feeding orphaned goat

You must act immediately to save the child’s life if a newborn goat’s mother passes away soon after giving birth or cannot care for her young. You must ensure appropriate care for an orphaned newborn goat. To ensure proper care, it’s best to know what to feed an orphaned baby goat as soon as the birthing process is over.

The first meal a kid should enjoy contains colostrum, usually present in a goat’s milk after birth. This colostrum has several benefits that kids require at the early stage of life. In feeding an orphan goat, you must replicate the nutrients in the colostrum due to its importance.

This article will cover all you need to know about what to include in the diet of orphaned baby goats and the supplements needed to control the overall health condition of the goat.

What Do You Feed an Orphaned Baby Goat?

There is a setback that comes with being an orphaned baby goat. Certain supplements are likely to elude this goat, especially if the farmer does not know what to do, resulting in dire consequences. So, what should you do, especially appropriate feeding of an orphaned baby goat?

Colostrum Alternatives


Colostrum, that essential “first milk” full of protective antibodies, must be present for the infant after birth. It is a natural food product with a high caloric content that breastfeeding goats generate on the first day following kidding.

You must begin your feeding program with a colostrum replacer if your young goat is an orphan and has never had the chance to nurse from its mother. If a baby goat is yet to consume its first meal of colostrum right after birth, it should do so as much as possible.

Within the first 24 hours, colostrum must be available to a newborn. However, in cases where the baby goat has no access to milk from the mother, bovine colostrum can act as a substitute if your veterinarian cannot offer you fresh or frozen goat colostrum.

This alternative is usually available at your neighborhood feed store. Additionally, it would be best to keep orphaned young goats apart from your other animals. This seclusion helps keep the baby goat secure from injuries on purpose and avoids the stop the spread of disease.

About three ounces of colostrum per pound of the child’s body weight should be available for several feedings. Furthermore, you should ensure that the goat gets the appropriate amount for proper growth and development.

Milk from Foster Mother

You can feed this baby goat with another doe’s milk if you can convince the doe that the kid is hers. Convincing a doe, especially one that already has a kid or recently gave birth, isn’t difficult.

All you have to do is put on gloves and rub the placenta of the doe’s child all over the orphaned child. There is more inclination on the doe’s part to accept the unfamiliar child and permit nursing if it smells like her own child.

Place a menthol nasal spray in the doe’s nostril and apply it on the kids’ heads, tails, and abdomens if a placenta isn’t accessible. There is a high chance of the doe believing that the kid is hers when you do that.

Bottle Feeding

bottle feeding goat

You’ll have to feed the child formula if a doe isn’t available. Give your kid a milk substitute made especially for caprine. According to the product specifications, you’ll need to mix a fresh batch daily.

Bottle-feeding a half-cup to three-quarters of a cup four times a day for the first three days is advisable. The milk replacer dosage should increase from the fourth day to the second week to 1 cup or 1 1/4 cups. Although the child only requires three feedings per day.

The benefit of bottle-fed goats is that they are friendlier and less fearful, and their devotion to people is higher. Leave the young goat with its foster mother for at least a few days, even if you plan to bottle-feed it so that it can absorb the nutrient-rich colostrum.

Can a Foster DOE Properly Raise an Orphan Kid?

You would believe that all a doe needs to provide the young goat is milk, but this situation isn’t always the case. Does reject offspring that are not their own, so it’s crucial to make sure that an orphaned baby doesn’t smell like its biological mother before attempting to have a doe adopt it.

Most times, the infant won’t smell like its biological mother if there isn’t any form of nursing from her. If there is a situation of some slight nursing from the mother, you should wait until it wears off before introducing the kid to its prospective adoptive mother.

Furthermore, there is a much higher chance that a doe will accept an orphaned kid if she lost one of her own. A doe carrying one fawn is likely to take in an orphan. However, one with two kids is likely to reject an orphan and be unable to care for them.

Regardless of the situation, keep a close watch on the doe and the abandoned young. You should do this until you are certain she will take care of the kid and won’t harm or kill it, as head-butting is a regular occurrence.

When Can an Orphaned Baby Goat Eat Regular Food?

You can give the infant grass hay or alfalfa in modest amounts by the end of the first week of life. Fresh hay should always be available so infants can begin nibbling on it if/when they choose to.

Of course, enough fresh water is also necessary. You might introduce fresh greens once your baby has been bottle-fed for a few weeks. Introduce the infant to a beginning meal that contains 18 to 20 percent protein by the age of 10 days.

Furthermore, add some pelleted goat feed dipped in the infants’ regular milk or formula after three to four weeks. The infant can begin testing the pasture at four weeks old if the weather is favorable. The baby goat must have access to clean water at all times.

Additional Factors To Consider To Ensure the Survival of an Orphaned Baby Goat

Feeding an orphaned baby goat is crucial to keeping the goat alive. However, the feeding can go well and be wasted if you leave out some other important factors. Some of these factors include

Keep Your Orphaned Baby Goat From Being Too Lonely

Spend as much quality time as you can with your orphan goats. By spending time with them, playing with them, and taking them for walks with you, you may teach them how to live properly and thrive properly.

Allow them to approach you. Keep them close while you spread your hand over their body to control them.

However, you should bear in mind that goats are gregarious creatures. They rely on one another as companions. You must commit to spending a lot of quality time with an orphaned newborn goat if you’re raising it; otherwise, it might get depressing.

Lack of companionship may also affect its overall health resulting in death or life-threatening diseases. Often, orphan goats reared by humans develop strong social skills and make excellent pets.

Ensure Appropriate Heat Source

Although it could get enough warmth from its foster mother and towels, heat lamps can aid young goats in controlling their body temperature. However, it would be best if you only used them under close supervision due to the potential fire hazard they provide.

Furthermore, unless the temperature is below freezing, you might not need heat lamps around the orphaned baby goat.

Manage the Environment

Management of the environment is crucial. Crowding should be absent, and kids should be in tidy meadows or dry lots. It’s crucial to have comfortable shelter from the weather—furthermore, the less likely exposure to germs and parasites on the premises, the better.

Germs and parasites all adore moisture. So, providing parasite management and vaccination will reduce the likelihood of future health issues. Your baby goat will have a long, healthy, and productive life if you take proper good care of it.


Taking care of an orphaned baby goat requires extra effort as the lack of motherly care makes them particularly vulnerable. It’s best to feed an orphaned baby goat with alternate colostrum or provide it with a foster mother to thrive and grow well.

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