Weaning question....................

Discussion in 'Goats' started by HunterTed, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. HunterTed

    HunterTed Rockin B Farm

    Mar 21, 2005
    Some of you might have read the post I made about the goat that I have that is a biter. Well I have since found out that she can stand flat footed and jump my fence. So I will be making the fence in my barn lot higher this weekend. Until then she is locked up in a stall in the barn. Yeah I know what you are all saying....GET RID OF THAT STUPID GOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And my answer to you is that I will. Just as soon as she has her babies and I can wean them. I hate to get rid of her. She is a very affectionate goat when it comes to people. She follows me around the barn like a dog. But I have to keep reminding myself that she is very aggressive with my other goats and she must go. So how early can I wean her babies? My cousin (who is a stay at home mom) said she will bottle feed the babies for me. But she wants to get them once they are old enough to only bottle feed 2 or 3 times a day. she seems to think that once they are a month old they will be old enough. What does everyone think?
  2. chma4

    chma4 Wolverton Family Farm Supporter

    Feb 27, 2005
    New Jersey
    I think that once they are a month old, they wont take a bottle. Once they are born you need to bottle feed right away, and I beleive 3 - 4 times a day is the norm. BUt a 2 Day old is hard to convince to take a bottle, let alone a 1 month old.

  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2003
    Southeast Iowa
    Bottle feeding babies 101: take them away from Mom immediately upon birth before they even SEE a teat, let alone figure out what it's for. They'll accept the bottle instantly as their food source. Feed 6- 8 ounces or so (or however much they'll eat - some eat more, others less) four or five times a day for the first few days, then start cutting back to three times a day by increasing the amounts in each bottle and the time space between feedings. They'll get the same amount of milk each day, but in larger quantities and fewer times.

    By the end of week two they can be down to two bottles a day. One quart of milk a day each is a good amount to shoot for, though some larger breed babies eat more and smaller breeds less (I didn't follow the biter thread so don't know what breed she is). Wean bottle babies around 8 weeks old.

    If you leave them on Mom she will be fiercely protective of them and they will object strenuously to bottles - then you're looking at weaning closer to 6 - 7 weeks old instead of a month.

  4. Mountain Mom

    Mountain Mom Active Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Northern VT
    First, let me state that I'm still a relatively new goat owner in relation to many of the folks here, but I have successfully raised 3 babes to their first breeding season and currently are bottle feeding three more.

    That said, this is our method:

    We get our babies from a wonderful farm locally that milks about 250 -300 goats daily. So, during kidding season they have a lot of kids to choose from and to take care of! They only feed their babies twice a day and wean about 8 wks.

    I get my kids from them anywhere from 4 - 7 days old (they are left on the mom for the colostrom). They said that feeding 3 times a day would be best, to allow their food supply to be broken up into smaller, yet more frequent feedings is more natural and easier on their stomaches. Because we are home most times (we homeschool ) we have decided feeding 3 times a day was best. ( about 6am - 12 noon - 6 pm) They still get about the same volume as feeding twice a day, but broken down into 3 sessions.

    As far as weaning, sometimes it depends on the kid. After about 2 weeks or so we start putting grain out and access to good hay and water. Some take to it right away and others takes a bit longer. My new kids right now are about 3-4 wks old and have been chewing hay and green grass for about a week. This week they discovered the grain and are really enjoying it. SO they will probably wean about 8 weeks quite easily. My first 3 (the ones that are about 1yo now) didn't take to weaning until about 10 weeks or so and then much more reluctantly. (of course, I think we enjoyed the bonding part a little too much, so we didn't help! Live and Learn! :p )

    I have also seen a difference between kids that were part of multiple births versus single births. My singles were much more eager to 'grow up' and my multiples needed just a little more time. Of course, they will all continue to bottle feed as long as you continue to give - just like mom in a natural setting. SO. since I am "mom" I begin weaning when they are eating the grain, hay and drinking water successfully and slowly take the bottles away. Ususally this is around 7-8 weeks, maybe a bit longer for some.

    Good luck! Bottle feeding is a special time for us in our barn! It gives us a chance to bond with the kid and begin developing our relationship with each animal, us learning their personality and them learning our limits. I am sorry to hear that you will have to get rid of your other goat, but we've been there too. It was best for our herd (we had very 3 bossy ladies that wouldn't let my little ones eat or even rest in the housing) and where they went they found new friends (about 200) and became much more in line with their behavior.

    Hope this helps!