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Goats/So many questions!!

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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
Get them some nipples at the feed store. They are yellow and red and screw on a pop bottle. Called pritchard teats. You can feed them regular whole cow milk, unless you can get goat milk. Make sure it is pasteurized. Heat milk to about 100 F. You can do a google search for the amounts; it varies by breed size. They do need to have milk until they are at least 8 weeks old, and possibly 12, if you can do it. Yes, offer hay. Do not give them grain, as they don't need it and it can lead to health problems that you want to avoid. You just have to hold the bottle in their mouth until they start drinking. I had two this year whose mom I sold and they were about that old  They both took right to the bottle. Also make sure they have clean water, and a goat mineral block or loose minerals. I highly recommend Raising Goats for Dummies, for all the details on raising them.
Let me know if you have other specific questions as they come up.

Good luck and enjoy the boys!

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Cheryl K. Smith

Expertise

Goat Health Care; basic goat management. Author of Goat Health Care (2009) and Raising Goats for Dummies (2010)

Experience

Publisher of Goat Health Care, www.goathealthcare.com. I have raised miniature dairy goats since 1998. I published Ruminations, the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Dairy Goat magazine for 7 years and mentor other goat owners, as I was mentored for my first years.

Organizations
American Goat Society (AGS), The Miniature Goat Registry (TMGR)

Publications
Raising Goats for Dummies (author) Goat Health Care (Editor and Author), Ruminations, Dairy Goat Journal, Issues in Law and Medicine, Topics in Health Records Management, Oregon Bar Bulletin, Midwifery Today, Countryside

Education/Credentials
BS, Health Information Administration JD, Law

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