With all the talk about the types of lambar feeding I am wondering what different people do as far as a feeding schedule for their kids? Last year I started with 6 week olds who were on the 2 times a day feeding, so that was simple
LaMancha Dairy goats
Goat milk soap
It really does depend on the herd and what works for the herd owner. Some will feed twice a day and some will feed all they want many times a day. Our schedule here allows me to feed kids when I deem them necessary to slow down. Where we wean at 3 months we feed accordingly and drop them down in the amount of feedings, still feeding all they want. We always have left over milk in the lambars, you do have to know though that we supplement feed by three weeks to build up their rumen for the supplemental feeding though by 3 months. Hay (grass/alfalfa is provided as soon as possible for their little nibble mouths to get used to as well. There are some herds that will bottle feed all their kids until they are weaned (way too much work for me). I prefer bottle feeding at birth until a week old as they seem to take to the lambar easier...but that is just me. Some will put them on the lambar immediately-mainly swiss breeds because nubians are slower and do not have the draw power a swiss breed does at birth. These silly nubians are not as bright of crayons as the swiss breeds are . I do have to say though that all breeds will be nibbing for microbials early on, so they will be nibbing on dirt or dust and what have you well before a week of age.
Well our herd like many others has different ways to doing things. We start our kids out on a bottle and adjust them over to the lambar at about a week old. We feed them as much as they want 4 times a day, until they are a month old- then we slowly decrease to 3 feedings a day. I am fortunate enough to have my family to help keep feedings on track if I am not home. We introduce alfalfa hay when they are around 2 1/2 weeks old. We introduce grain around 3 weeks old. (small grain) When our kids are around 3 mths we take them down 2 feedings a day and we dont wean our kids until they are at least 4 mths old and on some we wait until 5 mths.
North East Tennessee
LaManchas and Recorded Grades
Having only bottle fed for one season, I don't have a lot of experience, but my kids seemed to grow just fine. I also did not have a lambar last year, but will this year, so it will change a bit. Last year, I brought the kids into the house after birth to dry off. They stayed in my bathroom for a few days...one set of twins only stayed about a day, they were such annoying loudmouths, lol! Anyway, when they were first born, they got colostrum as often as they wanted as much as they would take (or for my quads-equally divided). For a few days they were fed 4x a day to several times, depending how busy I was with other stuff. Then switched to 3x a day until about 2-4 weeks old, then to twice a day, until 3+ months old, which by then they were pretty into their grain. Hay was offered as soon as they moved outside, and grain was offered a couple times a day, but usually they didn't eat it much until about 3 weeks of age. Water also was offered from when they moved outside. This year, I may have extra milk, and if so, they will probably stay on milk for a little bit longer.
Mine start out in the house. Get their colostrum, then offered milk anytime they *act* hungry. By 24 hrs, they're on the lambar. I had one doeling out of 12 kids that was the exception, had to tube feed her for a couple days. When the first ones are born, within that 24 hrs, I set up the kid pen, bed it, put out hay, st/gr pellets, water (in a gal ice cream bucket and only about half full) and mineral...and they don't usually touch this stuff for awhile. LOL But it starts me in the habit and they can start on it when *they're* ready. Kids go in the pen within that 24 hrs and get a lambar 3X day. Once they start eating on the other stuff pretty good (2-4 wks), they get cut down to 2X day lambar. I go to once a day lambar, well, it just depends. When it seems they are eating plenty of hay/pellets and drinking plenty of water and don't seem to need all that milk. Wean at 5-6 months old.
It's your schedule. With just two I still use a lambar, you may choose to simply stick with bottles, they will likely be weaned by the time you can really add these two older kids to your kids who are due later....so use the lambar for your kids yet to be born.
No matter what you choose to do, consistancy is key. And of course young infant high multiple goatlings, since so many of our bloodlines of nubains out here will have quads, can't nurse off a 5 gallon bucket lambar with only a few quarts of milk in it, they simply tire by the time they get the milk up the tubes. So make yourself at least one that is only 2 gallons or even 1 gallon, that way the really tiny kids don't start off having to suck so hard. Vicki
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Last year when I had 2, I bottle fed both those big babies til they were weaned. I do have a lambar this year and I am using it. I put my measuring cup filled with milk inside the bucket and stick the tubes in there, super easy and not much to clean! Since they seem to be needing more milk I am going to put in inside a bigger container inside the lambar still.
The kids I have now are 2 1/2 weeks and are fat and happy, so I guess I shouldn't worry much. They do have hay to munch on...lots of you introduce feed way earlier than I thought; I was going to do that next week at 3 weeks of age.
LaMancha Dairy goats
Goat milk soap
We start off with 4 bottles/day and by the time they are 1 week old, they are down to 3 bottles/day and we stay there for quite some time, eventually moving to 2 bottles/day. We don't bring them in the house unless we absolutely can't help it (like last year, when my does decided to kid on the coldest day of the year and we just could not get those babies adequately dried off and warmed up, so they came into the house for a couple of days until the weather warmed up a little).
I always bottle fed the kids because someone was always home to care for them. My third son is super at getting anything to take a bottle. He's saved several kid lives for me.
However, i am alone now and with a new herd of possibly CAE+ does, I am going to pull all the doe kids and feed them pastuerized. I am going to go the Lambar route! We are making a nice kid pen in the new barn just for that purpose!
When I was bottling the kids, I would start off with 5 feedings a day, all they wanted. Early on they were in the house, so it wasn't hard to get up in the middle of the night to feed the babies. After 4 sons I was used to it anyway.
At about 4 weeks I would drop it to 4 times a day, all they could drink. They had access to free choice hay and grain from birth with loose minerals added when they were a couple of weeks old.
Weather permitting, they were evicted from the bathroom or laundry room by 4 weeks of age and took up residence in the barn. I let them hang out with the herd outside but they had their own inside stall until they were bigger.
At 2 months they went to 3 times a day feedings and stayed that way until they were ready to wean. Because I had a ton of milk, some of them would be on the bottle until they were ready to be bred.
DragonLair Farm in Central Maine. Nubian, Lamancha and Oberhasli dairy goats, 3 horses, 10 dogs, 2 cats, 5 Guinea fowl and not sure how many chickens.