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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always wondered this: how long does it take keeping kids apart from their dams -in or out of sight of the dams- for them to be truly weaned? When we've separated before, even for a month or two, we thought they would've given it up, but they always start nursing again as soon as we put them back with the dams.
Is there a trick to it, or do you just have to wait a long time before putting them together again?
Our doelings have been in an adjoining pen by their dams since being weaned about a month ago, or a little more. I'd like to put them back, but I don't want them to nurse.
 

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It all depends on the doe. If I separate Beep's kids for a week then put them back she will no longer let them nurse. On the other hand Candice would allow her kids to nurse even after a month. Some need to be separated for several months.
 

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You are experiencing one of the many downsides to allowing kids to nurse on their mothers. About the only benefit is that it is convenient, but that outweighs all of the negatives. If you're raising meat goats or Angoras, where it doesn't matter all that much, that's one thing, but if you have any type of dairy goat, or have small facilities where you need to reintroduce kids to the rest of the herd, the only real practical approach is to bottle feed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I realize its probably better to bottle feed for those reasons, but it has worked pretty well for us to let the kids nurse half the time,at least for while. Now that we actually have another pen for the doelings it's not so bad, because they can live there basically as long as they need to, but I would prefer to have them all together. Less water troughs,less mineral feeders, and so on.
This year we only had three does kid, so it wasn't a big deal, but next year well have a lot more, so maybe well bottle feed, I don't know yet.
 

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i read somewhere to quicken the weaning process is to tape momma's teats. i read somewhere it takes 6-10 months (someone correct me if i'm wrong) for mommas to naturally wean. i was going to wean my buckling, but i think i'm just oging to keep him locked up at night and she can deal with him during the day. she's already annoyed with him, so i'm thinking it's not too long before she weans.

i like the idea of mom raising kids....seems less issues for the kid, and not as much work for me. that's just my :2cents:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i read somewhere to quicken the weaning process is to tape momma's teats. i read somewhere it takes 6-10 months (someone correct me if i'm wrong) for mommas to naturally wean. i was going to wean my buckling, but i think i'm just oging to keep him locked up at night and she can deal with him during the day. she's already annoyed with him, so i'm thinking it's not too long before she weans.

i like the idea of mom raising kids....seems less issues for the kid, and not as much work for me. that's just my :2cents:
Oh, we've done teat taping.:GAAH: I hate doing it, because those little -cant think of a word- things always manage to rip off the tape somehow, and we almost always end up with a least half the milk that we would have. It's extremely frustrating.
I totally agree about letting the mamas nurse them, if its possible, but sadly it's sometimes just more efficient to bottle feed.
 

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You are experiencing one of the many downsides to allowing kids to nurse on their mothers. About the only benefit is that it is convenient, but that outweighs all of the negatives. If you're raising meat goats or Angoras, where it doesn't matter all that much, that's one thing, but if you have any type of dairy goat, or have small facilities where you need to reintroduce kids to the rest of the herd, the only real practical approach is to bottle feed.
Not trying to be argumentative, but there are many benefits. The benefits I like about dam-raising are: 1) Natural, I like things as natural as possible; 2) Health, the does are able to feed them when they need it, as much as they need; 3) Manners, I have found my dam-raised kids have better manners; 4) Herd, I love watching the kids learn from the adults, what to eat what not to eat, how to act, when to play when to calm down, how to be a goat; 5) Mastitis, when my does have mastitis, the kids nursing on them 24/7 is the best thing for it (I also suppliment herbally); 6) Mental health, my does love raising kids and my kids benefit from a momma that can be there all the time. I can be momma to them, but I can't be with them all the time. I like the fact that they can have a momma with them always, to comfort them and teach them.

