Bottle Baby Challenges

Lots of goat owners raise all their kids as bottle babies. I did for a time but now a bottle baby is rare, only one or two a year.

My does have one or more sets of triplets every year. Since goat udders have only two sides, one kid is out of luck. I end up with a bottle baby.

Goat kids are greedy. Each one can easily consume a half gallon of milk or more a day. Buck kids are greedier than doe kids.

spotted Nubian buck kid

This spotted buck kid is the biggest of Eliza’s triplets and drinks most of her milk. He has already learned how to take a terrible picture.

Goat kids are bullies. The biggest or most aggressive kid gets the most milk.

This system works well in the wild. Sharing is not an option and can be a form of suicide. Those kids that eat the most and are most aggressive have the best chance of survival.

In the domestic world such tactics are not needed but the kids don’t know that. And each set of triplets has a potential bottle baby in it.

My present set of triplets has one larger buck kid. He is a lovely spotted frosted black. He is his mother’s favorite.

Nubian doe kid bottle baby

This little Nubian doe tried really hard to get her share of Eliza’s milk. Her two bigger brothers refused to share. Bottles are her milk source now.

The other two kids did share half the milk. Then the black buck kid pushed the frosted gray doe kid out. She became a bottle fan overnight.

Then the black buck started getting shoved out by the spotted kid. Besides, being greedy, he wanted his share of what his sister was getting.

Bottling a kid is normally not too difficult a challenge. Warm the milk up. Pour it in the bottle. Put on the nipple. Go see the kid.

A different challenge faces the goat owner. Bottle baby kids attach themselves to the bottle provider instead of the herd.

So far I’ve been lucky with these two kids. They still follow their mother and want to stay with the kid play group. Most mornings they race out the pasture gate and off with the herd.

Nubian buck bottle baby

Eliza’s black buck kid does get enough milk but doesn’t think so. He thinks bottles are a great snack source.

Then there are those mornings when the two kids stand between the herd on its way out and the gate and call me. I walk out with the herd until the kids are happily playing then double back to finish chores.

This doesn’t always work. On those rare days the two kids follow me out and back in. They can not be discouraged. They stay in the barn lot all day complaining bitterly about my not staying out in pasture all day for them to go out and play.

A final challenge is having enough milk to support a bottle baby. Since most of my milking does have kids, more and more of the milk disappears before the does come into the milk room.

Like the other challenges, this one will be tackled one day at a time. A bottle baby grows up fast. The other kids do too. Soon the challenge will be what to do with all the extra milk.

Check out the sample book pages for Goat Games, Dora’s Story and Capri Capers.