feeding kids (dairy goats)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
This is my first experince bottle feeding and I have 4 saanen/nubian kids. They are a little over a week old and I am giving them each a 20 oz bottle 2x/day. When do I begin offering grain and what kind. Is this enough as they act just as hungry after the bottle. Thanks, Cindy
-- Cindy (email@example.com), February 09, 2001
That's the same amount I have always feed, except the first couple of weeks I might divide it up between three bottles instead of two. I frequently take a few extra bottles of warm water and offer that after they have drunk their milk. I keep a good quality hay where they can reach it and put just a small bit of grain where they can get it, cleaning leftovers out once a day. We also take a bucket of warm water in the winter so they can begin using a bucket, although they really don't for a while. We use a sweet type feed and they usually start eating it fairly soon, but not a lot.
-- diane (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 09, 2001.
I always start out with four times per day feedings of 8oz for the first 4 days then work it up to 12 oz at a week thru two weeks and then increase the bottle to 16 oz three times a day from two to five weeks. Then I do two twenty oz feedings with a little 4 oz night cap at about 10pm and in the seventh week I drop the four ounce night cap and start cutting the milk with some water. I probably work too hard at it. I just really try to avoid feeding them too much milk at once so they don't scour as when I did the 2 twenty oz feedings in my first batch of kids I had to deal with the scours. Nobody enjoyed that!
I put in some hay, as Diane said, GOOD quality, on day two and a little grain on day three and I have let them have a bucket of water in their pen on day four. They don't drink too much water if you give them warm water in a bottle after feeding, but they start to at a week or ten days.
My take is a little food (milk) often is better than a big amount all at once. Best of luck!
-- Doreen (email@example.com), February 09, 2001.
After 12 hours of colostrum, we go to milk, 20 ounce bottles offered breakfast, lunch and dinner. The infant pen is right next to the hay barn, so they can eaisly eat from any bales they want to as soon as they want. At about three weeks old we make certain they have some grain, any good calf or sheep starter will work, a bonus is something with a cocci prevention in it, ammonium chloride for the boys, and no animal anything, loose minerals and baking soda. With the new formulation lots of folks are using the goat pellet from Purina called Show Chow. This is the one time that you want a high protein in your grain, 16% or more. I feed the 20 ounces 3 times a day, since it mimic's right about what one doe would have in her udder feeding 3 kids. Normally with lots more kids they would already be on the Lambar, then we pay much less attention to how much they are getting. Offering a gallon a day per 3 kids. We rarely see true scours in kids on goat milk, we have seen scours in kids on milk replacer, or fed bottles not warm enough. We also start our cocci prevention at 3 weeks, using sulfaquinoxiline (Jeffers or pipevet) since you only have to use 2cc per kid, for 5 days, every 3 weeks, in thier bottle until they weigh 50 pounds! I prefer this sulfa since it takes care of cocci, ecoli, pnemonia and bacterial scours. Aiming for zero days of diarrhea in our weaned kids.
What a wonderful cross, Saanen/Nubian! Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh TX (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 09, 2001.
We feed six times per day for the first three to four days and then four times per day up to 16 oz. each feeding for the first month. We then feed three times a day up to 16 oz. each for the second month. Show quality does are then continued twice a day at 16 oz. each feeding for the third month. These frequent feedings are closer to the natural pattern when they nurse off the doe. They grow much better and are healthier and happier. We give them free choice alfalfa and up to one pound of grain each starting the second week. Its a lot of work and commitment, but we have seen a dramatic difference in growth rates in twin does where we kept one and sold the other. After six months, the ones we keep are taller and wider (not fat, just filled out) than the ones we sell at 3 or 4 weeks of age.
I would say that if your kids are acting hungry after a 20 oz bottle, they probably are. With our feeding program, the kids often leave a couple of ounces in their bottle at each feeding during their first month, which means they are being satisfied. The frequent feedings also assures they are not over gorging twice a day.
Skip Walton, www.sundaycreek.com/nubians.htm
-- Skip Walton (email@example.com), February 09, 2001.