Nipple Bucket Feeding Amounts

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Anita Martin, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    I recently switched my four bottle babies to a nipple bucket, rather than three bottle feedings per day. With the bottles, and as much as they would eat at one time, they drank about 1.5 gallons per day and I had lots of extra milk filling up my fridge. Since switching to the bucket, cleaned and filled twice daily, they are going through about as much as I put in the bucket, up to three gallons per day for the four of them. I cut them back to one gallon per feeding because I was running out of milk. Are these normal amounts of milk for babies? They are three different ages, approx. 1.5 months, 1 month, and 2.5 weeks. Three are does, one is a buck. They get free choice grain, hay, grass growing in their paddock, and water.
    Thanks, Anita Martin
    Central Va
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    All depends on how much milk I have to give to them but I make sure they have at least 20 oz per goat per feeding which can be 3 or 4 times a day to start with
     

  3. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Well, I guess they are certainly getting enough. Is there any way to overfeed? Stools look good. I have to do two large feeding twice a day due to my work schedule. I was hoping that the extra milk in the bucket would let them have food for a longer period of the day and night while I am at work and sleeping.
    The weather has been cool so I have not worried too much about bacterial build up. I have a kefir culture I'm working on for warmer weather.
     
  4. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I played this last two weeks with free choice feeding. Even cold the milk curdled in our heat, gunked up the lambar tubes, and was just nasty. So I fill the lambar with as much as they drink 4 times a day, and I really like it that way, this way if someone doesn't drink agressively I know to watch her/him.

    The only problems with the lambar are the same problems with bottles, change of temp, or change of a little milk to all they want to quickly. Vicki
     
  5. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    I wish I had the option to fill the feeder four times a day! Unfortunately, I live one hour from my job and cannot get back home during lunch to feed, so this was my way to make sure the babies got enough to eat. I had a neighbor feed for me when they were tiny, but they are quite busy themselves and don't have time to stop by everyday. My biggest concern was that they were overeating, as they are eating much more now at one time than when I was using bottles. I don't know know if that is because they can suck it faster with the large tubes or what. So far I've not had a problem with the milk gunking up the tubes or curdling. Hopefully, by the time the really warm weather starts, we'll be at two feedings per day and I won't need to leave the milk out. By the way, these babies learned the nipple bucket at several weeks old. The first day they drove me nuts, but they caught on quickly....another poster was concerned about teaching older babies to nurse from one. I was using the hoegger bottles with the natural nipples, and switched to the hoegger nipple bucket with natural nipples. These nipples are similar, but now exactly the same and tasted awful until I scrubbed and scrubbed them. They also will NOT stay attached to the tubes without rubber bands...I called them and they sent me the grey nipples, which my babies use interchangeably with the natural.
    Anita
     
  6. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    when it get warm keeping bottles of ice in the bucket helps alot. But I would just continue what your doing as long as you have the milk.
     
  7. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

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    Another thing I am going to try this year with free feeding is to put half the milk in frozen. This way it will keep the other milk cold and the kids can drink as it thaws out.
    Theresa
     
  8. I've never tried the free choice feeding, but we have 14 kids on the bucket and I feed 12 gallons per day.
    Becky
     
  9. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    I wish my does were making more milk! There is none left over for us at all right now! I was excited after milking to see that they normally produce in excess of a gallon each, however, I got a scale today, and when I weighed the milk this evening, it was a little dissapointing. Some evenings I have been able to let them out on the summer pasture of oats and orchard grass that is lush and lovely, (but as yet, un-fenced). In the mornings after such grazing, they have lots and lots of milk. They have free choice hay, alfalfa pellets, minerals, etc, in their paddock, as well as some short grass, but I think they are on strike for more yummy pasture now that the grass has come in.
    Thanks for the responses, now I won't worry that the babies are eating too much.
    Anita
     
  10. Ravens Haven

    Ravens Haven New Member

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    When it gets hot here I either do the bottles of ice or mix yogurt in the milk bucket so the milk doesn't turn bad it turns to yogurt. I give them all they will drink twice per day.

    Autumn
     
  11. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    I do plan to do the ice and/or kiefer, which I have been coddling along for a few weeks now. They are growing so nicely and the bucket is working so well. I really like the thought that if I am late getting home to feed, that they have had milk during the day and are not starving when I get home and refill their bucket.