Friendly dam-raised kids?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Tollhouse, May 6, 2005.

  1. Tollhouse

    Tollhouse Member

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    Please level with me on your opinions about how friendly dam-raised kids can be versus bottle raised. My Nigerian Dwarf doe is expecting kids in a few weeks, and for many reasons I would prefer them to be dam raised (also, both parents are from CAE-negative herds). However, if I become convinced that bottle-raised kids are routinely so much more friendly and human-oriented than dam-raised, I will commit to go that route.

    Any tips on encouraging "friendliness" in dam-raised kids? I have 3 children who will be giving them LOTS of love every day, which should help matters. Also, when we are interacting with the kids, must the mom always be present, or as the kids get a few weeks older, can we play with the kids sometimes in the stall while the mom is outside?

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. HunterTed

    HunterTed Rockin B Farm

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    I really don't think that you will get the same result from dam raised babies that you do from bottle babies. Shure I have goats and sheep that are very affectionate towards me that were dam raised, but they are not as affectionate as bottle babies in general. I have a boer doeling that was dam raised and she is a wonderful pet, but I did have to spend a lot of time working with her. I have a 4 year old % Boer nanny that was bottle raised that is much more affectionate, but she is a bigger pain when I am trying to do stuff in the pasture. She thinks that she is a dog and if I don't watch her she will be right in the middle of whatever I am doing. Last night I was trying to catch some sheep that I was selling and she was right in the middle of them messing everything up. I think that if the dams are gentle then the babies will mimick their mammas and be affectionate with you as well. I know that the babies that come from my more gentle ewes and nannies are more gentle than the others.

    I feed my sheep and goats cinnamon cookies as treats. Man they swarm me when they hear me open the package. I only interact with the babies away from mamma when they are weaned. Until then I leave mamma with them. I think they see what momma does and mimmick her. Also when I wean them I put an older gentle goat or sheep in with them to help the gentling down process. Good luck in whatever you decide. Having the babies pet gentle is wonderful. I love it when they crawl up in my lap for petting and treat time.
     

  3. animal_kingdom

    animal_kingdom Well-Known Member

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    My bottle babies and my dam raised babies are the same. We have half a dozen daughters and they handle them about 3 times a day. When they go out to bottle feed, they handle them all the same.

    The more time you spend with any animal, the friendlier it usually becomes.

    We start handling them from birth. On birthing day, we sit in the stall several times after they are born, then we lessen it a bit but talk to them alot. After about the 5th day we pick them up an pet them all over. I personally thing touch is the key...plus it helps alot with trimming and milking etc.
     
  4. dale anne

    dale anne Well-Known Member

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    howdy...i have dam raised and bottle fed...i now only bottle feed!...no more dam raised kids for me...ok lets start here...my original 2 girls were dumped into my lap when mother rejected them so i bottle fed them...both my gals have had 3 kiddings each now and working on the forth each..well i always sold of the kidds so didnt bother to bottle feed..i was selling them for meat...well i decided to keep this one doeling cause of her colors...handled her everyday a couple times aday for 1/2 hour or more at a time...well for some reaon now she wont come near me at all...not even when i have feed in hand....i bought a nubian dam raised...i have had her about a year now and she is still shy...I also bought a 3 week old kidd about 2 months ago and have bottle fed her...i can do anything i want to this kidd...i am training her to a halter but really dont need to as she comes when i call her,follows me around...i have even started to train her for milking by rubbing her under belly..squeezing lightly...picking up her hooves...grooming..checking teeth and ears....i also have 2 kinder bucklings that were dam raised for 2 weeks and they are shy also and yes i have been bottle feeding them...they are coming around but wont even come for the bottle have to be caught cause otherwise I am afraid they will dehydrate and not get the milk they need...the original does i have are like dogs!...I was also able to get them use to all the other critters i have...dogs,ducks,geese,rabbits,horses,cats...yes they are a lil skittish around them but they dont run off into the woods when i have them out for a walk...nor do they attack the other animals when say a chicken fly's into the pasture....i will be selling off the one doeling if i cant break her real soon...the boys I plan to use for cart pulling and packing if trainable this is yet to be determined...but if not they also will be sold and only bottle feds will even get close to my farm again...everyone has different experiences...this is just mine and my prefered method for my goats...dale anne
     
