I just got my first goat!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by trailhound, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. trailhound

    trailhound Chillin' With My Peeps

    143
    2
    131
    Mar 7, 2008
    Okay, so it was somewhat of an impulse buy. Sort of. I just got a 6 week old Nubian Alpine cross female. Terribly cute and terribly scared, she hasn't really been handled, but I have the next week off so I can work with her. So glad I just got a station wagon, very convenient for transporting baby goats, lol.

    My most urgent question is food. I know she can have hay, but as far as grain, should she have the medicated pellets or regular goat sweet feed. I bought medicated pellets, but not sure if I did the right thing.

    She just got wean by me putting her in my car and driving away (that was awful!), does she still need any milk at 6 weeks? The woman I got her from said to give her a half a pound of grain/feed, plus hay and grass.

    Thanks! Gotta run out and build a goat pen really quick!
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    3,788
    12
    221
    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Hi trailhound - congrats on your new addition! I'm planning on adding two baby goats to our house in June this year and I can't hardly wait.

    I'm learning about goats so my first suggestion is that you go to thegoatspot.net -- lots of really great and knowledgable people there.

    First I do know that goats are very social and you need to have at least two - one will get lonely and even possibly sick without the company of another goat.

    I've been told that 6 weeks is too young to wean a baby so ... I'd find out for sure on that one.

    I've also been told that kids don't need grain until they are older (I think around 4 - 5 months old) just good quality grass or alfalfa mix hay (which ever they've been eating - don't switch fast to something new) with loose minerals. Again, I'm also just learning so wait to hear what others have to say who have experience.

    Have tons of fun.
     
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    49
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Wow! Everyone I know with baby goats (me included) keeps them on the mother's milk for 3 or 4 months or longer. My last kids I left with the mother and she didn't wean them for 5 months or more. You'll have to be diligent and make sure it eats well and gets enough to drink. They grow fast and really need those calories. Maybe you can find a milk replacer. It is my honest opinion that the baby still needs some milk. there are goat nipples that fit a 20 oz coke bottle that you make milk replacer and feed it to the baby with.

    I feed my goats a mix of feeds but you should be able to find blue seal caprine challenger which will give that growing baby lots of calories. Also alfalfa hay or cubes is good for them too.

    If you have just the one goat you really will want to find it a playmate because lonely bored goats are mischevious and destructive.

    Good luck with your new best friend.
     
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    49
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I want to add that my kids eat whatever the mother's ate. They grazed, drank a lot of milk and ate their own share of caprine (goat) feed and sweet feed as my milking does get a sweet ration daily. they also loved broken pieces of alfalfa cubes as their mouths are so tiny, and fruits and vegetables cut in small pieces.

    You have to be careful because cow milk and calf milk replacers can give them the scowers. You need goat milk.

    I am sorry. I hope things work out well for you but I fear that baby should not have been taken from its mother at 6 weeks. [​IMG]
     
  5. helmstead

    helmstead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Congrats on your new goat!

    I wean my kids at 8 weeks, so you're not far from optimal age. At her age, it will be nearly impossible to get her on a bottle, though. You can try offering milk in a bowl, but at this point, it may be moot. You'll just have to see what works. I don't like milk replacers, I use half and half or fresh goat's milk.

    We feed medicated pellets mixed with some other grains (but not sweet feed). That should be fine. A good grass or alfalfa hay is needed, too.
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    49
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Kate, I am so glad you saw this thread. I have dairy goats and no one here weans that early. I was just going to PM you to come and give some advise.
     
  7. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    827
    1
    151
    Feb 26, 2008
    We wean goats at about eight weeks around here. I don't like sweet feeds for goats, molasses is not a natural food source for goats. They tend to like alfalfa hay, but we feed coastal bermuda, its what available here. You don't want to feed medicated unless there is a problem. You probably should worm her, unless you know for a fact the person you got her from has recently done this. You'll probably want to find a whether to put with her. Goats penned alone are notorious fence jumpers.
     
  8. trailhound

    trailhound Chillin' With My Peeps

    143
    2
    131
    Mar 7, 2008
    Thanks for all of the advice. It wasn't my choice to wean her so young, it was the person I got her from, so at least now I know to really look out for her. Ugh, poor baby! I plan to get her a friend, there is another young doe I am interested in, and she would have been alone and I would have needed to get her a friend.

    In the meantime, I have some rowdy chicks that need to start moving out of my living room. They still need heat, so I will rig something up that the goat and chicks can be next to each other. My cat is also interested in becoming friends with her too.
     
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    49
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Post some pictures of your baby. We love photos!
     
  10. tbckaren

    tbckaren Out Of The Brooder

    28
    0
    21
    Mar 22, 2008
    South Carolina
    I'm so jealous! I want a goat so badly and hubby keeps saying no. I've started clearing some land....one day....but right now the focus is the chickens and currently waiting on eggs to hatch, then building more coops.....but one day I'll have my goats!!![​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by