In 2019 I had been living both in Salt Lake City and Bear Lake ID traveling each week between work and building my a dream of owning land.
I had a fainting dwarf goat that I had adopted a few months earlier from a friend in SLC, When a woman I had met once in Bear Lake asked if I could take on a 2 day old baby Boer. She didn’t have the time or know how to bottle feed. She said if you can get him to eat from a bottle and he survives you can have him. He came from a good bloodline on both buck and doe’s side. The mother had given birth to triplets and had rejected him at birth. They believe she couldn’t handle feeding three.
I was not really planning on taking on another goat let alone one that needed to be bottle fed due to my current situation but figured I’ll just go check it out.
when I got there he was running around crying trying to feed off any of the mothers (she had a couple females kid that week) he was tiny and hungry how could I not at least try? I mean look at that face!
I told her I will take him and give it my best. I had no idea how to bottle feed a baby goat but my youngest daughter and I jumped on line and went on a search to find a nipple that would work for him. I found a lamb nipple locally and used an old sprite bottle. I decided to make his milk from scratch rather than buying already made milk replacer.
I found a recipe that seemed to have good reviews.
Homemade Milk Replacer Recipe
one gallon milk mixed with one 12oz can of evaporated milk (not condensed milk) and one cup buttermilk. Remove enough milk from the gallon of whole milk to add the evaporated milk and buttermilk. Mix well, then add back as much of the remaining whole milk as you can to make a full gallon.
I bought raw cow milk from a local farm, mixed the ingredients and prayed for the best. It took around 3 gallons of milk replacer a week to keep Ollie fully fed.
It took over a day to get us both to figure it out. Ollie was so hungry he would get frustrated trying to latch to the nipple. I watched closely for scours (diarrhea for goats) Thankfully he never had an issue.
I fed him 4 times a day. which also meant he had to travel back and forth with me to Salt Lake City. I would plan my drive times around his feedings.
I never in my life thought I would have to find a goat sitter while working!
There was a charity walk that meant a lot to my daughter that I promised to go with her to, I didn’t have a goat sitter that morning so we took Ollie with us, was a fun one! The good part of it all, he was a hit with all the other walkers but my daughter wasn’t as thrilled, I had to put him in a carry bag so we could all do the walk. my daughter had also put her cell phone in the same bag, long story short ollie pooped all over her phone it was in every nook and cranny. We now laugh about it but at the time she was not to happy. I also took him with me for a few hikes. Hikes are one of my destressors so I wasn’t going to miss out on those!
for months Ollie was my little sidekick until around 3 months old. I was able to completely wean him from the bottle.