So it’s finally time to wean off those adorable baby goats, but just how do you go about it? We’re going to cover everything you need to know about how to wean a Nigerian Dwarf goat and make sure the process is easy and as stress-free for you and your goats as possible.
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How To Wean A Nigerian Dwarf Goat
How to wean a Nigerian Dwarf goat is really going to depend on your unique situation and will look a bit different on every farm and if your goats are dam raised or bottle babies.
What Does It Mean To Wean A Goat?
Weaning is when the milk is removed from the diet of a young goat (called a kid). Usually – but not always – it coincides with the separation of the young from their dam.
What Age Should Baby Nigerian Dwarf Goats Be Weaned?
When goat kids are offered good quality hay or pasture plus a creep feed, they can be weaned as early as 30 days of age, however, it’s better to wait until 6 to 8 weeks. A better way to decide if our goat kids are old enough to be weaned is by weighing them. When they weigh at least 2 to 2.5 times their birth weight and are eating hay well they can be weaned from their dams or a bottle.
How Long Does It Take To Wean A Nigerian Dwarf Goat?
How long it takes to wean a goat is really going to vary and depends on what method you choose to use to wean your goat. For my goats, I like to ease my goats off of milk and on to solid food to reduce the amount of stress my animals are under.
Guide To How To Wean A Nigerian Dwarf Goat
The first step to how to wean a goat is deciding when to wean them. Everyone has a different opinion about when to wean Nigerian dwarf goats, some choose to leave their goat kids on a bottle or with their dams longer, while others choose to wean them sooner. Personally, I decided to wean my bottle babies at about 3 months, by this age they are eating hay and grain well and grazing properly.
Before you pick an exact date to wean your goats, figure out what else is going on that week in your life and your goats. You want to minimize the stress on your goats (and yourself) as much as possible. Stress and our goats do not do well together, so you don’t want to add to that by having travel or other stress-causing events while you wean your goats.
Step 2 in how to wean goats is deciding on a method, there are many hybrid ways to raise your got kids. But we’re just going to cover dam-raised and bottle-raised goats.
How To Wean A Nigerian Dwarf Goat From A Mom
Weaning a baby goat from its dam may be a little easier, typically they learn to imitate other goats from an early age and are foraging and drinking water on their own. Sometimes their mothers will decide when it is time to wean them but if not, you’ll need to decide when to wean them.
How To Separate Baby Goats From Their Mother
Often your doe and a baby goat are very closely bonded so separating the baby goat from its mother for weaning can be very stressful on both of them. When it comes time to wean baby goats try separating them for a few hours at a time so they can slowly get used to being away from one another. A good way to do this would be putting them on either side of a fence where they can see each other but the Nigerian Dwarf kids can’t nurse through the fence.
An important thing to remember when it comes to how to wean a Nigerian Dwarf goat is its dam, you don’t want to remove the goat kids from its mother and then not milk her. If you plan on using the milk for yourself [check out our homemade cheese recipes] you can continue to milk the goat twice a day. If you don’t wish to use the milk you can dry your goat off.
How To Wean A Nigerian Dwarf Goat Off Of A Bottle
How to wean a Nigerian Dwarf goat that’s been a bottle baby can be quite a bit easier because they are already used to being away from their moms. Weaning a goat from a bottle is a simple process of offering fewer bottles and less milk per feeding until they are eventually weaned off of the bottle completely.
Methods For Weaning A Nigerian Dwarf Goat
One method for how to wean a Nigerian Dwarf goat is to slowly decrease the number of bottles you are giving your baby goat until you have it to one bottle and then drop that one-off.
Another method for how to wean a Nigerian Dwarf goat is to decrease the amount of milk in each bottle and then slowly drop off the feedings one by one until they are weaned.
Another way to wean your goat is to simply stop giving them a bottle altogether. This method can be more stressful and may cause lots of complaining on your goat’s part.
Tips For Successfully Weaning A Nigerian Dwarf Goat
- Before you decide how to wean a Nigerian Dwarf goat, make sure your kids get off to a good start, it’s really important that they have the proper nutrition from birth.
- Make sure your kids have a safe, clean environment to be weaned in with plenty of bedding and shelter to keep them out of the storms.
- An important thing to keep in mind when it comes to weaning your Nigerian Dwarf goats is to ensure that your weaning pen is secure enough to contain your goat kids. Make sure they can’t squeeze through the fencing or jump over it, and that gates are low to the ground so they can’t slide under.
- Another really important aspect of how to wean a Nigerian Dwarf goat is to make sure they have plenty of fresh clean water to drink. Adding electrolytes to the water for the first couple of days post-weaning gives kids a boost during what can be a stressful period
What Do You Feed Baby Goats After Weaning
Once your baby goats are weaned make sure they have plenty of hay, plus access to forage and minerals. Fresh clean water is always important when it comes to goats, so make sure they always have water.
Did we answer all your questions about how to wean a Nigerian Dwarf goat? If not drop them below and we will do our best to answer them.
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4 thoughts on “How To Wean A Nigerian Dwarf Goat”
I have a Nigerian dwarf kid that has been raised as a pet inside the house. I have had him since he was 2 weeks old, he is now 3 months old. I would like to wean him but he doesn’t drink much water or hay. I take him out several times a day to forage and he will drink water sometimes then. I want to try and move him outside for a little bit every day but he is very attached to me and hollers until I come back to him. He stays in a playpen at night with hay bedding, fresh water, some goat feed and of course a top. How can I weaning him. If I don’t feed him he will holler until I do.
Does he have a friend you could let him hang out with? If he was mine, I’d move him outside with a goat around the same age that is used to eating hay and drinking water so it can show him how to be a goat, while using these techniques listed above to wean him off of the bottle. Maybe try switching the milk out for water so he gets used to the taste as you wean him off. When he gets hungry he will eat. Unfortunately, he’s going to let you know what he thinks about the situation, and it will be loud. You may also want to talk to the breeder you got him from and see if they can help you. Often they are a wealth of helpful information.
We have four new Nigerian baby goats from two diff doe’s. They’re at 7 & 8 weeks now and have started eating hay, etc. I’m behind on getting setup to milk the two doe’s and just wanted to know how much more time do I have before it’s too late and I can’t get quality milk from them. I feel like I’m up against a spicket valve and I’m running out of time. Haha.
Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
As long as they are still drinking milk you should be ok, I’d recommend milking twice a day.