I'm wanting to wean our 2 month old doeling girls from their mama. Right now I'm milking at 5:30 am, the doelings are with mum all day, and then they are separated at 5:30 pm. I've read that the kids' rumen will be better developed if they are weaned around 8 weeks, plus there is, of course, the advantage of having more milk. I haven't found much info online on weaning dam raised dairy goats, seems most folks either bottle raise or just stick with once-a-day milkings until the doe eventually kicks them off. Anyone have any opinions or experience?
I normally bottle-feed all of my goat kids, but weaning isn't going to differ much. If your doe kids are eight weeks old (closer to ten weeks now, I guess!), and eating hay or pasture well, you can cut them off the milk cold turkey and they should do fine. Or allow them a brief (fifteen-minute) visit with their mother once a day for a few days, if you want to cut them off more gradually. The only problem is going to be keeping them separate from their mother (this is one of the primary reasons I normally bottle-feed). You'll have to keep them completely separated for several weeks before you can put them back in the same pen or pasture (and some does will allow their 'weaned' babies to nurse even when they are yearlings, so keep a close eye on them when you do put them back together!).
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