By Jackie Jenkins
Back in January, my first article appeared about how and why I got into goats. My 3 does were pregnant then and due in March.
Now the next chapter in my great goat adventure has begun. All 3 does had two babies a piece and they are a little over a week old now. Out of 6 babies I only got 1 girl to use for my kinder project. But I'm still happy with that because she's adorable. They're all adorable! The boys from my nubian does will be sold as pets or breeders. The 2 boys from my mixed breed doe will be sold as pets or meat goats. Yes, people do eat goats. Its actually supposed to be very good. I've yet to try it myself but will someday since kinders are a milk and meat goat.
For anybody that doesn't know about kinders, they are a cross breeding between a pygmy and a nubian. They are in between the size of both breeds and are great for small acreage like mine. They give a surprising amount of milk for their smaller size, have a nice amount of meat on them, and eat less then a full size goat.
Anyway, back to the babies. I am bottle raising the four Nubian babies and right now they are getting 12 oz each. Although I think I'm going to have to raise that in the next couple days as they're finishing the bottles and wanting more. They get fed every 6 or so hours. I say 6 or so because I do need to get some sleep eventually. The midnight feeding is the hardest since I'm half awake for it.
They will be getting disbudded soon. Disbudding (or dehorning) is burning the horn bud where the horn will be growing out. Disbudding is a bit of a controversial subject in the goat world as some believe its necessary and some don't. I personally am having them disbudded because of the risk of them getting their heads stuck and the danger of the horns themselves. Even the friendliest goat can accidentally hurt you.
At 3 weeks I will start them on their CD/T boosters. Vaccinations is another controversial subject. I personally would prefer the preventative measure that vaccinations give. Just like when people get shots. They will get the shots at 3 weeks and 6 weeks.
I've done 2 short videos on the baby goats. One is how to bottle feed a baby goat. It's pretty easy to do. My 9 yr old and 5 yr old help me all the time. It's a little tricky when you first start as the babies need to learn to drink from a plastic nipple. Have patience. I use regular baby bottles with an X cut in the nipple for more flow. But there are also nipples especially made for bottle feeding livestock and can fit on a small soda bottle. The second video is simply our happy little babies playing and bouncing around.
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