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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a little Nigerian doeling that was born on April 23rd which would make her 4 months and 3 days old. She was dam raised until June 29th(when we picked her up) and after that was bottle fed. She was fed for the first month with goat milk, currently she is being fed 10-12 oz whole milk twice a day. She is eating grain, hay, and everything else very well. I have no current need to wean her, school doesn't start until a week into September(which is pretty close now that I think about it), but I'm unsure whether or not I should. I want to keep her on milk for as long as humanely possible, but how long is too long? I like having her on the bottle, it gives her something to stay in our backyard and wait for instead of jumping out. I also want her to turn out really nice and healthy as an adult. Should I start cutting her down to like one 15oz in the afternoon? If I do that she can be bottle-fed indefinitely. When should I absolutely stop bottefeeding though? Is there a certain point where it just isn't good for them anymore?

Also, how would I wean her? She doesn't scream or anything when she's hungry, however when she knows it's feeding time she likes to jump on you(with hooves that feel like tiny little hammers) and gets a crazed:crazy: look in her eye until you get her the milk, then she leaves you alone. She's rarely ever even hungry, sometimes her tummy is bulging from browse, and she still goes nuts! How do I deal with this?
 

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She is old enough to ween. We ween by 3-4 months unless there is health issues such a stunted growth...sounds like she is doing great...I ween by dropping one bottle...I would drop the evening bottle since she can graze all day and wont be hungry...just give her a small handful of grain instead. After a week or so drop the morning bottle...you could also drop the amount in the one bottle to 8 oz to encourage more grazing...at this point she doesnt really need the milk..she should have a large rumen by now leaving a small Abomasum (milk belly) ...Not a lot of room for milk...in nature, mom stand less and less for her kids to nurse, allowing the Rumen to build as the kids get less milk..
here is a great link to show how the digestive system of a goat works : ) itspretty informative
http://goat-link.com/content/view/99/86/#.Uh30C2SDQxc
 

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happybleats gives wonderful advice!!

15oz is a lot. I never gave my ND girls more than 8oz in a bottle.
I really enjoyed bottle feeding too. I finally gave it up at about 14 weeks.
It might be easier for you to drop the morning bottle if it is harder to get that done before school.
 

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I also want her to turn out really nice and healthy as an adult.
I have raised bottle babies that didn't do well, and I have raised bottle babies that surpassed all expectations I had for them. It has nothing to do with how long they are bottle fed and everything to do with how well they are fed solid food as they grow and mature. Ebbie was my first successful bottle baby. I mean successful in that she was the first bottle baby I didn't kill by overfeeding. She wasn't weaned until she was 3 months of age but I didn't do something right because she is smaller than her siblings and the rest of the kids her age. Kahlua, on the other hand, was weaned at 2 months old. She was eating free choice hay, 3 lbs of grower pellets a day at the time I weaned her, and she is bigger than several of my dam raised kids that weren't weaned until 6 months of age. No, I don't normally wait till 6 months old to wean. This year started out bad, and it has been downhill ever since, but that is another story. The point is that once a bottle baby gets past about a month old, the focus should no longer be just on the milk. Although milk is still needed, the focus shifts to very good quality hay and nutrition - either grain or pellets - that will not only support their growth, but encourage it. Does that make sense? Sorry for the long-winded post, but I couldn't think of any other way to get across what I was trying to say.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Feed milk till 3 months of age. Give free choice quality hay from the start. if you feed grain, you will need to monitor how much. They will start to nibble at about 2 weeks old, start to eat at about a month old but not enough to sustain them until they are close to two months old. The third month of milk is important for good bone development.

Here we feed milk twice a day from about the week old mark and by this time they have learned the lamb bar. Though often times I am still showing kids where the nipples are until the 2 week mark. But I feed the kids as much as they can eat at each feeding. I keep close tabs on how much milk is left in the lamb bar after each feeding and increase it as needed up to a nearly full 5 gallon lamb bar bucket. For the biggest kids that are coming up on 3 months, I have 8 nipples on the lamb bar. For kids closer to the 2 month mark I do a new full bucket with 10 nipples. But usually have extra milk left over for the misc babies. Morning feedings they tend to eat less as they have been sleeping and not jumping and playing like lunatics :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
She eats plenty of hay, grain, brush, whatever you want to feed her. And I think I'll drop the morning bottle. It will be a lot easier to feed her after school than in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK officially dropped the morning bottle! Gave her plenty of grain and she has infinite amounts of grass and brush she can eat. She was a bit frustrated with me this afternoon anyways(even though her tummy is huge she still knows when it's milk time), but other than that it was pretty successful :)

Oh, and how much grain should I be feeding her at this age? I give her about two cups, and she eats until she's done with it. I've been feeding her mostly pellets instead of her sweet feed since she only eats the corn out of it, so she gets sick of it after a bit and stops eating. So only about at most 1/2 cup per feeding. I want to let her have free choice with the grain in the morning until she isn't 'starving' anymore lol.
 

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It is good to keep your doelings on milk until 12 weeks. This way they are bigger and healthier. Bucks can wean at 8 weeks unless he is a keeper then I go about 10 weeks on them. Also, since you are increasing her diet and feeding sweet feed, make sure she is vaccinated with Cd&T, 2 cc's and then a booster a couple of months later. Pretty soon she will forget about the morning bottle
 
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