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How to raise a baby goat!

Updated on July 13, 2009


Raising a baby goat is like having a child..just without the actual giving birth part. There are feeding schedules, nap schedules, and potty training. I learned all of this a few years back when my husband and I bought some property and decided to raise farm animals.

We had goats, minitature horses, and chickens. One of our goats had twins around July 4th two years ago and unfortunately she and one of the babies died the next day. The baby goat that lived was small and my husband said it would be a miracle if it survived.

I however was determined that she would thrive. I named her Little Jenny because her mom's name had been Jenny. I would call her LJ for short. Here is the steps I took in raising her:

Step One:

I had to feed her regularly. Baby goats have small stomachs and require feeding at least four or more times a day. In order to feed her I took a trip to the local tractor supply store and picked up what I would need to care and nourish my newborn. I bought a specialized nipple, and some goat milk that was in powder form. The associate at the tractor supply store told me that the nipple could be used on a 20 oz coke bottle, so I didn't buy a specialized bottle.

I took the powder home and mixed it with water and put it in a bottle to give to Lj. At first it was hard to get her to suck on the nipple..she kept turning her head away. I kept at it and finally she started sucking and finished off all of her milk. In the early weeks since she did eat so frequently; if I had to go run errands or leave the house, I would load Lj, her milk, and her bottles and we would take a ride. She would ride in a plastic tote and would usually sleep until we reached our destination. Since the milk I had to feed her was not as nutritious as what she would have received from her mother, her horns didn't develop as quickly or not as strong as they should have been. However over time they got bigger and eventually became stronger. Since raising LJ I have found through research that I could have given her goat milk from another goat (which can often be hard to come by) because in GA you have to have a special license to sell or distribute goat milk. Therefore this was not an option open to me...but should you ever need to raise a baby goat...then try to find goat milk!

Step 2

I had to provide her with a place to sleep that would be warm and safe. Most goats would be kept outside but I decided to bring LJ inside. I put her in a plastic tote with straw to keep her warm for the first few weeks. I would also wrap her in a blanket if I thought she was getting cold. I placed the tote near my bed at night so I could easily get up and feed her. During the day she would sleep on a stool or on the carpet.

Step 3

I would keep her coat brushed and would clean her face, ears, and body daily. I would take her outside during the day so she could get some sun and have playtime. I would also encourage her to potty outside (almost like training a new puppy) which cut down on the accidents inside. I could always tell when she was about to potty because she would kinda squat down, so if we were inside I would grab her and race outside and eventually I learned her signals and she would always go outside.

Step 4

When she was around three weeks, I started giving her grass and hay to get her used to grazing. During the day I would take her outside and give her the grass/hay mixture or let her walk around and graze, so she would get in the habit of knowing what weeds, grass she liked to eat. When she reached 10 weeks I started gradually weaning her from the milk and started giving her some goat feed; with an occasional treat of sweet feed.

Step 5

I had a gentlemen come out and trim her hooves since he did my horses at the same time. Some people will dehorn their goats, but I chose not to do this on LJ because since I felt she would need her horns to protect against natural enemies (one being dogs). I also gaving her medicine to prevent worms and had our vet give her vaccinations that were needed to keep her strong and healthy.

Step 6

As LJ began to grow and started jumping or bouncing on everything, I knew it was time to put her in the pasture with the other goats. It was an adjustment for her. At first the other goats would head butt her to establish the pecking order and she didn't stay in their unit. Eventually things settled down and she learned how to follow the other goats around in the pasture when they would be out grazing. She started playing around with them and finally found her place in the herd so to speak. It is always best for a baby goat to be with their mother as they get more nutrients from her milk than what I the milk I got for LJ at the tractor store, but since her mother died after giving birth LJ would have died had I not raised her. I cherish the special memory of raising her. Should anyone ever have to raise a baby goat, I hope my shared knowledge will help you in some small way.

LJ as a newborn

LJ at a week old!
LJ at a week old!
naptime for the new mom and LJ!
naptime for the new mom and LJ!
LJ standing on my furniture!
LJ standing on my furniture!
LJ sleeping!
LJ sleeping!

LJ Dancing!

LJ eating!


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    • profile image

      turdferguson 5 years ago

      Just found your blog as we are taking care of a newborn Alpine/Nubian cross twin that the mom kicked to the curb - the other twin is fine. He got colostrum we had on hand for the first 24 hours and now is on goat milk supplement. Rudy is eating like a CHAMP! Sometimes as much as 10 oz at a time! He's in a large dog cage in our bedroom for now, as the pastures/barn are too far away to keep him there and feed him. So far, he lets us sleep all night long without having to feed him. I try to take him outside at least once a day to strengthen his legs and, of course, he follows me everywhere.

      Do you have any suggestions for ways to keep him occupied? We put a diaper on him if we want to have him in the bed with us and limit his exposure to the dogs - afraid the big ones will hurt him. Otherwise, he's thriving wonderfully and gaining weight. Just not sure what else to do when you are hand-raising a baby goat. Oh, and we are taking him to the vet next week to be 'de-budded'. I fought with this but since I've already owned a 'bottle fed' male goat, I know what's in store for us when he gets older....they get VERY feisty and those horns HURT! If he were outside, I would NOT de-bud him, but since God put him to be inside, we have to do what we have to do.

