how old until you can bottle feed

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Dee, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    That sounded weird. What I mean is, if a baby is on Mama, at what age will they not take a bottle? If a 4Her wants to bottle feed, can a week or two week old kid be encouraged to take a bottle after being on Mom since day one?
     
  2. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    In my experience it is pretty difficult to switch a kid that is used to nursing on mom. Some never do, but if you want to try - sometimes a kid that gets good and hungry will switch over.

    niki
     

  3. goatmarm

    goatmarm Well-Known Member

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    You CAN switch a two week old to bottle. I just did with three kids that were just past two weeks old when their dams got an awfull case of orf on their udders. The doe kids took the bottle like old pros by day two and three, although it took until the second week before the buck kid finally latched on willingly with gusto. It just takes patience and perseverance. They were bottle fed for about three weeks. They are now all back with their dams, nursing just as before. They will still take a bottle too.
    Make sure the bottle is nice and warm. Sometimes trying different styles of nipples helps. Good luck.
    Note: A dam raised kid can be just as friendly as a bottle-raised kid with a lot of socialization. Also, a goat that was raised by its mother is more likely to be a better mother, whereas does that were bottle-raised frequently reject their kids. Just some things to consider before making the switch.
     
  4. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    Our orphaned baby was 1 week old when we started to try to bottle feed him, it took him a couple of days before he was a "pro" but he did take it.
     
  5. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.

    Goatmarm, I have Boers and would like to sell the doe kids to people who want to bottlefeed.(I am leaving the boys on Mom. Mighty Hulks) I had some things happening that made it hard for me to pull the kids after day two so they stayed on Moms. (I did sell two kids before this at a nice price) I was wondering because if I find people who want them, I know it can still happen.

    I have a bottle baby doe that is really obnoxious but she turned into the best Mom. I was really surprised. My husband said we have to keep her kids now....sigh. The first kid does that I had born here, I kept for my foundation herd. They were on Moms but I spent alot of time playing with them and they are the sweeties things. I don't spend enough time with the new ones.
     
  6. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    I've switched two and even three week old kids over from dam to bottle. If you're persistent enough and they get hungry they should take a bottle.
     
  7. Simpler Times

    Simpler Times Well-Known Member

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    I switched one from mama to a bottle when she was three weeks and three days old. The first couple of feedings she didn't really know how to suck the bottle and she just bit on it. By the third feeding though she had caught on and you could hardly pull it from her mouth!
     
  8. spam4einstein

    spam4einstein Well-Known Member

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    I did 2 at 6 weeks. had to force feed them for almost 2 weeks before they took the bottle willingly.
     
  9. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Last month I had a doe die of bloat and her 12 day old kids took to the bottle right away. Today, I had to pull a two week old kid off a doe who has mastitis and she is taking her bottle. They usually do, however I once had a stubborn little doeling who refused the bottle and I needed to put her on another doe when I milked.
     
  10. goatmarm

    goatmarm Well-Known Member

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    Well, as you can see, many folks have had success switching kids two weeks and older to a bottle. I would try to get them switched before letting them go to the new owners though. It would be devastating for a family(new to goats) if they can't get the baby to take the bottle or just don't have the patience, and the kid dies.
    I didn't mean to imply that EVERY doe that is bottlefed will reject her kids. I know firsthand that is not the case. Our very first doe(bottlefed) rejected her kid the first year, rejected one of twins the second year, and is a good mom to her twin does this year.So even does that initially reject kids can eventually learn to be good mothers. We have both dam and bottle-raised goats, probably half of each. I simply prefer the personality of a dam-raised, but well socialized goat. They are less demanding/pushy, and seem to know that they are goats.
    There will always be situations were a farmer will HAVE to pull a kid and bottlefeed.....dam gets sick, death of dam, dam rejects kid, weak kid, CAE prevention with a positive dam/herd. I just feel that if your animals are healthy, "mother knows best", and there is nothing healthier for the kids than their own dams milk. I hope the does take to the bottle quickly. Good Luck.
     
  11. goatmarm

    goatmarm Well-Known Member

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    Check out the thread titled "Ethnic Calendar" posted by Bumpus. It has a webpage with excellent pictures of dam vs. bottle raised kids. I think this is why so many "meat goat" raisers leave the kids on their dams. Although, if you doe kids are going to be brood does it doesn't really matter, just the meat market animals. It is worth checking out.
     
  12. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    Well, I sold the doe with the two doeling kids to the woman who bought my two bottle babies the week before. I just have to hold them until May when she moves into her new house.

    Don't worry goatmarm, no insult taken. I understood exactly what you meant because of my bottle baby doe. These people just want to bottle feed their babies and who am I to say it's not good, especially if I leave the boys on the Moms to get nice a big and don't have to deal with shots, feeding, weaning or dehorning these babies :) I may even break even this year.