for people who love the littlest dairy goats
There are a lot of people that say real milk is better than Save A Kid, (because it's real) and I'm pretty sure I've read you can use cow's milk. Not 100% sure though... so wait until you hear from someone here that really knows. lol
I haven't had to bottle feed any kids yet as we've either purchased weaned kids or dam raised (other than one bottle to a chilled baby, and I just used his dam's milk), but other breeders that I've read (particularly on the Yahoo NDG group) seem to prefer cow's milk to animal formula if goat milk isn't available. And the general amount to feed can be found here:
It's frustrating that the person who sold you the goat didn't tell you how much to feed and how often. You're lucky the little guy stopped drinking at six ounces, because most will drink more than they need and wind up with diarrhea, which can kill them from dehydration. The amounts on the site Marin linked are good.
Cow's milk vs milk replacer is highly controversial, and you will find people on both sides that say they've had kids die on each one. In reality, you just have to try one, and if the kid gets diarrhea, switch to the other one.
Two other things that are important when bottle feeding are feeding at about 100 degrees and making sure the kid's head is up as it would be if nursing from mom. The position of the head is what makes the milk go to the correct stomach, so if the head is down (as it is for eating) the milk can go to the wrong stomach and cause diarrhea.
I made it through my first night with the baby and two month old. They were sleeping together in the corner. The baby was a little cold. I fed the little guy three times today and he took about 3 - 4 ounces each feeding. He even picked up a few strands of hay and nibbled a bit. My son and myself spent the day introducing the newbies and watched them run around in the sun. The baby goat chased my son around and when my son hid behind a rock, the baby started to cry. Thanks for all your answers and input. Where I bought the goats they had told me to feed only twice a day, but after researching online it did not seem enough. There are so many ways that people do things. I always question because I do not have the experience. People who have alot of experience seem to do what works best for them. Thanks.
I just brought home 9 day old triplet bottle babies last month and it has been the most awesome experience ever! But I would absolutely not advise anyone to get 3 bottle babies to START of with goats, lol. It has been a tremendously rewarding experience, but when it comes down to it, you have to do what works for YOUR goats. Mine are ND, so they are fairly small. I was feeding about 8 ounces 4 times a day and they were eating it all up, no scours, nothing... now they are over a month old and I am feeding a full 12 ounce bottle 3 times a day. They are also eating some grain and lots of hay. They are little piggies :-)
I have just recently gotten into the NDG from larger goats. I bottle raise all my goats and have used the cows milk/buttermilk/yogurt mix for years. What I had to learn was these little fellers dont eat much in comparison. I am just retired so I have the time to feed 4 times a day. I vary the amounts a bit with a slightly heavier feading in the evening. My doe weaned off at at about 28-32oz a day and the buck around 36-40. When I got the doe at 2 weeks I was instructed to feed around 4oz/ feeding and increase from there. Wow, the larger goats were soon on 12oz a feeding ending at 24, 3 times a day. These goats are easy to wean beginng around 6 weeks and were on pasture and a small bit of feed by 8. Heres a pic of the NGDs along with Jack the pygmy, a more prolific eater.
Just so new people don't misunderstand your post, Ben, I want to add that kids really should be eating hay and grain well before they are a month old. Dam raised kids are eating solids with a week of birth, but sometimes it's hard to get bottle babies to eat solids because they don't have a role model. Still, you would not want to wait until 6 weeks to get them to eat hay and such because it would really slow down their growth. Milk and solid foods are not an either/or kind of thing. Kids need both until at least 8 weeks of age, preferably longer.
Yes I agree. I was mainly commenting on the amount of milk they consumed, not the entire diet. These goats begin eating solids somewhat earlier than my past larger goats which I generally began to wean closer to the 8wk. point. These two had really no interest in the bottle by wk. 8 and were totally on pasture and a little evening feed soon after. I really enjoyed getting to know this breed raising these 2. They really are affectionate and attatch themselves more soildly the owner than the other breeds I have raised and the milk savings alone will buy another doe!
That's actually pretty amazing that they lost interest in the bottle. I've never had a kid do that! In fact, I have a couple of does that are 6-8 years old that still try to grab a bottle if they see it!
If you're impressed at how little they eat as kids, you'll love it once you're milking them. When I compare what my la manchas eat and produce (especially in terms of butterfat) compared to my NDs, the NDs win big time!