Are my baby goats eating enough? Too much? : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread

I am bottle feeding 2 baby goats, they are 1 week old today. They are 1/2 angora and 1/2 boer. They were born just a little early, the mother had prolapsed twice (after retainer) and had to be put down. My friend gave them to me because she didn't want to fool with bottlefeeding them (plus I think she is trying her hardest to get me into goats!!!).

I fed them goat's milk for the first 4 days, then had to switch them to cow's milk because I couldn't get any more goat's milk. I got cow's milk from a dairy (straight out of the cow, unpasteurized, fresh). Is this OK? It doesn't seem to be passing through them like the goat's milk. Is this any better or worse than using the milk replacer powder?

They eat 6-8 ounces 5 times a day. Is this too much, too little, just right?? I am trying not to feed them too much, but they act like they are starving all the time.

I appreciate your advice, I really don't know what I'm doing.

-- Tracey in Alabama (, March 27, 2002


As long as they are peeing and pooping they are fine. Are the berries well formed? I would be a little concerened about to much cream if you didn't skim it off the top, but then I have never fed fresh cows milk. It's to late to worry about if unpasturised is O.k. or not since the harm would already be done if the cows had Johnnes or some such thing, you can't catch more of the same thing. They also would be scouring if the milk was to rich etc. Bravo to you for having the stamina for the small meals so many times a day, we switch to 3 times a day at day 2. As you start limiting the times a day increase the amount of milk, but never any more than 16 ounces under 8 weeks old and no more than 22 ounces over 8 weeks old. You will want to start thinking about weaing at 12 weeks. Now even having said that, when I have the milk my kids get as much milk as they want, but then this is goats milk. Anything you do is better than milk replacer powder! Start thinking about worming, and perhaps putting something in the milk for cocci, albon, dimethox or any other sulfa, for prevention. Are you disbudding? Castrating? They will start nibbling hay soon, are you going to grain them? Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (Nubians) (, March 27, 2002.

Hi Vicki and everyone,

Now something else to worry about! What is Johnnes disease? Should I stop giving them the cow's milk from the dairy? I just figured that would be better than the powder, I hope I didn't do something that will hurt them.

I haven't been seeing them poop very much since I started giving them the cow's milk. It doesn't seem to be as solid as it should be, but it is not runny diarrhea either. Kinda mushy, but not a large quantity of it at all. My friend who gave me the goats said she would give me the Albon for coccidiosis, but I haven't got it yet. When should I do that? I have ivomec, but haven't wormed them. When should I? My friend is going to put the band on the baby boy to castrate him. I haven't considered disbudding. Should I?

I am going to move them outside for good today. I have been putting them outside during the day and letting them sleep inside at night, since it has been so cold here. They are going outside tonight! I have hay that I can give them, and my friend is going to give me some food for them.

-- Tracey in Alabama (, March 27, 2002.

My friend is insisting that I need the milk replacer powder.

It is called "3e kid milk replacer" from Hoegger supply. Here is what it says in their catalog:

"Kid Milk Replacer There's no reason for feeding your kid goats the milk you need for your own personal use. Our quality milk replacer can be used exclusively or as a supplement to your available milk supply. Eliminate the risk of CAE transference by feeding this high-quality milk replacer. All milk protein, no soy. Perfectly formulated with every essential nutrient your kids need, including the correct balance of protein to help over come the risk of ketosis (too much protein can be harmful). Non-medicated, but containing the valuable live cultures of lactobacillus and acidophilus (the same active ingredients in Probios) that help reduce stress and maintain healthful flora in the digestive system and enhance feeding efficiency. Also contains high levels of vitamins, chelated trace minerals and zinc proteinate, all milled micro-fine to provide a soluble mix that is readily available to the kids. Very economical to use. One level cup of replacer mixes with two pints of water. One 25- lb bag mixes with 25 gallons of water."

It costs $41.75 for a 25-lb bag.

What do you all think about this?? Thanks for your advice.

-- Tracey in Alabama (, March 27, 2002.

I insist that you don't use it :) If you are unhappy with how the raw cows milk is going, than just switch to grocery store cows milk. Make sure and heat the bottles to body temp their is 102, and just go to 3 bottles 16 ounces a day. How about at least trying the raw cows milk but letting it sit and skimming some of the cream? Does anybody know what else you could do to raw cows milk to make it more like grocery store milk? I don't.

You will want to start them on a cocci prevention at 3 weeks old, continue it every 3 weeks, and use it for at least 5 days. When you do wean them they should be eating a grain mix that contains a cocci med in it. This is how I do it, not how everyone does. I also worm at 3 weeks old and every 3 weeks till well grown. We disbud, I hate horns, at 1 to 2 weeks, and at the same time we vaccinate with Bar Vac CD&T repeat the vaccination in 21 days. I am a firm believer in prevention medication and vaccination for kids.

Johnnes is a wasting disease of ruminents. Dairy cattle especially get this. If the dairy has lots of cows over 5 who are still in great shape than the odds of them having this are less, but animals can harbor it. It is passed in the milk and manure, it can not be pasturised out of the milk, and their is a very good reason to believe that Chrone's disease in humans is related to this. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (Nubians) (, March 27, 2002.

OK Thanks very much for your answers!

Here is a new twist in the saga of the orphaned baby goats!!

