Advice for a newbie??

Discussion in 'Goats' started by sds7, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. sds7

    sds7 Member

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    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Hello everyone! I'm new here and new to raising dairy goats. Actually, two of my girls are going to be raising some kids. We just got them a couple of days ago. I have been researching as much as I can on the internet and have gotten a lot of conflicting information about what is best to feed them. First off, these kids are only about a week old. We are currently using a goat replacer formula. I have also ready many people's opinions of using whole cow's milk instead. What are some opinions from people on this forum?

    Another question would be, how much, how often should they be fed? At what age should we begin to introduce grain and/or hay? What is the best kind of hay for goats? I have read a lot of information that states that goats need mineral supplements. What kind of supplements should they have and what age should they be started on that? Should they have water available to them at all times as well as their bottles at this point?

    Any information anyone can give me would be wonderful!
     
  2. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    North of Houston TX
    Are we talking full sized goats? What breed. I have Nubians here. First the best advice is to move to a dairy board dairygoatsplus.com click on the forum. Esepcially if you have goals of milking the goats or showing.

    I think most replacers except perhaps the top brand names, landolakes etc., are pretty inferior products, fine for a few boer bottle kids, or meat kids destined to be sold, but for the best end product, productive, large well fed kids, either buy the best non-soy replacer you can or use grocery store, whole Vitamin D milk for the first 4 to 5 weeks. By then the babies can nibble grain, hay and browse, and milk replacer doesn't bother them as much, but still follow exactly the instructions on the bag, never offer water in a bottle, never diulute the replacer or milk to stretch it. The babies have an enzyme in their tummy that turns milk into a curd, like cottage cheese, they can't do this with soy or with too much fluid in their tummy....a goat living with mom would not even has access to water, they couldn't reach any water trough, and they are dangerous anyway, baby goats are crazy :) flipping around and jumping they can eaisly drown in a water bucket.

    I feed 4, 16 ounce bottles for the first week or so, moving to 3, 16 ounce bottles until about 10 weeks, then 2, 22 ounce bottles until weaned at 12 weeks. And honestly if I have the milk they get more, I do move to a lambar, which is tubes on a bucket with nipples, but if you have children who want to bottle feed let them.

    I have alfalfa pellets (I find the smallest ones I can) out of the babies from the very start, I make a point of sitting in the barn with my bottle babies and running my fingers through them, they come and see what Mom is doing. This year I am not going to feed any grain, with the great growth we got just on alfalfa pellets last year. Many use a medicated goat pellet for cocci. I simply do a cocci prevention in the milk once a month for 5 days and then this year will simply give this to them in a sryinge by mouth each month until about 8 months old and bred, instead of moving to these goat pellets, which mostly contain byproducts. I do keep some tender grass hay in the feeder for the kids, with all the roughage and protein, and calcium from the alfalfa pellets they eat little of it.

    You will want to disbud before 3 weeks old, otherwise it's more of a vet job past that...read the vaccination schedule thread.

    Your best bet is to go to ADGA.org find a goat club in your area and join. Learn from folks who live your area, who the best vet is, what supplements you need to use, where everyone is buying their hay or grain, what wormer is working in your area, and what cocci meds folks use. Talk to folks who are doing with their goats, what you and your daugthers oneday want to do.

    18 years ago I started with some goats for my daughters, 4H, showing, exporting, selling milk, it's a wonderful way to raise your children. Good luck, it can become quite and addiction! Vicki
     

  3. sds7

    sds7 Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Wisconsin

    I will check with some of the people around here more about some of these things, but I am curious what kind of cocci prevention you use?
     
  4. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    North of Houston TX
    I have used Corid for years with wonderful success. This year I am using Deccox M (jefferslivestock.com sells it) in the milk started at one week old, and fed in the milk daily until weaning. Then I will use Corid evey 21 days for 5 days, mixing some kero in the Corid instead of some of the water so the kids want to take it from the syringe. It will be time consuming but defiently worth it. I don't feed byproducts to my milkers, can't see why I should feed my kids that way when little.

    There are lots of cocci meds out there, for a small group you might want to purchase one of the sulfas that pipevet.com sells, small containers, the sulfaquinoxiline works well, doesn't flavor the milk so the goats don't refuse their bottles. Feed you cocci med in the milk in the morning bottles when they are the hungriest. Start before they are 21 days old (the lifecycle of cocci) and don't wait to see symptoms of diarrhea or ethiopian looking distended bellied skinny goats before treating. Worm and cocci treat you kids. Vicki