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Using an auto feeder with bottle baby goats and fly control on pasture | Live Q&A replay

All things raising, grazing, and marketing meat goats.

June 22 Q&A Topics:

  • Using an auto feeder with bottle baby goats
  • Fly control with goats on pasture

Watch the Live Q&A Replay here

Here’s a summary of what I shared:

Q. What do you use for fly control with your goats?

We actually don’t do anything for fly control with our goats. Outside of maybe a couple weeks of the year, flies aren’t really an issue for us. Because we are moving our herd to a new paddock every 1-3 days, including moving their water, it helps minimize the issue of flies.

When we have goats in the barn, or barn with access to outside, then we’ve seen an increase in flies. We don’t have animals in the barn over the summer unless we are transitioning a group into the rest of the herd, sorted market goats off, or have a goat we’re monitoring for health reasons. In those situations, we may put out fly traps.

Q. I am looking into going commercial dairy buck kid raising. I been researching auto feeders and curious what your pros and cons are of this machine?

For background purposes: We have Lac Tek II auto feeder that we use for feeding bottle baby goats. Typically, it’s for our babies who were born as triplets or quads, or the occasionally kid that didn’t get a good start or the doe had an issue. We will also raise bottle baby kids from my friend’s herd as well, most are from quads or triplets.

We originally purchased the feeder when we were raising large groups of dairy buck kids for meat, in addition to our meat breed herd we were raising. It was a great investment and approach for feeding bottle babies. But, as our other herd has grown, and we had a child born with extra needs early on, we decided to phase out of raising the dairy buck kids just to streamline our work.

Today, we still use the same auto feeder since we already have it. If I were looking at getting one now, I would probably get a smaller version for the purposes of how we’re use it.

Pros:

  • Once trained, the kids did great on the feeder. They’d eat well and grow fast.
  • Growth is more comparable to dam-raised kids vs hand-fed bottle baby feeding since the kids are eating on demand vs 4-2x a day
  • Less work over all on the farmer, as you’re not mixing and washing bottles, and managing the feedings. I found I paid attention more to animal behavior and health than when I was trying to get feeding done
  • Generally speaking, kids on the auto feeder can be weaned at 30 days. This is based on the advice from the Pipestone Vet Clinic training I participated in. I didn’t believe it until I saw it. And, they can be weaned at that time. Of course, every kid is different.
  • The company Biotic was also helpful when I needed to troubleshoot issues and had set up questions.

Cons:

  • Up front cost. But it’s still the most economical option on the market.
  • Milk replacer costs; again, this is a cost that will still happen.
  • If you’re using it in a cold climate or in the winter you’ll need to use it in a climate controlled building or create a heated room for it.
  • Daily cleaning; but it’s still better than mixing, feeding and cleaning bottles
  • Sometimes the tubes from the feeder to out the outlet will fall off, so I had to do some rigging to make sure that didn’t happen so I there wasn’t milk replacer spilling out on the floor.

Here’s a video on how our Lac Tek milk machine works

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Don’t miss the next Q&A! Sign up for my Raising Goats Community email list and you’ll be sent an email to the replay link and notes on the blog.

Next Q&A Live: Wednesday, June 29, 6:30 a.m. CST on Instagram @cyonrollingacres

How to submit questions

  • Fill out the online form here
  • Or submit a question below

About the Live Q&A Series

The Live Q&A Series is every, Wednesdays at 6:30 a.m. CST on my @cylonrollingacres Instagram account. After each Q&A I’ll post the replay on my blog, along with any links or resources I mention in the replay. Sign up for my Raising Goats Community email list and you’ll be sent an email to the replay link and notes on the blog. Sign up below to get on the list.

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Any animal health information provided on this website is based on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed with a veterinarian. In all situations, it is the responsibility of the livestock owner to consult with a veterinarian before using any animal health practices shared on this website or by this company and its owner. See the full legal disclaimer here.