Bottle Baby Goat Feeding Schedule

Updated: May 14

Baby goats are one of my favorite things on earth and having bottle babies for whatever reason is a fun, yet very time consuming, way to get a special bond with the babies. Here is a guide for a feeding schedule for bottle babies.

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To start our Nubian herd, we got two sister bottle babies when they were 10 days old. Their mama was a first time mama and got spooked during birth and just wouldn't take them. So here we are with these teeny 6 lb babies to feed and care for. Because we are starting our herd with these two, we unfortunately don't have access to any fresh goat milk and have used formula. All milk should be heated on the stove in a pan (not in the microwave) to 103°. This is the temperature of a healthy goat, therefore mama's milk would be close to 103°.


*I am not a vet, so I sought the advice of our large animal vet in choosing formula as well as developing this feeding schedule. I recommend consulting a vet when developing your feeding schedule.

One thing to keep in mind is to not overfeed and not change anything quickly (if you are switching types of milk). In their first several weeks, their rumen bellies are still developing and react to stark changes. They also have their natural instinct to suck so they always seem hungry. Do not be fooled to overfeed them even though they are so dang cute and tiny. :) We tracked their weight on our bathroom scale while holding them to make sure they were gaining the appropriate amount each week for peace of mind that we were not underfeeding.


What you will need:

  • Bottles (we use glass Topo Chico bottles)

  • Nipples -- I like these lamb nipples because many goat ones I have seen are too small. I also love these because they slip over the top of many bottles easily. I always use a sterile pocket knife to cut the hole a little larger in an X. You may not need to do this at the beginning, but often need to once they get a little older so that they can get enough out.

  • Kitchen thermometer for heating milk

  • Pan

  • Whisk

  • Funnel or ladel

  • Goat Milk or Kid Milk Replacer (Do not get replacer/formula that is "all-breed" for different breeds or for lambs. Goats need a formula specific for them)

  • Baby Goats 🥰


Milk Schedule


DAY 1

Feedings every 2 hours.

Kids must have colostrum in the first 24 hours of their life -- it is vital for their immune system and development. It is strongly preferred to have colostrum from their mom because it was made specially for them. If not, frozen colostrum if you have it or colostrum replacer must be fed in the first 24 hours.


WEEK 1

4-5 feedings per day

10-15% of their body weight in each 24 hour period

I fed first thing in the morning, in the early afternoon, late afternoon and just before bed.


WEEKS 2-6

3 feedings per day

15-20% of their body weight in each 24 hour period

I fed first thing in the morning, in the late afternoon, and just before bed (about 7 hours apart).

WEEKS 6-8

3 feedings per day

20% of their body weight in each 24 hour period

I fed first thing in the morning, in the late afternoon, and just before bed (about 7 hours apart).


WEEKS 8-12

Start to scale back the amount of milk each day and the amount of feedings. You will do this as the weaning process until week 12. I went down by 2 oz from their afternoon feeding every 3 days for the first 2 weeks until they were down to 2 feedings per day. Then went down by 2 oz on each their morning and evening bottles. I fed a little over 12 weeks, but once they hit 12 weeks they should be reliable eating grain, hay and grazing so the milk will not be doing much for them.

What breed of goats do you have? Tell me in the comments.