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Old 02-13-2012, 04:51 AM   #1
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Default Milkfeeding

I know a lot of people here feed their kids free-choice, but I was wondering how much on average, based on age, those kids are consuming per day?



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Old 02-13-2012, 05:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Milkfeeding

13 kids.... month old...... 6-7 gal ..... will drink 2 more if I stay up late and forget they have already had all their milk, they have been nibbling at hay and grain since day 3 and now will mow through a flake and a scoop of grain twice a day..... well make bedding with it. Weighed them yesterday and they have gained an avg of 15lbs since birth and are the tallest kids I have ever had at this age. First year of feeding warm milk this long, we normally feed cold after the first week. They get a full bucket in the morning (4 gal bucket) and then we top it off 2 more times during the day with warm milk, at the end of the night the dogs get the left overs.... drips.



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Old 02-13-2012, 06:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Milkfeeding

Maybe 8 ounces 4 times a day by 2 days old, moving quickly to 12 ounces over the next few days, to 22 ounces by the time they are a week old. High multiples eat less, twins or triplets out of older does eat more. Mine get all they want. If I had to limit milk I would offer 20 ounce bottle 3 times a day until they are eating grain and hay, then move to 2, wean at 12 weeks cold turkey as long as they have hit their MINIMUM 38 pounds and are eating, not nibbling, nothing gets weaned that is not making those minimum weights. Vicki

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Old 02-13-2012, 07:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Milkfeeding

I can only talk milk replacers, but my nutitionalist says that kids on a free choice system fed cold milk and weaned at 8 weeks will consume on average 18kg milk replacer.
With a ratio of 1 kg milk replacer to 8 litres water, 8 L x 18= 144 L of liquids consumed in 8 weeks.

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Old 02-13-2012, 07:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Milkfeeding

I would presume from this that if kids were fed cold whole milk free choice for 8 weeks the volume of milk consumed would be the same, as the volume of milk replacer.

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Old 02-13-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Milkfeeding

If I am going to put that much work into raising kids at a dairy, than I would continue milk until at least 12 weeks, so those kids can be big robust milkers at 12 months. I have never liked what early weaned kids looked like, they were always behind kids weaned at 12 weeks, let alone self weaned kids.

Quentin how much then is your cost just in replacer for the 8 weeks? Here in saleable goat milk that would be $360 just in milk to 8 weeks (with your liter equaling a quart of milk here), not counting hay or grain or minerals or cleaning the stall, shavings, worming, meds, vaccinations....why I am saying if you really put pad to paper in the states, it's cheaper to buy yearling replacement milkers for $500, and if you get out of our area of the state and purchase elsewhere you can pick up good milkers for about half that.

I know this is moot with you since you are improving your stock you have....I also preferred my own replacements, CAE negative and from my best milking moms from colostrum from our place so immunity from my place...plus I am such an impatient owner, you mind or your gone And I wanted my crossbreds, they simply milked better in our heat. Vicki

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Old 02-13-2012, 10:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Milkfeeding

Once mine are a few weeks old and I have to limit-feed, they get 1/2 gallon per day on average (and they get more if I have it). Once they are about 8 weeks old they can easily consume a gallon per day.

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Old 02-14-2012, 07:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: Milkfeeding

Vicki my cost of milk replacer is $ 0.34 per 1 litre. I posted the quantities for free choice as that was what was asked. I feed using a controlled system ( bottles ) and each kid on that system will drink 48 litre milk replacer in the 8 weeks according to the manufactures instructions, so that will cost me $ 16.32 per kid.

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Owners of the motley crew; 4 Anglo Nubian does 1 Anglo Nubian buck, 1 Bulgarian White Dairy buck ( basically a Saanen ) 1, 75% BWD buck, 8 cross bred BWD/local breed does and 5 local breed does.

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Old 02-14-2012, 08:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: Milkfeeding

I am still going out there with my pop-bottles 3-4x/day and then switching 'em over to a lambar later than I should, feeding them 3 times a day with that lambar. They get about 24-30 oz/kid/feeding when they are over a month old, so basically free choice (over 1/2 gal/day), but I feed it and take it away. I need to grow up, because with the size of herd I hope to have next year this will be way too time consuming, so I want to go free choice with a lambar (or those coolers) sitting there all day for them to drink out of. I think I'll try that small scale with the 8 kids I have here now, I just worry with milk sitting out there all day, so I guess I'd rather go with milk replacer.... I'm a control freak and want to know who drank how much, so that's why I am reluctant to go with the free choice system...

For those of you who feed free choice. What size kid-groups do you have and what age range within a group? I always try to group 4-8 of a close age and usually do not add kids to that group that are born more than a week later than the oldes kids in that group. I do combine groups into one large 'teenager' group once they're weaned.

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Old 02-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Milkfeeding

Minis I limit to 40 oz per day when bottle feeding. They grow at the same rate as their dam raised counter parts. I was doing some figuring on feed costs, and realized since we do not need all the milk, we are better off allowing our retained doelings to keep on nursing than buying our protein in a bag.



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