so how do we wean?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by billmac, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. billmac

    billmac Member

    556
    Sep 8, 2008
    It's coming up on the time we want to wean our nubian kids. They are being bottle fed twice a day. How exactly do we get them off the bottle?
     
  2. Well, this really will depend on you. What I mean is, some folks wean as early as 9-12 weeks. Others keep them on the bottle 12-16 weeks. Where are your goat kept? One thing that I would suggest is putting them in a pen or yard so they can start learning the "foraging" process. Another thing is to keep some feed down so they get used to trying the "new stuff" once they are starting to eat on there own it is a matter of you just cutting back on the daily feedings, then cutting them out all the way. But without them learning a little on the way, as they don't have their mother to teach them, this can be very hard. One good thing about bottle feeding is they become your bestest and lil friends. The down fall is not being with mom and a herd they have to figure out on there own the basics and many times never become fully able to be a "herd" goat as they are now a "human" if you understand that one? If you have a pen with younger goats or goats that are not going to harm these lil ones in any way, it may be in your best bet to start putting them out with "like minded" animal's to help " teach" them the basics. Otherwise it will be with time and that will determine your weaning date because without knowing to eat other things etc, you can't just say on this day we will stop. They will not adjust well at all.
    Hope this helps,
     

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    first off are they eating hay and grain while drinking water from a bucket? As was stated bottle babies tend to learn these things slower so just be sure they are good with the above items before cutting out the bottles entirely.

    My litte 6 week olds are eating hay and grain like champs. The 4 week olds are right behind them. But these are dam raised.


    what I personally would do if the kids are good with eating hay and grain I would cut out one bottle till they are down to 1 bottle a day. Then either slowly reduce the amount on that bottle or cut it out entirely at the point when you wanted them weaned.

    A local breeder weans at 6-7 weeks I was like OH NEVER! I did that once and it was disasterous. But after looking at her kids she has that are 6 weeks old I can see why she weans "early" as they are just monsters and eat everything in site as well as are being a nusance to their mom. These are again dam raised.
     
  4. billmac

    billmac Member

    556
    Sep 8, 2008
    We do keep the kids in a pen, but they are allowed to go outside with the other goats. They graze and browse just fine. Two of the three have been eating the textured dairy grain but one doesn't like it. I found out yesterday, when I let her nibble a few rabbit pellets, that she likes pellets quite a lot, so I will get them some goat grain in pellet form, rather than the molasses coated stuff. They love hay. The only thing I'm unsure about is whether they drink water. It is always before them but I don't think I've ever seen them drink, at least not all three.
     
  5. Well twice a day you are close to being done anyway, but how old are they?
     
  6. billmac

    billmac Member

    556
    Sep 8, 2008
    about 6.5 weeks old
     
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    the earliest I would wean is 8 weeks so you still want to have them on at least one bottle a day till then
     
  8. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Australia
    bottle babies can be weaned at roughly 22lbs regardless of age, as long as they are eating solid feed. Wean them onto a good high protein (18-20%, at the very least 16%) grain and hay ration. And its as simple as cutting out the bottles. As long as they are eating you dont need to muck around with less and less amounts of milk. Just stop giving the bottles. Easy as that.
     
  9. Agreed. I don't pull my goats to be sold even until 12 weeks here. But I really like to make sure they are doing well. And I am now just splitting Cheryl from her mommy. She is 9 months old now. LOL
     
  10. Carolyn

    Carolyn Guest

    2
    May 30, 2009
    My babies wean themselves--granted it is at about 16 weeks, give or take a couple of weeks. they just arent' interested in the bottles anymore. At this point they are eating great, from what I understand, the longer they get milk for calcuim, the better. "mams's milk" is the best for them, giving them all the nutrients they need at this point to grow strong and healthy. JMO. :)