What and how to feed the kids at home
Newborn kids require increased attention and careful care. This also applies to the diet, because the weight and volume of milk in the future depends on what and how the goat will eat in the first months of life. In the article, we consider the diet of kids, depending on age and other factors.
There are several ways to feed the kids. They are used depending on how large the farm is, where animals are kept, and on the health status of the baby being born.
Also, different feeding methods determine for which products to grow kids: meat or dairy.
Under the uterus
This method of feeding is suitable for meat and fur goats. The female goats stay with the female for about 4 months and feed from her when they want. The first food a kid will get is colostrum. It is very useful for a newborn, as it has important elements for the digestive tract: enzymes, proteins and fats.
After birth, the baby is given to drink so much milk so that its volume is at least 10% of the weight of its own body.
Up to 1 month of life, you can feed a kid only with milk. Then hay, grass and liquid cereals are gradually added to the feed. At the age of three to four months, the kids are weaned from their mother.
- Feeding under the uterus has the following positive aspects:
- nutritious food for the baby;
- strong immunity due to the high content of trace elements in mother's milk;
- accelerated kid growth;
- the kid's assimilation of eating habits while observing the mother;
- no additional costs are required from the owner.
- However, there are negative effects from feeding a baby a goat:
- in the warm season, the kids completely suck out the mother’s milk;
- if there are several kids, one may drink more milk than the second;
- a small kid can damage the goat's nipples.
Important! It is not recommended to feed the kids with mother’s milk if the uterus is of a milk type — the milk yield of the female will decrease significantly.
Feeding without a uterus is a more complex and costly method that requires more attention from the goat owner. It is used for breeding dairy goats.
- The advantages of this method of feeding include:
- high milk yield of a goat;
- the ability to control the feeding process;
- uniform weight gain in all kids.
- The disadvantages of this method are:
- susceptibility of kids to diseases due to less strong immunity;
- slow weight gain;
- high costs of feeding young animals.
The temperature of the warmed milk in the bottle should be 38 ° C. After the first two to three days, the kid is given milk from a cup. If it sprays liquid, you can pour milk into the pan.
Important! It is recommended to continue feeding from the nipple if the kid is premature or when transporting young animals in transport.
Norms and rules for feeding kids
The following recommendations will help accelerate growth, strengthen the body and the health of the baby:
- In the dairy period, young animals are milked up to 4 times a day. About 250 ml of milk should be consumed in one meal.
- Milk drinking should last up to 4 months.
- During feeding with roughage, hay should be carefully examined for the absence of poisonous plants or mold in it.
- In addition to food, babies need a large amount of fresh water.
How to make a diet for kids
In the first month, a kid needs a plentiful milk supply - 1200-1500 ml per day. Feeding occurs about 6 times a day. Over time, the amount of milk consumed will decrease.
The owner will understand when it will be necessary to reduce the number of feedings, according to the behavior of the baby - he will sluggishly drink milk at the last feeding, splashing out the liquid from the bowl.After a month, hay and herbs, as well as vegetables, are added to the kid’s diet. It must be understood that the menu of young animals will vary depending on the season.
In the summer, when the herd can be grazed in a meadow, it is enough to feed with milk only twice - in the morning and in the evening, since the goat receives the main food by consuming juicy grass. In winter, babies are fed hay and root crops harvested in advance.
Much attention should be paid to the water given to the kids. The correct temperature conditions must be observed and always kept clean.
During the day, goats should have unlimited access to fresh water - room temperature or a little warm, even in the cold season.
Be sure to install a drinker in the stall. It is placed diagonally from the feeders so that the animal, having eaten, does not transfer part of the feed to the water.
Goats should not be allowed to drink water after prolonged physical exercise, running or fighting, as this can lead to a severe cold.
During the first hour after birth, the baby must get colostrum.
This nutrient substance has the following effect:
- cleans the body of a kid of feces;
- from birth, colonizes the intestines with beneficial microflora;
- provides nutrients for rapid growth;
- strengthens the baby's immunity.
On the first day, the animal should be fed as many times as necessary: approximately 6-8 times.
Important! In no case should you feed a kid a cow milk. Because of this, the goat may not become dairy in the future, and goats have infertility.
