Question I have a ton of questions and could use any guidance available! Today I took in 2 twin goat bucklings that are 4 weeks old and a 1 1/2 yr old wether. Their owner was forced to move and couldn't take them with him. Although I tried to encourage him to give me the doe as well, it was not possible. He informed me that the kids were drinking water and nibbling at grass/hay etc. He said they should be fine without bottle feedings of any sort. Through my own research, I have found that it is not advisable to wean goats at such a young age and need to know how to go about starting them on bottle feelings. They are all Tennesee Meat Goats or fainting goats. Do I also offer feed or hay? They do seem to be munching on the grass and drinking water. We are goat newbies and I would appreciate any and all advice regarding feeding, weaning, general,care etc!
Answer Hello. Yes, 4 weeks is too early to wean. Would start them on milk replacer - use of a multispecies type is best - if you can get them, Pritchard teats are best (yellow band with red nipple) and these fit on most soda or water bottles. Otherwise you can try human baby bottles/nipples. I advise against the black lamb nipples. They can certainly have hay and water, but do need milk for correct growth. Would also start them on calf manna by 6 weeks of age - kid goats start on 1/8 cup each twice a day and then can be increased by 6 to 8 weeks of age to about 1/4 cup twice a day. This provides lots of vitamins and minerals and high protein they need. It may take several tries to get them to take the bottle but it will be worth it. At 4 weeks of age they should be getting 6 ounces of milk 3 to 4 times a day, and this is looking at them being on the small side breed. Hope this helps. I would be happy to answer more questions for you anytime, including worming, CDT vaccination needs, and more. Just let me know. Donna
All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.
27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.
Organizations NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.
Publications Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.
Education/Credentials 4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.
Awards and Honors Small Farm Award of Thurston County