Monday, March 5, 2012

Raising friendly kids

As cute (and yes, even fun) as it can be to bottle feed kids, it can also be a lot of work & the novelty of it all can wear off pretty quickly when you have more than a couple hungry kids to feed. So, what do you do if you want the personality of a bottle fed goat without all that extra work? Start handling your kids right away & do it every on our mini-farm, this is a job we all enjoy getting involved in. Since goat kids are adorable & entertaining, this is one farm chore that nobody complains about! My oldest is very high energy & loud & can sometimes scare the animals with all that yelling & jumping around, but once I showed him that the kids would happily play with him if he would sit still & quiet on the ground, he was willing to save all that energetic behavior for outside the goat pen.
My middle child has always been very loving & gentle with animals...she'd probably love to dress one of the kids up like a baby & play mama, lol.
I have to keep an eye on my youngest who seems to want to share the bottle with the sip for her & one for the kids...
Because our doe had 4 kids, I was concerned that there might come a point where she wasn't wanting to feed all of them (at her peak last year she was a 2 gallon/day producer so chances are she'll have plenty of milk). Just in case I have tried to introduce the bottle to the kids once a day...I was especially hoping the little doe would take to it to give her some extra calories, but only two of the boys would take a little milk from the bottle. Persistence paid off today because I finally got the doeling to take quite a bit which I was really happy about.
So it seems that you can have it both ways...leaving most of the work to the mama goat while having a little fun with bottle feeding, combined with lots of socializing can get you nice friendly kids.
By the way, one of our goats was raised by a friend in this manner (lots of handling with no bottle feeding) & she is just as friendly & easy to handle as the doe I bottlefed last year, further proof that this is a great option for many busy homesteaders!
A little update on this suspected our mama goat seems to have gotten rather tired/impatient with the idea of feeding 4 kids. She is still feeding two of the boys exclusively, but we have been milking her & feeding the other boy & little doeling 1-2 bottles a day because they were not getting enough from their mama. Raindrop is producing plenty...just seems to be (understandably) tired of having 4 kids with growing appettites latching onto I'm now glad that I did introduce the bottle from the start, but am also glad I'm not bottlefeeding 4 kids exclusively!


  1. We had our first set of goat kids this last spring and we did the same thing. They are SO friendly. I had read that if a baby goat climbs on you, you're considered part of the family. My only question is, how to you get them to STOP jumping on you when they get older? Have you had any problems with this?

  2. I can't really pinpoint when my two now yearlings stopped jumping on me, but they seem to just grow out of it. I'm not saying they haven't jumped on me now that they are bigger, but its rare.