From the first day of his life, at one meal, a kid must drink milk in the volume of one glass - 200-250 ml.
At the age of two weeks, you can add hay to the diet in small portions. At first, the baby will simply lick the unknown food, but over time you will notice how he begins to become interested in hay and chew it.
To increase growth, you can give animals such a mixture: in one liter of milk add 10 grams of salt and 15 ml of fish oil, as well as two or three eggs. The liquid is mixed, warmed to room temperature and the goat is soldered in small volumes.
Oatmeal also has a good effect on the baby’s gastrointestinal tract. It is given in volumes of not more than 200 grams per day, gradually accustoming the kid to such food.
Milk is given in an amount of 1200 ml per day. Meals per day should be at least 4.
During this period, milk begins to be diluted with water. Crumpled potatoes, bran or flaxseed flour are also added to the liquid.
At the age of one month after birth, the animal’s stomach begins to be accustomed to coarser foods. Changing the diet should be gradual, so as not to disturb the digestive system of the baby.
To do this, young animals are released to graze in the meadow, concentrated feed, hay, herbs and root crops are added. At the same time, they continue to give milk. Its volume for monthly kids is 1050 ml per day.
Did you know? The kids are only given a pair milkabout. It contains more nutrients than expressed and poured into dishes.
In slightly older goats, the stomach becomes less susceptible to a change in diet. Therefore, 2-month-old kids are fed three times a day, and the basis of the diet is a chatter of oatmeal - at least 800 g per day. Milk is given in the amount of 450 ml per day. Hay and root crops add 200 grams.
In addition, salt must be added to food - it helps the digestive system cope with the processing of food.
Males are fed milk for a month longer than females. This is due to the fact that the milk characteristic is transmitted to the offspring precisely through the line of the male.
What you can not feed the little kids
To protect the health of goats, it must be remembered that not all products are suitable for feeding ruminant animals.
Prohibited foods are divided into two categories: poisonous and spoiled.
The following feeds belong to the category of poisonous:
- forbs - celandine, rosemary, red clover, dope, nightshade;
- hay - hellebore, lupine, fern;
- green potatoes.
Such food is considered spoiled:
- mold hay;
- rotten root crops;
- sour silo;
- hay infected with insects.
Feeding and caring for weak kids
There are several reasons for the birth of weak kids. Due to the weakened health of the mother, the supercooled room in which the birth took place, or the untimely drinking colostrum, the kid becomes sluggish, slowly growing.
To ensure the survival of such an animal, it is necessary to water it with colostrum on its own. Then they start to give warmed milk. For this, an ordinary bottle with a pacifier is suitable.It is necessary to close the kid’s eyes and bring the bottle to his mouth. In the dark, he will begin to suck milk more actively. Gradually stroke the animal along the back and tail - this is what the mother and the goats do to push closer to the udder.
If the baby is not actively drinking milk, drip liquid into his mouth in small portions so that he does not choke. Warm the kid with warm blankets and hot water bottles.
In order for a kid to warm up faster, he can be made a warm nest using a box, a heating pad or a bottle of hot water. To do this, wrap a warm bottle or heater with towels and put an animal between them. After it warms up, feed the kid one more time.
In severe cases, it is necessary to inject vitamin E and selenium; the medicine may be in one ampoule called "E-strong."
Continue bottle feeding for the first 4–6 weeks. After 2 months, the kid can already give hay and grass.
In the breeding of goats, feeding plays the most important role, because it determines how productive the animal will be in the end.
Did you know? Studies prove that goats are very attached to humans: that is why the owner’s love is so important in caring for these animals.
To maintain healthy offspring, follow these guidelines:
- Feed the herd from three to five times a day. Meal should always occur at the same time. This routine subsequently helps the animal increase milk yield and gain weight faster.
- Stock up on fresh grass hay in advance. Stems cut before flowering contain several times more nutrients than those harvested before the fall.
- Before giving root vegetables for food to an animal, finely chop vegetables and fruitsso that the kid can chew them.
- After feeding, rinse all dishes and dry. Keep all equipment for food in the place allocated for it.
- To avoid vitamin deficiency disease, add needles and fish oil to the diet.