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What to Know Before You Get a Bottle Baby Goat
Bottle Baby Goats are adorable and it can be very tempting to get one. They are small, they jump around, and are overall just fun to have around. But, if you have never had a bottle baby goat, they can be a little overwhelming. While they are cute, a lot of things can go wrong with having them, from the mess to their health, and everything in between. So, here are a few of my top things to know before you get a bottle baby goat!
BEFORE you Bring Them Home
A lot of breeders sell their new kids as bottle babies for a number of reasons. Maybe they breed for milk production and have no need for the kids after they are born. Or, they could have had a large litter and the mom can not handle multiples. Whatever the reason they are selling them for, ALWAYS ask to see the kid nurse from the bottle first. When a kid starts off nursing from mom, it could be tough to get them to take a bottle, so always be sure to verify that they can take a bottle and are willing to take one. If you have never had a bottle baby goat, be sure to check out my Bottle Feeding Goats Basic post.
If they are registered, or able to be registered, make sure that they have had their identification tattooed or their ear tags placed. Also, be sure to look over all of the registration paperwork to ensure all the important information is filled out correctly.
You will also want to verify if they have had any vaccinations, like CD&T, and annotate the date they were given in case you have to give them a booster.
Depending on the age you get your bottle baby, they can require at least 5 feedings a day. As they get older, the feeding frequency will decrease, but the amount they eat will, of course, increase. If you have a doe in milk, it may not cost you anything but time to milk her. But, if you do not have goat milk on hand, store-bought milk can get pricey. For 3 bottle babies that are a week old, I can go through a gallon of milk in 24 hours easily. Our Bottle Feeding Goats Basic post has a free feeding schedule printable if you need that.
Depending on the time of year, and how old your bottle baby goat is, they may have to spend some time inside. If so, I would recommend getting something like a large dog kennel or pack and play for them to sleep in. While it is cute to watch them run and jump around, it is not necessarily safe, or clean. Our little Valkyrie was only 7 days old and could already jump onto the kitchen chairs and onto the table. Pair that with the fact that they have no control over bowel movements, and it is a recipe for yuck!
Because they are so young, they love to explore and chew on things. Be sure to hide away any electrical chords that they could chew on and any house plants that could cause them to get sick. Essentially you will want to baby proof your home like you are bringing home a human baby.
If they are older and the weather is warm, they can stay outdoors. But again, you will want to baby-proof the area they will be staying in. Baby goats, especially Nigerian Dwarfs are small, and they can squeeze out of the smallest holes. So be sure to walk the area and patch any places they could escape through.
Want more tips and tricks to raising goats? Check out our Youtube Channel!