Friday, January 27, 2012

Goat Care (Part 2)

Feeding the Babies!!
Some of the current Bottle Babies I am feeding right now...

 So there are Several ways to feed the babies.... 
 1. Leave babies on mom and HOPE they leave you some milk eventually.... This one doesn't work to well for me.. 

2. Leave babies on mom like in #1 But at about 2-4 weeks start separating at night and milk mom off in the morning. Then letting kid nurse all day.. This is the way I have done it up till recently..

 Pros-You dont have t o fix bottles ever... 

Cons- You have to try and keep babies and mom separate... Yeah right.. I have tried just about everything. If I am not out there when they demand I have mommas that would ease up to the fence and let their kids nurse through the fence.
 I have babies who learned how to squeeze through ANY... And I mean ANY hole... Or jump a panel...  It has to be like Fort Knox to keep them in.. They continue to do this till they are 5-6 months old.. And weighing around 75-100lbs. They can suck a Bunch of milk at once.. Then they have scours and you have NO milk!
 There is also the hassle of putting up babies every night... I mean EVERY night.. Because if they get more milk than normal they are likely to get the scours.. I mean they can take a little less milk but not usually more. 

Then there is #3.. What I have been doing the last 2 years... I take the babies with in 3 days of birth.. I have found taking them at birth is the least stressful on mom.. If they are allowed to bond to much they really set up a ruckus and I don't have room for it here!
 We like to be able to sell babies as soon as possible and keep the milk for us to drink, make cheese and other things.. 
 The basic order of things is this..
 Babies are born and allowed to nurse colostrum most of the time.
Then we take them to the house. Dry them well and milk out mom.. 
Momma Goat gets a little pampering like a special treat of Warm oatmeal with Molasses, raisins and maybe some herb I think they need in it.. They also get Warm Molasses water usually with Red Raspberry tea in it. Lots of fresh hay and some quiet time.. 
 Babies in the house get around 4 oz of colostrum at a time. For the first day its every few hours. Till they start eating well. Which is usually right away.. Then by day 3 we get a schedule going.. 4 times a day.. Usually 7am,10am,3pm and 10pm up to about 8 oz at a time.. Then by day 5 we up the bottles to 12 oz and cut out the 10 am feeding. Feeding 3 times a day till about 3 weeks old then we up the amounts on the bottles between 16-20oz and 2 feedings a day. 
 From day 2-3 on I keep hay available to the babies. They are usually nibbling on it by then. Then about 10-14 days old they are eating on it regularly.
 I bottle feed till they are about 12 weeks old. At 8 weeks I drop it to a single 16 ounce bottle a day. By then they are eating hay and a little grain. I give a small handful per baby usually around a few weeks old they get interested in grain. 
 I disbud before they are 2 weeks old. any older than that its usually going to be a toss up if it will work or if it will be to late. Some they are okay to go ahead and disbud but as a rule I get it done by 2 weeks old.
 Now I do not practice Cocci prevention conventionally . I do not add any type of corid or other things to their bottles or feed. My cocci prevention consist of a 1/4-1/2 tsp of cinnamon in the bottle from 1 week old till they quit taking a bottle. I have been very amazed at how well it works against Cocci.. I got rid of it in 3 days when some of my last year babies got it. I did a whole blog post on Cinnamon.
  If I have a kid acting depressed or not real perky I give 1/4 of a teaspoon of Cayenne pepper in enough water to drench and it has perked up kids over night. stay with in 40,000 heat units. Any higher cute back on the amount because it will be hot!
 At about 2 weeks I start adding Oatmeal baby cereal to their bottles. About 2 tsp working up to 1 Tbsp in their bottle. It helps satisfy them. I get it from a discount grocery store for Cheap and stock up on it. As long as they are getting the cinnamon they don't have any problems with it causing the scours when first started on it.
 I keep babies in a draft free place. Usually the back of the barn in the recently vacated kidding stalls. Before they get to crazy in the house and after mom quits hollering for them they can go to the barn. I have a basement they stay in most of the time they are in the house.
 I have noticed a big difference in kids born at different times of the year.. Jan-Feb kids usually dont have to be wormed till 5-6 months old.. March -May Kids at about 4 months old. My August babies this year had to be wormed at Two Months!! I don't like giving babies harsh conventional meds to soon so that way their bodies have time to work on natural defenses.
 I do give BoSe as needed since we do live in a Selenium Deficient area. I had severely folded legs a few years ago along with difficult births. That has pared down a lot since I have started supplementing more.
 If you bottle feed like this then you don't have to separate mom and baby when baby is 100lbs and think he still needs to nurse mom. Much easier on my back and gates!
 Its a little hectic for about a month then after that it calms down into a good routine.. But if we are not keeping any babies that year as soon as they are disbudded they are listed and sold usually with in a week or 2 the ones I sell are gone.
 I raise the wethers for meat. I wether all boys not sold as buck between 10-12 weeks old by banding. It works very well for me and never had any complications.
  Some wethers are sold to individuals and I raise them to a certain age. I like to keep 3 for us to have for meat. I will have them processed around 9 months-1 year old depending on their sizes and how much trouble they get into too..
 Just for clarity Different things work for different people. There is no One Right way to raise baby goats.Its what works for you, your goats and your property..

Proverbs 27:23-27 - "Be you diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to your herds.  For riches are not for ever: and does the crown endure to every generation?  The hay appears, and the tender grass shows itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.  The lambs are for your clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.  And you shall have goats' milk enough for your food, for the food of your household, and for the maintenance for your maidens." 


WeldrBrat said...

I hope you never lose this blog or give it up! You're a walking encyclopedia that's appreciated more than I can even describe! You'd make a GREAT " on the ground " instructor!

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that but now we don't have to worry about that though!



OurCrazyFarm said...

Such cute babies, Tonia! We choose to separate our babies at night, and milk once a day . . . yes, Fort Knox is right!! You are a walking goat encylopedia! What a great post!

Brenda said...

Tonia is a great instructor an full of great information. I am blessed to call her friend!