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When Can Baby Goats Join The Herd

Baby goats are adorable little bundles of fluff, but after you wean them, they spend all day and night crying out for their mothers. There comes a time when the child must be withdrawn from its main milk supply, whether bottle-feeding or relying on the doe to nurture her offspring.

So, as this time arrives, you may wonder, when can baby goats go outside? The ideal timing to find when are goats weaned is a subject of considerable debate.

Many goat keepers claim that 6 to 8 weeks is optimum; others advise weaning based on body weight rather than using a regular goat weaning age. In our guide, you can find out more about the weaning age for goats and if it is better to use their size.

By the end, you’ll know more about this and how long can a baby goat go without eating its mother’s milk. (Read What Time Do Chickens Go To Bed)

When Can Baby Goats Join The Herd

When to Separate a Bottle-Fed Baby Goat

Many goat owners choose to bottle-feed their young goats because bottle-fed raised goats from baby young kids typically develop into friendly adult goats. This is essential if you are trying to breed dairy goats or raise goats for the pet market.

To ensure that it receives the colostrum it needs, newborn goat kids must spend a few hours with the new mothers, if not a few days. For newborn kids, the first milk is the primary source of nutrients and antibodies that are essential to a baby kids survival and are not present in other foods.

Your new kids will have consumed all their colostrum after a few days, where you can then separate them from their mothers and place them in a bottle baby pen. A newborn goat must be bottle-fed four times daily for the first ten days of its life. The milk volume should be increased from 150 ml to 300 ml after the first three days.

You can introduce small amounts of grain, pellets, and hay to the baby’s diet as early as the first week. Then, as it grows, you can increase this quantity. Depending on the breed, a young kid should drink around a quart of milk twice daily by the time it is two to three weeks old.

As a goat kid milk replacer feed, you can start cutting back on the milk at eight weeks old and increasing the solid feed.

mother raised goat

When Can Mother-Raised Baby Goat Be Separated?

Besides saving you a ton of time, letting a mother goat raise her own baby is the healthiest and most natural course of action. For the first two weeks of their life, baby goats are kept in a special enclosure with their mothers.

The kids can nurse whenever they desire while forming a close maternal relationship with their environment.

When the babies are 2-3 weeks old, you can start letting your mother goats out to browse for a few hours every day while keeping the young goats secure in their pen. You can slowly lengthen this separation time from female goats until they are ready to wean. (Read Can Goats Eat Watermelon)

Several variables can affect the child’s birth weight, overall health, current weight, and the mother’s milk production. Theoretically, a kid is ready to leave his mother when their body weight has doubled from the time of birth; however, some goats can reach this weight in around four weeks.

However, you may wish to give them more time to develop as they are very far from being sexually mature. In addition, a mother may reject nursing attempts if the baby goat is large, but some can nurse for up to six months or until the female goat is ready for her second kid and the breeding season is about to begin.

At around this stage, some goat keepers use a tool called a burdizo to help a kid (boys) with urination (wethering), while others opt to use nothing more than rubber bands (banding).

meeting other goats

Meeting Other Goats

If the new goat is younger than the rest of the herd, you may have to wait to introduce them to the other goats for their safety. Besides this, these new goats need to build up their immune system. If they are exposed to older goats and get any internal parasites, it can threaten your whole herd.

Once the new goat is healthy enough to join the herd, it’s a good idea to give them time to get acquainted with each other by living in separate but neighboring spaces.

Consider letting the new goat live with the existing herd without physical access. From here, kids learn from the bigger goats and quickly find where they stand in the pecking order of things.

Every introduction is different, but you should give the goats at least two weeks to adjust. Head-butting is commonplace and what most goats go through. Even with young male goats, you can push the kid’s head, and they push back playfully.

The first few days after an introduction are crucial, and if the new goat is pushed away or seems cautious of an older goat, you’ll need to provide additional food and water.

Making A Weaning Experience Stress Free

Like any baby animal, the key to weaning any new goat is to be calm, take your time, and be confident you are doing the right thing. While the stress of dealing with pregnant goats giving birth with front legs showing and then coping with umbilical cords has passed, it may still seem overwhelming

Weaning a bottle-fed or mother-raised goat baby isn’t as involved, yet it can still be a challenge. Babies raised by their mothers can copy their mom’s actions, so they know how to care for themselves when they get thirsty or want to eat.

By this time, they’ll have formed strong attachments with the doe, which makes weaning more difficult. To make it easier, you can separate the babies for a few hours a day and increase these times until they are weaned. (Read Can Pigs Have Watermelon)

This approach also prevents mastitis in does during weaning. It is worth remembering to keep the doe and babies in view, although it won’t stop any noise from the crying babies.

Bottle-fed babies aren’t connected to their moms, making weaning easier. These babies need less milk and more solid foods. You may wish to wean one kid off the bottle while letting them graze to lessen their grumbling by providing them with something else to focus on and eat.

A healthy baby goat needs 80% hay or alfalfa hay, 15% pasture, 5% grain, plus a few extra nutrients in block or powder form. As goats are social animals, keeping a weaned baby or mother goat alone will increase stress. Having a companion, even an older nanny goat, will make the process calmer and quieter.

Goats are hardy animals even when young, so cold weather shouldn’t be a problem if you give a clean stall or barn and lots of bedding. When kids are young, be sure to keep baling twine away as they can chew and try to swallow this.

New Does Joining The Herd

With new goats on the farm, you must be careful of the males in the herd. Male goats change dramatically before breeding. This is like “the rut” deer experience.

Like deer, male goats swell, urinate on themselves, and become hostile.  He’ll breed any doe in heat, regardless of age or condition. Goats can even procreate with a doe over a fence, so it’s best to keep them away before you have an unexpected pregnant goat or male mounting another doe who is not mature enough for such an experience.

baby goats on joining

Conclusion Of Young Goat Joining Adult Goat Herd

In relation to the question, “At what age can a baby goat leave its mother?” There are no absolute laws. Aim for anywhere between 6 and 8 weeks is optimal because most breeders and owners concur four weeks is too young and 12 weeks is too old.

The weaning process is less traumatic for everyone concerned the more gradually it is implemented. It provides your baby goat’s digestive system more time to adapt to a diet that includes everything in your vegetable garden after being fed only milk for its entire life!

While this approach won’t do anything to stop the constant bleating, it will protect your children’s health in the long run. Although weaning a baby from a bottle is, in some respects, simpler and nearly always quieter, it has its difficulties. (Read Can Pigs Have Bananas)

Learning these fundamentals will be more difficult for these babies because they have never seen their mothers use alcohol or go foraging.

It is better to release them into the herd or pair them with an experienced goat who can teach them the ropes.

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