There are several reason why you need to replace the goats milk with something else for raising the baby goats. Often, vet suggest to use milk replacer but is there any other option?
Can goat drink cow milk? Can you give a baby goat cows milk? Whole, raw cow’s milk is safe for baby goats. Infact, baby goats thrive on raw or whole cows milk (not 2%) when given in small quantities at a time. Dilute the milk with water if they has bloat or diarrhea & talk to vet for further assistance.
Baby goats need mothers milk to thrive and built immunity but for several reason farmer has to feed the baby goat with bottle rather than relying on the mother goat.
In such instances you can opt for raw goat’s milk from a goat, milk replacer or cows milk.
Mother milk is the best feed any baby goat can get. After the birth (within 25 hrs), they should get colostrum. Colostrum helps to improve immunity and provides several essential nutrients.
In case mother goat not able to feed the baby goat, they should be given ccolostrum replacement feed available at feed supply store.
Why to Feed Baby Goat With Cows Milk?
Baby goats require colostrum and milk to meet their nutritional needs. If for some reason, mother not able to feed the baby goat they will need to feed with milk replacer or whole cow’s milk.
Baby goats get orphaned for several reasons. Often, mother goats may deliver triplet or more and could not be able to feed all the babies. Birth of several kids at a time can affect the health of mother goat.
Other rasons of baby goats getting orphaned includes death of mother, accidental fractures or health issues during the birth that leads to hospitalization baby goats.
Every orphaned baby goat should get their fair share of nutrition during early stage of life.
Within 24 hrs of birth they should be introduced to colostrum then mothers milk. If mother is not able to feed the babies, they should be fed with an apropriate milk formula available at store. Talk to your vet before purchasing any formula.
If baby goats doesnt do well with the milk formula, you can give them whole cows milk.
Be sure to feed the small amount at a time for several times a day. If the baby goat has bloat or diarrhea, dilute the milk using water.
Before we move on to feed the baby goat with cow milk, lets understand the difference between both.
Goat Milk Vs Cow Milk
Even though cow milk and goat milk consist proteins, fats, lactose, water and several micronutrients, they are different.
Goats milk is alkaline while cows milk is slightly acidic in nature. Alkaline milk is good for the kidney health. Also, goats milk is a bit low in carbohydrates and sodium when compared to cow’s milk.
As per the USDA, one cup of goat milk provides approximately 140 kcal, 8 gm proteins and 7 gm fats. Omega 6 fatty acids, short and medium chain fatty acids are found to be more in the goats milk.
When I compared vitamins and minerals in the goat and cow milk, I found that both milks are rich source of minerals and vitamins but the goat milk has more amount of vitamin A, vitamin D, selenium and calcium while cow’s milk has folic acid and vitamin B12.
Can I Give The Orphaned Kid To A Doe To Raise?
Often doe in milk reject the orphaned baby goats due to several reasons. If she has just one nursing kid and orphaned baby does not smell like his/her natural mother chances of getting accepted are high. Ensure, you observe closely until doe in milk accepts the orphaned baby goat.
Doe in milk are selective when it comes to nursing the kids of other goats. There are several reason behind this nature.
Often doe in milk have more kids and its difficult for her to feed one more kid. In this case she naturally prefer not to accept the new kid
Also, if orphaned baby goat smells like its natural mother, other goats reject them. But if the baby is not nursed then chances are they are not smelling like thier mother and will get accepted.
If the doe in milk reject the kid, you need to bottle feed them using either goat’s milk or cow’s milk. You can even opt for the milk replacer.
How often do you bottle feed a baby goat?
Baby goat should be fed 4 times a day with milk or milk replacer in a small quantity each time until they become 30 days old. They should get colostrum within 24 hrs of birth and milk from the 2nd day. After 30 days, feeding frequency can be reduced to the 3 feeds a day.
Keep each feed small in quantity and allow enough time between two meals so that kid can digest the milk properly. Keep the bottle clean and practice other hyginic care while feeding the baby goats.
Don’t overfeed the kids since it will cause bloat, diarrhea and overeating disease caused by Clostridium perfringens