3 week old bottle babies - what to feed and when?

pattyjean73

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Ok I'm seriously considering some bottle fed boer babies. They are 3 weeks old right now and the seller is bottle feeding them twice a day. I will get the information about what and how much from her. She states that they'll be ready to wean in 7 weeks. So here are my questions.

1. What do I start adding and when? I know they'll need to graze, and be fed hay, grains, and minerals eventually. But when do I start adding these things and how much?

2. What would be the best kind of hay for boer meat goats?

3. What kind of feed should I give them? I'm told that the sheep/goat grains aren't good for goats due to the calcium.

4. Is there a pre-mixed mineral available for goats? If not what should I mix in order to give them what they need? And how much and when would I start feeding that to them?

5. When can I start giving them treats?
 

Chirpy

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I am going to assume these will be pets and are not going to go into the freezer this fall? I would answer differently if that is the case.

Are these doelings or wethers/bucklings? That also would affect my personal answer as I would give boys grains or alfalfa hay only as an occasional treat due to the possibility of UC.

1) They should be nibbling at grass hay right now. So offer that to them at least a couple of times a day and see how much they eat.
If they are doelings then you can offer start to offer them a 'little' bit of grain or feed starting in the next few weeks. I actually only grain/feed my does when they are pregnant or in milk. But, many people give grain/feed all the time so others can tell you how much they give.

2) I don't have personal experience with boers but I'm "assuming" you would give them the same good quality grass hay. I only suggest straight alfalfa again when a doe is pregnant or being milked. Some people do offer a grass/alfalfa mix to all their goats.

3) Sorry - can't answer for boers.

4) A good loose mineral (not sheep) is the best for goats. They can use the solid blocks but have a harder time with them. Loose goat minerals will have a good amount (close to 1800 ppm) of copper in them - that's important. I use Purina's goat mineral as it's all that's available around here.

5) I personally like to wait on treats until they are several months old. Others will disagree but I think that at these young ages the only things going into their mouths to eat should be as healthy as possible to give them all the advantages of growing big and strong. A few treats now and then isn't going to hurt... it's just my thoughts on it.

And.. if you get them... we will NEED to see pictures! :D
 

pattyjean73

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No these will be my initial breeding stock. Their offspring will be for future breeding and meat.
 

helmstead

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The grain product you will be looking for is a meat goat pellet, medicated, that also contains AC (ammonium chloride).

ADM Alliance/Moorman's website has some GREAT information on feeding meat goats.
 

pattyjean73

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Thanks for the information. I DID get some goats and will be going tomorrow to shop for feed and hay.

Side note: I didn't get the 3 wk old doelings, as it turned out, there was some miscommunication and they were all bucklings.
 
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