Hand Rearing Kids
- Make sure kids get adequate colostrum
The colostrum (or first milk) is rich in protein and energy, and contains a wealth of disease-fighting antibodies which are passed on to the kids soon after birth when they begin suckling. Without these antibodies the kids will remain susceptible to diseases present in the environment, and the mortality rate will be high. Economically, it may not be worthwhile raising kids that have not received adequate colostrum. (NB. Also check on the vaccination history of the does)
- What to feed
Goats are ruminants, but like all ruminants they are functional monogastrics at birth. This means that they need milk until their rumen is properly functional. Bovasol Milk Replacer is a high quality milk replacer with a milk protein base which is suitable for feeding to kids.
- Mixing Instructions
The recommended mixing rate for Bovasol Milk Replacer for kids is 150 g, made up to 1 litre with water (or 75 g made up to 500 ml with water). Bovasol Milk Replacer mixes easily in hot or cold water, but it is ESSENTIAL to feed the kids at the SAME temperature every day.
- How to feed
An ordinary bottle with a teat will be suitable for feeding kids if there are only a few of them. If there are a number of kids to be fed, and time becomes an issue, a multiple feeding system will need to be adopted. Replace damaged teats so that kids don’t drink too fast.
|1 – 3 days of age||Feed 150 ml of milk, four times per day|
|4 – 10 days of age||Feed 300 ml of milk, four times per day|
|10 – 14 days of age||Feed 400 ml of milk, three times per day|
|14 – 21 days of age||Start increasing morning and evening feeds and reduce midday feed until feeding 1 litre, twice per day|
|21 – 56 days of age||Feed 1 litre, twice per day|
|56 days – 18 kg BW||Feed 1 – 1.5 l, once per day|
|18 – 20 kg BW||Reduce milk to 500 ml per day and then wean|
- Make sure the kids have access to fresh, clean water from about 1 hour after they have had a milk feed.
- Introduce small amounts of a suitable, good quality creep feed from an early age to stimulate rumen development.
- Allow access to hay and/or pasture from about 10 days old, or as soon as they start to nibble the creep feed.