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mikey

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Kid Care
« on: March 15, 2009, 12:38:02 PM »
Kid Care
Progeny should be primary focus
of dairy goat operations

By Janet Hurst 


Kid care is a primary concern in goat management, regardless whether the dairy goat business is based on one or two milkers or one or two hundred or thousand milking does, or at least it should be. These progenies are future milkers, future Grand Champions, future family resource providers, so their health should be the primary focus of any dairy goat operation. After working with dairy goats for the past 12 years, I have had some great teachers, both from mentors and from that old school of hard knocks. My goat-rearing experiences go from a small herd of Nubians to a large mixed breed herd of 1,000 in a commercial dairy setting. No matter the size or number, I have always tried to give the same attention, with the help of a couple of great farm hands, of course. It is that well-guided attention that often means the difference between life or death, and possible loss or profit.

I have found that dairy goats are generally concerned mothers. There are sometimes a few, however, who simply drop their babies and leave them. Chilled or nearly frozen kids are always in danger of non-survival. The best way to avoid this problem is prevention and to be knowledgeable and watchful for signs of labor. Signs to watch for include: vaginal discharge varying in quality and opacity before the delivery, bleating or "talking" of the doe to her unborn offspring, tail switching, and general discomfort. (Of course, there are always those exceptions who will not do any of the above and simply drop their baby.) If labor is detected, it is wise to confine the doe to a kidding pen. This area should be bedded with fresh straw. The water bucket should be placed high on the wall of the pen, to avoid the kid falling into it during delivery.

However, chilled kids are often a reality, no matter how vigilant the breeder. A frozen kid is a pitiful site. If there is a breath of life left in them, it is possible to save them. I have submersed them in warm water with less than satisfactory results. My preference is to put them in the house by the heat source-the wood stove or on top of a floor vent, wherever is very warm. Just be careful not to cook them! I usually wrap the chilled kid(s) in a towel and lay a corn warmer on top. (I will go into the corn warmer in a minute.) Keep a tubing kit on hand for cases such as this. A tube is a small catheter with which a 60 cc syringe is used to get life-saving warm colostrum into a chilled kid. This is difficult to do the first couple of times but after that it becomes much easier. Feed the tube slowly and then using the syringe, feed a small amount-15-20cc-of warm colostrum.


Are these kids future Grand Champions?
 
Cover the kid, leave it on the heat source and let it rest. Check again in 20 minutes or so. If this works, an hour or two of recovery time can often change a prone kid to one that is up and hopping about. If the kid doesn't make noticeable improvement, repeat the tubing with the colostrum. As soon as things look promising, move the kid to a warm spot in the barn and let nature take its course. I have been known to keep a kid in the house a day or two or three to get it on its feet. (An alternative to my Intensive Goat Unit [IGU] would be heat lamps in a stall or draft free area of the barn.)

A corn warmer is a cloth bag filled with field corn kernels, then heated in a microwave or in the oven. The corn will absorb the heat and the resulting durable heating pad will stay warm a good while. Before placing a corn warmer on a new kid, make sure the bag isn't too hot. I like to wrap the goat in a towel, then lay the warmer on top. This idea, by the way, is great for cold or aching people as well!

Even for normal delivery, there are helpful practices that encourage the stamina of the freshening doe. After the doe delivers, I always give the doe a bucket of warm water with molasses or brown sugar added in good quantity. This will re-energize the animal and get her milk flowing. Soon after delivery it is important to milk the doe for the all-important colostrum.

Decisions about kid rearing should be made before this point, planned for and put into place at this time. There are two common methods of raising kids: dam-raised or hand-raised. There are pros and cons to both methods. I prefer to pull the kid, or kids, immediately and hand-raise them. This way the kid does not bond with the doe and will, generally, be easier to bottle feed and handle. The kid will recognize the caregiver as "mom." This is easier if it begins from day one. It will be the responsibility of the caregiver to nourish the kid as its mother would. First, and most important, is to provide the colostrum. A doe will generally give more than what her young ones need. During the first milking or two, I collect it and freeze it in soda bottles. This will generally keep for six months in a deep freeze. The kids need colostrum for their first two or three feedings, and can then be switched to pastuerized goat milk for three days. Remember: a kid without colostrum will not thrive and most likely will not survive. Special attention must be paid in the heating of the colostrum. I thaw the frozen bottles and then heat them in warm water. One effective method is to get a pot of water boiling, remove it from the heat source, then place the bottle of cold colostrum in and let it warm. Test it as for an infant. It would not be good to scald the kid's throat!

