I had to write this for my homesteading class so I figured I might as well kill to birds with one stone and post it as well!
If you’re wondering which you should go with dam raised or bottle fed goats here are some tips for you!
- Discipline – You would think that as with any other baby the goat is going to test its boundaries and you’d be right. They are going test and see what they can get away with and what they can’t. The difference is that the nanny goats don’t really discipline their kids, they may head but them to try and put them back into order but most of the time when they head but they are actually just doing it in play so it can be hard to tell. If she is done nursing she will just walk away and when the kid follows after her she will just walk off some more.
- Play – Kids play, it is a natural thing to do and guaranteed most of the time when you walk into the pen they will either be eating or playing. They will jump and hop around and head but each other testing their strength. If they get frustrated at each other they will head but some more (head butting is kind of their fix all). Goats are very social animals and get very lonely and depressed if you take them away from other animals so unless you plan to quit your job and spend the rest of your life in the goat barn you should probably find them a friend.
- Feeding, bottle / dam – As a dam fed goat the kids will bond with their mother and the other goats in the herd. They tend to be less friendly and more skittish this way unless you make it a point to spend a lot of time with them. If they are bottle fed on the other hand you will be forced to spend excessive amounts of time with them, this making them your best friend. They will follow you everywhere like a little puppy dog! Now I’m not saying you can’t get a friendly goat out of a dam raised kid, they just aren’t going to get nearly as much attention as a bottle fed would. Either way it is going to be a bit of work.
- Work involved – With a bottle fed kid you are making the commitment to go out and feed that little critter every two hours for the first several weeks of its life. Granted something might have happened with the mother and that wasn’t your first choice but it’s still going to be work. With a dam fed you are still going to have a bit of work. When the kids are first born 9 times outta 10 they are going to have a bit of trouble latching on to their mothers to nurse at first but once they’ve got it the kids are good to go! You do still have to check the nanny’s to make sure they don’t get engorged.