dam raising vs. bottle feeding

Discussion in 'Goats' started by tioga12, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. tioga12

    tioga12 Well-Known Member

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    I am trying to educate myself about the reasons for bottle feeding vs. dam raising your dairy kids so I can make an informed decision about which route I will go next spring. I will have 6 does kidding (hopefully) in March or April, and another 3 mid summer. I understand that disease prevention, easier weaning, better control of milk production, and "tamer" kids are positive aspects of bottle feeding. Any comments?
     
  2. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    I also like bottle feeding because I can sell the kids at 2 weeks old instead of 12 weeks. Then I get the milk for myself!
     

  3. AllWolf

    AllWolf We love all our animals

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    Only things I going to say on both of this is this. On bottle babies they are friendly and more loveable and dam raise babies are more wilder an will run from you if not use to a lot of human contact and sometimes even if a lot of human contact they still will run from you when a bottle baby will run clear up to you. I know that first hand because I have both bottle and dam and I do not like a dam raised baby at all because they are more easier spooked to than a bottle baby..

    Remember this is going to bottle feed baby goats.
    Baby goats are given hay, grain & water free choice by a week of age. We also start feeding them small amounts of Calf Manna. Bottle raised and are on Deccox-M prevention for coccidiosis. The kids are fed bottles 3-4 times a day first few day then we are on two bottles a day until 7 weeks of age. At 7weeks they are cut back to one bottle a day. Then weaned off completely at 8 weeks. -If you do not wean them off at this age and still giving them milk it isn’t good for them so wean them at 8 weeks instead of 2 months and etc. Because if you keep bottle feeding them they will not grow into a big strong healthy goat plus it ruins them.

    Good Luck on bottle raising I can't wait til next spring also.. Should have babies in April also.. :)
     
  4. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hmmmm, where did you get this information?? I feed my bottle kids till three months or longer depending on the milk situation. The kids are bigger, stronger, and healthier than if weaned earlier........Most every breeder I know does this. Who told you it ruins them to feed them longer than 8 weeks??? This is contrary to everything I know.
     
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  5. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OK just another difference...we feed our doe kids bottles till 6-9mths old and Buck kids the same.
    Lambs we only feed till 3 mths but they grow a lot faster than a kid.
    As far as your original question...I have a Saanen doe kid on her mother whom I milk once a day as well....the kid (Lucy) treats me more like another kid, jumping on me, biting me etc rather than the mummy like the bottle raised babies. Makes life easier if they look to you as the mummy. Lucy is also the WILDEST child I have ever had.
     
  6. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

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    After spending hours trying to catch a dam raised doeling who got out :grump: , I decided to try bottle feeding the kids next year.
     
  7. jimandpj

    jimandpj Well-Known Member

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    I had my own human baby last year when the does were having their babies, so I decided to dam raise the kids. It was super easy. The mommas took great care of their babies. I separated the kids at night, had the milk in the morning. It went very well and very easily. The kids grew out really well. Weaning was easy at 12 weeks. The kids were very, very friendly (just as friendly as the bottle babies we purchased and also raised). Of course, my seven children made sure the kids got lots of loving. If it had just been me and the new baby, I'm sure they would have been wild little things!

    All that said, I am planning to bottle feed this year b/c I am planning to sell the babies, and I do not want to have to wait til they are weaned. It is much easier to sell a bottle baby.

    There are pros and cons to either method. Bottle raising by its very nature takes more scheduled time, but I can tell you that Jim is excited to be able to put the Decox in their bottles and not have to give them Dimetthox by mouth every 3 weeks - they hate that stuff!

    PJ
     
  8. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    OK, I have to put my two cents in here also.

    First I will say that I have always dam raised my kids because I took my lessons from Fiasco Farms and they don't believe in bottle raising unless they have to. I also learned to tame the kids from that site so wild kids have never been a problem here. That said....

    I will be bottle raising any kids I plan to sell for anything other than food from now on.
    Reason.... I raise American alpines with what I hope to be great bloodlines.
    I want to be able to sell off the kids at a good price and no true breeder will buy a dam raised kid.
    Reason... The dam raised kids can have CL or CAE and could effect their herd.
    Most breeders are breeding for CL and CAE prevention and bottle raising is thought to be the only way to prevent this.

    Now... I will say that I have read many cases where the tests come back positive even on bottle raised babies. WHY? I don't have a clue but I have caved to preasure and will be switching this comming spring, at least on my pure stock so I can be sure to sell the kids at a fair price. :)
     
  9. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to address the weening issue.
    As my kids have been dam raised so I can go places without worring about having to milk unless I want to, I know that the dam doesn't ween them till late in the breeding season.
    I have one that has a kid on her now that is 7 months old and about to be bred herself and is still nursing.
    This doeling was born this Spring and normally would have to be held till near the end of breeding season to get some size on her but I will be breeding her in Oct as she is already almost 80 lbs. She may be 80 lbs as I haven't weighed her in a few weeks.
    My other doeling that was bottle raised and weened at 4 months is only 55 lbs and may have to be held over till next year. She was the runt of triplets and had coci when I got her so that has a lot to do with her being so small still but my point is that keeping them on milk is not a bad thing at all.
    I have weened bucklings to sell as early as two month to get them out of here before any mischief happens though.
    If they are bottle raised you can sell them at birth or soon after and don't have to spend unnessessary money on their care.
    Kids can be raised on whole milk bought at the store just fine. It gets expensive but I have done it several times when I didn't have the goats milk to spare.
    This was on bottle babies I bought to improve my herd.
     