Heat-treated colostrum is warmed to 135ºF and held at that temperature for 30-50 minutes or an hour. This is important to prevent a disease called Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis (CAE), which is passed in goats through colostrum and un-pasteurized milk. CAE can cause severe arthritic problems and shorten the useful life of a dairy goat, so care must be taken to prevent it from taking hold in a newborn kid. (See related article by Alice Hall on page 29.)

Once the proper method for raising kids is determined, the breeder must learn to feed proper amounts. One tendency is to overfeed kids. I find that by feeding smaller amounts three times a day for the first five days, kids are hungry enough to eat well and I have had fewer problems with scouring. After this five-day period, I cut down to two feedings and I also begin to cut the goat milk with the lamb replacer, cutting the amount of goat milk in half and substituting the milk replacer for the other half. This will prevent scours from going to a different feed and also disguise the new taste somewhat. After two days of the half and half mix, milk replacer can be fed in full. It may take a bit of coaxing to get them to eat the milk replacer. They know the difference. Once they get good and hungry it will work.

Another alternative is to feed the kid cow milk. This process would start the same, with the goat colostrum, then half goat milk and half cow milk, eventually all cow milk. This will prevent the need to buy the lamb replacer and is a great way to use extra milk. If scours do occur, cut back a little on the milk and replace it equally with water if it is too rich. Scours and pneumonia are major causes of death in kids, and signs of either should be immediately dealt with.

For those first bottle feedings, I like using the Pritchard teats on top of a plastic soda bottle for the first week. (Make sure to wash those soda bottles carefully to avoid the introduction of harmful bacteria into their systems). After the first week a 10-nipple bucket can be a real time-saver. This will take some training, but can feed 10 kids at a time. Make sure to hang the bucket so the kids have to drink with their necks in an upright position. They are not meant to drink from the ground. Picture the goat's udder and hang the bucket about that height. This will aid in their digestion. Watch out, at this point, for any weak kids. Some kids just don't catch on quite as quickly as others and the slower ones may need to be fed separately for a time, until they develop to the point of strong sucking. If they can't compete for food it is better to feed them on their own. The time spent training kids to drink from a nipple-bucket is well worth it, as it will speed chore time along once they learn.

Well-fed kids grow quickly and it is important to keep records on them for future reference. Records can be a pain or a goat breeder's best friend. I find the more history I have on every goat in my herd, the better. In a small herd it is not as difficult to remember who belongs to who, but in a large herd it is a different story. I had great success in identifying kids temporarily by using the colored Velcro® bands created for flagging cows. I simply wrote the dam's number and the kid's date of birth on their collar. (I followed up with a hard copy). They were permanently tagged either by collar number or ear tagged later. By using different color bands I could tell at glance how many males and females I had in the kid pens. This is a simple method but it helped a lot in keeping things straight.

Not only is it good for the bottom line in management to work toward 100% survival of kids born on the farm, but dairy goat kids are without a doubt the best cure for mid-winter blues. Watching them hop and skip from place to place will bring a smile even at the end of a long hard day. As with their human counterparts, they stay small a short time. Don't forget to enjoy them!
 


mikey

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Re: Kid Care
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2009, 04:02:33 AM »
Starting Kids Out Right

By Nancy Nickel 


It has always been our philosophy at Nickel's Dairy Goats, Missouri, to practice preventative medicine and total maintenance with an eye toward the future of our stock. We expect our herd members to be exemplary in production and to perform in the show ring as well. Our show herd has always been our milking string and we have won awards in both categories with the same animals. It has only been in recent years that ADGA has included SGCH or GCH designations when the Top Ten lists were prepared, so a casual search does not illustrate just how few of the Nickel Top Ten does were not show Champions as well.

To prepare a doeling for growth to meet the challenge of top performance in the milk room and the show ring, it is vitally important to start the kids out right. Record keeping is an important tool in herd management. It is important to know when the kids will be born and to make provisions for the birth to be monitored. Prolonged labor can mean kids are stressed to the point that they begin life unable to respond in an advantageous manner to mothering by the doe or nurturing by the humans. Chilled kids start life at a disadvantage, and are forced to utilize precious reserves of fat for survival. These kids are slow to begin growing and gaining, and may be more likely to contract respiratory illness as well.
These LaMancha kids from Boomtown Farm, Kentucky, are grouped by age for optimum growth opportunities. 
 

