How much milk for bottle babies?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by T Lynn, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. T Lynn

    T Lynn Well-Known Member

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    How much milk do you feed your bottle babies? Mine are 1 month and were getting 20oz 3 times daily. Now DH is working more and not able to come home and do the afternoon feeding. Do I move them to 2 feedings a day or would it be better to leave more milk out for them. I was thinking about freezing some milk in those plastic coke bottles and put them into the lambar. That way they would melt slowly and they could drink throughout the day. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    By 3-4 days of age mine are on 2 bottles a day. They get as much as they want twice a day until they are drinking two 20 ounce bottles. I have found that they will start nibbling hay & grain sooner if I don't feed them a bottle so often. They fill up on milk & don't start on other food as quickly. This is what works for me. If someone has the time & extra milk to feed 3 or 4 times a day, then go for it. They don't have to have it that often though.
     

  3. Milk n' Honey

    Milk n' Honey Well-Known Member

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    You really aren't supposed to give quite so much milk after 2 weeks of age. This is to increase their dry forage consumption. They will turn to hay much quicker if you don't overdo it on the milk. That is actually good for the ruminal capacity. They'll be better off. I have followed my book's teaching and has gone quite well. I'll tell it to you. At age

    Birth-3 days give 12-14 oz of colostrum per day split into 3-4 feedings.

    4-7 days give 12-24 oz goat milk per day split into 2-4 feedings

    1 week give milk or milk replacer 36 oz per day split into 2-4 feedings

    2 weeks give milk or milk replacer 32 oz per day split into 2-3 feedings, free choice good quality hay and fresh water

    3-8 weeks give milk or milk replacer 32 oz per day split into 2 feedings, free choice good quality hay and fresh water, 18% starter grain (as much as will be cleaned up in 15 mintues) 2 times per day

    There is no reason why they can't be weaned by 8 weeks. I've heard of adding water to the milk in the last couple of weeks until they are on all water and no milk by 8 wks. I haven't tried that but it sound better than going off milk cold turkey. Hopefully you are not giving them 20 oz at each feeding?? That would be way too much milk. I know it seems like we should increase the milk as they get bigger but it is the other way around. You want to encourage them to eat other things. If you give them too much milk, they'll rely on that and not get moving onto other things like hay and grain. I am bottle feeding a baby who will be 2 wks on Sunday. I have him on 12 oz each feeding for 3 feedings per day for a total of 36 oz in one whole day. On Sunday, when he turns 2 wks old, I'll put fresh water in with him, he already has hay, and I'll reduce the feedings down an ounce and still feed 3 times. When he turns 3 wks, I plan to do two 16 oz feedings per day and add grain to his diet. I think this will work well. Anyway, I hope that helps a little. Have fun and good luck!!
     
  4. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    I do give 20 oz in each bottle but only twice a day.
     
  5. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    We feed our bottle baby as muh as he wanted when he wanted it, but then again, between me and my mom, someone was always home. I think that at 1 month old they could get along with two feedings, as a matter of fact, I know they can. By the way, never put frozen milk out for them, remember, the milk HAS to be warm, or it will cause problems for them. Good Luck with your babies. Bye.
     
  6. T Lynn

    T Lynn Well-Known Member

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    I have always feed cold milk to the babies and never had a problem. Of course the first week or so it is warm but after that it is right out of the refridgerator. So, what problems would it cause?
     
  7. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree. At one month, I would not feel bad about cutting down to twice a day. Mine get a pint to a pint and a half per feeding at that point, so 20 oz sounds about right.
    mary