How to Bottle Feed a Baby Goat - PART 1
Quaker Farm's 3 PART Homesteading with Dairy Goats Series
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By Quaker Anne
We know that there can be as many ways to do something as there are
people doing it. The following information about how to bottle feed a baby goat kid is based on
over 25 years of experience with dairy goats and bottle feeding baby goats successfully
at Quaker Farm.
The Bottle Feeding a Baby Goat video is first, text and other recommendations are below.
How to Bottle Feed a Baby Goat Video
Instructions for How to Bottle Feed a Baby Goat Kid
These instructions also work for bottle feeding orphan lambs and piglets too!
There are two ways of raising dairy goat (or meat goat) kids.
Newborn goat kids can be left with their dams (their mothers) and be
dam raised, or they can be bottle raised. Sometimes a goat kid is orphaned when its mother
rejects it or when the doe does not produce enough milk; or worse, the doe dies.
Fortunately, it is unusual for a healthy, content goat
to reject her kid(s). Goats love their kids and are usually excellent and devoted mothers.
Goat kids left with their mothers are sometimes not as friendly as bottle raised babies are. They just aren't handled
as often, and nothing deepens a bond like food. That
is something to consider if the kids are doelings which you might want to hand milk someday.
But, there is
another consideration to keep in mind. Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) is a virus which
affects goats. Because the virus is thought to pass from mother to baby through milk, prevention
includes separating baby goats immediately at birth and then raising them completely on pasteurized milk. It is time consuming, and
even stressful for the mother who will likely call to her baby for days. The baby goat however, will be content
either way. Baby goats imprint on and bond easily to humans and that bond lasts for life.
The issue of CAE prevention can be a hot topic of
discussion because there
are so many ways of looking at it. Some dairy goat farmers practice prevention and some do not.
Unfortunately, there is no
100% guarantee that CAE will not emerge at sometime in the future even when kids are exclusively
raised for generations on a CAE prevention program of birth separation and a pasteurized
milk feeding program. As a matter of fact, CAE tests themselves are not always 100% accurate.
While this may cause some confusion to someone who is just learning about goats, remember that it is best to do your own research and make
a decision from there.
For more information about Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis, and how CAE effects goats, read the article
here about CAE.
We have raised goats both ways. For the first 15 years or so, we practiced strict CAE
bottle fed all baby goats pasteurized colostrum and milk from the time they were newborns until they were weaned.
The immediate thing we
noticed years later was, that when we allowed some kids to be dam raised, the dam raised
kids were in fact
noticeably more growthy. Personally, we feel raw milk is superior to pasteurized milk
and we have always consumed
ourselves. Our children were weaned onto raw goats milk, and grew up drinking it.
The problem with pasteurizing milk, from our perspective, is ....