I’ve read a lot of arguments about whether or not to wean the goats from their mother and nurse them on their own.
And as much as I’ve read, I’ve been leaning toward the idea that we shouldn’t. Moreover, bottle-feeding was terrifying – how to get the baby to take a pacifier, how many times to feed, and how many grams to weigh, and so on.
As the saying goes – thought is material. At the end of February, our first-baby Duska brought us, two adorable little girls. We were terribly worried about Dusya during her pregnancy – she was not ready for her new state, she was very nervous and did not like everything about herself. As a result – the girls were born, Duska licked them properly and – turned away. With such we have faced for the first time before God was merciful and we did not have abandoned goats.
Well, nothing to do, my husband gripped a bike and went to the nearest district center for baby bottles and pacifiers, the benefit of February we have been exceptionally warm this year. We took the kids home and put them in a box. I threw myself on the internet and dug up as much information on self-feeding as the search engines could give. And it still seemed scary. My husband arrived, the kids were hungry and willy-nilly, eyes are afraid – hands are doing the work. Milked a happy (that she was finally left alone and can return to her free royal lifestyle) Dusky and came running to feed the children.
From experience – the first day with feeding was agony. The cubs were looking for udders, but the pacifier is not perceived categorically. The issue was resolved so – we sit on a chair (or standing, if convenient, the posture of the owner does not matter, since the convenience of the owner – his purely personal and the goat is not interested in the case :-))), we take the goat with one hand, the other bottle and pacifier pressed to the corner of his mouth. That is, the logic is the same as with kittens, and puppies, who were drinking – knows. The pacifier falls slightly into the mouth, the bottle is pumped so that under the air went a stream of milk, and that’s it. Usually, the goat himself knows what to do, and intercepts the pacifier is comfortable. Looking ahead to say – now we have five kids on feed, we have those who long and stubbornly did not see the pacifier, but feeding on the corner of his mouth always gave a positive result, even with those who fell asleep on the way and those who stubbornly did not want to suckle milk.
We fed the first girls, and the next three we feed after five hours. We take them for a walk according to the weather, if it is warm and there is no wind. Taken from the first week of life. The norm of feeding – we started with 50 grams per feeding and gradually increased, by the end of the second week of life, the volume of malted milk per head – 800 grams. From the middle of the second week of life milk slightly reduced and add liquid semolina – but the daily volume is still at least 800 grams.
In the third week of life, gradually bring up to 900 grams per head.
The little goats in the story were born on February 27, weighing about 1,700 grams. Now at the moment we didn’t weigh them, but it is hard to hold in hands, we will weigh them in a few days, the goats are frisky, jumping, jumping, chasing the hens around the yard. Photo, as well as measurements – later.
What did I conclude for myself? Feeding is tedious and time-consuming, but – Our star, our Duska, gives about 500 grams per day. Simple arithmetic says how much fewer goats would have eaten if they had stayed under their mother.
I’m writing this not to polemic and unleash debate about the harms and benefits of artificial feeding, but to remember and reread later, if necessary, and for those who may find this experience useful.