Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The great pygmy goat debate: to purchase weaned kids or bottle babies


The great pygmy goat debate: to purchase weaned kids or bottle babies

Confused about whether it’s best to purchase a weaned pygmy goat kidding or a bottle baby? You are not alone! If you have done any research online, you’ve probably come to the realization that there are many differing opinions on this subject. Truthfully, there is no right or wrong answer to the weaned vs. bottle baby question. That said, there are some important differences between bringing hope a weaned pygmy and a bottle baby.

One of the main reasons many people cite for preferring to bring home a pygmy goat that needs to be bottle fed, or a “bottle baby” is the potential for increased bonding. It does appear to be true in some instances that beginning a relationship with your pygmy goat when it still requires you to bottle feed it allows the two of you to bond sooner and more strongly. Some also believe that bottle babies remain more docile and comfortable with humans their entire lives. And of course, you obviously get to meet you little one faster when you choose to bring it home as a bottle baby!

A drawback to having a bottle baby is it may be missing out on some health-supporting nutrients found in its mother’s milk. However, this does not mean that you are likely to have a sickly goat because it was a bottle baby. Also, you have to be willing and able to spend quite a bit of time bottle feeding each day, several times a day. It should be noted that while rare, on occasion a bottle baby becomes so attached to its humans that it feels stressed when it’s not with its human family.  Dam-raised pygmy goats may be less likely to have this problem, but it is still possible for them to be stressed without their humans.
One of the main reasons many people cite for preferring to bring home a pygmy goat that has been raised for several weeks with its mother and then weaned is the increase in immunity. Some people believe that pygmy goats tend to be stronger, healthier, and farther along in their development if they are allowed to stay with their mothers until they are weaned. They may also be more accepting of being separated from their human family than bottle babies. And while there is no doubt you will want to spend plenty of time with your pygmy goat kid, you won’t have commit to multiple feedings each day like you would with a bottle baby.

A drawback to bringing home a dam-raised pygmy goat is it may not bond with you as quickly or completely as a bottle baby. That said, regular, careful handling will strengthen your bond, and dam-raised pygmies are by no means unruly or wild. In fact, there are some who like to purchase weaned pygmy goats because their experiences have pointed to a more laid-back, calm disposition for dam-raised goats. Unfortunately, you have to wait several weeks after the birth of your pygmy goat to bring it home if it will be dam-raised instead of waiting a couple days for a bottle baby.

When deciding whether to bring home a bottle baby or a weaned pygmy goat, it is good to remember there is no right or wrong way to go.  Just look over the pluses and minuses for both options, remembering that your individual pygmy goat may or may not conform to the generalities associated with its group. More importantly, make sure you are purchasing your pygmy goat from a reputable breeder who regularly tests its herd for diseases. Amber Waves provides its customers with healthy pygmy goats and lifetime support. Contact Amber Waves today for more information on pygmy goats and to purchase yours today! 

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