Caring for a baby goat isn’t as hard as you may have thought. Then again, it’s not as easy as some may think, too. The main difference between difficult and easy care is how much knowledge you have.
We’ll provide you with some basic information that can help. Generally speaking, goats have great natural instincts that allow them to take good care of themselves. You will help the goat with the things they cannot do.
If your goat is a newborn, then he needs colostrum within the first 24 hours of being born. The doe produces this thick milk, which contains antibodies that the goat needs.
The goat’s digestive system undergoes changed within 24 hours of being born and before the changes occur, they must be given the antibodies. This is because this is when his body can absorb it.
Newborn goats must be fed at least four times per day. If the goat is with his mother, then you don’t have to do this. There may be some occasions in which you’ll have to feed your goat with a bottle.
If you have to bottle-feed the goat, then use fresh goat’s milk. Raw cow’s milk is a good substitute, but for every gallon you use, add 3 tablespoons of corn syrup. At first, the goat may refuse to feed out of a bottle, but if you’re persistent, then eventually they will feed from it.
A goat needs a dry and warm place to sleep. Make sure the place is protected from draft, sun, and rain. If they are born during the early springtime or late winter, then consider using a heat lamp. Straw bedding is a good choice too, and eventually, your goat will start nibbling the hay. When he starts to do this, feed them a high-quality hay, such as Bermuda or Timothy.
At two months, you can slowly wean him off of milk and start getting him used to goat feed, but use a special blend. Also, you will want to have him de-horned and his hoofs trimmed down. If you aren’t able to do those things, then look into agriculture programs that can help you learn about trimming and how to de-horn them.
After three weeks of being born, you will want to get your goat vaccinated against Tetanus and Enterotoxemia. After six weeks of birth, you will want to get them their booster shot.
If you don’t want to breed your goats, then neuter the males. There are a number of ways to neuter goats, but the best way is to use a band. The other two ways include cutting or Burdizzo device.
On of the best ways to go about neutering is using a bad castrator. It is a rubber band that goes around the scrotum of the goat, but don’t worry because this is very easy to do. This blocks blood flow to the goat’s testicles and eventually they fall off, which happens around the two-week mark. Also, you should put the baby goats on a de-worming schedule.
Goats need love. This means you need to allow young goats to live with other goats. Remember, goats are herd animals and most goats do not like being left alone for long periods of time. This is especially the case with baby goats.