      If anyone has any stories on diapering/keeping a goat inside, I'd love to hear them! Besides feeding him when he's hungry (and , like I said, he's a PIG! No worries there), what else should we be doing????

      Thank you for posting this information - its the best I found after a lengthy Google search!!!!

    • profile image

      tina 6 years ago

      Oh yes...I just remembered something. I have discovered a wonderful site. It's called: Fias Co. Farm. Molly raised goats for quite a long time. She has many years of experience and is dedicated to share her knowledge with others. Although she no longer has her goats, she does sell amazing natural products for goats and other animals plus there are pages and pages of information on her site for all of us goat lovers to benefit from. I hope you all will go check it out. Just Google: "Fias Co. Farm".

    • profile image

      tina 6 years ago

      Scrappy Sue...goats need a friend, at least one. They are very communal and social animals. They want and need the company of others like themselves. I highly suggest getting another young goat or a nanny goat that wouldn't mind adopting a baby goat. Also, you can buy goat's milk at most local stores. It's kind of expensive, but it's available depending on where you live. If you live in a rural area, you might be able to find someone who has extra goat's milk. Some areas have laws that allow the selling of goat's milk if it's for animal usage only. Some states allow raw goat's milk to be sold for any use. Some states allow co-ops where you buy a share of a goat herd's milk. You would pay a certain fee and you would get so much milk per week. check into it as soon as possible. That baby needs goat's milk.

    • profile image 6 years ago

      Just got a 4wk old pymy goat named Daisy. she is eating grass and I am trying to get a bottle Intto her but I am forcing her to take it. she is drinking water and we bought her goat food but.not eating it. I never see her poop or pee when I sit outside with her and she has lost her voice I guess from crying when I have to leave her. I am worrying about her. please help me.

    • profile image

      Daylene S. 6 years ago

      Thank you for your posting it is exactly the information I needed. I wasn't supposed to get my goat for another 7 weeks but the mother had triplets and doesn't have enough milk for all of them. Your posting gives me confidence that I can do this too.

    • profile image

      James H 6 years ago

      We found a baby goat on the road, he looks IDENTICAL to LJ. We were riding bicycles and we saw him and stroked him, but when we tried to leave he followed us. We're now raising him on watered-down cows milk, as it's all we could get. We're not too sure whether it should be watered down or not though. any suggestions?

    • profile image

      kel 6 years ago


    • profile image

      whatmattersmost 6 years ago

      I'm currently raising a bottle baby orphan right now. I have called him "Benji" and he really has a rough start. His mom died, and the woman who owned him said his two siblings died last week. I have had him for little more than 24 hours now and he already cries when I leave his sight! I worry about him because he is so skinny already, but I have been bothering the vet and I think we can make it. He is 4 weeks old today! Happy Birthday Benji!

    • profile image

      nut meg 2000 6 years ago

      i just went out to my barn and i found a... BABY GOAT I WAS LIKE OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Kaitlyn 6 years ago

      Thanks for the info I just got a baby goat yesterday and your info really helped me out

    • profile image

      kelly 6 years ago

      i just got a baby goat today the mother didn't want any thing to do with him the lady i got him from got milk from momma for me to give him hes doing good with that but he has a lot of stuff coming out of his behind? i never had a goat before i tried to clean it off its very sticky but it wont come off and it looks like his behind is open more than it should be i think again i never had a goat before if any one knows what it is or if it is normal please let me know he isn't even 24 hrs old yet. and i relaly hope there is nothing wring with him

    • profile image

      kATHY 6 years ago

      we are bottle feeding two babies and we are using milk replacera dn they are doing fine. My daughter also read something about milk replacer not being good, but i have also talked to many people who raise goats etc. and have head nothing bad about it at all.

    • profile image

      hannah barton 6 years ago

      Hey, one of our nannies dropped twins a week ago, and is completely ignoring one. The other is doing great with her mom. I am having to bottle feed the other one, and he is doing good too. But I saw a site that told me Milk replacer kills baby goats. I am using the Purina kid milk replacer, and he seems to be doing really well. Also, is there anything me and my parents should know? We have been raising goats for years, but have never had much luck with the bottle fed ones. I sure don't want this one to die. You can email me at

      Thanks and LJ is really cute.

