Thinking about getting baby goats, but wondering what do baby goats eat? Or maybe you are just curious about raising goats? Let’s dive into the ends and outs of what baby goats eat each week of their life up until weaning. Goats are ruminant animals which means they have special dietary requirements.
What Do Baby Goats Eat The First Week Of Their Life?
What do baby goats eat -or drink rather- their first week of life? For the first week, they’ll drink colostrum and then milk the first week of their life. This is very important to their development, without getting colostrum for the first few days the baby can not survive. After that, the baby goats drink milk, how much they drink depends on the breed of the goat. You’ll also begin to offer them hay, free-choice minerals, and high-quality starter grain.
What Do Baby Goats Eat The Second Week Of Their Life?
The answer to what baby goats eat the second week is similar to the first week. For the second week of life, they will continue nursing from their mothers or getting bottles if they are a bottle baby. They will start drinking more milk this week than when they were firstborn, and you’ll continue to give them access to free-choice minerals and hay.
What Do Baby Goats Eat The Third Week Of Their Life?
What baby goats eat on week three of life is their normal milk from the bottle or their mother but they will begin to forage with their dam. You’ll notice they begin to nibble on leaves, hay, and blades of grass around the pasture. Bottle babies will begin to have fewer bottles.
What Do Baby Goats Eat The Fourth-Eighth Week Of Their Life?
What baby goats eat from week four up until they are weaned is milk, grass, hay, and they will forage on leaves and branches with the rest of their herd. They will begin to drink less and less milk until they are weaned and on solid food only.
What Can I Feed A Baby Goat?
What you feed baby goats will depend mostly on their age, as they get older you can feed them hay, pasture, weeds, branches, a bit of grain, hay pellets, and high-quality minerals.
How Do You Feed A Baby Goat Without A Mother?
If your baby goat is an orphan or has been rejected by its mother you will need to bottle feed the baby goat. To do this you are going to need colostrum if the baby is brand new and hasn’t had a chance to get it from its mother. If it’s older you can go straight to milk for the baby. Needing to bottle feed your baby goat? Check out our article on how to bottle feed a baby goat!
What Kind Of Milk Do You Give Baby Goats
What to feed baby goats is really going to depend on your situation. The best milk for a baby goat is obviously goat’s milk, you can also give them whole cow’s milk or use a milk replacer such as this one. You can find milk replacer at your local farm supply store.
When Can Baby Goats Eat Grain?
At about a week old you can feed your baby goats a high-quality starter grain with at least 16 – 18% of crude protein to “kick-start” rumen development. Goats are ruminate animals which means they must digest food by re-chewing partially-digested roughage.
Need to learn more about caring for baby goats? Check out our article!