How to Feed Your New Pack Goat Kid – Pack Goat Nutrition
Written by: Dwite Sharp
firstname.lastname@example.org 602 767 7888 Pack Goat Nutrition
Paradise Ranch Packgoat Research & Developement
PASTEURIZING RAW GOAT MILK:
In a perfect world, we would choose not to pasteurize one of “Mother Natures” most
nutrient gifts. But because of the disease CAE, an arthritic crippler of our Caprine friends, it is
best to pasteurize all raw goats milk to assure the disease is not passed from a CAE infected doe
to a new kid. Now you will find that a lot of folks selling raw goats milk have had their herd
tested for CAE and the tests have shown their herd to be CAE free, yet this disease continues to
be passed to kids that have been drinking raw goats milk from CAE free herds. Don’t take the
chance, PASTEURIZE all raw goats milk, it’s not worth the risk. Too little is known about the
transmission of this debilitating disease to take a chance.
To pasteurize colostrum, you slowly bring the temperature up to 135 degrees. If not fed
immediately, cool in a cold-water bath and refrigerate or freeze.
To pasteurize goats milk, you bring the milk up to 165 degrees and chill quickly, refrigerate or
freeze immediately if not fed.
CHOOSING WHAT TO BOTTLE FEED YOUR KIDS:
Pasteurized goat milk is, of course, our first choice when bottle feeding our Packgoat kids. But
unfortunately sometimes goats milk is not readily available and we must go to plan B. Our
second choice is whole cows milk, either from the cow or the grocery store. Nothing needs to
be done to the cows milk except warming it to suit the kids taste. Our third choice would be
Powdered Kid milk replacer, but it is not our preference do to the chance of it causing
gastrointestinal issues in some kids. Whenever switching from one choice of milk, to another, it
is best to do it slowly to avoid upsetting the goats digestive system and causing a bellyache
and/or diarrhea. Start by changing it one quarter at a time, two to three feedings at a time.
Such as changing from goats milk to cows milk, start by mixing 3/4 goats milk and 1/4 cows
milk. Feed this mixture for at least two to three feedings and then mix it 1/2 goats milk to 1/2
cows milk for two to three more feedings. Then 1/4 goats milk and 3/4 cows milk for another
two to three feedings. At this point it is safe to feed 100 cows milk.
The first 48 hours, of life, we feed pasteurized goat colostrum, as much as they will drink,
every six hours. Temperature of 102 degrees. At the end of 48 hours we go to pasteurized goats
milk, up to 14 oz. at a time, again, 102 degrees for the first week.
At the beginning of their second week we change it to every 8 hours, up to 18 oz. per feeding.
The 102-degree temperature is not as important but should not be cold.
At 4 weeks, the feedings go to 2 times a day, 20 oz. per feeding, we do not exceed the 20-oz.
maximum as it will cause them to not see the need to eat the quantity of creep feed and hay we
desire. The temperature of the milk can be quite a bit cooler, if the will drink it. It will not hurt
At 12 weeks, we go to one 20 oz. bottle per day until they reach 16 weeks and at that point
we wean them altogether. Now you must take into account that all kids are a little different and
some, a lot different, so these time frames are an average, we adjust them to each individual
kids needs and characteristics.
NIPPLES & BOTTLE:
When bottle feeding we prefer the Pritchard or Excal Topper nipple. Both these nipples are
designed to screw onto soda bottles and both have a small ball valve built into the cap that
allows air to flow back into the bottle as the milk is sucked out, thus not allowing the bottle to
be sucked flat. You can buy cheaper nipples but you and the goat will be sorry. For the bottle,
we use 20 oz. soda bottles. Check the label to be sure they are actually 20 oz. We remove the
label and cut off the little plastic ring that is right under the cap. Never heat the milk up in the
bottle using a microwave oven. If you heat the milk up while it is in the bottle use a warm water
bath. Bottles and nipples must be cleaned thoroughly before reusing, do not soak the nipples.
The Pritchard nipples can be purchased at numerous Farm and Ranch stores and on the
internet. The Excal Topper nipples I have only found on the internet. It is my opinion that the
Excal Topper nipples are of a little higher quality. The Pritchard nipple must be trimmed on the
end to open up the hole. Use a very sharp pair of scissors and be careful not to cut too much off
as it will make the hole too big. The Excal Topper has a small X cut in the end of the nipple that
more times than not does not allow the milk to flow fast enough. It too can be trimmed a little
to allow for more flow. Purchase extra nipples in case one gets damaged.
Creep feed refers to a grain based solid feed whether in a natural grain state or pelletized,
that is offered continually in a free choice feeder. All they want, all the time. We have found
that if the kids are fed this way they learn that they do not have to compete for their feed.
When the more dominate kids are through there is still plenty left for them and they are less
likely to become quick eating, over eaters.
We introduce our kids to solid creep feed at about 5 to 7 days. Our creep feed is made up of
three different types of pellets. The first is a special 16 market goat pellet we have made just
for us. You cannot purchase it so we recommend Purina Mills, (medicated) Meat Goat pellets. It
used to be called Noble Goat (medicated), and came in a different bag than the Red and white
bag the Meat Goat comes in now. The second pellet is alfalfa pellets. Make sure the alfalfa
pellet is not too large in size, some are. The third pellet is Calf Manna manufactured by Manna
Pro. Mix these three pellets together at a ratio of 3 parts Purina Meat Goat (medicated) to 1
part alfalfa pellet, to 1 part Calf Manna.