  5. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I guess it kind of depends on what you want. I dam raise my kids. I separate them at night, starting at a week or so of age, so that I can milk the dams in the morning. I spend 15 or 20 minutes hanging out in the kid stall in the evening after I separate them. Pretty quickly, the kids are crawling all over me, eating my hair, tugging on my clothes and all that. I let them do it for a while (but hide my hair!) because that's how they get to know you. Then I start discouraging jumping up and eating clothes, but still give lots of pets and the occasional treat. After a while, when I go out into the goat yard, the babies will come over and say hi and hang out, but will not jump or bite. Also, I can go out there and NOT have them hollering for me to come and pet them. The bottle babies I've purchased have seemed a bit needy for my taste, and a little disrespectful of my personal space as well. Plus, dam-raising is a heck of a lot easier - not an insignificant consideration!
     
  6. dale anne

    dale anne Well-Known Member

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    Howdy i agree with ya on 2 points considering the bottle fed babies that you have brought up that i didnt think about till i read yer post....yes bottle fed babies are more needy...and yes they do invade your space when trying to do chores in the pens,or feeding...they will get under yer feet often looking for a good scratch or the bottle...even my older bottle fed does still do this.....4 years after they have been bottle fed....it's not as bad as the kidds...but will come right up to the fence line when i am outside and makes it a bit hard to get inside the pen when all are near the entrance...i also have 1 dam raised that does this but reckon she learned the bad habit from the others....thanks for bringing up them points...dale anne
     
  7. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    I use the method Laura Jensen describes except I give the kids two weeks unlimited access to mom then begin separating them at night. I have two bucklings a month old yesterday that are the friendliest that have ever come through the place. There has been a fair amount of time hanging out with them. Sometimes two kids raised identically will behave differently based on their individual personalities.
     
  8. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    We also raise ours like Laura Jensen and ours are very friendly. If you spend time with them and let them get over their initial shyness they will be friendly. It's really well worth it on a day when you can't milk to have the babies there as back up!
    Patt
     
  9. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Since goats are only kids for a short time, how they act after they are grown is more important, at least to me. Over time, I believe the behavior has more to do with mimicking the other goats in the herd, how much time you spend with them, and the way their dams interacted with people when the kids were with them.

    We got our first goats last spring from three different breeders. One bottle fed, and the other two dam raised their kids. The bottle fed ones followed you around from day one, a bit too friendly for me actually, but now they are showing more independence.

    One dam raised group took about 3 months to come around. I think it had a lot to do with watching the bottle-fed ones. Now they are just as friendly, always want attention, tug at your clothes, etc, but seem much more mischievous and devilish than the bottle fed ones. Personally I'm partial to this group.

    But the other two that were dam raised are still skittish after one year. Their breeder said she didn't stay around her goats much because she "didn't want to get attached to them," and their dams were very frightened of us when we visited her farm. These two will now stand still and let you touch them only if you are down at eye level. As soon as you stand up, they move to a "safe" distance, just out of reach. (But I haven't given up on these two yet.)

    Just my experience from a buyer's perspective, for what it's worth.
    Nancy
     
  10. Trisha-MN

    Trisha-MN www.BilriteFarms.com

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    Here's our experience and why we only bottle raise any kids we will be keeping in our herd.

    We've done both. We left a few kids on mom the first couple years we had goats and bottled most of the kids. Now we only bottle unless they are going for meat.

    Yes the bottle babies can be a pain sometimes - I just did some weekding this weekend with 2 goats kids on back, one eating the weed bag I was using and one eating my hair LOL. But teach them manners, just like with any stock and they can learn not to bite, not to jump up but they'll still be affectionate and easy to work with.

