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Favorite Bottle Baby Formula?

 
Rocco Hagar
Posts: 16
Location: Texas
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If anyone has a favorite bottle baby recipe I'd like to read some of them. I got this recipe from a couple of breeders that raise a lot of goats (over 100 each and including some Permanent Grand Champions).

One gallon of whole milk
One can of evaporated milk
8 oz. buttermilk

I have NOT used this formula yet, but they contend that it is works well, the goats love it and tolerate it well.

We use the Pritchard nipple...the red and yellow one that attaches to a plastic bottle. Available for about $2 apiece.

Also, if anyone has tips on getting a stubborn kid to take a bottle I'd love to hear them.
 
Jay Green
Posts: 587
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I agree with including buttermilk in the recipe...great for their digestion. For getting calves to nurse, I've used 60 gauge syringes and just syringed the milk into the corner of their mouths until they have to swallow. Seems like getting them used to taking nutrition from a foreign object is the ticket and also stimulating that suck and swallow action.
 
Doug Mac
Posts: 79
Location: Humboldt County, California [9b]
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I used two commercial replacers; Calva and Land o Lakes (I believe they are part of Purina). They both worked OK but are expensive $65 for 20 pounds which make 13.3 gallons (when mixed per the instructions, I never mixed it up all at once). That works out to 4.89 a gallon.

My vet said a lot of folks around here raise bottle kids on straight cows milk and that it's well tolerated. When I ran out of the Land o Lakes, I switched to milk. I had read about adding a can of evaporated and 8 oz of buttermilk. In the end I went with 1 gallon of milk and 12 ozs of evaporated. Right now they both are on sale - milk is 2.99 a gallon and evaporated is 1.25 a can. Total - 4.25 for 140 ozs. or 3.88 a gallon. I didn't add buttermilk and here's my thinking. Buttermilk has huge fat globules. Goat milk fat globules are smaller than cows milk. Why would I want larger? What is the benefit of buttermilk? Would you want to add yogurt as a source of active cultures? Is adding active cultures necessary or even helpful?
 
Jay Green
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Yep, I'd say they are and especially for bottle babies.

The angle in which they feed has a lot to do with how well they digest milk. If fed at the wrong angle the esophageal groove fails to close and the milk deposits into the rumen instead of the abosum~most people feed these young animals at any angle they see fit to get it into the animal's gut, not necessarily at the angle~and height~ in which they access it from the mother...as a result, often bottle fed ruminants will have bloated looking stomachs. At birth the rumen is small and nonfunctional, so milk can curdle there and take awhile to make it to the obasum..it can cause colic. The obasum is the true stomach and the only one that produces digestive enzymes.

I would say any good cultures one can get into a young animal would be a good thing. They can increase the ability for the young ruminant to absorb nutrients better and has been shown to prevent scours.

If the fat content of the buttermilk is an issue, one can always use some mother vinegar in the recipe to help increase digestive enzymes and the overall health of the kid.
 
Doug Mac
Posts: 79
Location: Humboldt County, California [9b]
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Jay - Not so much the fat content of buttermilk, more the large size of the globule making it less digestible. Would yogurt (whole milk) be better?
 
Jay Green
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I have no experience with kids, only calves and lambs, though I've never had to bottle feed a lamb yet. Not sure about goats but I'd venture to say that the buttermilk won't hurt a bit...seems it's a very small part of the above recipe, but could probably do a world of good.

I don't know where you live but buttermilk here comes in whole and low fat, so if the fat content is scary, you might opt for the lower fat percentage buttermilk.

I know this...folks on a goat forum I know do use the buttermilk in their recipes. I've used it for a calf with scours and it cleared them up within 2 days. I'm lactose intolerant but can drink buttermilk with no ill effects~but have problems with eating yogurt. Love yogurt, but it doesn't love me anymore.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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I got two goat kids from an auction at 1.5 weeks old. They both had diarrhea and were skinny. I put them on 1/3 buttermilk and 2/3 whole milk from the store. I was worried they had some sort of bacterial infection so I added some s.boulardii I have - it's called "Yeast Against Yeast" in Europe and is strong against many bacterial infections including c.difficile, without harming any of the good yeast/bacteria that is supposed to be there - which makes it far superior to antibiotics! I also added in some TriEnza from Houston Nutraceuticals, a digestive enzyme that breaks down the proteins in food in the stomach (or in the bottle). It made the milk clabber so I had to enlarge the openings in the nipples. One problem with babies that are having trouble digesting the milk is that it fails to form a curd and passes through, so I thought that may help.

You can buy s. boulardii online (I think I got mine on Amazon) and it's pretty cheap, especially compared to products like ProBios that sells for $65 at my feed store. Mine came in capsules that were easy to open and pour into the milk. It's a yeast, tastes like yeast, animals like the flavor so no troubles getting them to eat it.

Now one baby is completely recovered and the other is well on the way. They stayed bouncy and active throughout.

I started making my own buttermilk because it's less than half the price of the bought kind and doesn't have thickeners, etc. You *can* make it by just mixing 1 cup buttermilk from the store with 3 cups of cold milk, letting it sit out overnight. I worried about the risk of bacterial contamination since the babies were already compromised so I heated the milk to scalding to kill any organisms in it then let it cool to room temperature and added the culture. I noticed it lacked the bitter flavor that the batch where I didn't use heated milk had. One more thing about making your own buttermilk - they get more of the butterfat that way. A lot of the nutrition in the milk is in the butterfat and I don't think giving skim milk is good for them. Everyone insists they must be given whole cow's milk, not skim or lowfat.

The difference between yogurt and buttermilk is that the cultures from buttermilk can be acquired from raw milk - which means it's supposed to be in the milk already and would be if it hadn't been heat-treated. Let to ferment for 24 hours it totally digests the lactose in the milk (really they both do) and it's really nice that buttermilk can be made at room temperature while yogurt needs to be kept warm. The lactococcus bacteria in the buttermilk culture make a chemical called Nisin, which is a pretty decent natural antibiotic.

When I heat the milk, I just heat the milk by itself (very fast if you use a larger pot) then add in the buttermilk. That way I avoid the risk of killing the probiotics by heating the milk too hot.

I've read some folks add in an egg yolk for extra nutrition and it's supposed to be a scours remedy. I'd only use fresh eggs from my own hens for that. I'm pretty sure they won't be contaminated with bacteria.

Around here the goat dairies won't sell you kids if you're going to give them the powdered milk replacer - they say it kills them.
 
Rocco Hagar
Posts: 16
Location: Texas
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If the purpose of the buttermilk in the mixture is for bacteria for aiding rumen development than a cultured buttermilk should be of some benefit. If it is for "richness" (both viscosity and calories) in the mixture, I am guessing that the evaporated milk would take care of that part by itself.

Whenever we have to drench a goat, for whatever reason, we add a product into the mix called "Probiotic Power" which is various Lactobacillus strains and vitamins, and add also a few squirts of NutriDrench.

Looking at the label of the Probiotic Power it indicates a dosage for adding to milk/milk replacer...so maybe it would suffice, or be better than, the addition of buttermilk in the above recipe.

 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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Some say the powdered probiotics are iffy - ok if they're fresh but lose potency quickly if they aren't stored right or are exposed to air/heat/humidity. You only know what's happened to them since you bought them and the companies know you aren't able to test potency so they can happily make guarantees on how many live organisms are inside, knowing they'd rarely be called on it if it isn't so. That's why I always go for the recently cultured live probiotics first. Or maybe both to get more kinds of organisms in them.
 
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