How long to wean a goat?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Silvercreek Farmer, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

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    I've got a doe with a 9 week old buckling that I need to get off of her so she can put some weight on. I plan on moving the buckling to another paddock. How long will it take? Any other tips? I have always just let them do it naturally, but this doe worries me...
     
  2. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    You might as well plan on leaving him there. Some kids never give up, it seems.
     

  3. Wags

    Wags Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some people wean buck kids at 8 weeks, so I suppose if he is doing well you could take him off his dam and move him to a separate paddock. He (and possibly she) will cry for 2-3 days and then move on.
     
  4. deineria

    deineria Well-Known Member

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    I'd wait until 10-12 weeks.
     
  5. jad44

    jad44 Well-Known Member

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    Make sure the doe has good nutrition - she'll do fine - i takes a while to get back to looking normal after nursing their kids - and I'd not wean the little guy too soon - asking for problems there too - been there, done that. They need the nutrition from mother's milk for a good start. I'd wait till 12 weeks!
     
  6. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

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    This guy is huge, he killed his sister by knocking her off the teat everytime they nursed, by the time I figured out what was happening it was too late... He grazes like a champ and I guess it will be 10 weeks by this weekend, I think he will do fine...it is hard to give the doe much supplement because the others (including the steer) fight over it, so I would have to separate her out, which is a pain...
     
  7. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    With all due respect, you have management problems. You appear to have lost a doe kid due to not taking action. She could have been bottle fed and saved.

    You have the dam in a situation where she has to fight for feed with a steer? Her problem isn't her buckling, it's the environment she's forced to live in.

    Either build fence or sell the animals that are too much trouble for you to take proper care of.

    Yes, I know I'm being blunt. There may be "more to the story", but my response is based on what you've posted.
     
  8. Backfourty,MI.

    Backfourty,MI. Katie Supporter

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    I do think at 10 weeks you can wean the little guy if he is doing that well & eating like you say he is. But I also agree with Alice in that the goat(doe) needs an area without steers that eats her food especially.
     
  9. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

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    Let me be blunt. We run a mixed specie grass based management system which maximizes forage utilization and helps control parasites. The animals have unlimited legume/grass pasture or hay at all times. Our steer, sheep flock, and other goats have done fine under this system. The doe in question has not done well, I believe it is partly due to a lack of genetic parasite resistance. If she was not a bottle goat that my kids love, I would have culled or sold her already. However she does seem to throw healthy thriving kids, this is also part of the problem. They eat like horses. The doe is not suffering, she is just a little thin, and I am trying to manage the situation appropriatly by weaning the kid, as it has been my experience that it is very difficult to put weight on a nursing doe, with grain or not. (Which can be just as harmful in large amounts, especially to an animal that is not used to it) I take the health and well being of my animals very seriously. I have medicated her appropriatly and supplemented her with grain, I'm just saying that it is a pain, because she reeeally hates being separated from the other animals so I have to pull her out, feed her, and put her back in. And yes, I probably could have saved the kid if I had bottle fed her earlier (loosing an animal really ----es me off, thanks for rubbing it in.)
     
  10. Heritagefarm

    Heritagefarm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We wean ours at 3 months, depending on how big they are.
     
  11. copperpennykids

    copperpennykids Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Lots of folks wean at 8-10 weeks. As long as he is eating hay and browse well, he should be just fine. Don't forget the little piggy got all the milk meant for two!

    BTW - this doe may be fine for parasite resistance... She is just giving everything to her kids - and that is an excellent brood doe in my book. Just some food for thought.
     
  12. A'sta at Hofstead

    A'sta at Hofstead Turkey Wrangler

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    Ugh. If you saw the doe getting kicked away, why not take her and bottle feed?
    8 weeks is good for bottle feeding as long as they are eating and gaining properly, sometimes even six weeks.
     
  13. jil101ca

    jil101ca Well-Known Member

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    To answer your question.... Some kids still want to nurse off mom after 6mths plus.

    I had a set of triplets weaned, or so I thought. They had been away from mom for almost 2 mths, out of sight and sound. I turned them all out together and next thing I know Mom has a full udder again. I am now milking her and she gives me 2 quarts a day I'm attempting to make some bras for the moms until I can get another pasture made for the kids.

    How old was the doeling when she died? Could have been other factors at work.
     
  14. deineria

    deineria Well-Known Member

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    Are you keeping the sheep in with the goats? She my have a serious lack of copper, in that case. Sheep are killed by copper, goats die without it. . .
    Copper could be your issue.

    I understand you don't want to feel attacked, but if the goat can't be supplemented because other animals will steal her food - this is a management problem. That isn't meant to hurt your feelings or be mean. . . it is just the case. I would have a little goat panel area she can walk in for feed, see everyone while she is eating and then let her back out - just have her follow the grain bucket in before you feed the other animals - she will be done by the time you're through, and then let her out as you finish up.
    I have a heifer, horses, a llama and goats (some need more food and have to be seperate for feeding, too)
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  15. catdance62

    catdance62 Well-Known Member

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    we separate our bucklings from the does at 12 weeks. By then the does are trying to wean the kids anyway and the kids should be eating well on their own. Right now all of ours (15 kids) are approaching the 11 week mark, some are completely weaned (from what I can tell) and some are still big sucky babies.