How to Feed a Kid Goat

How to Feed a Kid Goat thumbnail
Goats require free access to water by the second week of age.

Kid goats should feed on their mother's nipples shortly after birth. At first, the doe will give a yellow type of milk called colostrum. Colostrum provides essential nutrients and antibodies, since goats are born without immunity to diseases. If your kid goat is an orphan, the doe has no milk or the baby is unable to feed on its mother, you must feed it by hand. After the first feedings of colostrum, switch to regular goat's milk or a milk replacer.

Things You'll Need

  • Colostrum
  • Baby bottle
  • Eyedropper
  • Goat milk
  • Goat milk replacer
  • Towel
  • Hay
  • Calf starter food
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Instructions

    • 1

      Heat frozen goat or cow colostrum to 131 degrees F. Maintain this temperature for one hour. Allow the colostrum to cool to 100 degrees F and pour it into a sterile baby bottle.

    • 2

      Feed the baby goat a minimum of 40 ml of colostrum per kilogram of body weight no later than a few hours after birth. If it will not feed from the bottle, draw the colostrum into a sterile eyedropper and insert it into the mouth.

    • 3

      Feed the kid goat pasteurized whole goat milk or a goat milk replacer for at least the first two to four weeks. Offer it milk three times daily. If it is weak, feed it less milk more frequently. Kid goats generally consume 10 to 15 percent of their body weight each day.

    • 4

      Pasteurize whole goat milk by heating it to 165 degrees F for 15 seconds and then pouring it into a sterile baby bottle. Alternatively, use a milk replacer.

    • 5

      Offer the goat the nipple of the bottle. It may take several attempts before the animal begins to suck. Nuzzle your face against its cheek and stroke it between the eyes and nose to stimulate the sucking reflex.

    • 6

      Hold the baby goat in your lap if it still refuses to feed. This can help the animal feel more secure. Drape its face with a towel and rub its neck while placing the bottle into its mouth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Offer the kid goat free access to a leafy hay, beginning when it is several days old.

  • Offer the animal a calf starter food when it is three weeks old, or sooner if it will eat it. Expect the goat to forage on leaves when it is about three weeks old.

  • If you overfeed your kid goat, it can develop diarrhea.

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References

Resources

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images

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