Thank you for choosing a BlissBerry bred goat to add to your herd and breeding program! We have developed a kid raising program over the years that works well for us. Our husbandry routine not only provides top quality care for our animals, but also is as streamlined as possible for our time and sanity. Our mature animals maintain healthy and appropriate body condition and our kids are always comparable in size, scale and vigor to kids managed and bred by other herds. Our kid management guidelines are outlined here to provide you with complete information on how your kid has been raised and what recommendations we have regarding their care.

Nubian Kids: Our Nubian kid feeding program is based on the principle that a very generous amount of milk is required for the kids to reach their full potential, specifically about one gallon of milk per kid per day. We also want them to develop their rumens so that they are eating a good quantity of solid food when they are weaned and can make that transition smoothly. The key is to feed them milk free choice as soon as they are finished with their colostrum until they are at least 12 weeks of age. We feed room/barn temp milk. It’s very important that you don’t let the milk run completely out at this stage as you don’t want them gorging themselves when milk is fed again. The kids will pace themselves and consume what they are comfortable with in several meals throughout the day. We wean our doelings by 16 weeks, but choose to feed our breeding bucklings milk until the fall or when they choose to self wean. If you live in a warm climate or as it becomes hot in your area, we have found that using frozen water bottles placed inside the lambars prevents the milk from spoiling or curdling. We keep a few sets of frozen water bottles on hand so that we can rotate them out at each feeding. At 12 weeks of age, we begin to limit their milk to 1-1.5 quarts of milk twice a day. Being fed only twice a day, however, they get quite hungry and this encourages them to start eating more solid food (alfalfa hay) which is offered to them free choice from the first week on. After 1-2 weeks of limited twice a day milk we go to limited once a day milk for an additional week or so and then stop feeding milk completely.

Saanen Kids: Saanen kids are not fed free choice milk as they tend to grow too rapidly. We feed them 3 times a day from a lambar letting them drink as much as they want up until about 4 weeks of age. We feed room/barn temp milk. At a month of age, we drop down to twice a day feedings as much as they want. At 10 weeks of age, we begin to limit their milk to what they can consume in a feeding and feed twice a day. By 12 weeks of age, they are consuming a good amount of alfalfa hay and we go to limited once a day feedings for an additional week or so before weaning them off milk completely.

Please note: We start our babies on grey caprine nipples from birth. We feed them their colostrum in individual bottles. By 24 hours of age they are moved to a lambar feeder. Our babies are not accustomed to being hand fed with individual bottles. It will also be extremely difficult to transition them to a nipple other than the grey caprine nipples they are used to. Please be sure to have these nipples as well as a lambar (caprine feeding bucket) on hand for when your kid arrives. You can purchase the complete set up from Caprine Supply.  Click here to purchase. It’s very important that you have the lambar and nipples ready for your new kid as they will refuse any other feeding method.

We do not feed grain to our kids until 2-3 weeks before weaning. Concentrated grains are not a natural food for goats and can upset the metabolism of the rumen. We feel that milk plus a very good quality forage, preferably alfalfa, loose minerals and water provides all the nutrients a kid needs. If you do feed your young kids grain, the kid you get from us is not adjusted to that and you need to take steps accordingly. Start them slowly.

When you get your BlissBerry kid, he/she will be accustomed to getting free choice pasteurized milk (Nubian) or set feedings (Saanen). Your kid will also be used to getting free choice alfalfa with a little grass hay, clean water and loose minerals. We have had a strict CAE prevention program since we started our herd and highly recommend that unpasteurized goat/cow milk NEVER be fed to replacement stock. We continue to pasteurize even though our whole herd tests negative for CAE because we expose our goats to outside animals when we go to shows. If you don’t have a source of pasteurized goat milk to raise your kid, we strongly recommend using pasteurized whole cow milk from the grocery store rather than replacers alone. Solely feeding milk replacer will not grow healthy kids. If you must use some milk replacer (never more than 50%), be sure that it is specifically made for goat kids. Most replacers should not be mixed full strength. If you do choose to supplement your kids’ free choice milk feeding program with some replacer, feel free to ask us for specific recommendations.  We prefer Land O' Lakes Does Match replacer.

We immunize our does with CD/T so your kid will have gotten some passive immunity for these organisms. Your kid will have been given one CD/T vaccination prior to leaving our farm and you will need to give another booster 1-3 weeks later. We will provide a date when the second booster is due. After the initial vaccinations, we recommend vaccinating with CD/T every 6 months. It is important to protect them from digestive disorders by having a steady, regular feeding program and avoiding drastic changes in feed. We advocate having a bottle of C & D Antitoxin on hand just in case it is needed. We also suggest vaccinating your kids (and entire herd) against pneumonia with the Mannheimia Haemolytica-Pasteurella Multocida Bacterin made by Colorado Serum. When using that vaccine in our kids we give it twice during the late spring/summer and follow up with a booster in the fall. Adult goats receive an annual booster.

We do have to have a coccidiosis control program in place to raise our kids successfully. Our philosophy is that we want them to get it so they can build resistance to it, but we want to control the levels they are exposed to when they are most vulnerable (1-4 months of age). To do this we keep them off the ground until they are a few weeks of age. From birth to 2-3 weeks they are in our heated baby nursery in 4’ x 8’ pens that we clean and disinfect between every batch of kids. They then move into kid pens with other kids their age and size that are also disinfected and then deeply bedded so they can't get to the ground. If it is a very cold and wet spring we keep them inside until they are about five weeks old. When we let them out, they have nice large yards with toys to jump and play on that we rake clean and replace the gravel in every year. We are lucky to live on well-drained soil so we don't have to deal with mud. At 10 days of age, we start putting Calf Pro in their pasteurized milk once daily for prevention of coccidiosis. If you have a treatment that has been successful for you, we highly recommend you use it on the kid you get from us. If you don't have a treatment we would be happy to share ours with you. The kid you get from us will have had a coccidia treatment in the week before you get him/her.

Just a quick word that’s related to coccidiosis. How you feed hay and grain is very important. You must avoid the kids soiling their feed. THEY SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO JUMP INTO ANYTHING THEY EAT OUT OF. We find that stock panels are great to build mangers or to hang trough feeders on for feeding grain.

Living in Minnesota, we have not found it to be necessary to deworm our babies before 3 months of age. However, depending on your region you may need to start a deworming program earlier than we do. We are happy to share our deworming protocol with you. Our kids are used to Minnesota weather which is fairly cold. Their pens are enclosed in an insulated barn so they are well protected from the wind. The outside door openings face the south and they enjoy lying in the sun on nice days. Once the kids are a bit older, they graduate to our outside pens in small groups. Each pen has a large run for them to be able to play and kick up their hooves!

Our kid raising program is really very simple. Feed them well and regularly, keep their water clean, offer loose minerals free choice and protect them from coccidiosis and CAE. Add a little love… and you should have a perfectly happy, perfectly healthy, BlissBerry kid.

Click here to download a PDF version of our Kid Management for saving or printing.

BlissBerry Dairy Goats
Sara Koehn-Walberg
Daniel Louie
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Blissberry Nubians
P.O. Box 191
Alexandria, MN 56308

Phone: (320) 763-9399

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