Bottle Babies are super cute, but they are also alot of work. Please make sure you have done your research and are ready to commit to becoming a parent to a baby goat. They rely on you for everything. You need to keep them fed, warm, healthy and happy.
We have put a lot of work into your little kid. And wish for a long and happy lifetime together. Unfortunatly, many times we have had to help rehome our kids, after thier new families come to realise that they can no longer care for them for various reasons (never the goats fault)
We tend to leave the kids with mum, at least a couple of weeks before we begin to bottle feed them. Then, we start feeding them a night time bottle while still with mum. We just feed the kids when mum is having her dinner. Then we add morning bottles and soon enough, those kids love us and run over to us as soon as they see us, (or even hear the gate).
0-4 weeks (only if we have to take kids away from mum)
We feed 250-300ml bottles 4 times a day.
Our routine is morning bottle around 6am, then 4-5 hours after each bottle.
(No feeding of a night time).
4 -6 weeks -350 ml bottle- 3 times a day.
6-8 weeks - 350ml bottle- 2 times a day
8-12 weeks - 350 ml bottle 1 feed a day. We normally do this in the afternoon as they tend to sleep better on a full stomach. And we have more time for cuddles after work. But as long as it’s the same time every day. They will be happy.
We use a full cream milk powder from Coles or woolworths. Whichever you do use, keep with the same brand. Or transition over time to your new milk replacer.
We use the ratio 250ml water to ⅓ cup of milk powder.
Always check the temperature of the milk on your wrist as you would a human baby bottle. It will feel a comfortable temperature on your wrist. Lukewarm is best, around 37 degrees.
Solid Feeding: When your kids start nibbling on things, you should supply them with 2 parts - Chaff and 1 part- Steamed flaked barley with molasses. I also like to hang a very small bag of soft hay that they like to nibble on during the day. This will get their rumens developing nicely.
The Do’s and Don’ts
Kids on bottles will try to tell you that they want more! More! More!
Do NOT give them more than 350ml per bottle. No matter what! This can lead to bloat, scours and even death. If they are still hungry they can have roughage, hay, a branch or grass.
DO keep the bottle upright, Do not allow the kids to suck air from the bottle. This can cause them a lot of pain. As soon as the bottle is empty, pull the bottle away from them.
DO NOT change milk powders, this can lead to scours, and a very sick goat. IF you really do need/want to change over, please do so very gradually and keep an eye out for any adverse reactions
DO Keep fresh clean drinking water available at all times. We keep many containers of water around, just in case one gets knocked over, or soiled, the goats have other options.
DO- Always feed your goats in a container, and never off the floor/ dirt. This can lead to Coccidiosis. Which can cause ill thrift, severe diarrhoea and sometimes death.
DO- Always keep their sleeping area clean and dry.