Feeding Goat Kids

18 September, 2015rodster385Comments (0)

It is important that the kid goat receive colostrum (the first milk) as soon as possible after birth and for at least 2 days. Colostrum provides antibodies for resistance to disease and is high in nutrients, including energy, vitamin A, the B vitamins, protein, and minerals. Overfeeding colostrum or other milk can cause scours. Extra colostrum can be saved by freezing and fed at body temperature at some later date. Orphan kids may be left on goat's milk or changed to cow's milk or a commercial milk replacer after the first days on colostrum.
Kids must have a warm, dry place to sleep if they are taken from their mothers. A deep wooden box with a slanted floor is raised off the ground to provide drainage makes a good bed for new kids. The box should be well-bedded and draft-free.

For the first 3 to 4 days after birth, a kid should receive 2 to 3 pints of milk in three to four feedings per day. Kids can be fed twice per day thereafter. A creep feed containing approximately 20 percent CP and a high-quality hay should be made available to kids at about 2 weeks of age. Keep clean, fresh water and salt available at all times, especially when the kids are weaned from milk at 8 to 12 weeks of age.

As soon as the kid begins eating a little grain and hay, the rumen will begin to develop, allowing the kid to use roughage materials. The kid will begin chewing its cud at this time. When the kid is eating hay and grain well, usually at about 4 to 6 weeks of age, you can discontinue milk feeding. The rumen will be fully developed at approximately 8 weeks of age.

The kid should have plenty of exercise and as much sunshine as possible. Provide boxes or barrels for older kids to have something on which to climb and jump. Separate the buck kids from the does at about 2 to 4 months of age to avoid premature breeding.