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Author Topic: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?  (Read 5696 times)

Fosterlambfarm

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Muirkirk
How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« on: April 04, 2013, 04:48:16 pm »
I rear lambs year in year out but as I'm only 20 I haven't yet had the chance to experience wether using a goat to rear lambs is effective. For example if I bought a goat and got it producing milk by kidding it could I then use the goats milk to rear the lambs?
C mccrossan, foster lamb farm

smithycraft

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 05:04:19 pm »
I've used milk from my goats to rear lambs and also a calf in the past.

I don't know how it compares to milk substitute in terms of growth rate but it has certainly produced some healthy beasts.

Fosterlambfarm

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Muirkirk
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 05:06:59 pm »
Could you foster the lambs onto the goat if your using it's milk?
C mccrossan, foster lamb farm

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 05:08:54 pm »
i know ballingall on here rears lambs on goats milk successfully...


as for fostering on, i have never heard of it but someone else will have to answer that question...

Fosterlambfarm

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Muirkirk
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2013, 05:11:00 pm »
Just seems a better idea than paying hand over foot for milk replacers
C mccrossan, foster lamb farm

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2013, 05:11:32 pm »
Goat's milk is just as good, probably better, that lamb milk replacer.
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Fosterlambfarm

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Muirkirk
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2013, 05:18:30 pm »
Seems il be looking for some nanny goats for next years batch of lambs then lol. Profit margins will go up a good bit which is a win win  :)
C mccrossan, foster lamb farm

smithycraft

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2013, 05:58:25 pm »
I've never tried letting the lamb drink straight from the goat but the calf did.  I could never get it to drink from a bottle but it was fine on the goat.

The goat didn't seem to mind once she was on her milking table with a bucket of food in front of her.

sokel

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jun 2012
  • S W northumberland
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2013, 06:23:13 pm »
Several farmers have used our goats milk to feed the lambs and had great success. We will be rearing all of ours this year on goats milk where as last year we used powder so will be interesting to see if there is any difference.
I know one person who put lambs onto a goat a few years ago and they ruined the goats udder  :(
Graham

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2013, 06:37:25 pm »
Seems il be looking for some nanny goats for next years batch of lambs then lol. Profit margins will go up a good bit which is a win win  :)

Don't forget the cost of keeping the goats year round.  May not be cheaper.
 
More fun though. :)

Fosterlambfarm

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Muirkirk
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 06:40:27 pm »
Yea but it's a case of getting another happy animal to give cute bleats
C mccrossan, foster lamb farm

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 10:53:00 pm »
Before you jump right in and buy a nanny goat please make sure you know what goatkeeping is all about.
 
What are you going to do with the goat kids if you use the milk for lambs? Kids need about 2 ltrs per day (as do lambs) and you would therefore need a nanny that would give well in excess of a gallon a day to have any milk left over for lambs, or you would need a really good-runner through (as goat milked in her second yera of lactation without a kidding in that year). These goats are not cheap, need good feed all year round (to maintain the lactation), a shed, regular foot trimming, vaccination etc etc.
 
So I would think unless you reallly want to become a goatkeeper, and then use any spare milk for lambs it will be cheaper (on an annual costing) to just buy replacer... If it were cost effective to rear lambs on goatsmilk (by having goats on their farm) many more farmers would do it...
 
Oh, and never let lambs suckle a goats udder, it will be ruined. Bottle feeding, therefore milking out twice a day is an additional job on the farm...

Fosterlambfarm

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Muirkirk
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2013, 11:03:34 pm »
I see were your coming from, jus looking for ideas to increase profits as I am trying to turn this into a large project each year, the other thing was iv been looking for goat kids to bottle rear as I am interested in them but don't know any local goat breeders
C mccrossan, foster lamb farm

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2013, 01:36:48 pm »
You're more likely to get spare goat kids from a comercial goat farm, I think everyone on here would raise their own. :)
 
I've had a few farmers near me ask about getting a goat to feed the lambs, apparently there was a welsh farming program showing someone doing it a couple of years ago.  So far none are doing it.  Too much else to do at lambing time to start looking after a goat as well.

Fosterlambfarm

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Muirkirk
Re: How effective is using goats milk to rear foster lambs?
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2013, 01:43:39 pm »
Yea the thing is I'm more into just rearing foster lambs rather than going inti rearing foster lambs while lambing a flock aswel. I am planning on building a business out of ewes, calfs, goats and incubation just at the present the stepping stone is bottle rearing young animals. Il look out for a commercial goat farm fir kids
C mccrossan, foster lamb farm

 

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