    • profile image

      Kim Stephenson 6 years ago

      We have a 3 week old Boer goat. He started off taking the bottle for the first 3 days and hasn't taken it since. We use a baby medicine dropper for him. He takes 10-12 ounces 3 times a day. Yes, we dropper feed 30-36 ounces of goat milk replacer a day to our baby goat. It takes us about 45 minutes each feeding to do so. It is very tiring. It ties us down completely but we love him so much that we will do whatever it takes. Augustus (his name) is thriving and doing well though. He runs around and plays and chomps on feed, hay, apples, carrots, celery, and about anything else he can get his mouth on. He loves to chew on his blanket and teddy bear that my daughter is convinced he "needs" in his bed. lol. We put him on the probios once a day. We gave him ivomec orally because he had some sort of lice/mite in his fur. We never knew exactly what it was but the ivomec killed the pesky bugs. I also gave him colloidal silver 3 times a day for 7 days to help build his immune system. We were able to get collostrum from the mother and he had the mother's milk for the first 2 weeks of his life. The collustrum is definitely a must before any milk replacer, goats milk, or any other milk is used. Now, Augustus uses goat milk replacer.

    • profile image

      Sonja Pirika 6 years ago

      That is so awsome and LJ she is so cute. I have a baby kid as well his name is Niggy and he's about 2-3weeks old... im just wondering is it good to feed your kid weetbix at his age.. if so how much should i give him? and is there anything else i need to know?

    • profile image

      kiley Yale 6 years ago

      Ok, I loved this story and bookmarked it because I am buying a Goat for 4-H. I am hoping to buy a baby goat ALONE. I am hoping this works out because I do have school and I cant care for 2 of them :( I am overwhelmed just thinking about it! I need to build a shelter and buy the feed myself! and this is going to take most of my savings.....(I am in the 8th grade and this will be a challenge) I would LOVE some tips on how to raise it and advice from ANYONE who owns a goat or has owned one. I need all the help I can get :)

    • profile image

      Zara Z 7 years ago

      Neat story. Baby LJ so adorable. It's amazing that the substitute formula works for raising baby goats.

      You are so right about it being better to have the raw goats milk for them. All the natural enzymes in the milk required for digestion are destroyed when the milk is heated above 108 degrees. Plus most of the nutrients are cut in half by heating.

      NOTE: people should only drink RAW milk to for best benefits. Goat or Cow.

      google Benefits of RAW goats milk

    • profile image

      Leah 8 years ago

      This is so helpful and inspiring. I have taken in a baby goat (mother died, not sure how). I bought her at a livestock auction. The girl who sold her bought her the day before at an auction. She couldn't get her to take a bottle, so she decided to sell her. She also made the comment that if noone bought her that she'd just leave her. I couldn't leave the little thing, so I bought her. I got her to drink some from a bottle tonight. Yay! She's been through so much in just the first days of her life. I hope I can be a good "mommy" to her. Thanks for your story.

    • profile image

      kristi  8 years ago

      hello this is more like a question than a comment...sry but i need help and soon i have recently gotten a baby goat of eight days old and he doesn't want to take his bottle he hates it.his name is Where but he neeeds to eat ive had him for about three days now and the lady was going to "get done"with him if i didn't take him and i couldn't let that my mom and i force feed him with a sirenge(sp).but izzy is a good little goat follows mr around and ii now he hungry he trys to nurse off me but i need advice plz hepl this beautilful little boy.and my name is kristi email me plz

    • horsecrazyheidi profile image

      horsecrazyheidi 8 years ago from good old Arkansas

      You are right they are just like a baby. they are so wonderful to watch them play

    • profile image

      Angela 8 years ago

      I have just acquired 2 mini Nigerian kids. One is 12 days old and the other is 8 days old. One mother pushed the kid away and the other didn't have milk past 2 days. I am bottle feeding Wet Nurse 1/2 cup milk replacer to 1 1/4 water 3 times a day (7am,1pm and 6 pm)

      12 day old gets full looking after am feed (8oz) and then acts stuffed for the last 2 feedings..only taking 1/4 of evening feed. I don't want to force her last feed as she is clearly "Stuffed" looking and turned off. Worried about her eating habits. Am I doing this right? Heard about cutting the milk mixture in 1/2 to water for a few days....with more feedings. Also thinking this may firm light coloured, soft poo's.

      8 day old is eager to eat and then eats only 4 oz per feeding...but she seems delighted and slimmer compared to the stuffed pot belly on the other.

      Breeder says this is normal...but I'm not totally sure..this is the best?



    • profile image

      JULIE SALE 8 years ago

      hello, i am doing the same thing. i rescue a baby goat. she got lefted outside for so long, in bad weather. when i did found, she was wet and cold. her mother was also left outside with out a shelter. the mother goat belong to somebody , that didn't care for the baby goat or the mommy.

      the mommy goat is so wild, we can't catch, to help her. we will take care of the baby. we did run into some problem with baby, now she doing ok. we were worry about her.

      i am looking for someone that might can give us or sale us some goat milk. we can't seem to catch the mommy goat to clean her up, mom want to milk, but we can't. so what can we do.

      my contact information. julie sale


      i do have some pictures i want you to see. your baby is so cute.

    • jkcole12 profile image

      jkcole12 8 years ago

      Thanks for your comments above. I am glad you enjoyed my memories and tips on raising a baby goat.

    • Laney31 profile image

      Laney31 8 years ago

      I wish I could have seen LJ heard lots of good stories about her. I am sure it was a long,tiring process but I know you enjoyed her.

    • profile image

      JAMS 8 years ago



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