Is It Ok For Newborn Goats To Drink Water

Baby goats are very cute and they’re much more independent than newborn human children. But how mature are they when they’re born and what kind of nutrition do they need? You may wonder if baby goats even need milk!

Goats need to drink milk for at least 8 weeks before they transition to water, hay, and other foods. Nursing goats get antibodies from their mother’s milk and it increases the bond between parent and child. If baby goats can’t nurse from their mother, they may need to be bottle-fed by the owners.

Newborn mammals rely on their mother’s milk, and water just doesn’t provide the calories, antibodies, and other benefits of breast milk. Eventually, they will be weaned off of it, but don’t try to separate goats too early! For more information on milk benefits, newborn care, and a young goat’s diet transition, read below.

Goat Milk Benefits

Like all baby mammals, newborn goats are dependant on their mother’s milk. Every animal has a different weaning period, but all mammals need at least a short period where they live off of milk alone.

Goat milk is particularly nourishing and according to, a single 1 cup serving of goat milk contains:

  • Calories: 168
  •  Protein: 9 grams
  •  Fat: 10 grams
  •  Carbohydrates: 11 grams
  •  Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 11 grams

Breast milk is especially nourishing for newborns and it contains all the vitamins and minerals they need to start off life on the right foot. It also contains antibodies that the mother has developed over her lifetime and is now passing on.

These antibodies will help the newborn goats develop a strong immune system and fight off common diseases. Goat milk is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous.

The nutrients are also available in a dissolved and easily processed form. Goat milk is even easier to digest than cow milk when it comes down to nutritional benefits.

Due to this combination of elements, goat milk can increase platelet production in their young and in humans. There’s a reason why goat milk is so popular as a health food! But for at least 8 weeks, we need to make sure that the baby goat takes priority and gets all the milk that they need.

For more information about the health benefits of goat milk, check out our post here. (LINK TO PLATELET ARTICLE BEFORE PUBLISHING)

Tips For Newborn Care

When you’re dealing with newborn goats, it can be a bit overwhelming. Well, don’t worry too much! There are some things you’ll need to do as the owner, but goats are hardy animals that are used to giving birth in nature.

Their babies are pretty strong and will just need a bit of help from you to make sure they’re healthy and happy. I’ve compiled a few tips below that will help you give them a good start in life.

1. Provide a clean, warm living area

Baby goats are more vulnerable to cold weather and disease than adults and will appreciate a warm, dry living space. This helps keep their body temperature high and will also make it harder for parasites to take over. Clean it often and keep it full of comfortable bedding materials like straw or pine shavings.

2. Leave newborn goats with their mothers

It might be tempting to try to care for newborn goats, but it’s best if they’re left with their mothers after birth. The mothers will clean and nurse them, which will strengthen their bond. So unless there is a serious problem or the mother is not around, it’s best to just leave the babies with their parents.

3. Bottle feed goats if they’re not eating enough

If baby goats have a sibling or two to compete with, they might not get enough milk. This can slow their development and result in malnourishment. In this case, you can use milk from the mother, another goat, or from the store. Don’t use artificial mixes.

Bottle feeding baby goats can also strengthen the bond between the two of you and create a sense of trust. If they’re bottle-fed from time to time, they will likely be calmer and better socialized when they grow up.

4. Vaccinate goats and schedule regular check ups

Once your goats are independent enough to leave their mother for few hours, take a trip to the vet to get them vaccinated. This will protect them against a variety of diseases, and a newborn visit can also help them get used to the idea of the vet.

Vets can also check them for internal parasites, which are common among baby goats. It’s important to get a clean bill of health as soon as possible.

For more information on how to care for baby goats, visit this guide.

Transitioning Goats To Drinking Water

Baby goats rely solely on breast milk for the first part of their lives. It provides all the hydration, calories, and nutrients that they need, so it may be hard to wean them off.

But as the goats grow, so does their appetite. They won’t be able to live off of milk for long, so it’s important to transition them to water and other types of food.

When your goat has doubled its birth weight (usually about 30 days) you can start to offer them other types of food. Let them experiment with grain, hay, and pasture feed. This will help kickstart their digestion and increase their diet range.

Goats can start trying water during this period, but they should still have milk up until they’re at least 8 weeks old. After that point, they’ll need to be fully weaned so they can become independent.

Some goats don’t like water though, so you may need to provide some incentives in order to prevent dehydration. Goats can be picky when it comes to their food and water.

The first thing to do is make sure they have a stock of fresh water on hand. Make sure there is nothing floating or growing in it and replace it frequently. It also helps if you adjust the temperature of the water to the temperature outside. Cold water is appealing in the summer and warm water is better in the winter.

You can also add a bit of extra flavor to encourage them to drink. Goats may enjoy drinking water that’s flavored with apple cider vinegar, molasses, or fruit juice. Don’t do this every time, but a little extra flavor helps them to form good drinking habits!

Recent Posts