Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bottle-Baby Season (or One Way Goats Multiply)

I love goat-baby season.  This year I made the decision to bottle feed my first Mini-LaMancha goat kids, both boys.  I wanted to have very tame kids that would make great pets or bucks that could be easily handles.  Also I wanted to develop Starr as a milk goat which is easier to do when you just take the kids away at birth and then become her "baby".

This little guy is for sale by the way .

In February, I had one little Nigerian Dwarf doe kid born on my farm from a very nice doe I used to own named Jamboree.  I played midwife for while her owner was out-of-town.  Jam had a single blue-eyed doeling and I was in LOVE!  Well Holly came back home a few weeks ago and I put her on a bottle since she was about 6 weeks old and was being raised by her mother.  I find that kids this age really take to a bottle quite easily.  Even if it takes a day to make the transition, kids are eating solid food at that age and are drinking water so missing a day of milk won't hurt them.  Holly took to it right away though.

A few hours old.

6 weeks old.
Then I received a surprise from Black Dog Farm in Calhoun County.  I had helped them with their first birthing experience with Minnie which produced a lovely doeling and a very nice buck kid.  I  fawned all over that little doeling and a few weeks later she was presented to me as a gift from Black Dog Farm to Twiggity Farm.  I still can't believe she is here.  She was being raised as a bottle baby and when I went to get her she was lounging on a settee on the sun porch.  Now that is a goat kid that has figured out the finer points of life!  She is making the transition very nicely and is now a treasured member of our Nigerian herd.

Blossom.  Thank you Black Dog Farm!
 Somewhere along the way this spring I came to the conclusion that I really didn't want to cut my Nigerian herd back to the point I had been planning.  Then last week a  friend in Virginia at Yipper Skipper Acres decided to disperse her Nigerian Dwarf herd.  It just so happened she had three lovely doelings. So this past Saturday Don and I made the trip to Harrisonburg, VA to pick up these three lovely kids as well as two other goats for friends.  These kids were also raised by their mother but were six and seven weeks old so we decided we could probably get them on a bottle.  If it took a day the kids would be fine since they were eating solid food anyway. Melissa from Indigo Acres Farm came over and is very skilled at getting kids to take bottles so she had two of the three sucking away in no time!  I sat with the other kid and she took to the bottle as well. 

Don working hard with one of the babies.

Starr, my LaMancha and the momma of the two boys pictured at the beginning of this blog, is producing at least a gallon a day which is plenty to feed all seven bottle kids.  Good going Starr!
Starr on the milk stand. 

And if this isn't enough Melissa at Indigo Acres has agreed to let me bring a little doeling from our beloved Ginger back to Twiggity Farm. She is cute as a button just like her mother.
Ginger's doeling (photo courtesy of Indigo Acres Farm).

Looks like we have a herd again!!!


  1. Since it sounds like most of the kids are on solid food also, how many bottles do they get a day?

    Also, I like the matching shirts you and Don have on.

    1. Some I have just switched to two and some are still on three bottles a day. Don and I coordinate our wardrobe :-) When we used to work together we had to be sure not to look like twins when we'd show up at work since we tend to dress similarly.

  2. The goat babies make me yearn... so cute!

  3. They are precious but oh the work!!! All that time spent cuddling is just so exhausting :-)