  10. crowinghen

    crowinghen Well-Known Member

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    Interesting thread!
    I'm new to goat babies and milking, but we let the dam raise the kids , seperating at night so we can milk in the morning.

    Pros on dam -raised kids

    I'm pretty sure the kids raised this way are MUCH healthier than bottle-raised kids.

    We get more than enough milk with one milking.

    Greater flexibility regarding milking, we would just not seperate if we couldn't milk the next day.

    Our babies from friendly moms are really friendly, the ones with less than friendly mom's are not so-- they are wild. Maybe it's partly inheritance of temperament??
    More difficult to wean, have to seperate kids from moms (at least kids we're keeping)
    So much easier!!
    If I were raising and selling breeding stock, I would probably do like Corky and bottle-feed because of CAE and CL, but like when I raised my human kids- what a drag to deal with those bottles, they were breast-fed too! :)


    That's my 2 cents worth.
    Susie
     
  11. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    I dam raise. Most of the negatives regarding dam raising come from people who decide to essentially do nothing, i.e., let the goats take care of themselves.

    *They might assist in kidding...or not.
    *They don't milk the does after they kid or make sure that the newborns are nursing and well bonded with mom.
    *They don't milk the doe the first day, or the second, or the third.
    *They don't ensure that the kids are nursing off both sides.
    *They don't give the doe grain, either.
    *They don't work with the kids, except to maybe chase them down and drag them off to be disbudded or tattooed (if that!).
    *They don't grain the kids or give them cocci prevention.

    And then they complain and gripe and ***** and moan when the kids are wild, the does have lopsided udders or mastitis or very little milk, and the kids aren't healthy! :grump:

    You can dam raise responsibly, but you do have to be involved with the goats, it is not hands-off.

    I cannot stand the bottle fed personality, wayyy too clingy for my taste! Dam raised kids grow out better if raised well, assimilate into the herd better (so they continue to do well and there is no stressful integration process), and usually they can be bred the first year and still grow out. It is also easier to butcher, cull, or sell kids that have been dam raised- they don't regard you as the mother.

    I still got more milk than I could use, milked twice a day and butchered or sold bucklings by 2-3 months (or earlier). The doelings I wanted to keep kept nursing as long as they wanted to, into the fall, and grew out very nicely that way.
     
  12. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    I go both ways. I don't milk my goats, so there is no point for me to take them away from mommy. Also, the bond they form lasts for life; you can get a goat that is friendly enough if you take the time to tame them at a young age. An important factor in raising them properly is to NEVER EVER chase them, no matter what. I ruined a last year's doeling by chasing her, and she still doesn't trust me. Her sister, however, is a luvbug, and she was also dam-raised. Not to mention thier "auntie" (no relation) who could be passed off as a bottle baby any day.
    This year I HAD to bottle raise two kids out of Daisy, who had quads. She had three doelings and one buckling, in that order. The first kid, a doeling that i still have and plan to keep, was the runt. She had no chance of nursing mommy or even holding her head up. So she was bottle fed. 2nd doeling is dam raised, the third born doeling was stillborn, and the fourth born buckling was bottle raised. Daisy had a hard labor and rejected the buckling for whatever reason (may be because she's ONLY had doelings before or because she had a hard labor) I've still got the dam raised doeling and the bottle baby, who I've still got 3 more weeks of bottle feeding till she's three months. Anywho, the bottle doeling is, of cource, an absolute DEAR. The dam raised doeling is a little more skittish but still climbs in my lap and runs up to me. She is still super friendly. I NEVER have chased her (unless she was in the milkroom/feed storage area, hehe) and she loves me!
    Now, I think that I will bottle feed all 'extra' kids that a doe has. I will allow her to raise one of her own kids and bottle raise the other(s).
     
  13. AllWolf

    AllWolf We love all our animals

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    ozark_jewels
    I'm not getting into it because everyone has different OPIONS on things. Just saying what I do and know.. Everytime I post a opion of what I do I get question over and over.. Well I just state what I do and that is that. Not in the mood of explaining why I do what.. I do what is best others may disagree with me but I do what I know is best and I have big healthy goats.. Heck why keep them on the bottle when later they have teeth and will tear the nipple? When mine get to eatting good and etc.. Yes I do cut them off because then they know how to eat and eatting on own.. I also have a friend that has goats and she helps me make the correct choices..

    Good Luck on your goats..
     
