Bottle babies

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Paso, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. Paso

    Paso Well-Known Member

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    I love the bottle babies but how will I introduce them into the flock of others that have mothers? I have kept them with a mom of triplets she is so overwhelmed she doesnt seem to care there are even more LOL I was thinking maybe they would start to eat on there own with the help of the others. I mean by watching the others. It almost seems they hold out for the bottle... There only 3 weeks old..Any help out there for me??? :eek:
     
  2. eggladyj

    eggladyj Well-Known Member

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    Oklahoma
    I'm in the same boat with you on this, been kinda wondering how I was going to accomplish teaching :haha: them what to eat! Mine are a bit younger than yours; one was born on 3/17 and the other on 3/25. I have noticed that when I have them outside in the yard they are starting to explore more with their mouth the stuff that is growing and the dirt :rolleyes: , but not really eating any of it. Hopefully, nature will kick in and tell them that they are supposed to eat this stuff so I don't have to show them by example :haha: ! Just kidding!

    Jeannine
     

  3. eggladyj

    eggladyj Well-Known Member

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    Oklahoma
    Ok, you got me to thinking I should know this now before it gets to be a problem that I have to correct, gosh I hate doing that!

    Did some searching on a fav. site and this is the just of what it said;
    A kid should recieve about 15% of it's body weight in milk a day split up into several feedings, evenly spaced out. At about one week old fine stemmed grass hay and fresh water need to be available at all times. They will/should begin to eat it on their own. It also cautioned on feeding more than 15% in milk or they will not begin to eat and drink so they can to develop their rumen properly.

    So now I can relax and quit thinking I'm going to have to have a meal of hay in order to get them started, hehehe.

    Hope this helps you out as much as it has me!

    Jeannine
     
  4. animal_kingdom

    animal_kingdom Well-Known Member

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    If you don't have availablity to make or purchase a creep feeder, make a creep area out of a corner of the barn or a small penned in area only the little ones can get through.

    Sometimes this is trial and error to make this pen older goat proof and also that it is tough to withstand numerous attempts to getting at what's inside.

    Once you make an area, you also need to be able to get into it yourself to add grain and hay.

    We have a creep feeder small type building that we crawl into and either help the babies through the opening meant only for them or coax them in to play. This building has fence panel sections cut in two and overlapped so we can get in and out. One side is hinged and them we use clips to attach it to the other section of panel.

    We sit in there and show them where the grain is and let them know it's safe to be in there and there are yummy rewards in there.

    Eventually, they start to go in themselves and nibble as need be. This gives them a place to hide or relax and just be able to eat at their pace without adult interuption or just being left with no grain.

    The creep feeder is introduced to them at 2 weeks of age. By then the rumin will start kicking in little by little to digest the new introductions. It makes a tremendous difference in the size and health by 2 months there is quite a pleasure to see the differences!

    The creep feed can simply be the adult feed. We top dress by 10% with flaked roasted soybeans.

    Mama
     
  5. BubbleTea

    BubbleTea Active Member

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    Maryland
    My kids started eating grass and stuff by themselves by the time they were 3-4 weeks old...and they were bottle babies. No....I don't think they will need to learn by your example.....well .....who knows?? :rolleyes:
     
  6. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    At a month old I start putting a little yogurt and baby cereal in their bottles....then yogurt/cereal/alittle grain in a dish (offer before giving a bottle, when really hungry) . Also a few grain pellets down the throat (sweet feed) will also encourage them to like the flavor. Dam raised kids learn to eat much faster....I had cud chewers at 21 days old. Bottle babies were at 6-8 weeks before cud chewing.
     
  7. animal_kingdom

    animal_kingdom Well-Known Member

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    Maybe that's the difference. Most of mine are on their mothers.

    The deal with the creep feeder is that until they've actually tried the grain out and know where to find it, they sometimes need help. The creep has the feed back where the adults can't reach it so it's like in hiding. Babies follow the examples of their mothers and if their mothers don't eat in there, why should they? That's why we do a bit of assisting.

    I think the yogurt and cereal is interesting. Never heard of doing it. It's a great idea. Thanks.
     
  8. rhjacobi

    rhjacobi Well-Known Member

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    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Hi Paso,

    If we have bottle babies, they are always kept with at least one/some older goats for the learning and the company at least until they are weaned. Normally they start tasting things at about 10 days and progress to grazing and hay eating after that on their own. Most of the kids take to any feed, but some have to be coaxed a little. We do this by putting a little feed into their mouths from time to time and they usually decide they like it before long. By weaning time (we wean at three months), they should all be grazing/eating hay just fine on their own. If not, there is a physical problem to be addressed. We have had a few hold outs on the feed until then, but shortly after weaning even these kids started eating the feed like the rest.

    Since we don't want the new bucks breeding with the herd and we don't want the does bred at that age, we don't generally put them in with one of the herds. We keep the buck kids in one pasture and the doe kids in another. The buck kids never go back to the herd unless we are using one to replace one of the the other herd sires. If we decide to keep any of the does, they won't go back to the herd until they are ready to breed.

    If breeding isn't an issue for you, I would probably wait until they were weaned before putting them with the herd. At that point, they should have enough motor skills to avoid serious conflicts with those adults who might not be over joyed at the new additions. I would also do it in a group so that those bottle babies that have been together also stay together. They will maintain their already established relationship group when going into a new place with a bunch of bigger adults. This group will have much less stress than if you introduced them to the herd one at a time. We try to avoid moving any goat by itself. They seem to establish "friendships" and we try to keep those established relationships together. This cuts any stress from a move way down.

    I hope that this helps a little.

    Bob
    Lynchburg, TN.