You might be a farmer or someone who just wants to keep goats. If you’re raising female goats for milking, you may sooner or later have new members in the shed. This would happen when the female goats breed and have baby goats. It’s absolutely necessary to provide these baby goats with the right care at the right time.
This would help them to grow into healthy and happy adult goats. Caring for them would involve many things, such as managing their birth, feeding, and shelter.
Right after birth
Your presence is necessary when the baby is born. This helps you as well as the baby goat to come in contact with each other for the very first time. From that point, the baby goat gets accustomed to human contact. As soon as the baby goat is born, you must allow the umbilical cord to break naturally. You must only trim it if it’s more than four inches long.
The cord must be about three to four inches in length. If you’re trimming the cord, make sure you use a sterilized pair of scissors. Once the cord is trimmed, the cord must be cleaned with iodine. The stub must be allowed to fall off the natural way. Leave the baby goat with its mother to let them bond. The mother goat will lick the young one clean. You must stay and monitor the situation from a distance.
Make sure that the mother goat feeds its baby within the first hour after its birth. If the baby goat doesn’t feed, you’ll need to bottle-feed its colostrum. It’s the early milk that’s high in nutrients and has elements for building immunity. Colostrum can be taken from the mother or another goat. It can also be purchased from a feed store.
Feeding the baby goat
Even before the baby goat is born, you’ll need to decide how it’ll be fed. You can either bottle-feed it or allow the mother goat to nurse and raise its baby. Bottle-fed goats develop a sense of attachment to humans caring for them. Leave the baby goat with its mother for a few days even if you want to bottle-feed it.
This would ensure that it gets the colostrum rich in nutrients into its body. Having the mother goat nurse its baby has many advantages. You’ll be freed from the responsibility of feeding the baby goat. It’ll grow healthier, as it’ll get its mother’s care and all the required nutrients.
If you’ve decided to bottle feed the young one, it must be taught how to drink from the bottle. The baby goat will associate the bottle with milk if milk is squirted into its mouth. In the first month, these young ones must be fed at least four times daily. In the following months, the number of feedings can be reduced to three.
You can follow the advice of the vet on the exact amounts of milk to be fed. The vet can also advise you on feeding other supplements. For bottle-feeding the baby goat, you’ll require a goat baby bottle. Other requirements are lamb or kid nipple and goat milk replacement formula. Colostrum replacement may also be required if necessary.