What grain to feed 2 week old mini Nubians? They're hungry!

MaryZoe

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My mini Nubians suck down their bottle so quickly and act like they're starving even after they finish. I know I can start giving them grain, but I'm not sure what that means. I hate to ask such a stupid question, but what type of grain is meant when people say to give goats as young as one week "grain"? I've looked all over for goat starter feed in my area, but no one carries it. So I assume people use something else. At the feed store they suggested I use "sweet grain," but I don't think that has the protein requirements for young goats. So what should I use for "grain" to replace goat starter feed (the obvious choice)? Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks, the newb!
 

babsbag

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Give them some hay to nibble on, grass or alfalfa. As far as 'grain', you can give one of the goat feeds, Purina makes a few and there are a few others at tractor supply or your local feed store. I would not give sweet grain, that is really just a treat.

Are the kids bucklings or doelings?
 

ragdollcatlady

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My 2 week old kids are taste testing the 16% goat pellets I have down for their moms. I would go with a pellet over a textured feed as it is less sweet/ less like candy. Hay available all the time is good.

I hope they are getting bottles at least 3 times a day. Are their bellies full after the bottles? If they are, then it is just goats being goats. They are truly eating machines. They will be fine if they get enough milk and have access to hay and a bit of grain to get started on. After they have the bottle, tuck it out of sight and within a few minutes, they should get busy doing something else.

Mama goats will just walk away when they are done letting kids eat and keep walking if kids are still trying to get milk. Kids learn to eat fast and have several small meals as opposed to a couple large meals, when mama goats are in charge. When they are hungry after that, they start to eat the other stuff like hay and grain.
 

MaryZoe

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Thank you both very much. One is a buckling, the other a doeling. They are 2 weeks old. They weigh just over 8 lbs. each. I'm feeding them a bit more than the chart I found that suggests I should feed them (6 - 7oz, three times a day). I just went down from four times a day to three because while I took them to school with me their first week of life so I could feed them small amounts four or five times a day (my students LOVED them), and I had this past week off for "ski week," I go back to school on Monday, so they have to be down to eating three times a day. My hubby and I will take turns coming home for lunch to feed them. They do have hay available, which they nibble and look like a good old fashioned farmer chewin' on his straw, but I wasn't sure exactly what was meant by grains. I'll get the 16% goat feed today. That makes sense. :) Thanks again for your support! You'd never guess I'd raised 6 human kids, based on how nervous I am about these little fellas!
 

animalmom

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Congrats on your starter herd! Now, where's the pictures, please and thank you... and names for the little ones.
 

MaryZoe

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I love how welcoming everyone is! My twins' names are Ferdinand (after my favorite childhood story) and Daisie (Ferdie loved to smell the flowers in the story). Here are some photos. I do have one more question. Do they know to get out of the sun? I have them outside in their play area that has about 60-70% shade, but they tend to lay right by the fence (I assume awaiting me) in the sun. It's hot in Florida and Daisie is mostly black. It worries me. They prefer to be inside, jumping on the couch, as you see. But it's time they realize they're goats, who live outside!
 

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babsbag

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They sure are cute. I'm not sure that is enough milk. I raised mini Alpines for the first time last year and I was feeding them about 12-16 oz 3x a day by time they were 3 weeks old, and by 6 weeks we were up to a liter. My standard way of raising bottle babies is let them refuse the bottle three times and then I consider them done. Granted some may just be little pigs so you have to be smart about it and don't go overboard. But let me ask someone that has raised more minis than I have.

@Goat Whisperer Is that enough milk?
 

MaryZoe

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I would love to feed them more! I feel bad leaving them chomping on an empty bottle. There are just so many horror stories of over- feeding kids and them dying painful deaths that I'm being cautious. I think I'll give them a little more and see how they do. Thanks again!
 

animalmom

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Regarding laying in the sun... They will move out of the sun if they get too hot, but it seems that my goaties love, love, love the sun. I wouldn't worry too much about where they snooze as long as they have plenty of fresh water, and the silly things know where the water is.
 

MaryZoe

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Got it, thanks. They don't know what to do with the water yet--just stick their noses in and sneeze--but I guess if they need it they'll figure it out!
 

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