Do you plan or have to feed a baby goat a bottle? Just like the feeding program of everyone I know is different, so is the baby goat bottle feeding procedure and amounts. I can simply tell you about what I have done here. I do not actually like to feed bottle babies what so ever, but I have tried to leave brothers with sisters before, and it is the bucklings that start constantly trying to mount their sister, starting at 12 days and onward, that REALLY BOTHERS ME. So, I will pull bucklings and give them a bottle and attempt to sell them very shortly after birth, after they have had all their colostrum from their dam. If a doe has a single buckling I will leave him with her for about three weeks before pulling him and trying to sell him, so that all that hard work of delivery she just went through seems for a purpose in her life. I will feed these young bucklings a bottle for 2 months. There first couple days I will give them a bottle 3 times during the daytime, I do not get up in the middle of the night, and I feed about 8 ounces per feeding the first couple days if they will take it all. At about 7am, 2pm, and 9pm, feedings. Move up to 10 ounces a time at first, and move up to 16 ounces per feeding over a matter of a week. I will give them 16 ounces each of the three feedings for about 2 weeks. From 2 weeks to 2 months, I will give 2 bootles a day at 16 ounces each. Start to offer a nibble of feed around 3 to 4weeks. I never have and wouldn’t suggest feeding bottle babies the dry powder that you mix with water. I milk the dam and feed it back to them. If I couldn’t, I would try to find someone whom milks and would sell me the milk for the babies. If I could not find someone with a cow, then I would simply feed the milk with the red top at the store, the whole milk. I had to do this one time a couple years ago, it worked out fine. If you are raising smaller goats like Nigerian Dwarf of Pygmies, then I would literally cut the amounts above in half at least.
Wanted to take a minute to let you know as far as my reading goes that goat kids need to be tattooed at 6 weeks of age. If you tattoo before this the ear is still growing well and the tattoo may become stretched out and hard to read as it ages. If you wait until they get too old though they become stronger and are hard to hold still. I will suggest that the best ink buy according to my reading is the green paste in a soft tube. We have two people during this procedure, one to do the holding and the other does the ink rubbing and tattooing. We first clean the inside of the ear with alcohol on a cotton ball and clean it well. Next, put on disposable gloves and rub the ink onto the ear where the tattoo will be, then tattoo the ear, then rub more ink into the sight and rub really good for at least 30 seconds. Right ear should have “Your Herd Tattoo” in it and left ear is the ear for the year and number of kid born. So this year is 2019 and the letter will be L and the number is the order in which they were born. For instance, if I have had twins born first, the first one born will receive the letter L and the number 1, L1, and the second twin born will be L2, and so on like this. Do not wash the tattoo ink off, let it alone, it will wear off soon. If the goat is going to be registered it is also supposed to be tattooed. Any tattooing device is bound to get the job done, no need to buy the most expensive one. Hope this helps.
So, I let my does dam raise. I do not worry about them catching CAE as long as the dam tested negative, I think the fresh milk and the nutrition the baby gets from it trumps pasteurizing the milk before I then feed it back to them. I feed bottles to my bucklings so that I can go ahead and sell them, but the milk is fresh, not cooked. I only separate the bucks out to sell so young because the knowing how to breed starts very young and I do not want brothers steadily jumping their sisters all the time, I have seen it happen, that is when I started separating. Not saying that happens in all herds and breeds. Now, if you are dam raising, the babies seem to be more timid of people. Starting from day one I get my hands on them and pet them and do this EVERYDAY for just a few minutes. Then once they are about two weeks old put them all in a stall with you for about 30 minutes every evening or whenever is good for you. Just sit there with them, they will start to come up to you, if you reach out to pet and they are scared back off and just sit there until you try and they are not scared anymore. We do this and my almost yearlings still think if I go sit down it is time to come gather round and see whom can get petted the most. All of the babies I have done this way are very sociable and calm, no wild runners aloud here, that would make me crazy. Once my babies are 3 weeks old, they are separated all night from their dams so that I can start milking the dam in the morning for our milk. I let the babies back with their dams right after morning milking and will put them up again right around 8 at night. I do this until the babies are 4 months old. By 4 months old I will start feeding the babies a full jr. goat ration of 1.15lbs per day split between 2 feedings .I have tried to tame down full grown wild goats and maybe got them to settle down and calm down a little, but was not able to get them really what I would call tame. I think it HAS to start when they are really young to be the most successful. By the time my babies are three weeks old I start giving them a nibble at food when their dams eat in a stall with only babies. Then by the time they are 2 months old they will get hooked up to their own bucket and go ahead and learn the routine of feeding time and how to stand to be tied for a few minutes. We did have success taming down two doelings we got together that were 3 months old just pulled off the dam. I did bottle feed them for a little while longer, but they were much harder to tame down than the ones I started her. They did not get really easy until they were over a year and even the once in a while they would decide not to be caught and believe me that was no fun.