How Long do you Bottle Feed

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Tadpole, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. Tadpole

    Tadpole Tadpole

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    Just wondering how long you bottle feed? They are 2 1/2 months old and eating pretty good. I was wondering if I backed off with the bottle would they just eat and not want the bottle. It seems they hear me outside and it's time to feed them the're again. I think it's just habit. Guess it's just getting a way to call me out there to talk to them.
     
  2. Teacupliz

    Teacupliz Well-Known Member

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    anywhere from 8-20- wks.
     

  3. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I never wean before three months. To me, that is the minimum weaning age.....
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    You can start backing down on the bottle now, but I wouldn't completely cut it out. Maybe cut their proportions back to half each feeding? You can wean them entirely between 14 - 16 weeks. Some people wean them as early as 8 weeks, others 12, but my best luck has come around 16 weeks for total weaning.

    A dam-raised baby gets slowly cut off as Mom declares them "done" - and she'll generally still feed them until they are four months old, sometimes longer. But you'll notice it's a LOT less often after the first three months.

    Sarah
     
  5. EatChevre

    EatChevre I Brake for Dairy Goats

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    I bought a Saanen who had just been weaned at 2.5 months old. She eats like a champ, and is thriving on her hay and browse and a bit of grain each day. She is clearly doing very well without her milk.
     
  6. DeltaDawn

    DeltaDawn Active Member

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    With our Boer buckling, Wrong Way, we started diluting the milk at about 6-7 weeks, and he was completely off by 9 week, once he figured out the water in a bottle wasn't so great, he stopped crying for the bottle.

    Kalena
     
  7. TWOGOATS

    TWOGOATS Animal Lover

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    i know somebody whose doe let her baby nurse past 9 months....needless to say, the doeling was plump and the momma was veeery thin, but she stuck to it. she was a nubian, in case anyone cares.
     
  8. goatmarm

    goatmarm Well-Known Member

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    We let ours have milk until three months. By then they should absolutely be eating hay and grain, and drinking water from a bucket as well. If not, you are giving way too much milk, and the kid will tend towards being obese.
    I don't mix the milk and water, but I put out a bucket of very warm water for the kids after they get their bottles. I have found that they are more likely to drink the water if it is quite warm. When it's time to wean, skip offering one of the bottle feedings, and just put out the warm water and fresh grain/hay. Do this for a few days, then omit another bottle feeding. Continue this type of schedule over the next few weeks until no more milk bottle feedings. This way takes time, but I think it makes the transition to "being a big goat" a little easier on the kid. If the kids are nursing from mom, and it's way past 4 months, start separating them at night, and offering the kids food+warm water BEFORE they go back in the pen with the others for the day.
    Hope that helps.