Kick-start your goat kid's health and nutrition from day one
Kids are a bundle of joy. Knowing how to provide your baby goat with the proper nutrition can make both their life and your life much more enjoyable, and allow them to grow healthy and strong. Here are some tips on getting started with feeding your new kid in the first weeks.
In the first 24 hours, your kid will hopefully begin nursing immediately. The doe’s colostrum contains an immense amount of immune benefits and is a large factor in your baby goat’s health. However, if your kid is unable or unwilling to nurse or the doe’s milk is inadequate due to disease, having a colostrum replacer on hand will ensure your baby gets the nutrition and hydration it needs from birth.
A supplement like Sav-A-Kid® Lamb & Kid Colostrum Replacer is perfect to feed your kid within two hours of their birth to ensure their nutritional needs are met. If you are supplementing the does’ colostrum instead, feed your kid Sav-A-Caf® Multi-Species Colostrum Supplement.
If your kid is still not nursing adequately, you will want to switch to milk replacer after 24-48 hours. This or milk will be your kid’s primary source of nutrition in the first few months before weaning. Choosing a milk replacer that is specifically formulated for goat kids, such as Sav-A-Kid® Milk Replacer, will provide your kid with the optimal blend of energy i.e., carbohydrates and fat, protein, vitamins and minerals it needs for healthy development. Smaller, more frequent feedings can increase digestibility and minimize digestive upset, so it is best to feed milk replacer by bottle of pail four times per day.
When your baby goat is between 10 and 20 days old, you will want to continue feeding milk replacer around three times per day or as needed to supplement nursing. During this time, you will also want to introduce forage like hay and a grain ration or concentrate feed. This is because goats are ruminants with four-part stomachs built for digesting large quantities of fiber, and early feeding of forage can help jump-start their rumen development.
Once your goat kid weighs 30 pounds and is eating at least 1/4 pound of concentrate feed per day, you can begin weaning them off of milk or milk replacer. It is important that they are consuming ample nutrition from forage and grain before weaning begins. Don’t forget to keep your kid’s water fresh and clean at all times. This will encourage them to stay hydrated.
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