Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Does anyone have any advice on weaning a dam raised kid?  She is 7 weeks old and I was not sure if it was a few day process or just cold turkey! 

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Comment by Adrienne on April 1, 2011 at 8:01pm
Ok, now I have a question about weaning! Got my little boys their own pen and stuck it across the yard from Mom.  Today was their first full day separated and Isabel seems greatful, while the boys hollered periodically. Oviedo got out this morning after I milked, but I fixed his wagon! muahahaha! LOL! I know for  a couple days she will try to hold back for them, but do they all usually get used to the idea pretty quickly? I think they woke the neighbors this morning, and Santiago sounds horse. I have had a couple inquiries for them as pets, but as usual, nobody really wants bucks. It's too darn bad I got laid off  and have to consider the option more seriously. I would really hate to see Santiago's potential be wasted entirely.
Comment by Deborah Niemann-Boehle on March 28, 2011 at 10:27am
The moms wean the kids at some point. I've had a few who refuse to let a remaining twin nurse after the other one gets sold, but that's pretty unusual. More often, what happens is that the mom won't let the kid nurse any longer when she's 2-3 months into her next pregnancy. If you want more milk for cheesemaking or whatever, you can keep them separate for a couple days, and the kid will go right back to nursing when you put them together again. I don't usually keep them apart for more than two or three days though, because the dam's supply starts to go down.
Comment by Amber Patterson on March 28, 2011 at 6:36am

I do keep them apart at night and love the amount of milk I get in the morning.  And then the mom lets the doeling eat all day so at night there is very little milk.  So when you say you never wean doe kids, will they wean themselves?? Or will they continue to nurse forever?  Since this is our first time doing the it dam raised I am just wanting to make sure I don't have her still eating from mom when she is 1 year old. 

But on another side note... all the questions I had earlier about dam raising kids you answered perfectly for me.  The kid is not shy like her mom, in fact she is the sweetest thing but not annoying.  We bought a bottle fed baby that I am ready to sell because of the screaming she does for a bottle everytime she sees me, and always up under me when I am trying to do anything in the barn.  Even my adult bottle babies are annoying now after I see how great a dam raised kid is.  Thanks so much for walking me through this process, I will always let mom do the job from now on!

Comment by Deborah Niemann-Boehle on March 27, 2011 at 10:45pm

Everyone does things differently. I personally never wean doe kids unless they do something obnoxious like bite mom's teat and make it bleed. Then they get a cold turkey ticket to the weaning pen, but that's only happened twice in nine years, and the doelings were like six months old. I like to leave them on mom because they grow so much better and they have better parasite resistance and less chance of coccidia. They're just really healthy.

Another reason that we leave doe kids on moms is because it makes life easier for us. We are usually milking 12-15, and if we have some kids on mom, we don't have to milk them unless we want the milk. When we want to make a lot of cheese, we separate everyone overnight. If we don't have time to make cheese, we only milk the goats whose kids have been sold. Like Adrienne said, once you take the kid away, you have to milk twice a day every day.

Comment by Adrienne on March 27, 2011 at 10:23pm
It could be done either way I suppose. My bucklings are getting to be about 8 weeks and they are just going cold turkey. However since yours is a doeling and there isn't and accidental breeding concern there it would probably be best to extend the amount of time they are apart,  slowly. You could start with 4 hours and increase it by one hour each night until they are separated a full 24 hours. You can probably keep them fully apart at that point but if you wanted you could allow them to be together for a day and apart for a day and so on, but that sounds like a lot of hassle. Be sure you are milking mom twice a day during this weening if you want milk because otherwise her supply will dwindle.

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