Kid goats won't eat hay

Harrison farm

In the Brooder
Jan 3, 2016
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We have two Nigerian dwarf goat kids who are two weeks old. We had to immediately remove them from the mother as we live in Alaska and the temps were well below zero and they almost froze one having hypothermia
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They are now two weeks old and thriving. We have introduced them to hay and oats but they refuse to eat anything but their bottles. How do you start introducing them to these and at what age?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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At two weeks they are too young to do anything but nibble on it, it will be a couple of more weeks before they will start eating it in any quantity, I will usually start by offering tiny amounts of sweet feed or a goat ration to them and they will start eating that before the hay. Make sure you are offer a softer hay with the leaf blades intact as goats don't usually eat the stems.
 

Stacykins

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Jan 19, 2011
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At two weeks they are too young to do anything but nibble on it, it will be a couple of more weeks before they will start eating it in any quantity, I will usually start by offering tiny amounts of sweet feed or a goat ration to them and they will start eating that before the hay. Make sure you are offer a softer hay with the leaf blades intact as goats don't usually eat the stems.

Quoted for truth.

At two weeks old they might mouth hay, but they're not going to actively consume it until they are older. You can keep offering it, and a handful of feed/grain. So they are familiar with it. They're not able to learn from their mother if they are not with her. Normally dams are great at teaching kids what is good to eat quickly.

Keep feeding milk. How much are they eating with each feeding? How many times per day? You definitely want to make sure they are getting enough milk. Kids need to be bottle fed for a minimum of eight weeks, twelve is best.
 

Harrison farm

In the Brooder
Jan 3, 2016
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Thank you so much for your responses. We are new to farming and have started out with chickens and goats so we are newbies
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The kids are eating three times a day and they're eating about 8 ounces each feeding
 

Harrison farm

In the Brooder
Jan 3, 2016
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Sasha is actually a little bit smaller than Isaac. She is the one who was slower to catch on to things even though she was the first born. She is the one who almost died of hypothermia. We babied her all through the night and now she seems to be the one ahead smart wise
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R3dnck

In the Brooder
Jan 2, 2016
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South Carolina
If they get older and eat everything but hay I have found that you take a little sweet feed and put It where you are going to feed the hay at, once they get used to getting sweet feed in that spot start putting a little hay with sweet feed on top, then mix the feed with the hay so they work for it and eat hay to, then eventually stop putting feed in the hay they should eat thru the hay looking for feed lol
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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I will stuff some hay in their mouths after the bottles, it will get spit right out with a yucky face, but eventually they get the taste for it, I also will keep whole bales with them to play on so it's always available. They are a little more likely to eat grass if it's the right time of year. Goats are born without the rumen fully developed, so getting the system started takes a bit of time but it is an important step to building a good digestive system and raising a healthy goat.
 

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