Saturday, December 12, 2009

My First Season - Feeding the Kids

The following is from the journal I kept during the 2008 kidding season.

I let the kids stay with their momma for their first 2 or 3 days.

One reason I do this is to be sure they get the first milk, colostrum, which gives them the immunities they will need as they grow. I gave the does CD/T shots about 6 weeks before the kids were due to be born to insure that the kids would get the benefit of this vaccination passed through to them in the colostrum.

The other reason I let the kids stay with their momma for several days is because of the frequency they need to nurse for the first several days. I don’t have the energy to keep up with feeding them that often, stay on a regular milking schedule and keep up with regular life as well! The feeding schedule I follow is below.

Age Amt @ Feeding Total/Day # Feedings/Day

1-2 days-----4 oz ------------16 oz----------- 4
3-7 days-----8 oz ------------24 oz -----------3
1-2 weeks ---12 oz ---------- 36 oz -----------3
2-3 weeks ---16 oz ----------32 oz -----------2
3-5 weeks ---20 oz ----------40 oz -----------2

5-7 weeks -----24 oz ----------- 48 oz -------------2
7-8 weeks ---12 oz ----------24 oz -----------2
By the time they're 7 weeks old, they're eating hay and grain and drinking water ... so I decrease the milk to prepare them for weaning.

With 14 babies in the kid pen in the back half of the well house, feeding times are interesting to say the least! I love every minute of it.

I prepare and warm bottles of the milk that I get from their mothers and take it out to them in the cooler to keep the bottles warm.

In order to keep track of who I’ve fed and who still needs their bottles, I feed Darcy's 3 babies, then Holly's 2 babies, then Bell's 2 babies, then Lilah's 3 babies, then Emily’s 4 babies.

I hold each of them on my lap to give them their bottle while I sit on a straw bale in their pen. They know their order when it comes time to feed them. They are so smart and learn very quickly!

They each get rubbed, scratched and a kiss on the head before I put them down to feed the next one!

They're sweet babies and so much fun! I have fallen in love with all of them!


~Tonia said...

Aww I love the baby pics!! i have been wondering to how to work the babies this year.. DO I want to let them stay with mom and just lock away at night? Or Do I want to let them have the 2-3 days with mom and then bottle feed after that?.. I dont know yet what I want to do!!
AHhh Decisions!!

Anonymous said...

OMG! They are all so cute. Adorable how they all want up on your lap for a bottle and a hug.

Brenda said...

Yes - they are cute, warm, and snuggly! One of my favorite things to do is sit in the middle of their pen and let them snuggle all over me.

The does from this group were my first fresheners this past spring and they still like to have their kisses!