My friend called and said that she now has another angora goat (mother) whose baby died last night. So now she has no babies, and my babies have no mother. SO what I did this morning was haul them down there (Have you ever tried driving a car with a 3-year-old child in the backseat and two baby goats jumping out of their box trying to suck on your neck in the front seat???). The mama goat was very receptive to them, but they weren't too thrilled with her. Of course they didn't know what to do, since they are used to the bottle. We held them and finally they sucked a little, all the time yelling for me and following after me. We just tried again awhile ago, same scenario, but they ate a little more. If they can figure it out, and she will adopt them, that will just solve all of our problems!!! She will just loan me her goat to nurse my babies! Or if for some reason they can't just nurse right from her, I will "borrow" the goat and milk her and give her milk to my babies. This will hopefully solve my cow's milk/milk replacer dilemma.

If for some reason that doesn't work, I guess I'll switch them to the grocery store milk.

Whew! This sure is a lot of work!

-- Tracey in Alabama (, March 27, 2002.

It is alot of work, But don't you get this kind of satisfaction like no other?? I did, and getting up all hours of the night paid off. Since Nannie Anna(8 hour old goat with bloody stools) post, I now have three lambs Shmoo Z, Scruff E. and Jack plus Nannie, who all have been rescued from the pasture and farmers who dont have the time for them. I think I have found my calling, putting my nursing on hold to be with these wonders has made me feel so much better (health and mind) I hope you get the same feelings it's GREAT,,lol

-- Sue in PA (, March 27, 2002.

well, i think you may be giving them a bit much , but then , i raise dairy goats, and the big thing on my end its to get them eating solids asap at 2 weeks, i feed 2 cups of milk(1 lb) at am and pm, then at noon, grain from my hand , and bits of alfalfa hay, those are also kept in their pen for free choice eating, as for disbudding, i definately would get that done, if you plan on keeping the goats as pets,(i mean not eating them)

cows milk will be just fine, chances are the dairy tests for johnnes, ,just ask them , :)

goats will act like they are starving because in a way , they are, not for food, but for mommy, in the natural world a kid nurses for a minute or two, getting maybe 3 oz, about 8 times a day, we alter thier natural cycle so ,

they still follow thier instinct,

if you have them in the house, they will want to follow you around and cry miserably if they cant!, if they are in the barn , it tends to be better for them , since then they rest more, and grow faster!!!

-- Beth Van Stiphout (, March 27, 2002.

are you still bottling them? or did the doe take them and vice versa. some babies can handle up to 1/2 gallon a day by 5-6 weeks. some need less. don't do the replacer. feed them less often, you'll enjoy them more. gauge by how they look and feel, not how they act. good luck and enjoy.

-- laura (, April 03, 2002.

I don't have an answer, but rather a question and a plea for help. I have a baby milk goat that is 1-2 weeks old, whose mother wouldn't let her nurse, so I have been feeding her the mother's milk in a bottle for almost a week now. How long does the mother's milk stay fresh enough for the baby? We milked 1/2 gallon of milk from the mother a few days ago and have been keeping it in the fridge and warming a few ounces in a bottle to feed the baby every 3-4 hours. Is this ok? Or does the milk need to be fresher. Also the mother's milk is drying up. What kind of milk to I need to feed the baby when the mother's milk is gone? The baby got down to only drinking about 1 ounce every 2-3 hours and now she is very weak. I have been forcing a couple more ounces down her the last couple of feedings trying to get her strong again. She has been peeing at every feeding, but her bowels have not moved since yesterday and it was loose then. I need help so I can save her because I have just fallen in love with this baby. She is still alert, she cries out some for attention, and she wags her tail when I stand her up, but she cannot stand on her own. I have to hold her up so she can pee. Please email me with ANY help you can give. Thanks!!!

-- Crystal Graves (, March 27, 2003.

I have always fed goat or lamb replacer to my babies when i didnt have regular goats milk. i currently have 20 who have all been bottle fed on replacer this way and have always had very good luck. i watch them very carefully though and at the first sign of runny poops i give them pepto bismol and electrolytes. all my babies came from a milking farm and all got their initial collostrum from mom. this year i have two babies born to the very first goat i got and they have been taken care of mom only. there is no comparision to moms milk and they way they are growing but like i said as far as replacer it has always went well but as with anything to goats dont switch thier feed all at once i have found it best to ease them into it. i have always fed mine to start with 3 times a day ( i used regular baby bottles, until they got older ) to start one bottle at each feeding if they quit that was fine as long as they got half down. then i started to only 2 feedings a day and gradually went up to 2 baby bottles per feeding. then as they got older i switched to pop bottles with lamb nipples on them one a piece 2 times a day. like i said alot of people dont like replacer but i have had good luck with it because i take alot of time with them and i always fed each seperately and knew how much they got. if this interests you and you have any questions let me know. i can just give you what i have done and has seemed to work for me.

-- Tammy Buhrow (, March 27, 2003.

Crystal, in answer to your little one try giveing her some electrolytes to boost her and maybe a vitamin b complex shot. i am one of those to take those little ones the runts you might say and keep nursing them to make something of them. most dairys wont do that because they dont have the time but a dead goat is not acceptable to me. i had one that acted pretty much the same way i just kept on and kept trying to get as much down as possible which would take many feedings during the day.but where she is getting weak try the electrolytes. this has always seemed to help mine if they seem to get a little week it boosts their energy. i usually get mine from fleet farm it is for cows it is a powder you mix with water and seems to work pretty good but in a pinch i have used pedialite for kids and this works well too.another thing i have noticed with mine when they arent feeling well they want all the attention they can get. in my situation i was always able to do that. just keep trying!!!!

-- Tammy Buhrow (, March 27, 2003.

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