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Raising goats : How to take care of your baby goats?

How to take care for your baby goats
How to take care for your baby goats

To have a baby goat is something very cool , I remember when i started raising goats with just one doe , by the time i added a buck to my small farm , a few month later my does had a baby.

It’s something very cool , i was so happy to get a baby goat even i didn’t know anything about caring them, i was so excited. 

Also i was happy because i will drink the milk of goats for my first time. 

I thought just for the good things that i will have and i forgot that i don’t know anything about caring for baby goats 

What I do after birth ?

How to feed the babies ?

How to take care of the mother ?

To know the answer of those questions It’s tooks me a lot of time and researches on the internet ,sometimes i ask my neighbours or the vet .

I shared in this article all my knowledge on raising and caring of baby goats , I hope you will find the answer of all your questions here .

What should you do right after birth ?

BASIC CARE FOR KIDS

after the baby goat is born , There is 4 important things that you should do 

  • 1- Make sure that the baby is breathing

It’s very important to check that  the baby goats  are breathing and they are all  out of the birthing sacks.

If they wasn’t breathing you should do something , i never get in this situation before , but i always bring a vet when my goats in the birth of a baby .

  • 2-umbilical cord

Normally the umbilical cord can break naturally , but there is some cases when you should cut it , if it’s longer that 5 inches.

To do that you need with a surgical scissors if you have it or any sterilized pair of scissors .

Make sure that leftover umbilical cord is cleaned and covered with iodine .

  • 3-Feed the babys with the Colostrum 

Colostrum is a milk that content the antibodies that will protect the baby until it can make its own protection .

The mother can can produce the colostrum during the first 6 hours after birth , but the kids need it in the first two hours .

If your goat can produce the colostrum , you can save a frozen colostrum bank about a year . 

You need to feed the kids in this situation with the bottle .

  • 4-Leave the baby goat with the mother

It’s very important to let the baby with the mother , it will clean it and make sure that he can breath and it encourage it to start walking 

BASIC CARE FOR DOES

After the birth of the kids the does will get tired because it lost a tremendous amount of body fluid , so it will need a warm water with some supplement and a large amount of food , hay , alfalfa and grains .

deworm , you need to warm the goat a week before , thats will protect the health of the does .

Make sure that you remove the  teat plugs for the kids to get the colostrum from the mother .

Some situations when the kids need extra support 

  • when the weather is cold , kids lose enrgy rapidly they may get sick or even die.
  • First birth of the does , It’s may not have enought experience to take care of the kids .
  • If the Does is sick  or weak ,it may show show indifference to their newborns and/or may not be able to produce enough colostrum and milk.
  • Multiple births , Many times the does get more than One kid ,the doe may not be able to provide enough care and nourishment for all kids.
  • Weak newborn kids – They may not be able to stand up and suckle on their own.
  • If you have a farm in remote area or not protected from predators , newborn kids may be injured or killed.
  • Poor sanitation can be the cause of the death of your goats even the older of them, Because most microbes and infectious viruses are transmitted through water.

To avoid and protect your goats , you should take care of them well and give them help whenever they need it, try to make a clean and safe and isolated  place for them until they reach 8 month .

How to feed your baby goats ?

There is two ways to feed the baby goats , natural feeding from the mother and bottle feeding .

Now let’s talk about each one , to be able to decide if you will lets the mother feed there baby goats or you will feed them by yourself .

Natural feeding 

It’s know that natural feeding from the Does is the best choice for the kids , especially in the first weeks , because they get the colostrum which is rich in nutrients that help the child build strong immunity . 

Bottle feeding 

Why do we resort to feeding the young through the bottle?

First , we want them to be friendly with us and more attached to humans  and much less skittish. 

Also we want to benefit from the milk of the does for a long time , but we leave the kids for  a few days so they can get the nutrient-rich colostrum into its system.

If you allow the mother to feed their kids you will need to spend time with the mother and the kids  to  make sure that they are getting milk and feeding well  ,  the mother may won’t feed the kids , 

or it will not produce the necessary milk , So in this situation you must feed them with the bottle.

This will take from you about 8 month but it’s something cool , you will need to sterilize bottles and the other feeding equipment.

feeding schedules

  • Milk

First you need to know the milk that you gonna use .

If you have the mother milk that’s the best choice for you , it’s content  all of the right antibodies, nutritional profile, bacteria etc. that keeps babies the healthiest.

A milk from another doe is your second best choice , make sure that this goat don’t suffer from any diseases .

If the  two first options aren’t available , you can use a cows milk , mixed with a cup of goats milk , that boost enzymes and probiotics .

Avoid to use coconut, nut, hemp , soy or any other non dairy milks.

  • Daily milk needs 

As mentioned above, BEWARE of over-feeding. Don’t be fooled by ravenous behavior. Too much milk is dangerous for a baby goat and they WILL overeat. You may have seen before that the does dont less the kids eat a lot .

  • schedules

 This is my own schedule that i use for my goats , Weak or sick goats may need a different schedule.

All goats breeders feed the kids 10-12% Of their weight .

So first you need to weight the kids , the average weight of a new born kid is 3.2 to 3.4 kg  

3.4 kg = 3.4 litre , if we choose 10% it’s will be  0,34 litre every day 

Now let’s break it down by number of feedings each day as the weeks progress.

 Week 1 : we feed the goats 5 times a day , you need to divide the total (0,34 litre) to 5

Try to feed the kids every two hours.

Week 2 : You goats will grow up and gain weight , That’s why you will have to Re-weigh and re-calculate total daily ounces.

This time you will divide for 4 , but you will give them a second choice  of Hay 

Week 3 to 5 : Now the goats will Goats will get used to the Hay , but we will still feed them with milk 3 times a day after Re-weighting  .

Week 6 to 7 

Now the Hay will become a staple diet for goats  , you will need to feed them only two times a day after Re-weighting.

Week 8 

We stop giving milk at the end of the 8th week, but there is some goat breeders that continue bottle feeding the goats until the 12th weeks and that’s what i recommend if you are able to do it .

How to Create the and healthy environment for your baby goats ?

  In order  to have a strong and healthiest goats you need first to provide for them the best living environment.

  • Shelter 

The baby goats need a space of 10 square  feets at least , with three-walled , its must be closed to protect them , block wind, provide warmth, and keep any rain or snow off of your goats. 

  The ground should be clean from waste and poisonous plants.

make sure that the floor is covered with hay or wood shavings in order  to provide a comfortable and warm bed.

Baby goats need a draft-free, warm, and dry shelter with clean bedding. They also prefer a three-sided barn in warmer weather so they can have enough ventilation. Each goat needs roughly 10 square feet of space in the shelter. You can cover the dirt with hay or wood shavings for bedding.

  • Food

I order to get a healthiest goats , you need to feed them some different foods , You will not stop feeding them milk , but you need to give them an other choice like Grain,Hay (alfalfa),Grass (pasture feeding) ,Corn ,Oats ,Barely.  

In order to get used to .

What do you think?

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