We start all kids in the house. There they are observed often, fed four or five times a day, and kept dry and draft free. A chart is made for each birth group noting anything that may be of later interest. We especially like to note those kids who are active and smart to catch on to standing alone to nurse. Kids that must be held on a lap to eat are not as quickly advanced to life with a group.

When they are able to move toward the feeder they begin acclimation to outdoor conditions. The second phase of life is our garage. The second lesson in feeding is to make the transfer from a hand-held individual bottle, which allows observation of milk intake, to jug bars. We like to feed the garage babies from plastic gallon bottle jugs which are fitted with two lambar nipples. Milk is provided in these jugs three times a day at a volume which will allow each kid to eat its fill during the feeding time and still have milk left over for any kid who learns to come and eat without prompting. Four jugs with two nipples each hang on the wire pen and kids are taught to come and nurse. We use jugs as each holds about 3/4 gallon of milk. The level of milk is high and the tubes are short. This means that the suction needed to nurse from a jug is less than from a regulation lambar. No kid should go hungry or leave the nurser because it became fatigued trying to nurse.

In the garage pens, the kids from several does are formed into pods of eight kids. Eight seems to be a good maximum number for observation as well as a good number of kids for adequate competition for feed. Ideally, kids stay with their initial pod, or group, until they are sold or until the bucklings must be separated from the doelings. We like these kids to be less than 10 days apart in age and to have birth weights varying less than a pound. We observe kids that are bullies or those that are shy. At times this may cause a change of placement.

Hay is offered from the early days in the garage. Three-day-old kids are usually not interested, but by the time they are ready to leave the garage they are nearly three weeks old. We have found that the Toggenburgs are the most precocious, followed by the Recorded Grades and the LaManchas. Nubian kids take the most care and are the slowest to adjust to changes of any kind. Having a mix of breeds in a group helps, as goats are adept to learning by example.

The last phase in the placement of kids is adjustment to a pen in the kid barn or an outdoor pen with washable plastic house in the kid yards. Once the kids begin life outside, it is very difficult to keep milk from spoiling in jugs and a lambar becomes the most efficient for milk delivery. Each pen has its own lambar with a color-coded lid. The lambar is delivered four times a day for the first 10 days, then reduced to three times a day. By the time the kids are four weeks old, they are fed twice a day. Positive results have been noted when we added warm water to the lambar and allowed the kids to drink their fill after all the milk was gone. This seems to help develop feed capacity. We feel that to be a little hungry between feedings encourages nibbling grain and hay. Kids are fed the best hay available and have free choice grain mixed especially for them containing corn oil and Karo syrup.

The oil and syrup adds palatability to the mix as well as calories for growth and vigor. It is important to consider a third benefit of this somewhat odd addition to starter—it also cuts the dust that many commercial feeds contain and helps prevent the potential of inhalation pneumonia.

One bout of pneumonia leaves the lungs damaged for life. We know this because Bruce is a retired meat cutter and this has allowed us to make a study of the condition of the lungs of market kids butchered here. We have seen the results in hard pulmonary tissue in animals that seemed to have had a very minor lung problem at one point when they were babies.

An animal that will grow into a strong herd member, able to compete in an advantageous manner, must have the use of all its natural advantages. Keeping kids clean, dry, and well fed is the best preventative in the management against disease.

It is a good practice to avoid sharing worms, coccidia, giardia, and external parasites. Older kids are struggling to develop immunity to environmental hazards. Usually the first group of kids that travel through a pen would be quite able to manage without much preventative treatment. When younger animals are moved into the area they "inherit" the pollutants and parasites that the older animals have "planted" in the soil or bedding. Stress caused by mixing pen mates also becomes a factor to disadvantage the younger or newer members of the group. When at all possible we do not mix groups of kids of different social groups or ages.

Kids are weight-taped every 21 days as they are coccidia treated and wormed. Weight gain charts are used to make management decisions. We have found that some individuals respond to the stress of traveling to shows with slowed weight gain. These individuals are then taken out less frequently. Sometimes stalled weight gain indicates that a different wormer or coccidiastat should be used. In general a kid under six months of any dairy breed should gain three pounds a week. Kids six months and older gain at an average of two pounds a week.

