Homesteading Forum banner

How you raise your goat kids and feed mama goat?

  • Allow them to nurse on mom

    Votes: 7 87.5%
  • Take kids away from mom, and bottle feed them.

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Start the kids on creep at 1-3 weeks

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Sell kids at one day

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Allow kids to birth on pasture

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • Use kidding pens for first time moms to bond with kids

    Votes: 6 75.0%
  • We feed extra whole milk to add weight on new kids

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • We supplement momma with extra feed, please offer suggestions if so!

    Votes: 5 62.5%
  • We give kids extra liquid B12 to keep them actively nursing.

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Other suggestions for raising healthy kids, please list them in the forum if you can!

    Votes: 1 12.5%
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

· Registered
397 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found old posts on here regarding feeding new goat kids, but as they are old threads am starting a new one!

Quick background
At the farm we have had 5 goats kid twins, with one set of triplets. We have 3 others who also may kid, but did not yet. We did not run pregnancy tests, so aren't sure the remainder are bred, but we have time for that yet... so, the kids have arrived beginning mid July, and are spaced over a two week time span so far. With that, we have various birth weights of 5.5-9.5 pounds, of predominantly a boer goat breed. All seem healthy, gave 0.5 Bo-se shot to kids and are allowing them time with. mom. We have put the first time to kid does in kidding pens hoping for them to learn what to do and bond with their kids. Also, the triplets were moved to a larger pen to bond with the 3. All kidded on pasture or inside, as they can go in and out...

So, we can monitor weight gain, have questions for all of you!

-1. When do you begin creep feed! What age and how much? Beginning to let them sample creep at week...?
2. Do you give unlimited creep? What age?
3. If you give CDT, When do you give CDT?
4. Do you give CDT before creep, Banding or castration?
5. Do you give kids Replamin plus to kids? Pro-bios? Selenium-e gel? B-12?
6. Do you supplement triplets with bottles? Can a doe produce enough milk for 3?
7. Anysuggestions for does who have triplets for feeding or getting more weight on the kids?
8. One doe goat had twins of about a 3 pound difference! Is there anything we can do to get them closer in size, or to assist in getting the smaller one to gain?

We are giving the 3 doe goats with smaller kids, and the triplets free choice grain mix in hopes of having them produce more milk. Any suggestions or things to evaluate to determine if they are on course to be productive at raising their kids? We have had deficiencies early on, in minerals with our goats...hoping that we are beyond most of them!

· Super Moderator
12,326 Posts
I pull at birth for tamer kids, parasite prevention, and early sales. Other people are successful at hand taming dam raised kids but I have other things I'd rather do with our time, and a wild doe kid is worthless to me and my buyers because they're dairy goats. There is NOTHING worse than a wild doe or doeling. Bottle raising need not be difficult or time consuming. It takes me less than 10 minutes 2-3x per day, plus microwave time which doesn't really count. ;) Our does are dairy does so their production is most important and I don't want to share with kids any more than I have to. Wethers are shold cheap and young, extra doelings sold as rapidly as possible. We feed 4x per day for day 1, feeding only colostrum is VITAL in the first 24hrs. After 24hrs, colostrum does nothing for them as the gut is closed. The gut is significantly closed by 12 hours, so feeding adequate colostrum as soon after birth is important. We start them out by offering about 10oz per feeding at first and allow the kids to regulate their own intake volume of milk until they reach 20oz 3x per day, and then we leave them there. We usually back them down to 2x a day by the time they're 2-3 months of age or so, but usually keep them on milk until they either self wean (mine tend to do that around 5-6 months) or until we get tired of it or we don't have enough milk. You CAN wean as early as 8 weeks of age but I only suggest that if you have GOOD MANAGEMENT in place and well established. Many wean at 3 months.

Creep feed out at about 1-2 weeks, free choice. Put out a small volume at first and watch their intake so it doesn't spoil. They won't start eating old feed, so replace every few days. I use a coccidiostat medicated feed that is balanced 2:1 in calcium and phosphorous. Unlimited creep until they are 4-6 months of age (we change it every year it seems for no other reason than ease of what's going on in our lives and milk supply)

I give CDT to does a month before kidding so the kids have adequate passive transfer via colostrum. This protects them at an early age. Dependent on quality of colostrum, it should protect them until 6ish weeks of age. I do not give anything during castration, disbudding etc but you CAN give tetanus ANTITOXIN at time of those procedures if you'd like.

I give CDT at 6-9 or 8-12 weeks. The vaccine portion for overeating is well proven to be helpful in preventing the disease, but not a cure-all and management plays a large role in that disease. Initial dose then followed up per label instructions with a second booster.

I give BoSe and copper bolus to does at the same time as I vaccinate them pre-kidding (4 weeks prior to kidding). You can dose the kids if you feel the need. I rarely do anymore as giving pre-kidding to dams, plus having the dams on an adequate selenium containing feed and mineral should be adequate for them. Copper bolus helps a lot with parasite burden in newly freshened does.

Parasites are your primary problem with kids besides management. The best feeding program in the world can be undone by parasites. With weaning, you need to replace the nutrition from milk with a good diet otherwise to encourage continued growth.

What breed of goats are we talking? A dairy goat should easily be able to feed 3, and so should a boer doe in my opinion. Triplets will be smaller than the single and twin counterparts, and that's normal. You CAN supplement them with a bottle but you shouldn't *HAVE* to if they're a quality doe. A creep feed will help them keep up. With triplets, that doe will still wean more pounds of kid than a doe with a single. For example, if a doe has triplets that are 30lbs at weaning around 8 weeks, she's weaning 90lbs of kids. If she's weaning twins at 40lbs or a single at 50lbs, she's still outdoing the other does. This is more important in meat animals instead of dairy. Good growth for a doe to be on track to meet breeding size her first fall is 10lbs per month in addition to birth weight. Therefore, a kid born at 8 lbs should be 18lbs by 1 month; 28lbs by 2 months etc. This puts her at 78lbs by 7 months, and close as makes no difference to breeding size. Many breed their does to kid at about 12 months of age. Stunting either due to nutrition, health, or parasites will delay growth and delay breeding age.

Whenever you're feeding your animals, MAXIMIZE YOUR HAY QUALITY AND QUANTITY first. If you're not milking the does, I would not be free choice feeding them grain. We free choice grain to our dairy does but only while they're on the milk stand 2x per day. How much to feed your does is dependent on your other diet/pasture, body condition, lactation level etc.

· Wood Nymph / Toxophilite
1,614 Posts
We kid in pens and pull them the moment they hit the ground.

We milk mama, fed the kids their portion and the rest goes to our other uses.

We have mama on hay and Purina goat ration. We change the amount of goat ration based on her body condition.

Kids have free choice hay and goat ration day one.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.