How do you start a kid on grain?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Mrs. Ed, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. Mrs. Ed

    Mrs. Ed Active Member

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    I'm trying to bottle feed a little doe that was born 11 days ago and rejected by her mother. In 2 years of Boer goat ownership, this is the first time this has ever happened to us. It has been a rocky week or so but so far, so good.

    I am looking to get her interested in grain. Do y'all have any tips on how? She will not take it out of my hand, of course, she's looking for a bottle! I tried putting one pellet in her mouth at a time and she gums it and spits it out.

    I was thinking about soaking it in a little goat milk. What do you think? Any ideas?
     
  2. Stacy Adams

    Stacy Adams Well-Known Member

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    My kids, even when playing in the bowl their mom was eating out of didn't eat at that age.. I think they played with it more than anything.. this year, I didn't offer grain to my kids, only the alfalfa pellets, hay and of course water.. they are growing like weeds and doing well, and I've cut costs with cutting growth..
    If you really want her to eat grains, then just leave it out free choice.. if she want's it she'll eat it.. :)
     

  3. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    She's too young for grain. Keep warming those bottles a few more weeks.
    mary
     
  4. Mrs. Ed

    Mrs. Ed Active Member

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    Oh! Ok. About how old are they when they start getting grain?

    I am giving her about 6 ozs. of milk every 6 hours. She seems to be wanting more than that. Roughly how much milk would an 11 day old drink per day? I don't want to over feed her. What is your experience with this?
     
  5. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have five kids about the same age as yours. Mine are taking a pint each, three times a day. I feed first thing in the morning, early afternoon, and late evening. They are fine through the night.
    I don't start grain until they are a couple of months old, or at least several weeks. Then they just nibble at it. I usually wean between 9 and 12 weeks.
    mary
     
  6. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    most likely she needs 16 to 20oz a feeding 3 times a day leave hay out for her at all times and water she will then on her own start nibbling on the hay. I don't start on any grain or pellets at this age. But I want to add here gradually increase the amount of milk she drinks at one time, I personally wouldn't do it all at once. start off by adding a couple extra oz at a feeding until you get up to 16 oz then you should have any problems. I also put some pd. probios in my bottles, don't know if it helps or not but others I know do or put a little Baking soda in. By the way what are you using for milk?? hopefully not replacer (my opinion) I use store bought Vit D w/ half and half added if I don't have goats milk.
    Sondra
     
  7. Mrs. Ed

    Mrs. Ed Active Member

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    I'm currently feeding her 8 ozs (I upped it some since I first posted) every six hours, except at night I stretch it to 8 hours. I am feeding her goat milk.

    I am giving her about 2 ozs of electrolites with a vitamin drench mixed in once per day. My vet said he thought that sounded like fru-fru juice (in other words, no help but wouldn't hurt her) but my hubby & I think it helps.

    She is reluctant to take hay, we leave it out for her but she is quite good at nibbling grass when she is out. We are going to fix her up a place tomorrow afternoon where she can be out in the daytime. It has warmed up a little (getting higher than 20's, I mean) and we feel better about letting her outside. Plus she needs the grass and to be out doing goaty things. Right now we have her fixed up in the garage with a heat source (we exercise her in the garage and take her out for short spells). With her new area, we will still take her in at night, but she can be out in the day at least.

    Wow. I didn't know she could take 16-20ozs at a time without it being too much. I'll have to work toward that while whittling her feedings down in number per day as well.

    We are learning it's just slow. She is getting bigger and heartier and we are feeling a little more confidant that she might make it. I'm seriously thinking about naming her next week after she crosses the 2 week mark.

    Y'all have been very helpful. Any more advice/tips you can give will also help. Thank you.
     
  8. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    Mrs. Ed, I'll agree with Sondra on the feeding. Like she said, do this slowly. What your are feeding is about what I start out feeding new borns. By the time that they are a couple of weeks old they are being feed about what Sondra suggested feeding. I would gradually increase her milk each feeding and cut back on the number of feedings each day. Hope she does ok. Where in Al. do you live? I'm in St. Clair Co.
     
  9. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Well I hate to put a damper on her going outside but since she is used to being in the warmth I would start off gradually with the outside too increasing the time out as a drastic change with 20 degree weather, she might get pneumonia and you don't want that. So I what I would do is cut up a kids sweat shirt and put on her for warmth, then take her out for 1 or 2 hrs a day gradually increasing the time. Make sure her pen has a shelter of some kind with plenty of straw or hay in it so she can go in and get warm if she wants to. Now if you have other babies out there in the regular goat pen then I would just take her out with them so she learns to eat like they do and play. Just my opinion. Sounds like you are doing fine.
     
  10. Mrs. Ed

    Mrs. Ed Active Member

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    If it makes you feel any better, she has been going out some on the nice, sunny days for short periods of time. We'll start slow. We are worried about putting her out with the others, afraid she is too little and the other goats won't be nice to her.

    I have slowly upped her feeding to 10 ozs at a time. We are wondering if we can put her on cow's milk? There is a dairy right next to us and the goat's milk is getting expensive!

    Alcountryboy,

    St. Clair Co, my granddaddy was born there! I am in Morgan Co. a little north of you.
     
  11. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Whole cow's milk will be fine for her.
    mary
     
  12. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Yes will be just fine and since you have a dairy close that raw cows milk will be great! I have never had a problem switching to GRADE A cows milk from the grocery so you shouldn't either.
     
  13. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    am giving her about 2 ozs of electrolites with a vitamin drench mixed in once per day. My vet said he thought that sounded like fru-fru juice (in other words, no help but wouldn't hurt her) but my hubby & I think it helps.
    .................................................

    Even a small amount of water, 2 ounces to the 8 ounce bottle, can hurt. A baby goat of this age would have no access to water in a real life situation. If you want to add some vitamins to the goatmilk or probios that is fine, but water will dilute the curd forming properties of the milk and cause scours. Baby ruminants drink milk, the bacteria in their stomach makes it form a curd, like cottage cheese, fluilds are futher pulled out of this soft cheese by the intestine (it is aborbing nutritients) the thicker it gets the slower it goes through the body and the more nutrition the kid gets from the milk. Add water and the curd isn't formed, it goes through liquid, no nutrients are abosrbed, the poop comes out liquid ( diarheea) and then some fool will tell you to take the lamb/kid/calf off milk and only give it electorlytes (water) until the small ruminant starves to death.

    The number one killer of small ruminants is milk replacer, I am so glad you found a source of goats milk for your little one! Vicki
     
  14. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear of so many with goats in my neck of the woods. Sondra is right on making your babies move to the outside . One thing that many on this great forum probably don't realize is that most of our winters are so mild here in the south. We probably have only a couple a days each year that our day time temps. is below freezing. We have just had a couple of cold nights that was down in the upper teens, but by the end of this week we will have highs in the mid-sixties and lows in the upper 40's and lower 50's. These temps. can last a week at a time. :) Of corse we will then have rain and more cold. I don't think there are very many times during the winter here in the south that we have to worry about babies getting to cold if we have a fairly good place for them to stay in.
     
  15. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Vicki thanks for posting that abt elctrolytes and water. I already knew abt replacers being bad but never connected it with water. Certainly never connected electrolytes and the water issue either. Haven't ever had to use it with goats but did use it with that calf and is probably the reason it took 3 mo to get her up on her feet. Thanks
     
  16. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    Just my 2 cents, but I have raised numerous calves & goat kids on replacer with no ill effects. A lot of times it is the improper mixing of the replacer that causes the problems, not the replacer itself.