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Bottle Feed a Baby Goat



Quaker Hill Farm

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 prevention and 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 raw milk ourselves. Our children were weaned onto raw goats milk, and grew up drinking it.

The problem with pasteurizing milk, from our perspective, is ....

continued in Feeding Baby Goats - PART 2