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bottle raising a baby nigerian dwarf goat

topic posted Wed, May 3, 2006 - 12:15 AM by  Samantha
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The man I bought my baby from seems to be kind of an idiot. He has some good ideas, but some things just don't seem right. I have had my Bianca (the goat) for two weeks now. I got her at four days old, and am busy bottle feeding her. The breeder told me to give her whole cows milk. So that's what she's been on. Is this good? Also, he wasn't clear on how to wean her, so if you have any advice on that, it would be appreciated. The breeder also says I only need to trim her hooves every couple of years, but every web site I've read says every couple months. My biggest question is about de-horning. I have heard that any way you do it, is painful to the kid. Anything you have to tell me will be wonderful. I have read hours of stuff on the internet, but it will be so much more comforting to know that I can come and ask you guys!! P.S. at two and a half weeks old, Bianca already loves hiking, playing with her dog friends, and chasing around my three year old son. It has been a wonderful experience for our family so far!!!! Thank you, Sam
posted by:
Samantha
Salt Lake City
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  • Let's see ..goat's milk is better than cows milk (they sell it at trader joes, for example) but colestrum milk is important for the first few days, but I have bottle fed several healthy babies with goats milk the first week or two and then cows milk thereafter and they did fine. If your goats have some rocks to climb on, they will keep their hoofs trim by using them. You will only need to trim if they are stuck on soft dirt all the time. If you have limited space, make a pile of rocks or cinderblocks and they will climb and play on it and keep their hoofs trimmed in the process. As far as de-horning, why? WHY? Goats have horns and that's ok. Let them have their horns, please! Thanks
  • Oh, forgot to mention weaning. Your goat will begin eating fresh green plants automatically.
    Keep your baby near plants and his/her diet will gradually consist of more and more plants, and less and less milk. Keep a water trough stocked and it will learn to drink it also. After three months, regardless, your baby should be on a plant only diet.
    • Thank you!

      05/09
      The de-horning was brought up because everyone told me that she might go after my son or my dogs. That is why I was considering it. But if you think they'll do fine, I'd much rather Keep her horns as opposed to putting her through that. Thank you so much. I am glad that you could help me.
      • sorry I havent checked in in a month, or I would have responded to this sooner, as I have bottle raised seven kids..yeah I would defifintely not de-horn a dwarf goat..their horns arent that big and besides you are bottle raising it, so it will be friendly and loving towards people. (it will only knock the crap out of other goats) about bottle raising, my experience with nubians (much bigger goats) was that generally at about 5-7 weeks you can start to cut down from 3 bottles a day to 2, by this point you'll hear the back teeth going "crunch" on solid food, so you know they are making the transition.. of course this timing is adjustable based on each goat's development, but at around 9 weeks is when I'd cut them off of milk.. they'll cry for a day or two but they'll soon figure it out and get over it.. good luck and enjoy.. raising kids is a joy
        • yeah I forgot to mention the hooves.. a goat's hoof is designed to grow out fast, for their role in the wild as mountaineers.. most goats in captivity won't get this much wear and will need trimming.. for big goats I use the big choppers they sell at the feed store for $18 or so.. any good goat book will explain how to do it..only go down to the pad and you'll never draw blood.. just take off the grown-out part like a fingernail.. keep em even and nice and you'll save yourself problems.. (I recently had to fix some BAD neglected hooves, where I had to take off almost 2 inches of overgrowth to get to the pad.. once it was done, that goat was really happy with her "new shoes") what I did with the kids is at about 5 or 6 weeks I'd do it with some small clippers, like the side-angle toenail clippers, and introduce them to the idea by taking of the tiny bit that's grown out at that point.. sweet-talk them, be gentle, try to imprint a non-traumatic memory, and this will make it a lot easier to trim their hooves later on.. this is the same way I taught them to wear a backpack.. when they do something as a kid, they remember it for the rest of their lives and they're ok with it.. Geraldo (the goat I'm holding in the little picture) weighs almost as much as I do now, and he will just stand there and let me do it one hoof at a time, like the horse farrier, because I taught him as a kid not to fear it.. seriously, anything you want them to do as an adult, teach it to em as a kid... this is especially important to do with the "leash/lead rope".....
          • Unsu...
             
            I just wanted to add, my first goat our house was a 5 month old pygmy with horns. The first time he tried to "show" his horns to our black lab he got his face torn up. I actually had to have the vet stitch his nose back on. All my goats have horns but I am not without stories... a three week old with teeny tiny horns was attacked by a dog after trying to head butt the dog. It was sooooo sad. Just be carefull. I will not take horns off, I just try to keep my goaties safe.
            • It seems to me the problem is with the dogs, not with your goat having horns. Dogs and goats are not compatible at all. Dogs are natural killers and goats are natural prey for them. Goats tend to butt and assert themselves around any animals they live with, it's how they establish pecking order and social order. De-horning a goat, in my opinion, will not prevent a dog from ripping it's face off, or killing it. I have lost more goats to dogs than to any other predator. Even a well mannered dog will kill a goat. The way it works is a natural sequence. First the one animal approaches the other, then one gets scared (usually the goat) and it starts to run away. The dog will instinctively chase, it can't help doing that. Once the dog is chasing, it's hunting and killing instincts are activated. It will start to nip and bite, and once it bites, it will kill. It's just nature. Sheep herding dogs have been bred for herding traits, and trained since birth, and even THEY kill from time to time.
              • this year I had the good fortune to witness a 160 lb. Nubian Doe (she was 4 months pregnant and couldn't run away) give a 9-month old Pit-Bull a 2-day concussion.. *CRACK!* one good lick and it was over.. that dog never messed with goats again, either.. this is one of the reasons I like BIG goats, they can kick a dog's ass.. but that's the trick, getting them to "figure out" that they can defend themselves, as instinct tells them to RUN! (as we know) I have yet to see if she will remember it and use it.. or just run..

                I say make sure your dog gets it's ass kicked by a goat as a puppy and you'll never have that problem.. same goes for chickens, make sure puppy gets pecked by a big mean hen and it will grow up to NOT chase/kill chickens..

                so anyway, how are you doing with the bottle raising? weaning them yet?
              • Unsu...
                 
                David, Thanks for that explanation. That explains why our Great Pyrenees attacked and mauled our wether. I had to shoot the dog to get him off the goat, but don't worry, the dog and goat both recovered, though the goat could not walk for a week.

                On the issue of dehorning, yes it hurts the goat. They will scream like crazy for the five seconds it takes to do it and those will be a long five seconds. But they recover. I think the only point to doing it is if they are going to be dairy goats, or if you are in an area where they could get their head stuck between something and not be able to get out.

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