We feed this creep feed mixture until approximately 8 months of age, and at that point we
remove the Calf Manna from the mixture and continue to feed free choice until about 10 to 12
months at which time we feed them the same mixture but no longer free choice. Feed at a rate
of 1-1/2 Ibs. to 2 Ibs. per day. Tie each goat up to feed so they get their full ration and the goat
on the top of the pecking order doesn’t get the lions share. Continue to feed this way until
about two years of age, at which time their diet turns to quality hay or browse only, which
should have been part of their diet from the very beginning and continued until the end of their
The reason we prefer pellets over a whole grain mixture is the fact that goats have a
tendency to pick through a whole grain mixture and not eat some of the items in the mix,
especially any powdered ingredients such as vitamins and minerals etc. In a pellet all the
ingredients are mixed together and can not be picked out. Goats tend to not eat powder unless
they are very hungry.
HAY or FORAGE:
Dried grass or hay and forage is probably the most important item in any healthy goat’s diet
from the first few weeks of their life to the end of their life. A goat has the most diverse diet of
any creature on the planet, having a huge variety of plants that they choose to get their
nutrition from. The problem arises when we humans choose, out of necessity, to not allow
them access to all the plant life that they know will keep them healthy. They are capable of
making all the right choices for optimum health if they have access to a large enough area of
what we humans call weeds and brush. If you don’t have an area where your goats can browse
on a large assortment of vegetation then you must make all the decisions for a healthy diet for
them. Believe me, goats are better at this than we are. If they do not have a large variety of
browse to choose from then you must provide them with quality broad leaf hay, for life. Even
though they will turn down good hay for browse you need to provide it for them if the browse
is not sufficient at certain times of the year. We feed smooth brome hay and alfalfa hay. I feel
that feeding only alfalfa hay is probably not the best plan. Half and half is OK. Timothy and
orchard grass hay may be available in your area if brome is not. Feed quality hay, free choice, if
browse is not available in quantity. Check to see if there is a selenium deficiency in the soil
where your goats browse and where their hay is grown. If so you may have to add some into
their diet. Selenium is very important in their diet. A lack of it can cause their pasterns to break
down among other issues. Also you can over do seleniun, be careful. Your County Agriculture
Extension Agent can help you with your selenium questions in your area.
An extremely important item for optimum health in goats is minerals. They need loose
minerals free choice. They will eat what they need when they need it. Make it available to them
in a mineral feeder. There are a number of good loose minerals for goats. Purina Goat Minerals
and Sweet Lixs are both good, but my mineral of choice and by far the cheapest is actually a
cattle mineral that goats do very well on and like it quite well. It can only be bought at Tractor
Supply as it is the store brand, DuMor Spring Mineral. It is sold in a 50 lb. bag, which will last
quite a while if stored correctly. Copper is a very important mineral to all goats. Make sure
there is sufficent amount of copper in which ever loose mineral you choose. A mineral block
(with copper) can also be supplied in addition to the free choice “LOOSE” minerals, but not in
place of it. Copper assists in the goats ability to manage their parasite load. A copper bolus can
be administered every six months if needed. Again be careful, to much copper can be toxic.
Copper is very toxic to sheep and will kill them. Keep your goat minerals away from sheep.
Goats should also be offered free choice sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, as they will
medicate themselves as needed when they feel they need to neutralize their digestive system.
Dwite’s Favorite Extra Resources:
1. Best Goat book ever printed (I recommend the spiral version).
2. Famacha eye chart certification class (On line).
2.5 This is where to get your fecal samples checked for parasites if you don’t have a competent goat Vet.
They do a good job. Parasites is the number one health issue for goats, take it seriously, they will kill
3. Preferred wormers, Cydectin and Valbazen, Both dosed at 2cc/ml per 25 lbs. ALLWAYS given orally!
4. Coccidia treatment: Dosage….1cc/ml per 10 lbs…. given orally for 5 days in a row, no more.
5. For optimum pack goat nutrition you should feed pelleted feed used to mix creep feed. 3
parts Purina Noble Goat (Medicated), 1 part Alfalfa pellets(Small), and 1 part Calf Manna.
pellets‐40‐lb?cm_vc=‐10005 (If purchasing from Tractor Supply, I recommend this brand over the
DuMor brand) https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/manna‐pro‐calf‐manna‐50‐lb?cm_vc=‐10005
6. Loose minerals and 50 lb mineral block: Loose mineral is very important, the block is in addition to
the loose mineral, not in place of it.
lb?cm_vc=‐10005 (if your area is selenium deficient you may need the block with more selenium in it)
7. Mineral feeder, it can also be used to feed them there creep feed, screw it to the wall under a roof.
Put baking soda in one side and loose mineral in the other, free choice.
8. Hay feeder, hay should not be fed on the ground, that promotes parasite contamination. I prefer hay
feeders with a tray under them. lots of different ones available. This one is just to give you an idea.
10005 Here is a link to one that works very well for Horned packers.
9. Prefered fencing, 4″X4″ woven wire, 330′ long roll and 4″X4″ panels. Do not use 6″X6″ woven wire or
6″X6″ cattle panels, they will get their head stuck in them. NO welded wire, welds will break & fence will
10. Gates: I recommend using a wire filled gate to keep the goats head inside their pens and the
predators heads out. Make sure the gates are wide enough to get carts, tractors or what ever into the
pens or pastures.
11. Electric fence chargers: For goats you need to use a low impedance fence charger with a minimum of
6 jules output for the goat to not out smart the charger. This is the minimum one I would use. The
charger I use is more than twice the jule output as this one. I highly recommend not relying on a fence
charger to keep your goats in, they require a constant amount of maintenance to keep them functioning
as needed, They are very labor intense. I would use them in conjunction with the woven wire or panels
to keep predators out. A wire 4 inches above the woven wire or panel and a wire 4 inches outside the
fence 5 inches off the ground.
12. Watering systems: I use all of these