A baby goat is a cute and adorable animal. Having a baby goat can be a happy moment for goat owners, they can raise it and bond with the goat since the young age. However, there are some things you need to know to raise an abandoned baby goat. Here we will discuss how to raise an abandoned 4 weeks old goat.
1. Bottle Feed
Four weeks old goat is still in the age to drink milk. The milk usually comes from the mother, but since abandoned goat doesn’t have mother, you need to bottle feed it. You can obtain the milk from other goats producing milk or to buy it in farm store. You can also purchase the bottle and nipple for baby goat in farm store. Make sure that you use sterilized bottle to bottle feed your baby goat. The bottle fed goat usually more attached to human because it is associated with food.
If your 4 weeks old goat never drinks from bottle, you have to teach it first. You may need a few days until your goat starts to get used to it. At first, your goat might refuse the bottle. You can try to bottle feed the baby by holding the baby and open its mouth while squirting a little milk into its mouth. If the baby accepts it, it will start to suck. You may need to try multiple times a day, around 8-10 times, so that the baby gets used to it. If it still doesn’t want to be bottle fed, you may need to consult the problem with your veterinarian, since the baby goat that doesn’t drink can get dehydration.
2. Start Giving Solid Foods
Four weeks old goat must be introduced to eat solid food already. The transition from milk to hay can’t straightly happened. The baby goat can develop bloating and digestive problem if the transition happens too fast. Slowly introduce your four weeks old goat to small amount of hay. At first it may only nibble at it, continue to give it the hay until it finally eats the hay. You can later introduce it to grass or pasture plants.
Make sure that you give your goat clean food, not the moldy or poisonous one. Some poisonous plants for goat include milkweed, delphinium, poppy, daffodil, tomato, rhododendrons, lily, wild cherry, lilac, etc. Make sure that you don’t have those plants inside and near your pasture. You can also provide probiotics for your goat during the transition. You can give it every day for 2 weeks and continue every week for a month. The probiotics are good to help with bloating and encourage rumen to produce good bacteria.
Keep in mind that you can’t just give your goat a goat feed you purchase on store. Goat feed is primarily grain that just need to be fed in very small amounts, about a handful a day. It is not enough to feed your goat with only this goat feed. You need to give your grown up goat at least 80% hay, such as alfalfa, bermuda, or timothy hay, 15% pasture or weeds or hay pellets, and 5% grain. You can also give your goat some supplement and minerals, such as salt mix. Always provide your goat with fresh water. Pay attention to the water in winter since it can freeze easily and your goat will end up doesn’t have water to drink.
- Give Nice Place
Your 4 weeks old goat also need some protection from the weather. You have to provide it with proper shelter to protect it from wind, rain, heat, and snow. You need at least 3 sided shelter for your goat, or more enclosed and draft-free shelter if you live in cold winter. Make sure that the shelter is large enough and have good ventilation. You will need to provide straw bedding inside the shelter for your goat. Replace it regularly with the clean one. You also need to clean the shelter, scoop the poop every day. You may need to do deep cleaning once or twice a year by scrubbing the floor. A nice place for your goat means that it can grow in healthy and good environment.
Beside the shelter, you also need to provide your goat large enough pasture. Goats are active animal so they need large space to explore and run. You can also give some entertainment in your pasture, such as rocks, recycled barrels, ramp, stairways, or seesaw. Make sure that whatever you place can’t harm your goat, for example you need to check that there is no protruding nail that can hurt your goat. Providing entertainment for your goat is important to make your baby goat grows up as a happy goat.
- Maintain Your Goat’s Health
You can maintain your 4 weeks old goat’s health by grooming and doing medical check-up regularly and keeping up with the vaccination. Grooming your goat regularly can help it maintain its health, cleanness, and beauty. Brush your goat’s coat daily using the hard brush at first to remove caked mud and dirt. After that use soft brush to get a shiny coat. Examine your goat’s body for any bumps, lumps, or injury during the grooming. Cut your goat’s hooves every 6-8 weeks. Long hooves can make your goats harder to run, jump and climb, and can easily get things stucked. Make sure that there is no damage or something stuck in the hooves.
Go to your vet to do medical check-up regularly. Baby goat needs routine examination since they are more prone to parasites infection. Your vet might do fecal test to decide if your goat needs deworming. Your goat should also get CDT vaccine to protect it from bacteria called Clostridium perfriengens and tetanus. You can also give your baby goat BoSe shot that contains with Selenium and Vitamin E that is important for muscle, bone, and reproductive health.
- Spend Your Time with Your Goat
The last how to raise an abandoned 4 weeks old goat is to spend your time with your goat. Goat is a smart animal, it can recognize and bond with their owner. When a baby goat raised around people, it tends to enjoy being patted and having human companion. The more time you spend with your goat, the closer your bond gets. Being loved and getting attention from its owner can also make your baby goat grows up as a happy and friendly goat.