bottle feeding verses nipple bucket

Discussion in 'Goats' started by topside1, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Howdy all, just looking for opinions/advice today. Last year I coke bottle fed the new kids, containing milk of course. Not much of a problem with only two new born kids needing feeding. This year I am hoping to have eight kids to bottle-feed. I have been looking into a multiple tube bucket feeder as an option. Buckets look nice, but could be a gimmick or just a mistake for my small operation. All eight, possible kids should be dropped during the same week, which is another reason I'm considering the nipple bucket. Looks like a lot of cleaning, tubes, nipples etc. Individual bottles are also a twice a day washing hassle too....Not lazy, just looking for your individual experiences and what you would change regarding this simple homesteading decision. I really like to work smarter, not harder!!!!!! Counting the days till kidding....Tennessee John
     
  2. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm facing this decision too. I could be feeding between 10 and 20 kids this year, depending on how many each of my does kids! Thats alot of babies!
    I am considering getting Hoegger's feeding bucket. It looks fairly easy, and I plan on having a couple of pens, one for the females and one for the bucks at the very least. I'll probably make it 6 to a pen (thats how many the bucket feeds at time) then make my way around to the different pens with the one bucket, filling it up between pens. At least, that's the best idea I can come up with... Thank goodness I got that alpine doe this year, otherwise I have a feeling I'd go broke buying milk! LOL
    One thing I want to consider is if it makes them as friendly, feeding with the bucket. I assume it does, because I can't see any difference in the feeding style except for convenience!
     

  3. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Anything over 2 kids, and it's on the lambar. I start them all on lambar nipples on cokebottles for their colostrum and first milk bottles, once 3 are here, they go onto small lambars that hold about 4 quarts of milk, larger and more kids we move to a 2 gallon bucket then a 3 and 1/2 gallon milk for 10 kids. There is no switching to other nipples, and if sold will eaisly suck on this same nipple back on a coke bottle if need be.

    I am not a fan of the Preimer nipple bucket, it leaks, and is hard to clean.

    With your lambar bucket simply let the kids drink from it, that takes all of 20 seconds...then just run water through it..at the end of the day wash it with soap and water, just swishing it, and letting it overflow so water/soap runs through the nipples...then run some bleach water through it, do the rest of your chores than let it drain overnight. Do get the brush for the tubing which then gets used every saturday. It is soo much quicker to feed kids, the kids are just as tame...do spend sometime with little kids as you add them to the lambar of older kids, even just a few days older...or let them nurse first, making sure the level of the milk is high, nearly as high as the nipples themselves that first few feedings until they gain strength to suck the milk out of the bottom of the bucket. Vicki
     
  4. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Topside.....get the nipple bucket!! :) It will save you a lot of time and is I think the only reason we survived feeding all the kids this year. You can start your kids out on the lambar bucket nipples on a pop bottle and as soon as they are finished with their colostrum feedings, start them on the bucket. By using the same nipple you are going to have half the hassle when it comes to teaching them to eat from the bucket feeder. It may take them a few feedings to catch on to sucking the milk up the tube, but once they do...step back!! :)
    The way we cleaned it was simply to rinse it out with cold water after every feeding, then fill it up with bleach water, put the lid on and let it set till the next feeding. We took it apart and thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed it once a week. It was just fine.
    The nipples are long-lasting too. We fed 40-60 kids from February through October this year and only changed nipples once because the ends were bitten through in several places.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    So obviously just let them drink till their bellies are full, then let um romp till the evening feed...No measuring, no thinking, just eating. Ok I'm going to place an order....tennessee John
     
  6. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, I let all my kids eat all they wanted at feeding times this year. They were on three feedings a day till they were a couple months old, then cut back to two feedings a day till weaned. No one ever over ate and got sick. I did watch and if one big kid was especially piggy, I would pull her off, but I only had to do this a couple times. I seriously have no idea why I didn't go to bucket feeders sooner...... :)
     
  7. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Thanks for the great info...enjoy the weekend. From the hills and hollers of the great state of tennessee.....over and out.
     
  8. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    I love my bucket.

    We had 10 dairy babies and 2 weanlings in a large kid pen last winter. At first we had to do them all with bottles. The ones not being fed would attack you while you were feeding the first ones. We would go out in a team and each do 2 at once. I wished I was an octopus!

    Once we got the bucket, it became a whole lot easier!

    It's easy to clean too. And since it was winter, if they left milk, I would just leave the bucket outside, so it wouldn't go bad. Next feeding, add hot milk, et voila! Less waste.
     
  9. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    The feeders seem awful tall, are they sized only for full sized kids? I don't know that my minis would be able to reach those nipples! If that was the case I'm sure I could make some sort of platform holder where the bucket base is lower than the level that the kids are standing on, but that would be extra hassle.
     
  10. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My feeder in the picture is higher because its in the holder that was made for it. If the bucket was sitting on the ground, it would be too low for a full-size kid. :)
     
  11. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    My Nigies have no problem reaching the nipples. I put mine on an overturned milk crate. Their necks stretch quite far when they are properly motivated! :)
     
  12. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Change is what you don't want in full feeding twice a day Topside. Same temp, same amount of milk offered each time. I feed alot more often, but have friends who start their kids at 2 times a day after colostrum bottles. But you have to be consistant.

    Mygoat: My minimancha had no trouble eating off the lambar, even competeing with the much bigger Nubian kids. I don't move to the larger bucket (here the squat 3 and 1/2 gallon bucket fits the same holder Emily has) until the kids are older. vicki
     
  13. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Vicki, I will be feeding three times a day for the first month or longer then shift to twice a day. One big question??? In the morning and evening they will be drinking warm milk from the does that I would be milking. For the noon meal how do you warm up that much milk??? I would fill a bucket with warm/hot water and insert the jar with milk into the water so conduction can take place from the water to the milk....Is this the perferred method??? Tennessee John
     
  14. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    I just warm milk on the stove...when we pasteurize milk to go to kids, the milk sits on the back of the stove until the next feeding, so in essence normal for us is a little above room temp milk to be fed. This year with using cold milk from the fridge, I will just heat one of the gallons hot, then add it to the other cold gallon to come to warm...and yes I also use the microwave.

    Whatever you figure out to do, make it super convenient, especially for others who may have to do the chores for you for some reason. Here milk from the morning milking could eaisly stand at room temp until lunch lambars...except in the summer when it would be yogurt too quickly. But my babies don't mind if the milk is sour from built up acids, or clabbered, as long as they can suck it through the straw! Vicki
     
  15. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use this method yes, it keeps the possibility of scalding at 0 which I prefer. I use plastic jugs as glass jugs with cold milk set into hot water.....creates broken glass jugs. :)