It depends on how much milk we need and how many goats we want to milk. Dam raised kids stay on the does to at least 9 weeks old. What I usually will do when I want milk is to send dam raised wethers to auction when they are that old and keep the doelings on the dams until they are 3 months old. What I plan to do this spring is to pull the kids off a few of the does (my ones with the nicest udders) right from birth and bottle feed them. Those wethers/bucklings will be the first to go and the milk from those does will be split between the doelings and my customers. Around here, baby goats get first priority as far as the milk goes and my customers know that. I'm not a milk drinker, so I only need a little for cereal and cooking.
I have separated them at 2 weeks over night and milked the mama's in the morning. Then let the babies back out with the mama's after milking. That way the babies get all they want during the day and I get the milk that the doe produces at night. Theresa
A friend of mine weans all her boer kids at 3 months old. She has them eating their pellets and hay by then. No messing with them. She has it marked on her calendar and when they are 3 months old, they go to the kid pen. She keeps hay out in front of them all the time and feeds them pellets all they will eat twice a day, morning and night. Her kids are beautiful.
I do as Theresa But I always milk out the colostrum for extra to store. but some milk the dams every milking and just leave the kids on. that way you first get the extra colostrum to store and some milk too.
When I dam-raised and milked the does, I would separate at 2 weeks of age also. By then, the kids are well-grown enough to go all night long with out nursing and the full bursting morning udder will be yours to milk.
We have bottle-raised and dam raised. The biggest problem we have is weaning the kids. As long as the doe has milk, they never seem to wean until they are bred, maybe! And then they are squirrely, even though we are with them all the time, touching, leading, grooming, etc. This year we want to bottle-raise. We have not yet gotten to the pasteurizing point in our management and probably won't this year. But we are concerned about getting enough colostrum to the kids in a timely way. Our breeder lets the kids nurse their dams for 4 days and then pulls them off and bottle-raises. We are back and forth on this one. The issue being how do you strain colostrum? Isn't it too thick to go through the strainer/filters? How do you all do it? I want this to be the least stressful on the does and the most beneficial to the kids. Ideas?
When you dam raise and wean you pull the kids out into separate pen so they don't nurse the dams. and remember bucks can breed at 8wks old. If you handle those kids daily you don't have a problem with wild kids.
My Sugar and Spice were dam-raised and they are almost identical in personality to my 7 bottle-raised Lamanchas. I played with them alot the first 3 days. VERY important those first days when they are imprinting or whatever. You need to completely tame them while you can still catch them. Force them to be tame and then they are.
The only difference in the dam-raised Sugar and Spice is that their first year they were quieter than the bottle-raised doelings. After the bottle-raised ones grow up, they quiet down too.