do you leave kids with mamas or bottle feed?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by BamaSuzy, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    Do you leave goat kids in with their mama or take them away and bottle feed, or do you do a combination? I've read all the books I can find on the subject but want to know what works best for you.

    I am leaning toward leaving them with the mama's and milking too like my friend does.

    What works for you????

    My first doe went into heat on the 21st and was likely bred on that day so we have a few months to decide but I want to be READY!
     
  2. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    Well this is what works for US (others have the exact opposite opinion)

    We leave them with the moms until the moms wean them off.

    YES we have tested for CAE (2 years now) and not had even a slight +.

    No the kids are not wild lunatics

    The two mindsets on this subject seem to be pretty ridged towards their leaning. We feel taking them from mom at their first breath causes undue stress to both parties. Since CAE is not an issue here and our does are all super tame there is no justifiable reason to yank them away.

    If we had CAE, crazy moms or an open herd we would definitely do it differently than we do now though.
     

  3. CathyJK

    CathyJK Well-Known Member

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    My three toggs are going to have babies in the spring (I hope)
    Anyway I plan to leave them with mom for the first bit. I too think it's just too stressful to remove them
    My toggs come from a farm that practices CAE prevention (babies are bottle feed on pasteurized milk) so I'm not too concerned but will have the does checked for CAE.
    I think because I don't want milk all the time, we will leave babies with mom and then when I want milk, move babes to another pen for the evening and milk mom in the morning. I've heard that works quite well for others.

    Anyway, I think if you were really concerned about CAE, you might take them away from mom. As far as keeping them calmer, just handle them frequently, I don't think babies have to be mauled to be friendly. I also think mom has a lot to play in how wary they are of you. All my toggs are very friendly so I think they will transmit some of that to babies (at least I'm hoping)
     
  4. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I bottle feed all kids. I don't buy goats from those who don't....my own personal preferance. Neither does nor kids are stressed by taking them away immediately after birth -- as in they come out and are immediately handed off to a waiting person. In fact, both of them bond more closely with us -- we are mothers to the babies, and babies to the mothers.

    We raise calves, and lambs off of our does as well, and I need every drop of milk I can get. Most dam raised kids we have had in the past get too fat as well...that doesn't seem to happen with the lambar kids.

    It certainly all comes down to personal preferance, cause there is a dozen different ways of doing it.

    Tracy
     
  5. GoldenWood Farm

    GoldenWood Farm Legally blonde! Supporter

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    I also bottle feed unless the kids are Boers then I let momma keep them and handle the kids a ton. But I will try to always bottle feed my kids and if I can help it I NEVER will buy a goat kid from anybody who isn't bottle raised because chances are they are wild and hard to handle.

    MotherClucker
     
  6. alpinegoatgirl

    alpinegoatgirl Member

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    I don't bottle raise because I have a fulltime job and its impossible for me at the moment. I test for CAE and have never got a positive; I also only buy from herds who practise CAE prevention. This way I feel ok about just leaving them on the dams. In 2 years (when i get married) i hope to have my own farm and then I will have more time for my goats and be able to bottle feed.

    I think the bottom line is you have do what is best for you and your goats, whatever you find works best.
     
  7. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I do both, depending on the doe. One of mine was a bottle baby herself and has never successfully nursed her own. So it is much easier to just take those babies right away and tend to them instead of fussing with her for hours trying to make it happen. Another doe has always tended her own, and does such a good job, I just haven't seen a good reason to take it over from her.
    The other two, well, it just depends, on the weather, on how quickly and successfully the doe is able to take the job, etc.
    I have not found the does or kids to be more stressed by taking them right away to bottle, in fact, I have found the stress, when there is any, to be much briefer than trying to wean later.
    Since we have the goats for milk, it would not make any sence to us to let the goats wean naturally, since some will allow kids to nurse right up til the next kidding.
    As far as the tameness of the kids, I have had very nice, tame kids both ways. But a bottle kid is a sure bet to be very sweet and tame. The nursing kids will take a consistent effort on your part to tame once weaned, and some will not be as friendly as the bottle kids even then, though they will be manageable.
    mary
     
  8. Mrs. Ed

    Mrs. Ed Active Member

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    I'm not nearly as experienced as some of the others here, but this is what works for us.

