Saturday, January 18, 2014

No Kidding Around - the Time is Near!

The 2014 kidding season is arriving sooner than ever at Twiggity Farm.  The first three does will be kidding about February 1, give or take a few days.  I am finishing up my preparations so thought I would share them with you.  I have blogged in previous years about getting ready so I'll share these links.

Kidding Season Checklist Feb 14, 2013
Waiting for Babies (March 2, 2012)
Gettin' Ready for Babies (Feb 4, 2012)
Gettin' Ready for Babies - Part 2 (Feb 9, 2012)

Because I will be milk testing this year I will likely bottle feed a few more kids than in previous years. I thought I'd share a general bottle feeding schedule for Nigerian Dwarves that I more or less follow.  Having a workable timetable is needed to help keep the babies (and you!) on a regular schedule.  That way there are
no missed feedings or tummy upsets.  I want to stress that not every schedule is right for every situation.  Generally though, very young kids need to be fed small amounts very frequently and older kids get larger amounts less often.  Below is a sample schedule for Nigerian Dwarves.  Bigger goats will need more milk on the same schedule.

Day 1:  As much colostrum as they want approximately every three hours.
Example 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm.
Day 2:  Approximately 2 to 3 ounces of milk every three hours
Example 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm.
Days 3 thru 7:   Approximately 3 to 4 ounces of milk every 4 hours
Example: 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm, and 11pm
Days 8 thru 14:  Approximately 4 to 5 ounces of milk every 5 hours.
Example: 7am, 12pm, 5pm, and 10pm
Weeks 3 through 5: Approximately 6 to 8 ounces of milk 3 times a day.
Example: 7am, 2pm, and 9pm
Weeks 6 to 8: Approximately 8 to 10 ounces twice a day.
Example: 7am and 7pm
After 8 weeks:  Sustain this feeding for another week or if you want to begin weaning the kids then drop the morning bottle and give 8 to 10 ounces in the evening.  Kids that seem smaller than their peers might benefit from an extra week or two on a bottle.  Keep reducing the amount of milk given in the evening until the kid is weaned at about 9 or 10 weeks.

Volumes of milk that a kid will drink vary but it is important not to let a kid overeat.  Tummies should feel full and rounded after feeding and the kid should be hungry by the next feeding.  This schedule is given as a guideline for what I do and varies widely from breeder to breeder.  Kids should also be offered hay no later than 3 weeks.  I put a tablespoon of grain out for them to try but they rarely eat much until after they are weaned. Even then it is best to get kids eating hay.  Grain is really just a supplement. 

See what is like to bottle feed kids:  These are 7-day-old Mini-Lamancha kids and are 7 days old.


  1. My first comment must be off in hidden-comment-land because I don't see it. How old are the "starving" kids in the video?

    1. These are last year's kids and they were 7 days old. It doesn't take them long to really figure out where food comes from.

  2. Love all your posts and videos. Please continue to educate us!