Kids that are growing well and growing steadily seem to be able to resist illness. Keeping good records of gain in addition to quality daily observations of each kid as an individual is an inexpensive but vital tool in raising quality goat kids. To really see kids with the intent of observing differences or difficulties is much easier if the pen mates are different colors. However, it is all too easy to view a group of Saanen kids as a unit, and not as eight individuals. To encourage observation of differences and make reporting or charting more accurate, we color code like-colored kids in each group. For this we found nylon leg bands sold for marking dairy cattle to be an excellent addition to our program. These bands purchased from PBS Livestock Supply come in six colors. For kids we cut them in half, length-wise and use them like collars. They fasten with a strong Velcro closure and maintain marks made by a Sharpie marker for at least six weeks.

There is an old English maxim that states "the value of the flock is in eye of the shepherd." Nowhere is this more true than in the value realized by careful observation as we work toward future production and enjoyment of our goat herds.
 


mikey

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Re: Kid Care
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2009, 01:55:34 PM »
How to Tube Feed a Weak Kid

By Sue Reith
CarmelitaToggs 


The prospect of tubing a weak kid probably sounds pretty frightening if you have never tried it. Perhaps it's because I have been doing it for so long, but I find the procedure very comfortable. I'd like to share with you what I have found works simply and quickly for me.

Having prepared in advance for the possibility that at some point I may need to tube a kid, I have on hand a "Sovereign" brand #10 French Feeding Tube/Urethral Catheter. A #8 tube is smaller (good for tiny puppies) but will do the job, and a #12, though it is a bit larger in diameter than the #10, will work also if the kid is fairly good sized (i.e., a dairy goat kid as opposed to a Pygmy kid). These tubes are often available from veterinarians, kept on hand by them for tubing weak puppies. But if you cannot obtain one locally I will be happy to email information on where to order one from a catalog. This small, semi-rigid #10 catheter is 16" long and 1/8" in diameter. Unlike the supple, pliable rubber tubing I have seen in most catheters intended for human use, this tube is semi-rigid, so while I can bend it into a coil for storage, it won't collapse easily like a rubberband does. In my view, the semi-rigidness of this particular catheter is largely what makes the tubing process so easy. I'd like to reiterate to the reader that a feeding tube is best obtained before it is actually needed, to be kept on hand for emergencies. To wait until the last minute to search for one might prove disastrous.

Now to the process
The first step in tubing a weak kid is to stretch the little guy out flat on its side on a table or other flat surface, with its neck and jaw in a straight line stretching forward as though, if the kid were standing up instead of lying down, it might be looking up at the stars. This allows me to measure accurately from the kid's mouth clear back to its very last rib, which is how far the tube must be inserted in order to tube the contents into the stomach. I mark that distance with a magic-marker on the tube itself, so when I am inserting it I will know when it has reached the correct point. Keep in mind that since the kid's lungs are much closer to the mouth than is the stomach, if the tube inserts easily until it reaches the mark you have made, you can be confident that it is safely in the stomach.

Having determined the type and amount of fluid I want to tube into the kid, and pre-warmed it to normal body temperature (generally by placing the prepared syringe into a container of very warm water), I attach this syringe of warmed fluid to the end of the catheter. I use cooking oil on a cotton ball to coat the tube so it is very slick.

Next, I have a choice of two approaches that can be used for positioning the kid for this procedure:


If the kid is pretty flaccid (weak) I lay it down on that table or other flat surface on its side on a towel and have an assistant hold it flat, with its neck and jawline in the same position it was in while I was measuring the distance to the last rib. Then I gently open its mouth with a forefinger and thumb, and start sliding the semi-rigid tube smoothly and slowly in, along the right side of the throat.

For a sturdier kid, an alternative to lying it on its right side would be to sit it in my lap, facing forward in the same direction I am facing, as though it were a child and we were watching tv together. I elevate the head and neck gently upward towards the ceiling, and then slowly slide the tube down the inside of the baby's mouth on the right side.
In either position I find that the tube slides down the right side of the throat (I am left-handed) easily, with the kid swallowing co-operatively as I do so. Occasionally, if the kid struggles in annoyance at this invasive procedure, its head will move and the tube will start down the left side of the throat. When that happens I know about it right away, because it is headed for the lungs and the kid reacts by starting to cough instantly. The tube itself will irritate the lung area, causing a cough response, so no other test is needed to determine this. In addition, a tube accidentally headed for the lungs will not slide smoothly. If I see these signs, I immediately pull it back out and start over. (By the way, his happens very rarely.)

