Weaning

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by LivingWithPatience, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. LivingWithPatience

    LivingWithPatience New Member

    8
    Oct 22, 2018
    California
    Hi all - I have a weaning question. I currently have three does, and do pasture rotation on a weekly basis. I milk one of them (Patience) daily, and have been since early May 2019.

    I've read that folks typically wean the kids around 3 months, and sell them or rehome them, etc. However, I kept one of the kids (Stability) from last year, and assumed that at some point she would stop nursing. There was a period where Patience would kick Stability away and prevent her from nursing, but Patience isn't always consistent about it.

    So Stability is still nursing to this day, even though she's just about 15 months old now. I'm a bit concerned because she's definitely overweight - I'm not sure if that will lead to other health issues later on or not.

    I'd like to wean her, but I'm concerned she won't stop nursing so long as I continue milking Patience (which I'd like to continue doing for as long as possible - may not breed again until next year). I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for weaning a fat adult-sized baby goat?

    I'm hoping to avoid having to physically separate them for two reasons: 1) I have three does, so one would be left by herself. 2) Because of the rotational grazing I do, it would mean cutting their pen sizes in half and add to the weekly labor of moving them. However, if this is the only way, I'm open to it, especially if it will keep Stability healthier. I just wanted to see if anyone had other ideas.
     
    MadHouse likes this.
  2. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    You can try taping the teats with medical tape, but the few times I have tried this the kid or the doe usually end up pulling the tape off.
    There are also lamb weaning nose rings that look like this IMG_2741.jpg I have never used this but know some people who do and like them. It allows them to still eat but when they put their nose up to nurse it pokes the doe, not enough to hurt her just enough she doesn’t like it, and she will kick at the kid. The only thing is make sure to get more then one. I know with calf’s it’s not uncommon for them to get them off and be lost in a pasture for awhile. But I would try the tape first ;)
     
    LivingWithPatience and MadHouse like this.

  3. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
  4. mariella

    mariella Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2017
    Prague Oklahoma
    You can flip the nose ring so the spicks poke the baby too! Use it first to make the mother uncomfortable so she kicks the baby and then flip it so the baby gets pocked and the mother kicks it.
     
  5. Boers4ever

    Boers4ever Well-Known Member

    427
    Jun 28, 2020
    East Texas
    I’ve heard of these for calves but never for goats. Neat! I’ll have to try it too.
    I’ve got a doe named Patience too! She will be weaned Sep. 5.
     
  6. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    I think if you flip them the spikes would end up in their mouth. I think though If one doesn’t like the idea of the spikes you could probably just nip them off......if they do fit correctly where plate blocks the mouth so it can’t nurse. Being 18 months I’m not sure if it would. But you could always put it on and see before you get to cutting on it lol
    Boers4ever I know! When I first saw them I was like WHAT!!!! Absolutely genius who ever came up with the idea to use it for lambs/ goats. I haven’t tried them yet but debate it all the time. I have a 7 month old that I weaned for a few months, retired mom and the only pen is with the doe kids so of course the doeling is back nursing.
     
  7. Boers4ever

    Boers4ever Well-Known Member

    427
    Jun 28, 2020
    East Texas
    Ok so I didn’t start this thread but I have a 7 week old buckling that “loves the girls” if you know what I mean. He isn’t “doing anything” yet but I am separating him next week. Can I go ahead and wean him or should I let him nurse once a day until he is 12 weeks?
     
  8. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    If he’s not extending he should be fine. I actually learned not all that long ago that them humping is actually a good thing because it helps stretch thing out so he can extend. Now I’m sure if he didn’t have anything to hump he would be just fine lol just one of those odd Mother Nature things that actually has a reason behind it.
    But if he does start to extend then yes you will want to take him away. Now I have had some kids that ended up having to be weaned at 6 and 7 weeks in the past because I lost their mother and they did just fine with good grain and hay but I really wouldn’t recommend it. 8 weeks is the absolute earliest I will look at a kid to see if they are eating well and consuming enough feed to be weaned. Even then I really don’t care for 8 weeks all that much and will try to make plans for pick up (wean) after 9 weeks old.
    But I think your idea of letting him nurse while letting mom in and out is a better plan. If you have to do it soon I would shoot more towards morning and evening nursing and make sure to get him on some good grain ;)
     
    toth boer goats likes this.
  9. MadHouse

    MadHouse Well-Known Member

    I was successful with taping teats. I did it for a few months and tried once in a while to see what the kid would do. Eventually he gave up checking the teats.
     
  10. MadHouse

    MadHouse Well-Known Member

    I did that with my 6 week old guy. It cause him to scream every time he saw me. I ordered him an anti mating apron, and since he’s got that, we are all so much happier!
    upload_2020-7-29_21-43-53.jpeg
     
    Iluvlilly! likes this.
  11. LivingWithPatience

    LivingWithPatience New Member

    8
    Oct 22, 2018
    California
    Thanks all, for the feedback! Those nose rings look like they could do the trick - I'll give them a whirl and report back with any results (good or back). Y'all are awesome! :)
     
    MadHouse likes this.