The Goat Spot Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Goats, Chickens, Ducks. Did I say Goats?
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After studying and researching and asking, I found what seems to be a trend. I'm not saying everybody is doing this or doing it exactly like this but it seems to be common. I was looking for the information in relation to bottle raising as that is our preference. It seems that boys are weaned earlier than girls. The most common ranges I found is 12 weeks for a buckling and 18 weeks for a doeling. My question is, why are does nursed longer? I know why boys are cut off around 12 weeks. They're not firing blanks and that's about when they start trying to fire... any longer and we run the risk of an "oops". Still, if boys can be weaned at 12 weeks, why not girls? What is the benefit to 6 more weeks before being separated from mom and milk?

D
 

·
Fair-Haven
Joined
·
5,726 Posts
My boys are more aggressive in their feed and milk -and tend to have a higher ROG. Girls you want to have a nice steady growth with calcium support if you plan to breed them within their first year, having a FF yearling. This is for my dairy herd…. I can’t speak to Boer goats. I do at least pull the bucklings as they are hard on udders. I do always evaluate each kid… some need to go longer than others… but I try to keep numbers manageable for me so I can give each kid their own ration.
 

·
Premium Member
Raising Quality Show & Commercial Goats
Joined
·
8,346 Posts
Sorry, not in my herd. I raise Boers, Boerxkiko & Boer x Savannah. My does feed their kidds at least 3 months up to 4 months. I use anti breeding aprons. So far, no ooooops.
For me taking college courses, gave me a great idea of what to anticipate. But the reality of goat raiseing is thru individual goat experiences. Books are great, but they only.give you a reference. And each breed, each goat is an individual. And each goat owner will develop a method that works for them. Thats why TGS is so important. Each shares their method. Its from Actual Hands On experience which is reality.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
35,683 Posts
I think since we dont have worry about breeding issues with does, its easier to let them run with mom longer and as she weens them..we see less of a full udder issue. Bucks of course as you said are often weened to prevent them becoming young fathers. I actually prefer them on mom longer no matter the gender. When boys think they are frat kings..they get removed from general population and I bring mom in their pen 2 times a day to feed...then once a day until I think the boys have transitioned well. If bottle feeding..i bottle 4 to 6 months. I do feel that no two goats are alike and some don't have a well functioning rumen at the same time as same age peers. So weening that one too soon can run you issues with him being more prone to health struggles, parasite issues..coccidia. so watch them. If you see one not as Hardy at the feeder..hay basket or chewing a cud nice and vigorously..bottle a bit longer..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
I usually wean the boys first as I try to sell them first. And they are much easier to sell when they are in the 12 - 16 week age. I want them eating, grazing and tamed before I sell them and this is easiest to do in a pen, as a group. I will pull 2 to wean and add the other weaner boys as they get to the right size & age. I just leave the baby does on mom until the boys are gone. It also seems that most of my singles are big boys and they are rough on their moms but the mom's don't seem to push these boys to independance - they are the hardest to wean! In twins at my place, usually the boy is bigger and more aggressive in nursing so removing him leaves the girl time and milk to catch up. I have had some does almost ignore their female offspring in favor of a big fat boy twin. Doe sales are where the money is, the boys maybe pay for themselves but not much more.
All the above is totally dependant on the health and welfare of each goat. Any goat or goatling not thriving stays until I am happy with its condition and demeanor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,878 Posts
Then there’s people like me who have no good set up for weaning so my kids still get to nurse, altho the moms do start cutting them short. We just band the boys at 3 months. (I did try to sell a cpl as bucklings this year, but it didn’t work out. And they were such nice big boys too!)
I’ll start pulling a cpl moms at a time to put in with my buck and they should start kicking the kids off completely.
I’ll sell the boys in November, leaving the retained girls here. I’ll just keep an eye on them if it looks like some of them are still nursing too long I can shut them in for a day or two.
 

·
Registered
Goats, Chickens, Ducks. Did I say Goats?
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And each goat owner will develop a method that works for them. Thats why TGS is so important. Each shares their method. Its from Actual Hands On experience which is reality.
That's why I bring most of my questions here. I find it the best resource for "friendly advice"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
For my herd, I normally wean everyone at 12 weeks. But this year was crazy and I had several mother goat deaths due to predators. So several of the kids got weaned at 8 or 9 weeks. Also Poppy’s triplets were separated from her for a month before I reintroduced them to the herd and they continued nursing . Not my preference but I think she has weaned them herself now.
I don’t really have a great setup for weaned kids. So next year I am seriously thinking about watching them and seeing if they will wean there own kids. I band most of my bucklings at 8 weeks by the way. Never had any problems and they are good to stay with the herd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,878 Posts
I always weaned my Nubians at 7 weeks old. They were always very active. Of course I made sure they were getting enough food and if they needed it I would bottle but never needed too. Doelings I would leave on longer.
I lost a nanny last year who had twins at 9 weeks old. I was so worried about them! Of course they refused a bottle. Lol
They grew just as well as everyone else tho! I did put out calf manna for them, and they’d run to it while the others ate with their moms before going over to help clean it up. Lol
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,230 Posts
I think for the most part it’s just the fact people want those keeper does on them longer to grow better. I know a lot of people claim it helps does not have such strutted udders but that doesn’t make sense to me. If two boys obviously nothing will be nursing, if 1 of each one side will be nursed and one won’t, unless other goats are not like mine and nurse off both sides. But as much as I swear my goats are weirdos I don’t think they are that different lol
But me personally band and wean everything at 3-4 months. Between the two months they tend to not be nursing as much since I have a creep feeder for kids so easier on the does udders. I also want them to have a good dry period before breeding again. But I have meat goats not dairy
 

·
Registered
Boots´ #1 Fan
Joined
·
2,582 Posts
The reason for us is, the longer the does are on milk, they tend to be healthier and quicker growing. Now I will say, I’ve never kept a doe on mom until 16 weeks. In fact, we normally wean at 12weeks for does and 8 weeks for bucklings (maybe longer if we plan on wethering them)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,011 Posts
I lost a nanny last year who had twins at 9 weeks old. I was so worried about them! Of course they refused a bottle. Lol
They grew just as well as everyone else tho! I did put out calf manna for them, and they’d run to it while the others ate with their moms before going over to help clean it up. Lol
Sorry you lost their mother but glad they did so well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,011 Posts
I should have added on how it tied to your post 😅
I guess I didn’t need to be so worried about them if I’d known some people weaned successfully at 2 months old. I’d always heard 3-4 months. Lol
Well most of my bucklings were "breeding" the barn cats at a day old. So when they got tall enough to reach their mothers they got pulled to a buckling retreat pen. Now one I let stay on mom to 8- 9 weeks but that was a triplet that was the runt and not tall enough to mount does and one that didn't have a weaning buddy yet.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top