What a New Goat Owner Should Know about Baby Goats
What a new goat owner should know about baby goats. Thinking about getting goats for meat or for delicious milk, or maybe for pets and pack partners. Besides the cute jumping and the bleating, they are the cutest critters. You have come to the right place, here at Packgoats.com, our mission is to give you the resources, tools, and confidence to raising your own goats to be happy and healthy.
Firstly, know goat terminology. A kid is a baby goat. A doe is a mature female goat. A buck is a mature male goat. A wether is a fixed or castrated male goat. Secondly, the health of your goat is the most important to survival and less stress for you both. In addition, preparing yourself with the right steps, set-ups, and tools to be successful. Knowing how is just as important, with the help of our courses you will have access to everything you need to know all in one place. Which course will work for you? Check out our Goat Course Bundles!
You Should Know as a New Goat Owner Benefits of Dam Raised vs Bottle Fed
Ask yourself what is best for your goats? As a result, determining what your goals are for your farm. Raising for meat, milking, or for packing is going to determine your relationship and how you bond with your goats. Dam raised will be fine for meat goats as they are independent and aloof. Certainly, the health benefits will give them the nutrients to grow as well with the help of its immunity for their purpose of meat production. However, bottle-fed babies, there is a special bond between you and your goat, you become part of the herd. It is very important to get the first few days of the does milk also known as the colostrum to get the immunity and nutrients it needs to be healthy. This youtube video shares why it’s important!
How To Bottle-Feed Your Baby Goats as a New Goat Owner
As a new goat owner, you should know how the goat digestive system works, check out this article on the Goat Digestive System. A healthy diet is so crucial to the health and well-being of goats. Also, a good diet can prevent a lot of sicknesses such as urinary calculi, bloat, floppy kid syndrome, etc. We recommend no milk replacer just whole cow’s milk. It is imperative that you do not overfeed your goat because they are very susceptible to digestive sicknesses. Overfeeding can kill baby goats. This video, Marc Warnke, “The Goat Guy,” teaches you how to bottle feed a baby goat.
Feeding Timeline and Schedule
- At WEEK 1: Bottle feed 6-10 fluid ounces of milk 4 times a day. (at this age many kids like 10 oz a day, feed till full and don’t encourage to overfeed). (morning, afternoon, evening, middle of the night, set your alarm)
- Then at WEEK 2-4: Bottle feed 16 fluid ounces of milk 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, and evening)
- Finally WEEK 4-12: Bottle feed 16 fluid ounces of milk 2 times a day (morning and night)
As a New Goat Owner, Know What Supplies are Needed For Bottle-Feeding
- Mother’s Milk – Milking a doe gives the best nutrition a goat can get. It’s important to be sure the doe is clean (free of CAE, CL, Chlamydia, and Johne’s Disease) as these diseases can be or are suspected of being passed through milk. When in doubt, pasteurize.
- Whole Cows Milk – Whole cow’s milk is the easiest and best substitute to get your hands on. Be sure to warm bottles in warm water but do not get them hot.
- Baby Goat Bottle Nipples- Great for a bucket or on a soda pop bottle. You can purchase them here!
- Plastic Water Bottle or Soda Pop Bottle
Baby Goats Need Water
Baby goats need water. Use a small bucket, not too big they can drown. However, a 2-gallon bucket is a great size. A tank heater to keep water warm. The babies may poop in it, they can get really sick if they drink it. So keep it clean and fresh.
Introducing Hay To Baby Goats as a New Goat Owner
At around 2 weeks of age begin offering free choice 50/50 (alfalfa/grass) mix hay, pellet feed, and mineral. Their rumen isn’t yet fully developed but they will begin feeding instinctively when they’re ready. Free choice means the goat has unlimited access to hay, grain, and mineral. They won’t overeat, because they will self-regulate how much they consume. As a result, this eliminates bloat, which is a common cause of death in baby goats. Free choice is offered to goats up to a year old to ensure the best growth of your goat. It also aids in the process of growing strong healthy goats. Therefore, after 1 year, cut grains from wethered males’ diets as most grains can raise chances they can develop urinary calculi (UC) if given incorrectly.
Know What Feed To Give Baby Goats as a New Goat Owner
- Free Choice 50/50 alfalfa/grass mix hay. (more hay in colder temperatures to keep their bodies warm)
- Free Choice Pellet Grain Feed (recommend from Tractor Supply Goat Grower) (Only give to wethers for 1 year)
- Free Choice Loose Minerals (area-specific, check your local vet or dairies to get the best minerals. Minerals help with drinking lots of water.)
Supplies Needed For a New Goat Owner
Make sure you have all the supplies you need as a new goat owner. Learn what a new goat owner needs to know about baby goats. At packgoats.com we have the resources and tools to help you succeed and feel confident to grow your goats healthy and happy. Therefore, by being prepared and ready with a course to help you along the way. Yes, a vet is important when needed, but not for every little thing. For example, a course will guide you through the steps and make it less stressful knowing how to care for your goats as a new goat owner. Check out Packgoats.com for all your goat needs.
- A Goat Course to guide you through that first year of raising baby goats. How to Raise A Baby Goat Course is a great one to start out with.
- Baby Goat Kit. Find your baby goat kit here. Includes small collar, goat tether, bottle nipple, Albendazole dewormer, and ToltrazUril Coccidia Preventative. Check out our new baby goat kit article. Be prepared with the essentials of owning your new baby goats.