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Author Topic: I've been offered some baby goats  (Read 3392 times)


  • Joined Apr 2010
I've been offered some baby goats
« on: February 07, 2011, 06:39:18 pm »
Hi guys,
I was thinking of getting some goats for milking and keeping the grass down when I was offered some kids.  A friend of mine has a wayward Billy who has "got at" the nanny next door.  They will be half pygmy and half "normal sized" goats.
The nanny's owner wants the milk and not the kids, so I was wondering if it would be possible for me to take the kids?  :-\
I need to know how young they can be separated from their Mum (poor things) I am away from home at work for about six hours per day, so bottle feeding little little ones may be a problem.  We have plenty of space and my OH is going to put some fencing in to protect the nut trees he has planted!  My Dad used to have goats when I was a girl, but he didn't separate little kids until they had finished suckling, so he is not sure, but he is very knowledgeable in the other areas.
Any advice would be most gratefully received.  :)


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: I've been offered some baby goats
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 07:53:53 pm »
Kids can be bottle fed from about 4days onwards, but it will be VERY expensive to raise them on milk replacer. Also you will need to vaccinate them very soon (about 4 weeks onwards). I wouldn't take them from the owner of the nanny (so that s/he bottlefeeds them) until they are about 12 weeks old, by which time they will be weaned. if you were to take in any male kids, make sure they are castrated (rubber ring before 7 days of age), and it would be up to you to have disbudded (to be done at 4 days) or keep their horns. If they stay with the nanny, the owner would organise that through their vet. I get all of mine disbudded, it's safer.

I would say you would be better off to buying a goatling (and friend - either another female or a castrated male) and get her into kid yourself, or buy an in-milk nanny with her kid(s) in the spring, then you have milk straight away.

Also goats are not lawn mowers - better to get some sheep for that job. You will also need a CPH number and get a goat herd number, although any you buy in will come with their own herd/individual number. Any goatlings or younger will need to be double-eartagged, but not EID.

Lots of info on the BGS website,


  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
Re: I've been offered some baby goats
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2011, 09:36:51 pm »
It can be time consuming and quite hard work, as well as expensive to bottle feed young goats.  Some of my goats are pygmy x, and although they are good breeders, they are not good milkers.  If you want a milking goats, then go for something bigger than a pygmy


  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: I've been offered some baby goats
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2011, 09:24:37 am »
You will also need a shelter/shed, you will need to check your own land for poisonous trees, shrubs, bushes because goats will have a nibble before you know and then its too late  :-[   
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...


  • Joined Apr 2010
Re: I've been offered some baby goats
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011, 04:40:26 pm »
Thanks for the advice, I have a shelter in the form of a 3 1/2 sided shed and the hedges & trees will be well fenced off, however I am not confident that this person will do all the things she should do with the little ones before she tries to give them away, so I think on balance I had better wait and do it properly. 
I am going to say no thanks to these yet unborn kids and then I can pick and choose some who are more likely to be vaccinated, disbudded, disease free etc. etc. etc.
I suppose if I was sensible about it, I would get some sheep - although I really don't like sheep muck all over the place and I was quite excited about milking..... Goat poo is so much less unpleasant don't you think ??  :D
I will stick to chickens and ducks and two legged kids for the time being.
I am so grateful for the voices of smallholder reason !!
Thank you


  • Guest
Re: I've been offered some baby goats
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 05:08:09 pm »
i didnt think there was much difference between goat and sheep poo. not as mucky as ducks and hens. some breeds of goats, eg boers, graze better than others apparently.
id choose livestock you really like rather cheap/convenient then you might enjoy them more. i would have thought u cud have took bottle-fed kids after the first 4 days, if you were hand raising them. i couldnt imagine a breeder paying for milk powder for 12 weeks then give them away, its quite expensive, plus raising them is half the fun.


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: I've been offered some baby goats
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2011, 09:29:19 pm »
Bottle feeding kids is great fun - but if you have to do it on milk replacer only it is very expensive and only worthwhile doing if the kids are valueable themselves (from a known pedigree/milking background). If these kids are half pygmy and "from the billy next door..." than I am not sure....


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • The Lincolnshire Fens
Re: I've been offered some baby goats
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2011, 06:50:31 pm »

 We like to leave our kids to feed from their mothers whenever possible but ours are minis so we are not so bothered about milking. But if we have to bottle feed we always just use ordinary whole milk from the supermarket. We find this a lot easier and they seem to have less stomach upsets than when we used to use a milk replacer.

I definitely agree that it's best to start off with a breed of goats you really like ..after all you will be looking at them for a long time so you might as well have something that gives you a good feeling!


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