It may be snowing outside right now, but that did not stop me from ordering a few baby chickens. Of course, I would choose a shipping date (scheduled weeks ago) when an arctic front would arrive! To ensure that they would have the best chance after 2 days of shipping in the cold weather we made homemade chicken electrolyte for them.
I have been lucky enough that for the past 20 years I have lived in the south, where winters are pretty mild. I know not everyone has that luxury, I grew up in Michigan so I do know what winter cold feels like. When my first winter hit that we had goats, 2 of them were pregnant (I had no clue!). And, of course, they decided to give birth in the middle of a rare snowstorm when we lived in North Carolina. I was panicked and had no clue what I was doing. Thankfully I have learned and only breed my goats when I know they will kid in warmer months.
We live in Arkansas where the winters are generally mild. This week it’s supposed to get a cold front and drop to just 3 degrees Fahrenheit! Which is crazy! So there are a few things that we need to do around the farm to get the goats ready for winter!
As our little homestead starts to grow with more animals, we were in desperate need of a way to store feed. We were using metal trash bins, which worked great. They could store a 50lb bag of feed and tops sealed pretty good to keep unwanted scavengers out. The only problem I found with this storage was it only held 1 bag at a time, and when I needed to add another bag, if there was any feed left, it would sit at the bottom. With this new DIY Livestock Feed Bin the oldest feed comes out the bottom and I can now add new feed to the top with no waste!
Raising baby goats is probably one of my favorite things about living on our farm. They are adorable, and I could sit and watch them hop and jump around all day. If you are new to goats though, you may find that a lot of breeders sell their goat kids as bottle babies. Or, if you are lucky enough to have a doe kid on your farm, sometimes things do not go as planned. The mother may reject or the kid, or become unable to nurse them. If this happens you may find yourself with a bottle baby unexpectedly. If you have never raised bottle baby goats though, it can seem a little overwhelming. There are so many things I wish I knew before I got my first bottle babies though. Even though I have raised many of them, I still find myself learning new things. So, here are a few of the basic things to know before you get bottle baby goats.
What to Feed
When it comes to feeding bottle baby goats, fresh goat milk will always be the best choice. But, you may find yourself without access to goat milk. If this becomes the situation the best thing to feed your bottle baby is plain old whole milk from the grocery store. There are tons of formula recipes online for baby goats, but if you were to ask an experienced goat owner, they will tell you whole milk is perfectly fine.
They do sell powdered milk replacer at most farm supply stores, but in my opinion, I would stay away. I have heard horror stories of those replacers causing all kinds of different issues, plus they are expensive. Just stick with goat milk or whole cow’s milk.
How to Feed
If you keep a surplus of goat milk in the fridge or are supplementing with whole cow’s milk, there is one important thing you need to do. HEAT THE MILK! Never give cold milk to a bottle baby, you are just asking for a lot of issues if you do. You also never want to heat the milk up in the microwave, it kills all the good stuff in the milk that those bottle babies need.
When you heat up your milk, it is always best to heat it up on the stove. I like to keep a rack on the bottle of the pot to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom. When you heat it up, the ideal temperature for a goat bottle is around 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
Choosing a bottle it is really a matter of preference. When I got the 3 bottle babies we have right now, they were already on a regular bottle baby. I do prefer a goat and sheep bottle though, it is just less messy and I find that the kids waste less when using them.
When to Feed
When it comes to how often and when to feed bottle baby goats varies. Larger breeds of goats may need more milk or feedings more often, but the chart below is a good point of reference.
When feeding your bottle babies, underfeeding is always better than overfeeding. We also prefer to bottle feed our goats for 4-5 months since it helps them grow better and they tend to be more healthy when bottle-fed for longer periods.
These are just the basics for feeding your new bottle baby goat, there is still sooo much more to know before you get your baby. Be sure to check back soon for more bottle baby goat info! Check out our YouTube Channel for more goat care info! Also, be sure to check out the DIY section to learn how to make your own goat milk soap!
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I feel as though cranberries get a bad rap. Most people just open a can of cranberry sauce for the holidays and do not think twice about it. I absolutely love cranberries though, they are one of my favorite side dishes for the holidays. One of my favorite ways to make them though is in a cranberry apple sauce. It goes great with both turkey and ham, and our family loves it with pork chops and on chicken too. Because I make such a large batch, I like to can it so I can enjoy it all year round, and give it as gifts around the holidays.
The Holidays are officially here, which means I am in gift making mode! There is just something special about a good homemade gift! Especially when it is made well and with care. While I love making cold process soaps, lotions, and candles. I wanted to make something special for the men on my holiday shopping list. So, this year I made them all Homemade Shaving Soap. It is great for shaving, and I even love to use it in the shower to shave my legs. It just has a nice, rich creamy lather that other cold process soaps just do not have.
I have mentioned in other blog posts, as well as YouTube videos, that I have kind of a big sweet tooth. If you give me a choice between chips or chocolate, I am going to choose chocolate 95% of the time. While I do try to eat as healthy as I can, I do like to indulge… everything in moderation, right? It is finally autumn, so it is time to make one of my all-time favorite treats, Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce!
I am the first to admit that I have a very large sweet tooth… I mean sweets are probably my favorite food group after all. Chocolate is probably my weakness, dark chocolate to be exact. I eat pretty healthy and try to offer healthier alternatives than just plain old chocolate donuts and muffins for breakfast. That is is why this Healthy Chocolate Donut Recipe is probably my go-to recipe for when I want something chocolaty and yummy for breakfast. It is made with oat flour and has no processed sugar, so I feel pretty good about having it as a nice little treat every so often.