Farm life is always busy and no matter how much you plan your day, it seems that the day is rearranged. This cute little baby was born on April 13. Her mom is a first time Kidder and seemed a little confused when she had two babies to care for.
Colostrum is important
She was not really excited to lick her off and care for her and did not really encourage her to take her first drink. The first milk the mother gives is colostrum. It is so important for the kid to drink colostrum not only for high protein nourishment, but colostrum is very important to help build up the immune system and get their stomachs working properly.
Start them out right
Well, this little doe got off to the right start with plenty of colostrum and the mom did allow her to nurse for the first few days. Then she decided this was really not her baby. She would run around the corral frantically bawling and looking for her kid that was nestled right there with her twin brother, but her mom still did not think she was hers. She would no longer allow this little doe to nurse. So this is where I had to step in.
When do you step in
I really like to leave the kids for their moms to raise unless I have to. But it just wasn’t going to work in this case. I put the doe into the milk stand and the milking begins. Since the kid was already 5 days old I would feed her 4 times a day for another week and then cut back to 3 times a day. She will be 2 weeks old and will start eating the hay and grain right along with the rest of the goats and I will continue to feed her milk until she is 2 months old.
A goat is a herd animal and they become very stressed when they are taken from the herd. I will leave this little doe with the herd. She likes to snuggle up with the rest of the babies. I watch these little kids and they really make me smile. They like to lay out in the sun and they like to lay so they are touching each other. One will go and lay in the middle of the bunch and wiggle their way in until they are comfortable. Then one of the babies on the outside will decide they aren’t close enough and will wiggle it’s way into the middle until it is comfortable. I know it doesn’t take much to entertain me. I will try to get a picture on a sunny day to share.
Feeding a bum
Well, back to the purpose of this blog.
I work full-time so my husband gets to feed this baby in the morning and again at lunchtime. He doesn’t have a lot of time, so I am going to get the bum bar out to make it easier for him to feed.
This is how a bum bar works:
I made mine, but they can be purchased also. My bum bar bucket can be used for a lamb or goat. I also have a bigger one that is for six lambs or goats. I like the bigger one better because it has a gamma lid on it that is easier to take the lid off to fill. I like the bum bars with lids on them to keep the bugs out and to keep them from spilling.
For the home-made one:
The big one I used a 5-gallon bucket with the gamma lid. The one I am using now is just a small bucket with a lid. I drilled a hole in it with the electric drill. Drill the hole halfway up the bucket. If you put it to close to the bottom the milk will leak out of it so go at least halfway. If you are going to fill it up more then drill the hole closer to the top.
Then I took a piece of plastic tubing, it doesn’t take much. This is going to work like a straw on the end of the nipple. You want the piece to reach the bottom of the bucket and wrap a little around the bottom of it. You slide one end of it onto the nipple. Then you put the nipple into the bucket from the inside. The nipple will snap in if you have the hole the right size. The big part of the nipple keeps it from sliding all the way through the hole. Turn your plastic tubing so it is in the bottom of the bucket. I have a holder made out of an old tire rim for my bigger feeder. For this smaller one, I usually tie it in the corner to the fence making sure the tube goes where it needs to so it will work like a straw. I make sure and pop the lid on.
I will keep you posted on this little doe. I haven’t named her yet. I guess that will come soon. In the meantime, I hope my post was helpful. I would love to hear any comments you have.
Update on this baby goat. I named her Zoe. She is a very nice goat and is in her 2nd year of kidding. One of my best does.
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