Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Quick Guideline to Raising Your Bottle Baby Goat

A few weeks ago I finally did a quick write up of how we care for our kids from birth to weaning. I know many different things work for different people, and depending on what part of the country you are in the care your goats need can be so much different. But, I figured I would post on how we raise our kids, maybe it'll help someone. Of course at birth our kids all get colostrum... that is the only thing I left out of this because I wrote it with the people who buy out bottle babies in mind - and by the time they get them they have already had their colostrum.

A Quick Guideline to Raising Your Bottle Baby Goat

Week 1: Bottle feed milk* every 6 hours. 6-10 oz each time depending on size of kid.

Week 2: Bottle feed 3x a day. 10-16 oz each feeding.

Week 3: It is best to feed the kid 3x a day if possible until they are 6 wks old. The kid can be dropped to 2x a day and fed 16-20 oz each time if it is better for your schedule. Start coccidiosis* treatment. Give the kid grain*, free feed hay* and minerals*.

Week 6: Drop bottle feedings to 2 times a day and feed 16-20 oz each time.

Week 8: Treat for coccidiosis and worm* the kid.

Week 10: Drop to one bottle a day, 16-20 oz. Gradually decrease the amount of milk in the bottle until the kid is weaned at 12 weeks.

Week 12: Wean* your kid from milk. By this time the kid should be eating free feed hay and some grain. Your kid also needs to be wormed and treated for coccidiosis again. Your kid also needs a copper bolus & BoSe shot OR a MultiMin shot*.


*Milk – Please DO NOT feed your kid ANY powdered formula or milk replacer. Kids do NOT do well on milk replacers. Many get diarrhea and die. If you do not have goat milk, feed your kid cows milk. Raw or regular vitamin D store bought cow's milk.

*Coccidiosis Treatment – There are a few treatments you can do for coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is a parasite that is very common in most of the United States and many goats get sick from it if not treated properly. It is key to treat your kid so they do not have issues later on in life. This is a preventative type of treatment.
  • Treatment option #1 is to treat with Sulmet Drinking Water Solution. This can be bought at your local feed store or TSC, and no, do NOT put it in your goat's water. This is given orally, and it is a 5 day treatment. The dosage is as follows: Day 1 is 1 cc of Sulmet per 5 lbs of bodyweight. Days 2-5 it is 1 cc of Sulmet per 10 lbs of bodyweight.
  • Treatment option #2 is to use a one day treatment called Baycox 5% Toltrazuril. The dosage is 1 cc per 5 lbs – a one day treatment.

*Grain There are many types of grain that you can use. We like to use a 14% or 16% Cattle Creep pellet. NO molasses, NO sweet feed. Your kid only needs a small handful – NO more.

*Hay an alfalfa or alfalfa/grass hay is best. It has the calcium the kid needs to grow. Free feed it.

*Minerals loose cattle minerals are great from your local feed store. Right Now Minerals is a really good brand. If you can't use them, get a mineral block.

*Worming this is a HUGE topic and one I will not fully cover here. We have had success with the Safeguard for Goats, Ivomec Plus, or Cydectin. Check on the 
bottle or online for dosages, as they tend to change often.

*Weaning Many people believe that kids can be weaned from milk at 8 wks – that is NOT a good idea and the kid will not grow to its potential. Bottle feed until at least 12 wks, longer if possible. We bottle feed our kids until they are 4-6 months old. The longer, the better.

*Copper bolus, BoSe OR MultiMin – Your kid needs mineral supplements. Goats need them bad, especially in certain areas of the US. This is another large topic and one I will not get into depth here. At 3 months your kid needs it's first dose of mineral supplements. If you decide to use copper boluses, make sure you give them a BoSe shot as well. Or, you can get MultiMin from your vet and just dose with that (no copper bolus or BoSe needed). Either way works just as well. Your goat will need this 3-4 times a year for the rest of its life.


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