Bottle feeding baby goats
Bottle feeding baby goats is the next area we want to cover continued from the Baby Goat Care for Fainting Goats page.
As covered on our Baby Goat Care for Fainting Goats page, the first milk from the mommy goat, which contains colostrum, is important to get your kids off to a good start. After the first few days, some fainting goat owners will continue to let their kids nurse off of the mother goat, while others may switch to bottle feeding baby goats.
Reasons that some fainting goat owners prefer to bottle feed baby goats include:
- Disease control: If you’re worried about the possibility of diseases being spread between the mother and baby via nursing, bottle feeding can help reduce that risk.
- Preservation of the udders: If you are planning on using your doe as a show animal, bottle feeding will help preserve the udder from the mouths of hungry baby goats.
- Regulation of feeding: Feeding baby goats their milk via a bottle allows you to accurately track how much each baby fainting goat is consuming.
Even if you don’t plan on bottle feeding baby goats, there may be times when it is necessary and you need to be prepared. Sometimes the doe may not bond with the kid and she will refuse the kid. If the kid is a runt, the doe’s instincts for survival of the fittest may kick in and she may choose to exclude the smaller kid in favor of one of the heartier baby fainting goats. If within the first 24 hours the mommy fainting goat doesn’t feed the baby of her own accord, chances are she never will and it will be necessary for you to bottle feed that baby fainting goat.
When bottle feeding, you should keep in mind they way the kid would feed naturally. The kid would be reaching up for the doe’s udder; this way the milk bypasses the rumen (the part of the goat’s digestive tract that serves as the primary site of microbial fermentation), which has not started functioning yet. You should hold the bottle up and at an angle so the kid’s head is pointing up and its neck is extended.
Here is a recommended food to start your goats off with, but as always, if you have concerns about the amount or types of food you should feed baby goats, it is best to consult with your veterinarian.
Bottle feeding can be fun with goats and other livestock and can also have its rewards! I won’t deny that there are a ton of books out there on the elements of the care of goats and other livestock. Unfortunately the problem with most books on the subject is that they are either filled with plenty of promises and no solid techniques and strategies to back up those promises or they contain only one or two pieces of useful information and not a comprehensive look at everything you need to know to succeed. That’s where Profitable Livestock comes in. It has all you need to know about raising goats along with many other animals. You get Raising Goats and How to Keep Ducks free with the Profitable Livestock book. Click on the image below to learn more!