Baby goats are just like human babies. In fact, the term “kids” is also another name for baby goats. As a baby goat owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your kids will grow up healthy. Kids require careful handling to make sure they receive the proper attention that they need. Taking care of baby goats can be strenuous at times, but it will be worth your time once they grow up healthy.
The following are some useful tips for caring and feeding your baby goats:
- Understand the importance of colostrum. If you are to feed baby goats, you should know about colostrum. Colostrum is a thick milk found on a mother goat’s mammary glands. Kids should receive colostrum from their mother. This is important because colostrum holds antibodies needed by baby goats to fight diseases. Colostrum also has essential nutrients. The lining of the kid’s digestive system changes within a 24-hour period after its birth. The baby goat may only absorb the antibodies from the colostrum within this 24-hour period. Not all kids receive colostrum from their mother. Fortunately, you may find commercial colostrum in feed stores to feed to your kids.
- Determine the best feeding time for the kids. You should feed baby goats at least four times daily. The ideal situation is to leave the baby goats with their mother. If this is not possible, bottle-feeding is your next option. Make sure that you use cow’s milk if goat’s milk is not available. When you do this, add three tablespoons of corn syrup to the milk. Although kids will be resistant to this formula at first, they will be able to adapt with a little persistence.
- Give the kids appropriate shelter. Baby goats should have a place where they can sleep soundly. Their shelter should be free from rain. Straw is an ideal choice for the baby goat’s bedding. Not only does it keep your baby goats warm but it also helps in keeping them clean.
- Maintain proper hygiene of the baby goats. Just like human babies, baby goats should maintain proper hygiene to keep them healthy. If the goat’s mother is not around, you can take over of the bathing of the kids. Clean the ears of the kids using a warm cloth. Your next task should be the face then the legs. You should also clean their hooves. Make sure that there is no debris left in the hooves of the baby goats. You should also trim the hooves regularly. Use a soft brush to groom their coat. You should also deworm the kids.
- Know the right solid food to feed them. When the kids are old enough to eat solid food, you need to make sure that the food they consume will not aggravate their stomachs. Grass hay is your best option for this. The good hays to feed your kids are Orchard, Timothy or Bermuda. The transition from milk to solid is an important part of the kid’s life. That is why you should practice extra care in feeding them.
These simple tips will help you take care and feed your baby goats. Taking care of baby goats can be a lot of work. However, it is also fulfilling. There could possibly be no greater joy than seeing a baby goat grow into a healthy adult.