Bottle Feeding Baby Goats: Tips & Tricks

Bottle Feeding Baby Goats: tips & tricks

Bottle feeding pretty much any animal is a lot of fun! It’s rewarding, enjoyable, and there is just something really special about a baby animal looking to you for food. (it gets a whole lot less cool when they’re big enough to knock you over with their enthusiasm… )

Goat-bottle babies are no different. It’s a good way to get friendly goats (though dam-raised kids can be friendly too). Plus it’s a ton of fun.

But, are they finicky and troublesome?

Bottle feeding baby goats: tips & tricks

I personally have had very little trouble with bottle babies. My routine is as follows.

I like to switch kids over to a bottle at about 2 weeks if I have the choice. Bucklings seem to have very little preference to where their milk comes from…as long as they get it. Doelings are trickier and take longer to switch over. The easiest way, is, of course, to promptly put a kid on the bottle. But I like to avoid the first two-week stretch where they need feeding at night. If I have to, for the kid’s best interests, I will start bottle feeding right away.

Because I feed raw goat milk, I let kids drink as much as they want off a bottle. They start off with drinking about 250ml each feeding and work up to 750ml-1L per feeding. (final amount depends on the breed). Now, do not do this if you’re feeding a replacer. I personally have not had any issues with kids getting sick/diarrhea from drinking as much as they want, but I think this is from them being on their moms for the first two weeks and having moms kick them off after a short time-sucking. I do not recommend going this route if you are new to bottle babies and/or if the kid has not been with your mom.

The number of feeding – I start every 4 hours. The last feeding is at 10 pm and the first one at around 7:30 am. As they get older I go down to 3 feedings at about a month old – again, free choice milk – and then to 2, and finally to 1. Then wean. Bottle babies, I offer Masterfeeds 18% protein pellet for them to nibble on as well as plenty of hay and water.

This is the way I do bottle babies and have no trouble. I know there are lots of opinions on how to do bottle babies so pick what works for you and your babies. Some kids simply can’t handle a lot of milk. Also, not many people offer free choice milk to babies.

I have done replacer years and years ago and definitely prefer whole milk. But again, I have that option and not everyone has access to raw goat milk.

Tips from the pros

It’s always good to have second, third, (or fourth) opinions.

The Thrifty Homesteader has a great post on bottle babies. She has percentages, weights, and more on that post.

This post also has a basic chart for bottle baby feedings, weights, and amounts.

Blue Cactus Dairy Goats does bottle babies this way. And if you love Nigerians, you’ll love Crystal’s channel.

If you are new to goats, Fiasco Farm is a goldmine of information! Check out The Goat Spot forum as well.

Getting a bottle baby from me?

First off: I prefer to do dam-raised kids. This year is definitely an oddity with me offering so many bottle babies. As I’m sure most of you know, it’s because we’re moving and I want to offer you the opportunity to get a kid from me before I leave.

Second, kids will be solidly on the bottle before I let them leave. They will come with goat milk so you can adjust them to whatever you are going to feed them.

Third, bottle babies are a risk on both ends. But I am giving them the best start possible. (also check out the sales policy)

Fourth, do not have them in the house and then pop them outside. That will be a shock to their immune systems and you’ll run into issues. These kids will have been born outside in my goat barn, and are adjusted to outside temperatures. If they seem cold, offer a spot with a heat lamp. They’ll lay under it if they need it.

And finally, enjoy them! But also don’t let them get away with murder 😉


Feel free to send me an email!

Megan 🙂

Bottle Feeding Baby Goats: Tips & Tricks

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