When the tube is going where it should, the entire length of it will slide easily for the full distance to the place I have already pre-marked on it. When first learning this procedure, if unsure that the tube has actually gone into the stomach it's okay to wait until after it is in place before attaching the filled syringe, so as to be able to blow some air into the open end of the catheter. With one hand gently resting on the kid's stomach it is easy to feel and sense the air being blown into it. Comfortable that the tube is indeed in the stomach, I slowly plunge the liquid contents from the syringe smoothly into it, and if I have chosen the "lying down" position for this procedure, the moment I finish tubing the liquid into the stomach I pull the tube back out rapidly, and quickly move the kid into an upright position, and that's that.

One of the amazing things that I notice upon completion of this process is that the kid, generally fretting and struggling throughout this experience, suddenly takes on a quiet, contented demeanor. It's really quite precious.

I suspect that by now many novices, and perhaps lots of long-time goat owners as well, will be gasping in anxiety over the prospect of performing this procedure. But tubing is really not all that scary! And when you see that little kid take on a new, brighter and more alert expression shortly after having received that dose of nutrition and its accompanying increase in energy level, you will "feel 10 feet tall" and be glad that you have learned this new management procedure.
 

Mustang Sally Farm

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Re: Kid Care
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2011, 11:18:10 AM »
Kid Care

By John Hibma 

For goat dairies, the kids represent the future of the herd. Planning for their birth and rearing is an essential element of an effective and profitable management program for a goat owner. Newborn kids require that special level of attention so as to avoid any health challenges at birth that may negatively impact their chances of being a healthy and productive adult.

Kids are susceptible to many diseases at the time of birth, making sanitation the number-one item to focus on. Maternity areas must be clean and dry—preferably on bedding that does not harbor pathogens. Forcing does to give birth in muddy conditions is an open invitation to bacteria such as coliforms and campolybacter. Many breeders practice strict Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis (CAE) prevention methods and remove newborn kids from their dams just as soon as they are born to prevent the spread of CAE. Other breeders may chose to let CAE tested "negative" does raise their own kids for reduced human labor and maximum kid growth potential. But no matter what kid-rearing method is chosen, the importance of colostrum (first milk) feeding is the same.

The feeding of colostrum to the newborn is always encouraged due to the antibodies available in the immunoglobulin. A couple of cups of colostrum should be administered just as soon after birth as possible. The newborn's ability to absorb the antibodies diminishes over 10 to 12 hours and after a day, antibody absorption will cease.

Herd owners who know they have CAE in their herds must be extra vigilant at keeping kids from nursing their mother and even allowing the doe to lick the kid dry. Even though separation of doe and kid at the time of birth is not "nature's way," this is one of the few proven management tools that will help eradicate CAE from goat herds.

Colostrum should be collected from non-infected does when the opportunity presents itself and frozen for future use. Cow colostrum has also been used successfully for kids but there are concerns about the transfer of Johne's Disease (a debilitating cattle disease) into goat herds unless colostrum is heat-treated effectively. There are commercial colostrum supplements and milk replacers available for both calves and kids for an expensive alternative. But, if commercial milk replacers are to be considered, the owner should take care to purchase only those that are made from "milk components" such as whey and other milk proteins. Many cheaper milk replacers are made from vegetable proteins, which are poorly digested by the young goat.


Healthy kids should have access to soft hay as soon as possible, in order to stimulate the development of their rumen. Photo by Jennifer Stultz
 

Jennifer Poirier of Holland, Massachusetts, separates newborn kids from their mothers immediately after birth and does not allow them to nurse even though she's very confident her herd is CAE negative. She hand-milks the mother and feeds that colostrum (after heat treatment) to the newborns by bottle.

"When a doe has two and sometimes three kids, it's difficult to know if all of them are nursing and getting enough of the colostum on their own," she said.

