Responsible breeders : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread

What do you think about a breeder who would sell a kid long before they are weaned? A few years ago when I was first getting into goats I purchased a kid from someone who'd been raising and selling show goats for many many years. She was all set to have me take the kid at birth, partly because she worked long hours and didn't have enough time to bottle feed. (I managed to put off taking the kid until a few weeks later). Now, as a breeder myself I would never let a kid go (especially to a novice buyer)until it was fully weaned and I was confident of its health. What are your thoughts?

-- Amy (, April 05, 2002


Selling unweaned kids is standard practice, even among very reputable, responsible breeders. In a way, it has it's advantages, you get to bond with the kid better than it would if you bought it post weaning. With dam raised kids, I try to either wait until the kid is weaned, or switch it to a bottle before I sell it. Te exception here would be if the kid is going to a local, experienced goatkeeper who really knows what they are doing. Otherwise it is just too much stress for everyone, including the kid.

-- Rebekah (, April 05, 2002.

I agree with Rebekah, you could safely do it if you had a milk supply. I recall seeing a top breeders website a few yrs ago mentioning they wean at 4 weeks and ship. I was shocked, how could anyone wean safely at that age, but as Rebekah mentioned many experienced reputable breeders do this.

-- Bernice (, April 06, 2002.

I'm kinda new, but this is my oppinion. We bottle feed, not ALL they want so that they'll start to nibble at alfalfa and get their rumen started. But wean and SHIP at 4 weeks? Hmmm. I agree with Rebekah. If it's a local breeder we trust, such as Bernice, I'd let the kid go after 48 hours, clostrum, and a good visual inspection. Of course at that age all they're getting is the pedigree. No guarantees. Just too soon. And they'd better have someone riding with them so the kid would have a nice warm lap to sit in!


-- Dennis (, April 06, 2002.

It is very common to purchase 4 week old kids, of course they aren't weaned, you get them home and bottle them. Imagine the cost of airfare to bring in a 12 week old buck (larger kennel, heavier wieght), and very honestly most of my bucks I buy as infants, like one next week :) will stay on bottles until they are breeding does. If you purchase from me, and you want me to wean the kid the price is an ADDITIONAL 150$. If you want to pay that than fine I'll wean them, 75$ in saleable milk and 75$ for my time, 3 times a day for 12 weeks, feed, hay, vaccinations, disbudding, tattooing, that's a deal! I sell soaking wet bucklings every year to folks, I do dry them off :) they get a bottle of colostrum a page of instructions and my phone number, if they aren't sold at birth dairies kill them. We are lucky now in our area to have a good young meat buyer, I am lucky to have found a Boer breeder looking for Nubian bucklings to improve his does milkability. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (Nubians) (, April 06, 2002.

I guess my angle on this was more from the buyer's end. I'm talking about someone who is very inexperienced, perhaps buying their first goat kid. In my experience selling to novices, they tend to ask a zillion questions and are nervous about goat care, being so new to the game. Therefore, I want to be absolutely sure they can handle having a kid. Like spotting cocci, for example, or even more so, the real possibility a new buyer may overfeed a kid. One person I know who a breeder sold a kid to at around three to four weeks ended up losing the goat from overfeeding. That's what I was getting at. However, I only sell kids within driving distance so I understand about the shipping side of it being a factor.

-- Amy (, April 06, 2002.

a new buyer or person new to goats would be in rather deep, but hopefully as a seller i would expect that they have done some foot work on goats before they buy , so they would be ready.... i realize thats not the way it always works, but for me , as a seller, a few well asked questions would tell me what i need to know... and i keep extra nipples on hand for when i sell bottle babies, to make sure they have it, and offer some goat milk....

but, i am not selling anything this year, however i did work out a sheet for the prospective buyer.... its just one page long, and gives general info on how to feed , how much , when to wean etc., local suppliers, and net links (to tell the truth my son and i did this for his 4 h thing, but i added some more adult stuff to it, so it didnt sound so childish..)

-- Beth,in ND (, April 06, 2002.

Last year, one of my does had triplets and one kid kept getting knocked away and was slowly starving. I sold it at 5 days to a 4Her who was just starting out and had another bottle baby they bought a few days before. It was the first to find the teat and did get some colostrum. It also came in reserve champion at the 4H fair. The judge said she would have come in first if she was a little older. Too bad I don't have access to that buck any more. Sigh :)

-- Dee (, April 06, 2002.

I am fairly new to goats myself and had been wondering what other people do for selling kids so I appreciate your asking this questions.

I think that I would take every situation into consideration, depeding on if they have had goats, how many they are buying etc. One thing, I think I'd do (and please let me know if I'm way off base here) is that if they took a well started bottle baby (2 months) I would switch them over to whole cows milk if they didn't have access to goats milk, I am not a fan of milk replacer and purchasing whole milk is pretty easy.

-- Trisha-MN (, April 06, 2002.

Was it fresh or pasturized goat milk? Goat milk from the store works and the kids do OK. You are not way out of line, in fact I know a breeder in the east who had Jersey cows and she let the kids nurse on her. Hmmmm i could see the look on that goat's face now, my how you ahve grown!

-- Bernice (, April 07, 2002.

Was it fresh or pasturized goat milk? Goat milk from the store works and the kids do OK. You are not way out of line, in fact I know a breeder in the east who had Jersey cows and she let the kids nurse on her. Hmmmm i could see the look on that goat's face now, my how you ahve grown! oops, meant shrunk

-- Bernice (, April 07, 2002.

Store bought goats milk would work too! I never even thought of that - go figure. Unfortunately, it is much more expensive than the cows milk and harder to find so that is a bit of a problem.

LOL - I can just see our Jersey with a couple of neborn Nigerians on her ... We might have to lift the up so they could nurse wouldn't that would be one for the picture books!

-- Trisha-MN (, April 07, 2002.

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