There are many benefits to bottle-feeding as well, I completely get that, and it's certainly not wrong! But it's not right for everyone, and dam-raising and bottle-raising both have pros and cons that fit different lifestyles. You can also bottle-feed while keeping with the mommas, I believe Karen on here does that. This isn't a jab at bottle-raisers what so ever, I just wanted to clarify the different reasons some may choose to dam raise. :) It works for me because I have a small herd, with a simple lifestyle. I just need enough milk to drink and I'm okay with the kids having the rest. For others, bottle-raising is the way to go for what they are looking for in their goats. Some also dam-raise and suppliment with a bottle so they can separate when need be (I do this).

Anyhow, to answer the original question, I separated a few months and the dams no longer let them nurse. I think they were about six months old when I put them back together. The kids looked at the udder, but that was all. If the kids still try to nurse I would try teat-taping with something not-so-tasy on the tape. I have actually chosen not to wean, but to let the does do it. Only time I wean now is if a buckling is staying intact, or a doe refuses to stop nursing her kid (in which case I just stick them apart for a little while :) )
 

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We wean at 8-9 weeks, they go in a the jr. Pen and the stay in that pen until the next spring after my girls kid.. I know I could bring them back in a bit sooner, but I don't want my bred does rough housing anymore then they already do ;) I worry about my babies hehe! :) and that works for me and it lets my jr. does grow a bond with each other so when they do go back in with the sr does they have buddies and someone to sleep with when the 'bullies' are mean to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Three havens, I totally agree with all thoses reasons for dam-raising kids. That's what we did this year - Separating during the day and milking at night while bottle-feeding for a while, then just letting them nurse at night until they were around two months old, then separate them into a pen right next to the dams.
Its worked well for us, I'm just a little impatient to put the girls back in the doe pen, but I think I'll need to wait a while longer. :)
I can't remeber exactly when, but after we had them separated for a while, they got into the does pen one night and nursed them dry! I was mad because I knew that we'd have to keep them apart even longer.:rolleyes:
I don't know what we'll do next year, but I liked this system a lot.
 

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i read on fiasco farms that letting mom and baby together at night makes it stressful for mommas b/c they're kept up all night with hungry babies....

i let mine have his mom during the day, and he gets penned up around 6:30 so i get a FULL 12 hour fill in the morning, and mom gets that evening and night time to herself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i read on fiasco farms that letting mom and baby together at night makes it stressful for mommas b/c they're kept up all night with hungry babies....

i let mine have his mom during the day, and he gets penned up around 6:30 so i get a FULL 12 hour fill in the morning, and mom gets that evening and night time to herself.
Well, Ive never seen our goats actually sleep at night, lol, but I would think that makes sense.
I would've preferred to milk in the morning, but the way our life is right now, with markets and such, it's a LOT easier for us to milk in the evening.
We have to get up really early to go to the market, and it would be the last straw to have to milk as well. (the markets are 90 miles away)
Another reason is that it's just so HOT in the mornings here. And humid; the evenings are much nicer, and since our goats have such tiny teats:mad: it can take quite a while to milk. So all in all, it's just better for us to do it in the evening right now.:)
 

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for sure! do what works for you! i was just regurgitating what i read....

yes, i understand getting hot in the mornings. i get up at 6 to milk and feed, and by 6:35, i'm already sweating from the humidity. summertime is here......
 

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i'm just going to keep him locked up at night and she can deal with him during the day. she's already annoyed with him, so i'm thinking it's not too long before she weans.
I'm doing the same thing with Gater's twins. Everybody is happy and they all seem to be content not nursing as much. I will stop milking (I only milk once... early morning before babies get to her) when the cold weather hits (November) so I will gradually reduce the milk I take from her (GETTING 2 QUARTS A DAY!) Hopefully, if she does nurse thru the winter, it will be only "comfort food" as the babies do well on hay and are just learning about grain (they are 9 weeks old today! :cool: SO MUCH FUN! I love my goats. :lovey:

I will be breeding the other two females in Nov for April babies. (They didn't "take" last breeding season... I think the buck was not aggressive enough... Gater doesn't have horns as the other two girls do so she was a lot easier to mount.)
 
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