  14. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about the alpine world, but "no true breeder will buy a dam raised kid" hasn't applied to nigerians. I would guess it's half and half dam raised to bottle. The key is spending time w/ mom raised kids from the getgo. I have found the first week is critical. Yes, it takes up time but my kids, for the most part are just as friendly as the bottle babes. And with CAE testing every year I'm not worried about that potential problem. I agree though, you cannot beat the instant petability of the bottle fed kids. I also feel you can't go wrong keeping them on milk beyond eight weeks.
    I respect both ways of doing it and pros and cons to each.
     
  15. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    they are born with teeth :)
    dam raised kids are nursed much longer than 8 weeks.
    kids need the calcium in the milk for good bone structure.
    kids have a much better immune system if kept on milk longer.
    kids don't tend to get fat on milk.
    kids grow much better on milk.
    kids eat everything besides the milk if they get it offered.

    this does not sound like an opinion only :rolleyes:
     
  16. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

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    Back when we had goats, we let one doeling stay on her mother and seperated them at 3 or so monthes. At least as much as we could, the baby would find ways to get milk through the fence ect.
    She was from good stock, her mother milked very heavy and had a great udder. the kid never damaged the udder untill the next spring when the mother kidded again and the doeling who was bred back herself started nursing again.
    needless to say the doeling whom we had planned to keep on as part of our herd had to be sold , the mother got mastitus from having this now well grown kid nursing her and ended up with a lop sided udder.
    We bottle fed all babies from then on. No kids were allowed around the mothers for any reason. Even colustrom was milked and bottle fed. Except on the few occasions when the mother kidded by herself at night.
     
  17. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, everyone has opinions, but if you are not willing to explain *what* you base your opinions on......how is anybody going to learn from it and know if they want to follow your opinion?? The first thing anyone is going to ask if I state my *opinion* without giving the reasons behind it is "What are you basing your opinions on??"...and if I'm not willing to be questioned on that and supply the answer.....why should my opinion be worth anything??
    I was not saying what you are doing is *wrong*, but I did wonder what you are basing it on since it is so oposite to what I know. Not trying to "get into it", just trying to *understand*.
    Does this make sense?? Seems like my posts have been getting on peoples nerves lately or something. :shrug: We are all here to learn and explain why we do what we do.
     
  18. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I've not had a great many goats, but I've been milking for 8 years now, and have always dam-raised goats. I work full time and have a two-hour commute, and I'm just not up to milking twice a day in addition to my other chores. I separate kids at night, and if the doe has milk left, she is milked out so her udder stays even. I spend time with the kids at night and in the morning before they go back to the dam. The more time I spend with them, the more friendly they become. They grow big and strong and healty with all that love, attention and milk from their dams.

    I test my herd every other year and have never had a positive CAE test. I have no trouble selling breeding stock, though I did have one woman a thousand miles away tell me she'd never buy a dam-raised kid. Whatever suits her.

    If I have to be away overnight, I leave the kids with the dams, and don't have to worry so much about milking right on time. I sell kids at 8 weeks, and shortly thereafter, take the does to milking once a day. I get lots of milk and scheduling flexibility. If I'm keeping a kid and I want to wean it before the fall, I use a combination of teat tape and bitter spray to keep the kid from nursing. That costs a total of about a minute taking off and putting on tape and spraying.

    I've never had quads to deal with, and the dams have handled triplets just fine (except for the boer cross kids - super aggressive eaters!). The trickiest time is when you have just one kid on a doe. You have to pay close attention to keeping the udder milked out consistently so it doesn't develop unevenness.

    For me and my schedule, dam-raising is really the only way I could do it. Others simply enjoy bottle feeding and have the time to devote to it. Both ways work. Happy goating!
     
  19. Sher

    Sher Well-Known Member

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    We dam raise unless we get a rejection of a kid from her momma. I don't see a problem either way. Some things work better in some situations. And maybe alot of it has to do with what a person .. and the goats are used to.

    For me.. I really like my little girls nursing their mommas .. and I don't tame down my kids. Most all of them are going to meat or breeding. I only keep back a replacement doe once in a while. And have kept back four black and whites to eventuallyl sell as a black and white herd.

    I have had people buy the kids for breeding..taken them home..and called me back to say how tame they got. I don't think it takes all that much to tame them down if you want to/have to.

    I think everyone should do what works for them..and sometimes ya don't know what that is til you have tried it several ways.
     
  20. trob1

    trob1 Well-Known Member

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    Well I let the dams raise the kids and I put what energy and time it would take to bottle feed into love and affection and my babies are as sweet as bottle raised but they come to people for love and affection not food. I have bottle raised 6 babies one year that I bought from a dairy farm and I will never do it agian unless medically nessisary. They were clingly constantly underfoot looking for food and always yelling for me. I sold them all and started a herd of dam raised pygmies. I love watching the bond that the dam and her kids have and love for them to come running to me for a good rub down and not looking for a bottle. JMO