Breeding goats of your own is a common practice in the rural areas. Wether it is done in a domestic scale, or something much larger, goat breeders often profit due to the consistent high demand for their meat – just as long as their goats keep on reproducing. When they do, it is the breeder’s responsibility to give them the right care in order to raise a healthy litter. Be sure to read through this article to find out how to properly care for a newborn goat!
1. Separate the Nursing Mother From the Rest
The very first step after the birthing process is to separate the nursing mother and her newborns into a separate cage. Separating them allows breeders an easier time to monitor the new family’s health without having the other goats in the way of it. This is also done to prevent other older goats accidentally stomping on the newborns.
2. Do Not Separate the Mother and Her Newborns
Newborns are very much prone to catching illnesses and diseases, so they depend on their nursing mothers to provide them the right nutrients and safety. Therefore, it is wise that you allow approximately around one to two weeks for their mothers to singlehandedly raise her newborns with her milk. A goat’s milk (also known as kolostrum) is an important sustenance for newborns: as it contains their daily intake of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins.
3. Monitor Their Nursing Process
Though it should come naturally, there is no harm in being extra safe by monitoring the mother’s nursing process with their newborns. This is to ensure that everything runs smoothly, since there are unfortunate cases where a mother refuses to nurse her newborns. In the event that the mother does not feed her litter within 4 hours post birth, do start weighing in other options that would help the litter get their daily dose of nutrients. Breeders could start manually stimulate the mother’s nipples or start exploring other milk-replacement options.
4. Separate the Mother from Her Newborns
When the time comes, it’s best that breeders separate the mother from their newborns. The segregation is to ensure that the newborns receive extra medical attention to grow healthier, when they no longer depend on their mother’s milk as a source for nutrients. For breeders raising them for harvest, they could start separating the family one or two weeks after the breastfeeding had started: that way, the mother would still have leftover milk to harvest, and the newborns could be exposed to other healthier sources of nutrients.
However, in a separate case where breeders are raising them for companionship, the ideal segregation period is within 3 months after they start breastfeeding. This is when the newborns are fully independent from their mother’s milk.
Here are just some helpful tips on how to properly care for a newborn goat. New mothers, especially young goats, would often need assistance in raising her newborns – and thats when the breeder’s role comes in. Be sure to consult medical professionals and do more of prior research to ensure that you are giving them the optimal care these newborns need.