for people who love the littlest dairy goats
I dam raise our babies and love it. But I came across this site and noticed what these people had to say about bottle raising. The last part is what really opened my eyes. Does anyone see any truth in this, I love to hear what others think about this.
When dams are allowed to raise their kids, the kids must be weaned at some point. This is very stressful to both mom and baby. Our goats are monitored, via barn cameras, 24 hours a day. Due dates are always known. When a doe is in labor, at least one member of the family is always present with others standing by. As the kids are born, I catch them, clear their noses and mouths so they can take their first breaths, then they are wrapped in a towel and handed off to the family member responsible for the babies) while I stay in the stall with mom waiting for more kids or just letting her bond to me as she would bond to her kid soon after birth. The doe never sees her kid, she only sees me. They bond quite strongly to just about anything that they are around right after labor. Our does never go through the stress of losing their kids at weaning time either, as they are bonded to us instead of their kids. This makes milking time, even for first time moms, much smoother, since they see me as their baby.
The kids, subsequently, bond to my daughter and people in general. We never have to stress our kids by having to remove them from their dams because they never knew their dams as their dams. They are bonded to people. This method also makes the kids very easy to handle/train since they are very friendly and people oriented. This also makes their eventual transition into the milking herd much smoother.
Another reason for this method of raising our kids is that baby goats do not have clean mouths. They put everything in their mouth, just as human children do. That is one of the many reasons they are called "kids." They chew on everything from walls and floors to dirt, and yes, even POOP. Then they go back to mom’s udder multiple times during the day and night. I cannot risk this type of contamination. The cleanliness and wholesomeness of my milk is paramount. This requires clean, disease free udders on my milking does. From the possible bacterial contamination, to the bruising caused by kids as they grow and get more rough with their dams, quality control dictates that they remain separated