You need to bottle-fed your dwarf goat kids if your doe abandons her babies or if anyhow she can’t feed her kids. Some people also prefer to buy bottle babies for raising as pets or for raising on their herd. There are numerous milk replacers and milk replacer recipes available for raising those bottle-fed babies. However, here we are describing the formulas for bottle feeding dwarf goats (although, no one seems to have a definitive answer when it comes to feeding a baby goat).
The kids need only colostrum for their first day (within the first 24 hours of their life). Colostrum is life-giving and a must for the newborn kids. It is enriched with special nutrients and maternal antibodies which helps to protect the newborn kids through their first weeks of life. In some cases your doe (mom of the newborn kids) may die, and then you have to furnish colostrum to the baby goat by yourself. The only best source of colostrum is getting it from a goat. You can get it fresh or frozen, but try to feed it to the newborn kids as soon as possible. There are also colostrum replacer available in the market. You can get the replacer from the stores. Don’t try to use colostrum supplement (because colostrum supplement is not nutritionally adequate for the kids).
If you can’t find any colostrum replacer, then apply homemade formulas for bottle feeding dwarf goats. Take 3 cups of milk, 1 teaspoon cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 raw egg. Mix the ingredients perfectly and you are done. Feed this formula to the kids. But remember, neither this formula nor the commercial colostrum replacer will provide maternal antibodies. But those will provide the kids with the necessary nutrition.
Try Natural Food
Both Pygmy and Nigerian dwarf goat bottle-fed babies don’t require fancy recipes. They can do just fine on cow’s milk or goat’s milk which you find in the stores. But try to avaid powdered or canned milk. Because canned and powdered milk can cause digestive upsets and diarrhea (which is known as scours). Adding 3 tablespoons of corn syrup per gallon of cow’s milk is recommended and it will make good result.
You can apply your own formula for raising your bottle-fed dwarf goats. Take 1 gallon of milk with 1 can of evaporated milk, 1 raw beaten egg and 1 cup of buttermilk. Then mix the ingredients perfectly. The buttermilk may contain enough good bacteria to keep the kids from scouring. This formula is similar to other baby goat formulas and should work for all type of baby goats.
How Often You Should Feed the Kids?
Usually both Nigerian dwarf and Pygmy goat kids tend to eat less than their full-size counterparts. But you have to determine their feeding schedule and frequency according to their appetite and health condition. Neither skimp if the kids are hungry nor overfeed them. Overfeeding causes bloat in the goat kids. A distended stomach indicates that the kids are gaining weight but not wadding away. In case of bottle feeding dwarf goats, you need to bottle-fed the kids for about three to four months. Although some people also recommend weaning the dwarf goat kids within their 8 to 10 weeks of age and start introducing solid foods.
In case of weaning the kids within their 8 to 10 weeks of age, start feeding the kids 12 to 24 ounces three to four times a day for the first week. 36 ounces split two to four times in the second week and in the third and fourth weeks use 32 ounces and split two to three times a day with free choice hay and water. From 5th weeks to weaning, use 32 ounces and split two times a day with hay, grain and adequate fresh water. You can aslo be suggested some other recommendations by your vet. It’s wise to follow the vet’s suggestion.