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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I'll try to make the backstory as short as possible, then I'll ask my questions.

I have 2 bottle baby doelings. They are now 11 weeks old. I got them at 5 weeks old. They are Boer crosses (with what is a mystery, most likely Nubian). I got them from people who knew nothing about goats, nor did they try to learn about goats. They were horribly underweight (one weighed 9.4 pounds, the other 8.4 at 5 weeks old), had scours, severe anemia (inner eyelids were white), and full of parasites...both internal and external. They had been taken off milk, being fed only electrolytes and grain (which they didn't eat).

Over the past month and a half I have worked my butt off to get them better. I didn't know anything either, but I was smart enough to research and learn as much as I could. This forum, one of the most special members here (Thank you again, Cathy), and my efforts helped save their lives. They have been wormed (Valbazen and Baycox), treated for there extremely severe lice infestation, gotten their initial and booster CD T shots, fed properly, iron up, etc. etc. Now they are thriving :)

Now to my issues with weaning. Because they were so severely underweight, I was advised to keep them longer on milk. So I did. Last week I dropped them from 3 bottles a day to 2. They both get 8 oz at 8 am, then again at 8 pm. During the day they browse. They have a constant supply of water, minerals, grain, baking soda, and hay. They don't touch the grain, don't touch the hay, only rarely take a nibble of the baking soda and minerals. The eat lots and lots of browse...mostly blackberry leaves, grape vine leaves, dogwood tree leaves, and chestnut oak leaves. They also graze the ground cover in the yard. They will be 3 months old on Monday.


When do I drop them down to 1 bottle a day?

Which bottle do I take away...the morning bottle or bedtime bottle?

Once I take one away, do I gradually decrease the amount in that final bottle until I take it away?

How long do I keep them on that last bottle?

How do I get them to eat the grain? I have tried two different brands, and they won't even TRY to eat it.

They don't seem to drink any water, why is that? It's always fresh, and I never see the amount in the bucket decrease...EVER.

Any help appreciated!!

My most recent pic of my babies...taken last week. Their horns are growing!!:


Super Moderator
64,483 Posts
I would probably go 14 weeks with getting 2 bottles. Then decrease to 1 bottle till they are 16 weeks old. Then just stop them. Doesn't matter which time you drop the bottle.

Have you tried putting the grain in their mouth? Another thing you can try is Probios every day for a week. For some reason Probios daily for a week used to work on alpaca crias that wouldn't eat grain.

You could also put some molasses in their water or make Cathy's homemade electrolyte water and see if they will drink that.

Senior Member
1,379 Posts
Well, first off they are not boer/Nubian. they have way too short of ears. My guess is Boer/Nigerian dwarf. Not familiar with all the other dairy breeds, but I have seen Boer/Nigerian crosses and they look similar, they also stay smaller.

bottle babies get enough water from their bottles, they will drink water when they are weaned.
bottle babies are also way harder to get to eat grain, just keep providing a small amount sprinkled in a dish each day and refresh it every couple of days.
alfalfa hay is good for them, lots of protein if you can't get them on grain.
I would think keeping them on their last bottle until 16 to 17 weeks of age would be long enough. I would do two bottles until they are 14 weeks old and then go to one bottle a day the last couple of weeks. They look to be doing well. as they get more hungry from no bottles they will pick up on their interest in the grain. Well, they should.
I would not bother decreasing the amount in the bottle. 8 ounces is not a very big bottle, our kids are getting 16 to 20 ounce bottles. but they may be 40 or 50 lbs by that age. I would just stop giving them the one bottle in a couple weeks and then the other bottle a couple weeks after that.
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