Can baby goats eat sweet feed? Within an hour after birth, baby goats(kids) should be fed and they should feed for up to four or five times a day. But of course, not with sweet feed.
Goat care experts would not advise baby goats to be fed with sweet feed because they are very young and it may cause digestive problems.
Sweet feed can be used to spice up feeding time for the goats or can be even used as a training tool for them.
Baby goats or kids have got to be the most adorable creatures on Earth. Having baby goats or kids must be one of the most exciting journeys to undergo.
Right from the very few minutes after their birth, these bundles of life are already standing and taking their first steps. Although they are not born blind, baby goats recognize their mothers by their scent.
Ideally, baby goats should be raised by their mothers but in cases where the mother has too many kids to care for or in an unfortunate case where the mother passed away during birth, bottle feeding can be employed.
Examples Of Sweet Feed
- Calf manna
- Fish meal
What Should You Feed A Kid?
Baby goats should start their diets with milk. Fresh proteinous milk from the mother or from the bottle. If you intend to make a goat more human attached, bottle-feeding the kid will be a more preferable method.
The amount of milk you feed your goat will have to be reduced after a given time. Gradually, you begin to introduce them to solid foods like hay and pasture – these they love a lot.
Having the development of their rumen in mind, start to introduce grains to them at about 7days after birth.
Introducing this solid feed and pasture feeding will help the kids withdraw from their milk diet. Healthy goats can start to be removed from their milk diets at about thirty days old. Selenium, zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus, iodine, iron, manganese, and sodium are important minerals kids need for healthy growth and development.
Goat feed can be classified into:
Roughages: These are high fiber feeds that digest slowly. They make up the basic meal of a goat. Feed like grasses, leaves, hay, and pastures are all under this classification. A goat should have enough roughage on its diet. The more the roughage, the healthier the goat!
Concentrates: Concentrates are feed additives. They are used to complement the roughage diet of goats. They also help when roughages are not so tasty.
Supplements: These are the additional minerals and vitamins that can be added to a goats meal and this is always given in small quantities.
What Not To Feed Your Kid (Baby Goat):
- Meat: Goats are animals that may love to nibble at anything that they see. However, never let your goat as much as nibble meat because they are herbivores and are not structured to eat meat. Not to also forget that it is illegal to feed ruminants with meat.
- Prevent your goat from eating plastics, woods, dirt because goats (especially the kids) are very susceptible to diseases and infections.
- Just any plant: For kids, their diets should be closely monitored and these little wanderers may nibble at a poisonous plant and this might likely lead to death. If possible, fencing should be adopted in addition to it.
How Do You Feed A Kid?
Feeding baby goats can either be done by its mother or by the bottle. However, if the intention is to raise a goat as a pet or you want a very friendly and social goat, the bottle feeding method is the better method.
Here are steps you can follow when bottle-feeding your kid.
Sterilize Your Bottles and Feeding Equipment:
Baby goats like any other young animal are highly susceptible to infections which can lead to rumen problems and even affect their stool.
Proper sterilization of feeding equipment with non-harmful methods will ensure that your kid gets food in a clean way.
Always Follow the Feeding Routine of Your Kid:
Many people are not aware that keeping to a good feeding routine for the kid will allow it to grow better and get adequate nutrition.
If your baby goat is not yet used to feeding on a bottle, you can start by squirting milk from the bottle into the kid’s mouth to let it associate the bottle with food. Most times this can take a while so you have to keep trying. In a case where a goat that has been bottle-fed before starts refusing to suck at the bottle, you should visit your vet for consultation. You will need a baby bottle, a Lamb nipple( the kid will suck on this), Goat milk replacement (however, if you can get to milk your doe, you can bottle-feed the kid with it) and Colostrum replacement.
Please ensure that you don’t overfeed your kid because they have very sensitive stomachs and it’s not likely for them to signal you that they are overfed.
When Is It Advisable To Bottle Feed Your Kid?
- When the kid is rejected by the doe: Many times, due to the number of kids a doe has to cater for or other reasons, a doe may refuse to feed her kid or neglect it. At this point, bottle feeding should be introduced in order to prevent the kid from starving or dehydration.
- The kid is born sick: If a kid is born sick or deformed, it will be a struggle for it to feed properly and if it is not bottle-fed, it may die.
- When the doe dies: when a kid has no mother to feed it, then bottle-feeding is the only method that can be used.
Changing From Milk Diet To Solid Food
After one week of birth, experts advise that a little bit of solid food should be given to the kid to develop its rumen.
Remember that goats are herd animals and their basic meal are roughages. However proper weaning can start at four to five weeks of age.
You would think that kids will automatically switch diets but it is not always that way. Kids may bloat or have difficulties digesting if they are rushed into changing diet.
When changing a kid’s diet, you should give solid food in small quantities and water. You may start by introducing the kid to grains in small quantities or hay and while you’re doing that, you need to be reducing milk intake.
This will help the kid be more interested in solid food.
Other Ways You Can Care For A Kid
- Provide a warm shelter: Baby goats like any other young animal need warmth and shelter. Kids should not be exposed to damp and cold conditions. To care for your kids, prepare a warm pen, and make hay beddings where the kids will lie.
- Take them to the Vet regularly: Ensure regular visits from the vet and make sure your kids are vaccinated and properly checked. You can also get their hooves trimmed so they do not get themselves injured.
- Watch your kids closely to avoid them getting injured, bullied by the herd, or eating poisonous plants.
It’s important to know that kids are already good climbers and jumpers even while they are just a week old and are extremely impossible to keep at a place because they are running everywhere at three weeks. Having a kid can be similar to having a baby because you have to watch out for them every time. Expect those tiring days!.
Also, these friendly cute babies will need companionship so get them acquainted with the herd as soon as they are ready.
Knowing these, we do hope you raise your kid with the best feeds and at their right proportions.
If possible, maintain the minimum range when giving sweet feeds to your kids as you have in mind to raise them healthy.