Weaning tips

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Mrs. Ed, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. Mrs. Ed

    Mrs. Ed Active Member

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    How do you start the weaning process? How do you go about getting a kid started on grain? What age? Do you take away a feeding? What works for you?
     
  2. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am guessing you are talking about bottle fed babies?

    My kids have grain, and hay in front of them within the first week or so. Water too, though on the outside of the fence where they have to stick their head through to get it. Some will take to it faster than others. By about 3 weeks, everyone is nibbling here and there.

    I wean somewhere around 12-16 weeks. I just take away a milk feeding at a time until they don't get anymore. I don't replace it with water, just quit that feeding altogether.

    Tracy
     

  3. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think your baby is about the same age as mine, 5 weeks or so, right?
    Still a little young for weaning, but mine have started nibbling on grain(and everything else.) How many times a day are you bottling her now?
    Mine are down to twice a day, but get about a pint and a half at a time, and would take more if I gave it to them. I'm actually thinking of cutting them back to a pint twice a day, because I'm getting low on milk. I'll wait at least a couple of weeks before I cut them back to once a day.
    I do not bottle as long as Tracy, but wean between 9 and 12 weeks. The does might get one bottle a day a little longer than that, but only if I have extra.
    I would not wean before they are nibbling grain. You are at a bit of a disadvantage with a single kid, because they seem to learn from each other. But you could start offering her just a little, and even put a pellet in her mouth to encourage her to taste. Don't expect her to eat much. I give a handful or two to the five kids all together.
    mary
     
  4. Mrs. Ed

    Mrs. Ed Active Member

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    Yes you are right on the age, Mary, 5 1/2 weeks. She is nibbling grass & hay, but not interested in grain much yet. We are trying to feed her grain at the same time as the other goats so she can see them and maybe make the connection that she is supposed to be eating it too.

    She is taking a bottle 3 x's per day at 1 pt (maybe a little more at times) each time. She would take even more than that if we'd let her. My DH is trying to talk me into cutting her back to 2 x's/day but I worry about her being hungry.
     
  5. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    By 3 or 4 days of age, my kids are on a bottle twice a day. Pygmies get as much as they want until they are taking 12 oz. at a time. Nubian kids get as much as they want until they are up to 24 oz. at a time. To get them started on grain, I will take a small bit in my hand & shove it in their mouth. Takes a few days of this to get them to like the taste & the texture in their mouth. I keep hay out at all times & also a small dish of water. When they are 8 weeks old I cut out the morning bottle. I cut the evening bottle at 12 weeks. I don't give less at a time to wean, I just drop it.