when to start the weaning?....

Discussion in 'Goats' started by dk_40207, May 11, 2006.

  1. dk_40207

    dk_40207 Well-Known Member

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    The girls are three weeks old now. I was wondering if I would get pointers on weaning, and if I should takem off of her at night or during the day.
    If it is at night, it will be hard because they share a small shed. During the day they could be in a fensed enclosure within moms enclosure...

    Most people say to separate them at night, and I just wasn't sure if there would be a negative effect to separating days instead...

    So what should I give the girls as they are getting older? They are trying to eat grass, weeds, and hay. They even nibble at the grain a bit, but I'm not sure if there is domething I should be doing for them, esspecially if I take them away from mom:(

    Thanks!!!!
     
  2. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    You shouldn't start weaning for a while, yet -- I sometimes wean at eight weeks, and sometimes not until twelve weeks, depending on how much milk I have and how well the babies are growing.

    If you are talking about separating the babies so you can milk once a day, the reason I separate at night is because goats mostly sleep at night, and do most of their eating during the day. So if you separate during the day, I would be concerned that the babies might not be getting enough to eat, unless you just put them on twice a day feedings (which can be done quite young -- I'm starting them out on twice a day from the time they are a day old, if they seem strong -- and all I've had here have been strong). But then you need to be sure they are actually getting enough milk in their tummies when they do eat -- check to make sure they have full bellies.

    Kathleen
     

  3. vancom

    vancom Well-Known Member

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    Our lamancha kids are 7 weeks old and we have just started cutting bottle/gangfeeding down to 14 ounces twice a day. They are really just now digging into the alfalfa and grain, and I can see that they are fattening up one something other than milk. We plant to decrease by one ounce at eah feeding, which means we should have them weaned at about 8-9 weeks.

    Vanessa
    Precious Cottage Farm
    Williamson County, TN
     
  4. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    I have been told by many in the dairy goat world not to ween too soon. You want all the growth on those kids you can get, especially if you plan to breed the does in the fall. Three to four months is the earliest they recomend.

    I separate the kids in the daytime and milk at night but not before they are eating grain well and browsing and chewing their cudd. I first separate them for only 4 hours then I don't milk out all the milk. Then as they get older I increase the time. When I have enough milk for my needs I don't separate them till I need more milk. After they are weened by the dam I milk twice a day and freeze the excess milk for use later.
     
  5. dk_40207

    dk_40207 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone!
     
  6. havenberryfarm

    havenberryfarm Well-Known Member

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    I wait until 2 months and start separating them a few hours in the day so Mom can get a break. Then, when they are doing well, and I can see that they are really digging into the hay and grazing well, then I start separating them at night and milking out in the morning. If you can't do this, then you might try separating them at 2 1/2 months for a few hours in the afternoon and milking out before putting mom back in with them. You could keep them apart for longer and longer until they are separated all day and still doing well. I don't know how labor intensive you can get, so do whatever works best for yoiur schedule. You have several great suggestions here.