Monday, June 1, 2009

Goat Kid Weaning Day...Not So Easy

The barn has been busy lately with banding the bucklings that we do not want to sell as breeders and determining which bottle kids should be weaned.

Yesterday I chose the kids that were 2 1/2 to 3 months old and decided to give them one last smidget of milk this morning to start their day off right. Tonight they got fresh hay and no "juice" beyond the water bucket.

Let me tell you, weaning is always hard for me. I simply cannot look at their young eyes and feel like I am doing them any good, even though I am. So, I "feel" their stares and reply without letting my heart sink, "You will be healthier now on good hay, water, and some grain."

Of course, I watch these kids closely even before I wean. They must eat well on their own.

When feeding a bottle kid I follow a schedule that I adopted several years ago. We go from newborn feedings round the clock, to four feedings a day within 24-48 hours, 3 a day thereafter, and at week 3 just 2 feedings a day. They are introduced to hay and grain as early as possible. They never receive more than 20 ounces of milk at a feeding. Because of that limitation I am leery of trying "bucket" feeding, but it sure would be easier on my part for any future bottle kids. I am down to 3 bottle kids. They are just 6 weeks old so they will be on the bottle for some time longer. And now, lo and behold, I have oodles of fresh goat milk coming out of my ears. Just in time for the promise that I made to myself yesterday. Every curing rack is to be full by Saturday!

By the way...the photo is not a goat kid, of course. It is Sunday, one of my mature boer does. She is one of my favorite gals. She "moowwwws" like a cow, a very nice big girl, and has wonderful big kids (normally bucklings), a watchful dam.

Have a good evening!


Jenifer Harrod said...

Your life sounds great. I aspire to have a garden when I move to my new house. Hi, my name is Jenifer. saw that you have some of my same interests. I am an Herbalist, wife of one,mother of 7, lover of God! I am needing some help getting out the word about my web site and blog page since I work from home and raise 7 children I chose to try doing it through Blogspot. If you can help by linking to my pages or copy and pasting some of my articles that you like I would greatly appreciate it. God Bless! Thanks! and/or

Jennifer said...

Weaning the babies is always hard to do and sure makes for a noisy farm for a few days! We have a Boer doe with a deep call too. Jamey calls her tugboat, but she sounds more like a cow. tehe

KathyB. said...

As I type this I have two lambs in a pen separate from their Moms. I am going to sell them , so the ram lamb has been banded and both are being completely weaned by sell date, this Saturday. I can hear their pitiful baas.....and their moms are not too happy either, but like you, decisions have been made and it is time!

And who says only cows moo? I think some goats do a better job of it than any cow I ever heard!

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Hello Jennifer H., good to meet you. I will definitely work on helping you out, and pay you a visit on your blog.

Jennifer and Kathy, hi there!

LOL on the Tugboat! Yes, it is more like a deep Mowwwww. She didn't utter a noise for the first 2 years. She is very vocal now. I love it. Healthy goat. Sometimes you want to ask them to quiet it down but I would rather they have their spirit.

They do sound so pitiful when they want something and we do not allow it.

I think I will write about that today. How they want their attention. That is what makes some of these animals unique. Yes, they are livestock, and we need to guard the heart, but they sure go beyond that in their nature.

Amy said...

I remember weaning goat kid days, it's never easy!

Sand Flat Farm said...

Hi Mary - just dropped by to let you know I did a little advertising for you today! I'm loving your goat milk products. You may copy and paste it to your "testimonials" page if you like. Looking forward to your new fragrances --- Vickie

Alix said...

Awwww, I feel your pain Mary. The poor little things just don't understand - but they will catch on to the hay and water thing and forget all about milk soon.

You're a good mama and a good friend.

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Alix, thank you! I walked out of the barn door this morning with a tribe of tiny ones following me out. I felt liked the Pied Piper. Kids definitely thought they were following a bottle out the door. The good news in, some actually wandered a bit out into the lot today. I went and talked with them, said, " are going to grow big and strong!" I do not like goats, do I?

Vickie, wow. I will head over to your blog and take a peek. Yes, ma'am...I will be copying your comments to my testimonial page! Thank you so very much, and I am glad you liked the products.