    We have boers and let the mamas take care of them. We keep our herd mixed all the time, so we have to watch close to tell who is pregnant and when. We have been pretty successful with that so far, although we did miss one this last kidding. The delivery went well, but the doe rejected the kid and we are having to bottle feed her. This is a first for us.

    I must say, with two small kids at home (both under 4) it is much easier for us to let their mamas handle it. They are not hard to catch or deal with. A little sweet feed in our hand gets the ones who want to be contrary!

    BUT we do not milk our goats. I agree with the above posters when they say that something different works for everyone. It just depends on what your goals for your goats/farm is. Good luck!
     
  9. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    In the past I have done both and not sure yet what I will do this year. All but one of my does have been from a CAE Negative herd for years and years and are still CAE negative with these does I leave the babies on the mom for 2wks and then pen them up at night have only had one baby doe last year that is skiddish and not real friendly. Key to being friendly is in the handling of the kids everyday. The bottle babies which I LOVE to death as they are house babies of course to begin with but are pests all their life. I don't lambar as so far haven't had that many at one time to bottle feed. I take one of triplets away and bottle and took the one from the one doe last year I wasn't sure of, gotten from another farm Which now I know is also a CAE negative herd.
    One thing that bears thinking abt is $$$ there are a lot of people out there that won't buy unless the babies are on CAE prevention With me right now I won't buy unless I know there is CAE prevention or a closed negative herd.
    This year I haven't decided yet what I am going to do as am selling milk now so
    probably will go with CAE prevention and they will go on a lambar rather than house babies unless weak and need to be.
     
  10. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Since our wethers usually end up sold as meat we leave the mothers to raise them. We always end up with at least one bottle baby though (I will never let it be just one again because Kitty has major issues). If there are triplets we take one away and bottle feed it to make it easier on momma. I will be milking about half the does this year (around five) and will be leaving the kids on the mothers and simply milking them twice a day...or adjusting that..not sure yet.

    We have not tested yet and so do not know whether they anything or not. Hopefully will test this year and maybe I will adjust what we do. We are a cow dairy first adn foremost...the goats started out as a hobby and now they have to earn their keep, so to speak.
     
  11. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Just thought I would add that personally I like leaving the kids on the mom and milking just once a day. Much easier on me. and then if I want to do something the babies can always take care of the milking and DH can take care of the feeding.
     
  12. GoatTalkr9

    GoatTalkr9 Well-Known Member

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    We've done both. We let the doelings stay with their moms,but removed the bucklings at 2 months. The doelings outshine the bucklings by far. This time around,all kids will be left with their moms,barring unforseen troubles. As far as "wild kids"?? I have bought several kids who were dam raised and have had NO trouble with them. We simply made over them,fed them,gave them attention..and they are as tame as any we had born here at our place. We've bought kids as old as 6 months and had no trouble with them. I even bought an ornery 2 year old from a lady and had him tame as a kitten within a month.It's personal opinion I guess..but I don't think they should be second choice simply because they weren't bottle babies. ;)
     
  13. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    First two years I bottle fed babies and they were very gentle. I did have one buck that grew quite mean as he got older though. The last few years I have taken babies off moms at night after about two weeks and milked moms in the mornings and left babies with them during the day. I do have one doe that is a little shy when I am around that was raised on mom, but so was her half sister till I started milking her. The half sister is now my most loving and sweetest doe. :) Like the others have posted, I think it has alot to do with how much time that you spend with the while they a young and sometimes I fell there are personalities as to how your kids will turn out.
    I have tested my older does which were negative and will probably test again this year. In the area that I live no one is concerned or even knows about goat diseases. I have only had one person that requested that a doe be tested.
    One other thing that I have noticed in my nubians which are known to be loud is that my bottle babies were alot more vocal than the ones raised on their mom. This may not be true with anyone elses herd, but it has been in mine.
     