Feeding them by the bottle is the only way she can be confident that the kids get adequate amounts of colostrum. She tries to get at least a cup of colostrum into the newborn kids in the first 24 hours after birth. While many of the newborn kids are up and around and ready to nurse shortly after birth, some of the kids will be too exhausted after delivery to drink much if any at all. With these kids Poirier takes the extra time to make sure they get adequate colostrum, feeding them a few ounces at a time. When necessary, she will get up in the middle of the night to make sure they get adequate colostrum in the first 24 hours.

All of Poirier's kids are bottle-fed individually until they're consuming a quart of milk per day at which time they are introduced into a group environment with other kids where they will all drink from a bucket feeder. She still keeps a close eye on them to make sure that none are falling behind.

When feeding newborn kids, sanitation of feeding equipment is essential. Bacteria grows quickly on uncleaned equipment, and new milk should never be added to old milk that has been setting around for many hours. Even with group feeding systems for kids, the buckets and nipples must be cleaned daily.

Disbudding is an unpleasant chore, but not as hard on kids as one might think. It saves the goat from a lifetime of distress in most goatherds. Acid pastes are available for discouraging horn growth, but Poirier, like most dairy goat breeders, prefers to use the hot-iron for the task. She makes it a point to disbud by the time kids are a week old—she's disbudded kids as young as four days old. When the kid is that young the process only takes about 10 seconds, and recovery time is less than five minutes. The older the kid gets the more painful disbudding becomes, making the task that much more of an unpleasant process for everyone concerned.

Coccidia is another endemic disease in goat herds. While older goats eventually develop an immunity to coccidia, young kids are highly susceptible. The bacteria is present in barnyard soils, cannot be eradicated, and sooner or later, once kids are let out of their pens into a common barnyard, they will be exposed. Coccidiosis prohibits absorption of nutrients and if serious enough will kill the kids through starvation. There are several effective methods for controlling coccidia in goat herds, and a local veterinarian is often the best resource for what works in each local. Some breeders use Decoxx® (decoquinate) added to the kids' grower diet, to prevent an onslaught of coccidian-related problems in kid growth and survival.

Kids cannot be weaned from milk until they are consistently eating several ounces per day of fine hay and a grain pellet. Newborn kids do not have a functioning rumen. They can only digest milk in their omassum and abomassum for the first week of life. However, in goats, rumen development seems to progress rapidly enabling kids to digest soft hay or grasses by the second week of life.

Len Woodis of New Braintree, Massachusetts, prefers to wean kids by the fourth or fifth week of age. He will however, wean them as early as three weeks if they're particularly healthy and aggressive. He watches them closely, making sure they are eating well. During that weaning process, which can be stressful to the kids, he will often give them a bottle of warm water for a few days to help make the transition off milk. Woodis stresses the need to have plenty of fresh, clean water available for kids during the weaning process.

Poirier likes to wait until the kids are a little older—eight weeks to even three months of age. She has both grain pellets and some soft hay available for the youngsters to nibble on just a few days after birth. Many of the kids will nibble on the hay and pellets right away even though their stomachs are not ready to digest it—probably more from the standpoint of exploring their new world than for nutrition. She noted that the bucklings are especially aggressive when it comes to sampling the new feeds.

Rumen development is a complex process involving the growth of the rumen papillae. Research on calves has shown that introducing grain to the diet, along with hay, soon after birth, helps the papillae development by way of the acids that are produced from grain fermentation. Most successful breeders make certain that the kids are eating a little bit of grain along with the hay before weaning off of milk.

Goat herds that spend much of the year on pasture will most likely have parasites. Kids are most susceptible to parasite infestations especially if they are in any way stressed from other problems such as coccidiosis or respiratory problems. Parasite infections will significantly slow growth and development. If a herd is known to have serious parasite problems, the kids, most importantly, must be evaluated through fecal sampling and eyelid evaluation.

One of the great joys of owning goats is watching the kids play and romp. They should remain that way forever—but—they do have to grow up. As kids grow they should be consistently eating between 3% and 4% of their body weight each day. A kid weighing 40 pounds should be consuming about 1.6 pounds of dry matter. To maintain a proper ratio of muscular-skeletal growth to weight gain, a diet consisting of 20% crude protein should be fed to kids until they themselves have kidded the following year. Young goat diets should always include a vitamin/mineral supplement, as well as plenty of clean, fresh water. Proper diets and an environment free of stress will result in a healthy, productive adult that will remain in the herd for many years.
 

 

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