressed! I am using a ten nipple milk bar. They seem to be adapting well. Thanks again.
  19. TDG-Farms

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

    Jul 12, 2013
    can be done but I wouldnt. part of the fun of bottle feeding babies is walking out nice warm/hot lamb bars of milk. wading through 10-20 babies trying not to get the holders without getting tripped in the process :)

    But the biggest thing I would worry about is bacteria around the nipples. Not to mention it would be tougher to clean. From the point i put milk in my lamb bars to when I wash/rinse them after the kids are done eating is maybe 5 minutes.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015