How to Raise Baby Goats?
Raising an adult goat is very easy, but if you plan on raising a baby goat from birth, it takes a lot of hard work and care. Having a baby goat can be very fun and exciting.
Their droopy ears, cute appearance, and hopping around will attract you and steal your heart. Since it is a newborn baby goat, it becomes your responsibility to make sure that the newborn is taken care of properly.
So if you are a farmer or just simply want to raise goats this article is to help you and guide you through the process. The baby goat is known as ‘kid’.
We provide general kid management guidelines which will help you in victoriously raising a baby goat. As we know goats provide meat, fiber, and milk. So it is very important to give newborn kids proper care and nutrition to make sure your goat grows into a hearty, productive, and healthy animal.
Now, if you have a mama goat who is about to give birth to a kid, you need to know the important steps and instructions you need to follow.
What to Do Right After Birth?
Imprinting is an important part of raising a baby goat, so make sure you are present when the kid is born. This will help the newborn baby to become familiar with human contact. Steps to be followed after the birth:
Care of Umbilical Cord
Let the cord break naturally and use a sterilized pair of scissors to trim only if necessary. Clean the cord with iodine to prevent bacterial infection. If the cord is bleeding use a surgical suture to tie it.
Let Mother and Baby Bond
Leave the baby with the mother and let her clean the baby goat by licking. This will form the bond.
Feed Colostrum to the Baby
Make sure that the baby takes feed from the other within the first hour of birth. This milk is known as colostrum. It is perfect for the baby as it has very high nutrients and helps in building immunity.
Steps for Raising a Baby Goat
1. Provide Warm and Dry Space
It is possible for a baby goat to become ill due to a change in temperature. So make sure that the bedding is always dry and warm. Wheat straw, pine chips, and hay are used for bedding.
If the area is cold, add a heating lamp carefully as it is a fire hazard. Also, try to keep some areas cool so that if a kid wants a cooler area, it can go there.
Feeding With Bottle
Decide if it is necessary to feed the kid by hand The decision is yours if you want your newborn goat to be bottle-fed or not? Bottle feeding results in a more tame and friendly goat.
Feeding the kid with your hand is a vital part of raising a goat, as it will help you in imprinting on the kid and form a bond. Sterilize the bottle after every feed, as it kills the bacteria that could cause your kid to fall sick.
Set the Feeding Schedule for your kid
A proper feeding routine ensures that your kid will get the best nutrition and food. This also sets the routine for the kid. But try if possible that the kid gets its feed from mother till at least 8 weeks old. As it is vital to building the immunity of baby goats.
Weaning Goat from Milk
After some time your baby goat won’t feel full of milk. It will need solid food. This stage of shifting to solid food instead of milk is weaning. You can start weaning a goat at about 3 weeks to 4 weeks of age or when it’s doubled its birth weight.
Start by altering the feeds with grains and hay. This means milk for one feed and grains or hay for another feed. And slowly replacing the milk with solid food completely. Giving solid food throughout the day at once may result in digestive problems and hard stool.
2. Administering Further Care
Remove the Horn Buds
Horns are useful for wild goats to defend themselves from predators. However, in domesticated environments horns are a risk as the goats hurt each other or get their horn stuck somewhere.
If you don’t know how to dis-bud your goat, contact the nearest veterinarian. Remove the horn buds at around 1 week till 2 weeks max. The older the goat, the harder it gets to dis-bud them.
Vaccinate Your Kid
It is true that mother’s milk builds immunity. But there are some diseases against which your kid needs protection, and that can be provided with vaccination only. Administer Clostridium and tetanus around 30 days of age. CD&T booster after 3-4 weeks later. These vaccinations prevent overeating disease types C&D.
Keep Clean Pasture
Baby goats cannot tell the difference between plants and manure. They basically eat what they see. Too much manure can give the worms and other parasites.
Make sure the pasture is clean. Keep pasture free from any kind of waste and manure. If possible keep the baby goats in a separate pasture.
Keep up with Regular Medical Needs
The baby goats need regular medical care at a young age. Let a veterinarian examine them on a regular basis. Baby goats should be checked regularly for parasites.
De-worm your goat at least twice a year. Medicine is used for de-worming. Also, watch for lice, keep lice powder at hand and keep the goat’s fur-trimmed short to stop lice.
3. Helping Your Kids Grow Up Healthy
Provide Shelter and Bedding
Even if you have crossed the stage of raising a baby goat, and your goat is an adult, still it will need proper shelter to protect it from any rain and snow. The proper shelter should protect them against harsh weather conditions. Whichever bedding you give to the goat, make sure it’s dry and clean.
Feed New Foods
Till 2 months of age, the baby goats drink milk or water. During the weaning process introduce new foods to your goat such as hay, grain, grass, oats, barley, etc.
Socialize Your Kids
To make your goat comfortable around other goats introduce them to each other at a young age, this helps the kids to get accustomed to the presence of other goats.
As a result, the goat will know to socialize with each other and will be comfortable with the addition of any new kid or goat to their group. Do not try to introduce a kid to the adult group as the adults may harm the kid. While introducing any goat make sure to keep them with goats of their same age.
From the point of cutting the umbilical cord to introducing them to a new group or environment, we have shared all the important information that you will need to take care of your newborn baby goat.
Raising a baby goat requires dedication and utmost care. As these naughty, little, hopping creatures depend on you. Follow these general practices to keep your new kids healthy and happy. And the most important thing at last! Love Them.