need milk replacer help

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Jcran, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    I've had quads and will be bottle raising a wether...I got a call also from a county neighbor with a commercial herd of 200 boers. She'll give me day to week-old orphans for $10 each. I'm going to try 6 to start with. 4-H wethers are $125 each around here, and there's also folks who'll buy for home meat. I'll see if I can break even and have some meat for the table. Anyhow, I've got a 50 # bag of 20/20 gold label calf milk replacer (no soy/all milk) that says
    1- 1/4 lb of mix per gallon water for super grow and 1 lb mix per gallon water for maintenence. I am guessing I'll want to go with the lighter bit so I don't shock their systems. It works out when I weigh it to what looks like a bit more than a cup to a quart of water. Now, here's the question...how should I start out. These guys will have colostrum under their belts and goat milk only. I won't have any goat milk to spare. I am thinking:
    4 oz each 4 times a day for a couple days then 6 oz three times a day then next Monday they'll have to go 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. with a 10 p.m. "top-off" for a week or so, then just to 2 x a day on the lambar. Now, having said that, has anyone ever fed room-temp free choice. I'd love to learn more about it. The milk replacer bit has me a bit leery. Worked great for the calves but not sure about these little patooties. I haven't bottle raised goats in a gazillion years, and not on replacer in at least that long it seems.
     
  2. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    joan i would save the replacer for the kids when they are a little bit older. they do better if they are on real milk, either goat or cow. even store bought vit d milk is better.
    good luck with this adventure :)
     

  3. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some people swear by milk replacers and other swear at them. Maybe it would be good to ask what works and what doesn't. Get brand names, mix concentrations, etc.

    Are there any cow dairies close enough to buy raw milk so you could get some strength built into them before you put them on milk replacer?
     
  4. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    Hahahahaha! It's one of our county's main ag products! Good idea and I'll see if I can find a source and price.

    By the by, any ratios folks recommend for mixing. I promised my DH that this bag WOULD get used (leftover from calf raising last summer)
     
  5. cowgirlracer

    cowgirlracer Well-Known Member

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    Jcran - I would find an inexpensive source for cows milk. Something I have done in the past is get it from the supplier (XYZ Dairy) as they pull the expired milk off the grocery store shelves. In Wyo they have to give it away, it is no longer sellable because it is past the expiration date. Take this home and freeze it until you need it. As the goats get bigger and stonger I would gradually mix in some of the calf replacer - never feeding more than 50% replacer and do this until it is gone. Any milk that is spoiled can be fed to chickens or pigs.

    My 2 cents,

    Anne
     
  6. copperpennykids

    copperpennykids Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ditto. :)
     
  7. BlueHeronFarm

    BlueHeronFarm Well-Known Member

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    Definitely go with whole cows milk....you may even be able to barter one of the cabritos for some. ;)

    We have not done free choice milk, but I know people who do. If you live somewhere warm, you just want to put an ice pack in the bucket so it won't go all nasty on you. Otherwise, no problem with room temp, free choice. Just be sure to really clean out the bucket and tubes well at least daily.

    After the first few days, we do 3 a day lambars for a while, then move down to 2. We do room temp, but not free choice...just not sure we could afford that tmuch milk!

    Good luck-- and take pictures.
     
  8. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's a good idea about getting the expired milk. I know the local bread stores sell big bags of bread and rolls for "pet food". That saves them from having to pay to dispose of it.

    Is the replacer still good?
     
  9. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd definately go with the cow's milk for the baby goats. I wouldn't feed calf milk replacer to goats of any age. It's made for calves and I've never seen goats do well on it. Maybe you can feed it to chickens or pigs.
     
  10. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    Yep, the replacer is still good; been in the bottom of the big freezer in a plastic bag; good and dry. New kids are coming today. I'm going to do the replacer while I look for a supplier o' milk. I'll add probiotic powder to the first milk of the day, thanks for that idea, whoever it was who mentioned it. Today, mom of quads loves ONE, tolerates ONE, and chases off one buck and the doe kid. Rejected buck will be bottle baby, but that mama goat is GOING to LET her girl child nurse! GRRRRRRRRR! I'll be going out every two hours.
     
  11. tome

    tome Active Member

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    I'm new at bottle feeding, we have one nannie that has triplets and one is not making it, we have to take the other two away and let it suck. My question is, what kind of bottle would I use, do they make nipples specifically for goats?

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  12. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tom, you can use lamb nipples.There is a black one that pulls over a bottle and a yellow & red one (Pritchard) that screws on to a pop bottle. I like the Pritchard, since an enthusiastic kid can pull the black nipple off and get a milk shower. Either one will work fine.

    There is also a hard red rubber lamb nipple that screws onto a calf bottle. I have tried to use these but my goat kids hate them.
     
  13. MisFitFarm

    MisFitFarm Where we all fit in!

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    We use regular baby bottles, and they work just fine. We also use regular cows milk from the store, but this year we may have found a farmer to get it from. Good luck! I wouldn't willingly take on six bottle babies, it's a lot of work. We did it last year, and believe me, it was not fun. Cute, but not fun!