Colostrum/milk replacer?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by BucksCtyCowgirl, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. BucksCtyCowgirl

    BucksCtyCowgirl Member

    Apr 3, 2005
    Our nigerian dwarf doe is due in 2 weeks. I am committed to bottlefeeding the babies but concerned about being unable to milk enough colostrum out of her for the first few days, and eventually even milk. We've been working with her, but she's our most standoffish doe, her teats are incredibly tiny, and on top of this, this will be our first experience milking (or kidding, for that matter). So we ordered colostrum replacer and milk replacer from Caprine Supply. Is this an acceptable way to go -- just start the kids on the replacers from the start? Will we be more likely to run into scours going this route? Should we mix in as much milk as we are able to milk from her?

    Also, our goat barn has shavings on the floor. Should be switch to straw for the birth? I think I read that somewhere.

    Finally, assuming we separate the kids completely out-of-earshot from the Mom for the first several weeks, how soon can we return them to the goat pasture area (ie, when will the Mom be detached from them and just treat them like any other goat)? We only have 2 goats, and plan on keeping all the kids, so we'd like to get them back together as soon as feasible, although we'll still be bottlefeeding the kids.

    Thanks is advance for replying!
  2. windyhollowfarm

    windyhollowfarm Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Personally, I would feed goats milk or whole cows milk from the store. Of course, they need the colostrum from their mothers first. Regarding milk replacers, most people dont have anything good to say about them. A lot of kids bloat, and there seem to be more deaths when raised on replacers. If you cant get enough milk from the dam then add cows milk in. I personally do not touch any replacers of any kind. JMO

  3. dscott7972

    dscott7972 Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    Southern Indiana
    We have used cow milk (whole) before using replacer. You can make your own cholostrum with cod fish oil and raw suger (?), I don't have the book with me but its from Story book of raising dairy goats on making your own cholostrum. Not as good as the real stuff but is better than nothing.
  4. Eunice

    Eunice Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    For goats, as long as they do get some colostrum, they should be okay. Babies that don't get colostrum tend to be either undersized, or sickly. As long as you are getting some milk from the mother, you can make a half-half mix of milk replacer and goats milk. We are feeding all of our doelings on a mixture, and they are all doing very well on it. Not only will your supply of milk go farther, but the goats will suffer less side-effects from the replacer. A great compromise.
  5. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    North of Houston TX
    Colostrum replacers, especially homemade mixes contain no immunity/antibodies for the kids, and are NOT better than nothing.

    Small ruminants are born with sterile systems. They get no immunity via the placenta from their moms, like humans do. All the bolstering of the doe with CD&T and Bo-se and any other vaccinations you do before kidding bolsters the colostrum for the kids and the doe herself, not the kids if they do not get her colostrum.

    Colostrum is very high in calories, very high in it's laxative effect of passing all the black meconium out of the intestine. Without ridding the intestine of this first poop the kid will impact and fail.

    Purchase colostrum from a local herd and heat treat it (140 degrees for 1 hour) or only purchase raw from someone you trust and know the disease status of their herd. You may also want, if she is CAE negative, just let the kids nurse for 12 hours than take them away from her and bottle them, milking the dam.

    Totally agree on the grocery store, whole milk rather than replacers from the beginning. Put milk replacer in the search, more dead calves and goatlings from milk replacers than anything else. Scours...dehydration, then all the homemade hocus pocus starts, when the fact of the matter it's simple death from soy. Milk replacers do not allow the young ruminant to form a curd in the tummy, so the liquid milk just pours through the system, un-assimilated as calories, and comes out liquid in the intestine. Once they are older, you can supplement your goat milk or grocery store milk with a non soy replacer, then by 6 weeks and eating grain and ruminating they can handle soy and replacers full strength. No fluids by mouth except milk until they are ruminating, never water down replacer or milk bottles, or give water bottles. Vicki
  6. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    Yes, I should have mentioned that when I have used milk replacer (NOT colostrum replacer) I fed the babies real milk, preferably from their own mother, for at least a month, and then gradually weaned them onto replacer, only after they were already eating some solid food. The replacers just are not as good as real milk, no way, no how. But if you are very careful, older babies can manage with them if you've given them a good start on real milk.