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When you are breeding goats, one of the most important things is to make sure the babies are with the moms long enough. To ensure that you kids get all that they need it is ver important to know when to wean goats.
When to Wean Goats
Generally, the accepted practice is to wean goats at 8 weeks of age. Kid goats can nurse longer but will need to be slowly introduced to regular food. When weaning goats you should give them access to the food you will be providing for the next stage of life. This food could be hay or goat pellets. While the kids are weaning it is very important that you ensure they are getting enough nutrition.
Sometimes, the baby goats will not get enough out of the food they are trying to eat. In this situation I recommend that you give them some goat milk to supplement. Make sure that you limit the amount of milk you are giving the kids, and encourage them to eat solid food.
Can Goats be Weaned Before Eight Weeks
There is a practice of getting baby goats off of mothers milk as soon as possible. The reason for this is, that goat’s milk is much more expensive that other forms of milk. Cows milk is much cheaper than goat milk. In some dairies baby goats will be switched off the goat milk and be put on cow milk as soon as they can.
The goat baby will benefit from milk from its mother, but can be moved off and still grow up healthy. To switch you baby goat to a replacement, make sure that you do so slowly. Mix milk from the mother, and whatever you replace the milk with. You may use cow milk that can be purchased at a grocery store, or it may be more convenient to use Milk replacer. The milk replacer is great to have around and will out last other options.
Start with 75 percent mothers milk, and 25 percent milk replacer. After a few days go to a 50/50 mix, and ensure everything is ok. The next step is going to be 25/75, after the baby shows that the fifty-fifty mix is going well. Finally you got to all milk replacer once the 25/75 mix has been accepted.
Healthy Weaning of Goats
While you wean your goats, make sure you keep an eye out for diarrhea. If the baby goat looses fluids there is severe risk of dehydration. dehydration can prove to be fatal if not treated quickly, be sure to have some Electrolytes on hand. This will hydrate your goat and ensure that they will be healthy.
Do not rush while weaning your goats. Give them plenty of time and take
it slow. The most important thing is the health and well-being of the animals. You may get more money if you can sell the goat milk but be sure the little ones are taken care of. No body wants to have sick baby goats. Trust me I have had to nurse a few back to health and it is no fun at all.