The Goat Spot Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Member
Joined
·
1,172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have seen a post where someone was worried that bottle feeding was a 'bad' thing. And I wanted to reassure anyone new that it is perfectly OK.!!! :)
I knew right away that I wanted to bottle-feed my babies.
And here are just SOME of the reasons why I decided to bottle feed all my kids this spring.... There are more, but these are the most important ones... :)

1) I wanted the babies to be bonded with me, not with other goats.

2) I wanted to make sure the babies would be SUPER human friendly! Friendlier babies are easier to sell :)

2) I wanted to keep my doe's udder in perfect condition. We had a doe who freshened 4 times before we got her, and her udder was a MESS. The babies preferred one side, so one teat was REALLY small. The udder also had lumps in there from the babies being so rough on it when they 'bumped' her, and that made it harder to milk her...

4) It was still VERY cold here when the babies arrived, so the babies were living in the garage until it warmed up, and I couldn't keep the adult does in there. Not enough room.

5) I wanted to know how much milk my does were producing.

6) I wanted to make sure that each baby gets enough milk every day. :)

7) I wanted to be able to control, with ease, when the babies would be weaned.

8) I learned that administering certain medicine is MUCH easier in a bottle! :)


-------------------
What are some of the reasons why YOU guys decided to bottle-feed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,212 Posts
I bottle fed because I trained my babies to be house pets, and it's much easier to anticipate "business" for positive reinforcement training if you know when baby last ate!

Also, keeping my babies on the bottle a little longer than necessary allowed me to adopt them out before weaning, but after the point when a new owner might easily mess up and make the baby sick. Adopting them out after they were eating mostly solids, but still having a couple bottles a day lets the new parents enjoy the bonding of bottle feeding w/out the hassle and possible complications. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
Don't forget CAE prevention! Bottle feeding is absolutely fine if that is what people want to do. There are tons of decent feed options if you don't have their dam's milk there to feed them, too, so no one needs to feel like they aren't doing right by their kids if they bottle feed.

I do think baby goats that are going to live with other goats (I.E. not exclusively be housepets) need to have a lot of time with other goats as babies so they can also bond with other goats (a goat who has only bonded to humans is going to be a very sad goat when the human sends it to live in the barn and it has to learn at an older age that it is actually a goat not a people) but everyone I know who bottle feeds either bottle feeds a group of kids or has their kid in a barn very early on where it can see and talk to and sometimes even live with other goats.

i consider all of these very valid reasons for bottle feeding.... except maybe the first two... lol! I've had both (my own are dam raised but I have bought bottle babies and bottle fed one of my own because i sold her mom and got her back) and I have never had a kid either bottle or dam raised who wasn't a complete people crazy lap-goat. The only difference I have seen is that my bottle babies require a much firmer hand to be respectful as they grow up, to not be obnoxiously pushy. Never had any issue selling my kids as pets, you step in the stall and the kids are allll over you. That is because i spend a LOT of time with my goats and I handle them a lot. THAT is the trick to friendly kids. It doesn't so much matter for friendliness if you are giving them their milk or not but it does matter that 2 to 4 times a day you are out there for a good deal of time loving on them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,319 Posts
you make some very valid points. we have done it both ways. and while bottle babies are louder when they arent in the house any more. they are super friendly. it also is a good skill for 4-H members. you find out pretty quick if your child is commited to the goat project.
 

·
Care giver of 4 milkers, one doeling, and One beau
Joined
·
915 Posts
i consider all of these very valid reasons for bottle feeding.... except maybe the first two... lol! I've had both (my own are dam raised but I have bought bottle babies and bottle fed one of my own because i sold her mom and got her back) and I have never had a kid either bottle or dam raised who wasn't a complete people crazy lap-goat. The only difference I have seen is that my bottle babies require a much firmer hand to be respectful as they grow up, to not be obnoxiously pushy. Never had any issue selling my kids as pets, you step in the stall and the kids are allll over you. That is because i spend a LOT of time with my goats and I handle them a lot. THAT is the trick to friendly kids. It doesn't so much matter for friendliness if you are giving them their milk or not but it does matter that 2 to 4 times a day you are out there for a good deal of time loving on them.[/QUOTE]
When I had does I let one raise her own and bottle fed the rest. The ones who weren't bottle fed were split one was reasonably friendly and the other was scared to death of humans. I think that bottle feeding is great but it is definitely hard work. It definitely could hurt the does udder though I found it a good thing for my FF to have the babies nursing. It helped her udder develop but I'm bottle feeding her kids this year since she has such a nice udder.
 

·
7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
Joined
·
11,082 Posts
Good reasons! :) I don't see anything wrong with bottle-raising at all, as long as the babies get plenty of love. I've had two bottle babies I have bought. The first is wonderful. Very friendly, though I think she was spoiled because it is hard to set boundaries with her, and she tends to challenge people. But I adore her and she'll be staying here till old age does us part. The second was completely different. Sure she was tame, but not very friendly. She came from a large herd, and unlike the first doe, I don't think she got the same amount of love, and thus grew up without a momma. I think they need a momma - be that momma human or goatie. :)

I bottle to suppliment and it is loads of fun, but because I have a small herd, the friendliness has never been an issue. The doe that is most "bottle baby" like never touched a bottle, and is more lovey than my actual bottle babies. :laugh: I also prefer to do things as naturally as possible. I feel the udder should be able to handle raising kids (though, of course, if they are preferring one side I even things out).

Anyway, I think your reasons are excellent ones, and I LOVE the deversity in the group, because it goes to show there's no "right" or "wrong" way. There are different ways, and plenty of options to find what works best for your situation. :thumb:
 

·
Goat Girl
Joined
·
2,018 Posts
I bottle feed mine too, but mostly so I know how much the doe is giving and so I know the kids are getting enough. It's also a little more for peace of mind too that the does udder won't end up uneven. I have found too that does are a little more accepting to being milked if they are milked right from the start rather than waiting until the kids are older.

My Boer kids get dam raised, but they also get handled so they are a little friendlier. The one thing I do hate about bottle kids is bottle fed bucks. They always tend to be really obnoxious and a little too friendly. The dam raised bucks seem to understand better that you are human and not a potential girlfriend.
 

·
Junior Member
Joined
·
558 Posts
I chose to raise bottle babies as our first goats so that they would be as friendly and gentle with my family as possible. We mainly wanted them for pets with the option for milk in the future.

While I LOVED bottle feeding I realize now what a time commitment it is. I am lucky to be at home fulltime and had the time to commit to this. My children really loved it too, especially my 3 year old who is now VERY bonded to his "Prim Prim."

When we decide to breed them for milk for the family, I am not so sure I would bottle feed. I am secretly hoping for a single the first time so we can keep it, let momma raise it and have milk for us too. I will probably supplement with a bottle if we have multiples so that I can sell one that is used to a bottle and another family can enjoy that bonding experience as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
I try to keep things natural, but I don't have to worry about udder shape and such. But when I had to bottle feed my buck it was interesting. His damn had a VERY difficult birth and went down hill quickly. We pulled the kids but she got worse, almost was giving up. So we decided to keep the kids with her and come out to bottle feed. Eventually she healed and got better and se would escort her kids to us. As we fed them se would clean their Butts and do everything she would have if she was feeding them. She got very friendly with us almost thanking us. Now my buck is friendly but because he was half dam raised he has that line between him and us. It worked out nicely for sure. :)
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top