Pygmy goats are pretty tough critters, but there are times when you will get an orphaned kid to care for or the doe is too sick to nurse her kid. Only bottle-feed your pygmy goat if you absolutely have to. Don't just do it because it looks cute. Pygmy goat kids must be fed four times a day until they are 10 days old, then it's only three times a day until they are 7 or 8 weeks old. Then, it's two bottles for a week and then one bottle until they are weaned. If you are not sure what formula to use, ask your vet.
Things You'll Need
- Baby bottle, the largest you can find
- Formula or milk from mother goat
- Helper, if possible
Prepare the doe's milk or formula. Warm it up like you would for a human baby, and fill the bottle.
Gather bottle, towels and helper (if available), and go to the hungry pygmy goat.
Rub a little of the milk on the nipple to help the kid get the idea that the bottle contains food. You will most likely have to kneel. You might want to kneel on an old towel to protect your pants.
Have the helper cover the kid's eyes with her hands or a towel. If you can manage covering the eyes yourself, great. Gently pry open the kid's mouth if the mouth isn't already open. Hold the tongue down as you insert the nipple. Remove your thumb. After the kid gets the idea that the bottle means food, you will no longer have to cover his eyes.
Keep the bottle tilted up, nipple down and tilted to mimic the position of the doe's udder.
Use the towels to wipe up when and where you can. Chase after the kid when he runs off with your towel.
When the kid is 21 days old, leave solid foods with him to help the weaning process. Kids are usually weaned at 8 to 10 weeks old. For the last week, you can use water instead of milk to make the kid hungry enough to nibble the solid food.
Tips & Warnings
- Each goat learns to bottle-feed at its own time. Some pygmy goat kids will refuse a bottle but drink out of a bucket.
- If you can milk the mother goat, then use that milk in place of a formula.
- Do NOT substitute a slow-drip water bottle with a ball bearing at the end. This is not the same thing.
- Do NOT let the goat feed in any position other than a natural standing one with head up; otherwise, they can get colic or other health problems.
- Do NOT force your pygmy goat to eat if he doesn't want to.
- Photo Credit From Camp Davis MPGA Registered Pygmy Goats
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