Bottle Raise or Not?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by tduerson, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. tduerson

    tduerson Well-Known Member

    Jul 24, 2004
    I am interested in evreyone's opinion about Bottle Raising Kids. I have read so many different way and ideals it is kind of confusing. I was told, I have read and I would think it is better for the kid to nurse from it's Mother, but now I am starting to have second thoughts. I have read many different articles about it is healthier to Bottle Raise Kids so they dont get some desease that could be passed through the mother's milk. It makes a lot of sence, but I don't really know. What do you think about the whole thing?
  2. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 28, 2004
    SE Ohio
    What is happening with the kids in the long run? Are they going for meat? For pets? For milk?
    The concern is CAE and you can test for it.

    It really has to do with what you are looking for. Our kids are dam raised. The bucks are wethered and generally end up sold as meat. The does are usually retained. I was not aware of CAE until this past year and am planning on testing our goats this coming year. If any show up positive you can bet I will be raising their kids myself and using the milk for soap. We have cows so getting colostrum clean of CAE won't be an issue and I won't even have to worry about heat treating colostrum.

    Hopefully, others will come through and help you out.

  3. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2002
    Dosthouhavemilk is right first you need to know what your long term plans are for the goats.
    If you want a couple goats for your own milk and all else is going for meat then in my opinion by all means let them stay with mom. However if you plan on raising goats to sell then you best pull the kids immediately bottle or lambar feed the kids. The reason is CAE which is transmitted via the colostrum to the kids. Most people now days are aware of this disease and require when purchasing CAE FREE goats. Unless you can say you have a closed herd that has been CAE Negative for years and years they most won't buy from you or you'll get pennies compared to dollars for your goats. Or if you pastuerize your milk and bottle feed as CAE PREVENTATIVE measures which is what alot of folks do these days.
    Now if your concern is friendlier kids because of bottle feeding. I don't believe this to be true if you spend time with the mom fed babies they are just as friendly but not such pests as bottle kids. At least mine are. Mine are all like little dogs, follow me everywhere.
  4. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    I bottle feed, primarily because it's hard to wean dam-fed babies; even if they are separated from their mother for a while, when they are put back together the kids will start to nurse again (at least in my experience). I keep goats because we need the milk, not for pets, with meat as a by-product, so I don't want kids still nursing when they don't really need the milk any more. I feed them their mother's milk for at least the first couple of weeks, but then if milk is in short supply, I start weaning them onto milk replacer and solid food, and they do fine.

    Kathleen in Oregon
  5. 1farmgirl

    1farmgirl Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2002
    You may take into consideration your schedule as well. It takes time to milk and care for mom and kids. We are planning to go to a convention in March so I plan to bottle in the midmornings and probably let the babies on mom overnight as a regular schedule until then. I usually let them stay with mom for 2 weeks. Then I will have them in their own pen during the day. After the first day, the moms are OK with this arrangement. It gives them a break. That way when March comes, I don't have to find someone to take care of milking my goats. I don't have to worry about if it's getting done or done right. I know it is! It does make it more difficult to wean however. I also use this arrangement in the summer when we go camping, even though the babies are pretty good size by then. That way, I still have milk when we get back and I don't have to drive back in every morning and night. Sure takes away the pleasure of getting away when you spend 4 hours driving back and forth for milking.