After ten years of raising goats I decided this year to bottle/bucket all the kids, selling the boys as we go and keeping the girls for future show and sale items.
I had used a bucket feeder a few years back but I waited to try to train them to it until they were a month or more old.
Not this time, we were going to master it at only 3 days old. Or so I thought ...how hard could it be ?
So 5 little goats and their caretaker began their journey!
I made sure that I used these nipples to train the babies to the bottle so they were familiar and use to the size and feel of them before trying the bucket.
First attempt...let the two girls out and try to get them to use the feeder. They both tried and got a few sips of milk then decided that wandering around the rest of the room peeing was much more interesting.
OK so adapt and overcome, out comes the ratty old used playpen to put them in. That helped and they drank pretty well and with a towel in the pen mess contained, right? WRONG! After drinking their fill the little girls then back up to the soft sided pen and pee out onto the floor. Well they are goats...
Next alteration...place washable material under and outside the playpen to catch messes. Check!
I failed to mention my first attempt was done using a regular round bucket that is made to feed goats. AKA: NOT the one in the photo.
Well three boys in the pen and the bucket they were quite crowded and you cannot guide and train more goats than you have hands for much less keep them from trying to tip the bucket over. To snickering in the background I scoop up one of the boys and put him back in the kennel while getting the other two fed.
New skill learned by the goats, new mentality learned by the caretaker and feeding is a breeze with this new system because I can also be cleaning, doing laundry, and freshening their kennels while they eat all by themselves. YAY! I think it's time for an after lunch nap.