    The dam raised kids we had were used to people, we played with them a lot, they'd take treats, let us pet them etc. When the dam raised kids freshened, they took to milking OK too, about the same as those who weren't dam raised. However, the big difference we found was when it came time to do other things like vaccinations, hoof trimming or moving them from pen to pen that we had problems. Goats are smart animals and if there wasn't feed directly involved and they didn't get something out of it (e.g. milking relief) they didn't have any desire to follow us if the didn't like it. They knew when we were worming or had something different on the agenda for the day and they'd do everything they could to keep out of our hands. Not to mention if they happened to get out of their pen - what a time that is! After spending many hours trying to work around the dam raised kids we sold them and now only bottled kids stay in our herd.


    Trisha-MN
     
  11. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    I loved the last post, and I think everyone should consider taking their buyers into the equation, because sooner or later when you are in goats long enough you do become a seller of breeding stock. I simply won't purchase from those who dam raise. CAE (and first you have no idea the status of your doe unless you test her yourself) is only 1 of a myriad of diseases passed from dam to kid, it's a biggy to be sure but so is mycoplsma, staph mastitis, etc etc.

    When you are new, when you have a passel of children at home to play with the babies, heck the babies feet don't touch the ground for months from being held all the time. So being tame isn't even a consideration. But do it awhile, soon your children are gone, it's just you, the kids may be tame for you, but not for the new owner who has to tame them down, have a rodeo on the milkstand or for even simple monthly hoof trimmings. We all have seen that outstretched hand of the dam raised breeder who can maybe touch the nose of her own goat...Better is the story I heard at the show this weekend, a very well known breeder of Nigerians, lost one of her goats, she was wild, ran off, and she didn't come back to the fairgrounds to be found until the next day! No thank you!

    My philosphy with all this is that they are kids and on milk for 12 weeks. 12 weeks of my time over the 12+ lifespan of my goats is nothing. It's worth it in the animal for the long run to bottle them, both for health, but in quality of their udder and tameness. My customers want bomb proof goats, that test negative for disease, to do that I will always bottle.

    After seeing the Nigerian's in the ring for the first time in an ADGA show, I wouldn't even think about raising them seriously without a milking machine. So that also is going to be a consideration in whether you are going to even be able to hand milk her! Vicki
     
  12. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mom's personality is another factor. I have one mom that I bottlefed and she raises her own babies and they are super friendly. Already chewing cuds at 3 weeks old.
    My bottle babies were not chewing cuds until 6 weeks at the earliest. They are visited frequently by my children. My experiment this year is with my wild child goat that had a beautiful doeling. I am milking mom because mom has lopsided udder(mastitis last year) and baby was unable to latch on. The "but" here is the baby stays with mom in her stall and gets her bottle 3 times a day. She was in the house the first 3 days but mom cried terribly for her so I would reunite them and let mom babysit during the day. Now since 5 days old she stays with her mom all day and night but still being bottle fed. Mom cleans her butt and loves on her and talks to her and teaches her to eat hay and drink from water bucket much earlier than bottle babies! And she may just go eat when I'm working in the yard instead of bugging on me! My fingers are crossed!
     
  13. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

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    I dam-raise my kids, except for one whose mom rejected him and is therefore a bottle baby. All the goats come running when we go to their pen, regardless of how they were raised. If I sit down, I have all five baby goats on my lap within minutes.

    My one doe is very standoffish by nature, and did her best to raise the son she DID want to be the same way. She'd baaa at him every time he got too friendly with us, like telling him, "Don't do that. People aren't friends." It did absolutely no good, and that little buckling is the friendliest of all five kids. His favorite thing is to fall asleep on my lap while I bottle-feed his brother.

    In my experience, it's just a matter of spending enough time with them. We sell our kids for pets, so it is very important to us that they be super-friendly. Last year's kids were just as friendly, so I think we'll just keep doing what we're doing!