You will need to learn about raising orphan goats, if you buy new kids from another farms, if a doe has more kids than she can care for or if any doe of your farm die after kidding/giving birth of kids. Raising orphan goats don’t require too much. It’s quiet simple if you have the right supplies and the right attitude. Meet up the basic needs of your goats and they will live and grow happily in your farm. Here I am describing the steps of hand-raising orphan goats.
Feeding orphan goats is most important. Bottle feed the orphan kids. Usually a kid need about 5 oz of milk for each pound of weight daily. For bottle feeding of your goat kids, you can use milk from another doe or purchase proper goat kid starter milk formula. You can find this starter milk at any of your nearest livestock feed stores. You can also use calf or lamb milk replacer, if you don’t find goat milk. Buy bottles and nipples from the livestock feed storage. You can use a turkey baster or syringe for the first time, if you don’t have bottles and nipples on hand. Bottle feeding your goat kids can be tough for you for the first few days. Because the kids naturally look for their mother’s nipple. But within a few days the kids will adjust themselves with the bottle feeding system. During feeding, pick up the kid, hold it in one arm and use the hand to pry open it’s mouth and finally put the nipple in. If you use plastic pop bottles, then gently squeeze some milk into the kids mouth if it is confused to suck or become too week. After a few days, the kid will automatically learn what to do and it will normally drink milk from the bottles. In case of numerous orphan kids, bottle feed the kids one after another or make a system by which the kids can drink on it’s own. Feed the kids multiple times daily for the first few days and then gradually decrease the times of feeding. Always use fresh, clean and warm water for preparing the milk formula for your kids. But ensure that, the water is not too hot. So it will be better if you test the mixture on your wrist before feeding it to the kids. Along with bottle feeding, feed the kids some greens or fresh hay.
Usually kids learn eating greens, hay or other things by watching their mother. But as you are raising orphan goats, so you have to teach them by picking greens or hay with your hand or by keeping the kids with other kids who are eating. You can also provide the kid ration feed, which is a crumbly product that you will find at the livestock feed store. Feeding is the most important part or raising orphan goats. So be very careful and provide healthy foods.
Keep the orphan goats in a separated house for a few days so that other goats can’t disturb them. If possible get other goats out from the house. If you have some gentle goats with kids, then you can keep the orphan kids with them. Keep soft bedding inside the house and make it comfortable. Prevent all types of predators and make adequate ventilation system.
Baby goats need to have colostrum (a high calorie natural nutritional product that lactating mother goats produce during the first 24 hours after kidding). If anyhow your baby goats don’t have colostrum from their mother in those critical hours, then they will need colostrum replacer. You can purchase such products from your nearest livestock feed supply stores. After a few weeks of bottle feeding, provide them nutritious feeds such as goat pellets soaked in milk, greens and hay. And always provide them sufficient amount of clean and fresh water.
If possible, try to spend some good time with your orphan goats. You can make them friendly and well behaved by spending some time, playing with them and taking them with you on a walk. Let them come closer to you. Keep them on your lap and tame them through spreading your hand throughout their body. They will close their eyes with pleasure. Usually human raised orphan goats become very friendly with people and become very suitable as pets.
Some people raise the orphan kids by grafting them to another doe. It will be better if you have another doe in your farm for raising the orphan kids. It will be much easier than if you raise the kids. And it will also save your time and a lot of costs on milk. You can graft the orphan kids to another doe that has given birth but lost her kids or has only a single kid. But never give a doe more than two or three kids to care for. Keep the orphan kids in the pen with the mom who has only one kid. If the mom become good, then she will accept the kids.
If the mom become not willing to accept another kids, then force her to allow the new kids to drink. But never leave the kids along with bad mom (because she might injure the new kids) until you notice that she is caring the kids. Once she has fully accepted the helpless kids, then you are fully out of all types of tension. Let the mom take care of her new babies. 🙂