  14. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    If I didn't sell colostrum and milk than I would leave the brats on their mom :)

    If I didn't want to ever sell another goatling for more than 50$ than I would let them nurse mom.

    Notice how many folks on just this list said they don't purchase goats from those who DON'T use prevention...ie..heat treating colostrum, pasturising milk, bottle fed kids who are done so away from the adult herd...or who don't buy mama raised goats because they are wild. Notice they don't say "unless they have tested negative for CAE". Hence, to stay in business, to make a profit, to have milk for sale those first 12 weeks, and because I don't want just tame kids, but obnoxious bottle fed kids that not only learn the routine of milking but love me, I bottle feed. Vicki
     
  15. TwoAcresAndAGoat

    TwoAcresAndAGoat Well-Known Member

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    I only have two does (both CAE, TB and burcelousi negative) I find it is easier on me to leave the kids with their moms. One doe will milk out at about 2 gallons a day when fresh. She has plenty of milk for all of us. When the kid is sucking her dry (the kid getting bigger and mom's milk slowing down) I put a dog's basket muzzel on the kid for over night and milk mom in the AM removing the muzzel during the day so the kid can drink. I wean them at about 3 months.

    One year I put all the kids in with a dry doe in a stall next to momma goat at night and back with their mom in the morning.

    This way I never have to listen to mom or the kidds hollering and it takes milking down to once a day for a short time.
     
  16. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Well not to say it is bad but I never heard of the mussel used on a goat. Can they still eat hay and feed ok?
     
  17. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I dam raise, separating kids at night, milking in the morning, testing for CAE. I purchase from herds that test for CAE, whether they bottle feed or not. (Actually, in Nigerian Dwarf goats, it's darn hard to find bottle babies at all!) I have friendly kids, and so far the herd has tested negative.

    As for weaning, this year I tried a new method for the first time. I never separated the kid from the doe entirely. The doe is one I am milking, so when I decided I wanted ALL of her milk, I just started using teat tape followed by a spray of "Bitter Break" from Petco on each teat. It took a couple of minutes longer taking off and putting on tape, but I was only doing it with one doe, so it was no big deal. After a while the kid decided that the teats always tasted nasty and weren't giving up any milk anyway, so she quit trying. :D Of course, there may be drawbacks, but I can't think of any, so I'll use this method again when I decide to keep both a doeling and her dam.
     
  18. TwoAcresAndAGoat

    TwoAcresAndAGoat Well-Known Member

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    I has to be a BASKET muzzel. The kids can still drink water and eat grain and pellets. Hay is difficult but the muzzel is on only at night.
     
  19. clowder

    clowder New Member

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    We leave the kids with their mothers. We had difficulties with one bottle-fed buck several years ago that did show signs of aggression, possibly something along the lines of imprinting on humans that can be seen in bottle-fed llamas.

    These are dairy goats, and none of them have ever been 'wild'.
     
  20. Tricia Smith

    Tricia Smith Member

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    We dam-raise our kids and milk their mothers twice a day. (Our does have consistently tested negative for CAE.) However, we milk half our does through so that they're kidding every other year.

    We really like our dam-raised kids: they are well socialized, well-mannered, and friendly since we make sure to give them time every day. By the end of their first couple of weeks, their dams begin to structure their nursing time. By ten weeks they are seldom suckling their kids at night. Most of our does begin weaning by 14 weeks though some have tolerated brief nursing sessions into the fall. Most kids leave us for other farms at 14 to 16 weeks of age.

    Since we're looking for 20- to 22-month lactations, we've been tolerant of the milk "loss" to us in the kids' first weeks and have welcomed the savings in our labor. The kids grow well and healthily and learn herd life fast. We've found our herd to be tolerant, gentle in discipline, and careful of little ones (especially our wether who tends to be a kid-magnet and can frequently be found resting with most of the kids against his flank or back).

    Tricia Smith
    Carlisle Farmstead Cheese
    Carlisle MA