This is my first year to raising bottle babies and I am thinking of keeping my does. So I am wondering when do you wean, and how do you wean your babies. I am thinking if I am keeping them, the I should go longer than 12 weeks. That would be ok but the milk bill is killing me right now. I will do what it takes to raise healthy goats though, so I will keep right on buying 6 gallons of milk at time if I have to. Just wondering what everyone else does.
Also what about bucks. I am sure everyone does different for their bucks than their does.
Heather McIntosh North Alabama
I don't buy store milk, I use goat milk, pasteurized, or the CAE- ones are dam raised. They get milk until they are 4-6 months old because I have the extra milk. Probably would be a lot different if I sold it.
My bucks are treated just like the does. The wethers for meat are kept on mom until they leave for freezer camp.
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.
I wean earlier than some people, definitely by twelve weeks but they are down to once a day milk by ten weeks. They do just as well as I hear others doing. My does are always plenty big enough to breed by their first fall and no metabolic/growth problems during pregnancy. Sometimes I have to buy milk but usually just use what is available from my does unless I buy a bottle baby.
Raising Lamancha Dairy goats in
You can't wean until they are eating enough calories, fat, carbs, energy from the food you are providing. You also have to figure out where the protein and calcium in their diet is coming from as you start to limit milk, it isn't met with grass hay, browse or most grain rations. It's why kids stall and stop gaining their 10+ pounds a month at weaning. It is also why you see weaning stress from lack of nutrition which brings on worms and cocci. Vicki
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Same here I never wean before 5 months, and some of them get much longer. I you have to buy your milk... get them on Full baby goat grower feed like purina grower for Boer goat kids as soon as possible. Then after 12 weeks keep them on at least ONE bottle a day for as long as you can. And good hay. Are there any Amish type, or dairy folks that would let you buy milk off their farm cheaper? It will be better when you have your own milkers
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I dam raise most babies. If I have a bottle baby, I wean it at 3 months and just give it more time to grow. That's the compromise. It's not so much the cost of milk for me as just the need to keep up with it. Now bucks are all weaned at 3 months so they don't breed their moms and sisters. They always keep on growing just fine. I guess that's why they are such pigs. I think my bottle girls would do better if they didn't have to eat in the herd and compete. A motherless doeling is always last on the totem pole. This year I'm going to build a creep feeder for the doelings.
I am pulling my whole kid crop at 8 weeks this year.
They are 40 pounds and eating pounds and pounds of cocci pellets as well as whole grains.
They graze all day long on winter grasses and have fertilized bermuda hay in their night pen.
Milk till 6 months used to be the norm here too since we dam raise but no longer.
They only gain another 40 pounds with or without that milk in that extra time frame so ....
Without milk it is.
Don't you feel sorry for this poor starving little fat pig
New Rocky Comfort Nubians
Don and Lee Jackson
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Generally 12-16 weeks. Occasionally I will drop to one feeding at 10 weeks. I don't consider this to be a cut and dried decision, a lot depends on the kid(s). I have some bloodlines that are very slow maturing and they do benefit from that extra boost of staying on milk longer along with free choice grain. ON the other hand I've brought in some very growthy genes in the last couple of years and I'm learning that treating them the same could actually be somewhat detrimental. They grow TOO fast. I've got kids out of 3 different bucks on the lambar right now and the differences are really pretty fascinating. I'm not doing free choice grain right now. I also consider when shows are starting, when are appraisals. I want to have a good gap between weaning and those type of things so that if they do take a hit they are past it. Otherwise I will leave them on milk to maintain that bloom. That's probably just my pride...
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