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Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Alwayswantchics, Mar 12, 2014.
My husband bought us our first goats yesterday. Bottle feeding them. Advice for a newbie, pls.
Are you looking for any specific advise?
What breed are your new lovelies? Are they bottle feeding well? What are they eating (goats milk, whole cows milk, milk replacer mix, etc.). Do you have a livestock veterinarian you can contact in case of medical issues?
And yes, Backyard Herds is a good place to visit. It is a sistersite to BYC, and deals with livestock other than poultry. Though just posting "backyardherds.com" and nothing else isn't exactly a helpful post for people. You could have at least explained what the place was.
Not real sure of breed. Dairy breed is all I know. Bottle feeding well. Feeding whole milk. Will try and post pic later.
After weened what should we feed them?
Well, I knew you'd be along to explain and I only had a few seconds to post. Listen to stacykins, she's the goat god.
After weaning I fed mine quality non- alfalfa hay. I know some like to feed grain also. Its all a matter of personal opinion. Free choice hay and fresh, clean water. enjoy your babies.
Hah, yea sorry about that if I sounded all high and mighty. I just like providing thorough information when possible.
Anyway, you don't have to wait until they are weaned to start introducing new foods to the kids. At this age, they're still a bit young. But around two weeks, you can start offering a handful of hay and grain (use a goat based feed, not one for sheep. If the label says it is for sheep and goats, it won't have enough copper for the goats). Start with tiny amounts, because they likely will waste it all. Bottle kids can be a little hard to introduce 'real' food to, since they don't have another goat to learn from. But the plus side is, goats explore with their mouths. So if they mouth the hay and pellets, they will eventually decide it is tasty! Sometimes if they just aren't understand, popping a few pellets in their mouths a few times will teach them it actually is yummy. Once they start eating the solid, gradually increase the amounts, while decreasing the milk. Weaning is often done between eight to twelve weeks.
I give mine non alfalfa hay too. But alfalfa is good if you can get it. When a goat isn't growing (less than a year), pregnant, or lactating, some people feed them just the hay and no grain.
An important part of their diet you will need to introduce them too is also a mineral. A loose mineral is actually better than a mineral block. The blocks are composed of mostly table salt, NaCl, and not much in the way of important minerals like selenium, zinc, copper, etc. The table salt is what holds the block together. So the goats fill up on table salt, and don't get enough of what they actually need. Most loose mineral mixes have only a little table salt to make it more palatable, but have higher amounts of the other minerals. To feed a loose mineral, you offer if to them in a clean, dry, draft free area. I have a little pan attached to the inside wall of the barn that they can go to as they need it.
You do great stacykins. listen to her and she'll have ya going in no time with those babies. And don't forget pics. We all love to see pics.
Do I add anything to the whole milk?