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All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.
In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. We are not veterinarians. Neither nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.
PLEASE keep in mind, just because there is a DVM after the name does not mean they have the proper answers for goat owners 'Caveat emptor'- You need to find a responsible GOAT Vet


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Milk VS Replacers Print E-mail
Written by Administrator-GL   
Friday, 17 April 2009

 Milk Replacers Kill Baby Goats!

If you have a sick baby goat and you are feeding it milk replacer Please  follow these simple instructions:  Remember! Baby Goats Cannot wait- their tiny systems are so fast that even a few hours of not treating a sick baby can mean life or death.

A sick baby holds it's tail down, holds it's head down , usually will not eat, is not playful, may cry out, and  may grit or grind it's teeth in pain.

The best way to change from replacer to milk is:

Mix up a quart of any good livestock electrolyte mix (I prefer Vi-Tal) But any good MILKLESS electrolyte powdered solution will work  (read the ingredients) , ( or in a pinch you can use gatorade, pediolyte or  sports drink) , add to each bottle 2 pumps of  goat nutri-drench (or equivalent) and a  tsp of molasses or corn syrup to each bottle for energy.

This will be a 4 day feeding process:

  1.  Day 1- use this exclusively in all bottles
  2.  Day 2 -give 1/2 this solution and half milk (regular  whole cows milk from the grocer)
  3.  Day 3- give 2/3 milk and 1/3 this solution
  4.  Day 4-give all whole milk

This allows the baby goat to adjust to the change gradually and reduces the chance of further gut upset.

Read my article on bottle feeding baby goats for detailed instructions

In addition when you have a sick baby goat from using milk replacers the first thing you want to do is to get a bottle of CD Antitoxin and start injections ASAP-  You also may have to give the kid an enema to get the bad stuff out- many times they scour  but many times they get constipated- Here is how to give a baby goat an enema.


Comparing Milk to Kid Replacers for Baby Goats

Reference: American Dairy Goat Association

Compare these Nutritional Values and you tell me which is closest to goat milk for your kids-

Comparing Milk to Milk Replacers
Ingredient: GoatMilk CowMilk HumanMilk SavAKid MannaPro LandOLakes Purina Advance Merricks
Solids% 12.97 12.01 12.50 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Calories 69 kcal 61 kcal 70 kcal N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Protein % 3.56 3.29 1.03 26 26 26 20 23 26
Fat % 4.14 3.34 4.38 20 20 20 25 25 20
Carbohydrates % 4.45 4.6 6.89 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sugars 10.86 g 12.83 g 16.95 g N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Calcium (mg) 134 119 32 1.25 70 1.10 95% 95% 1.00
Iron mg 0.05 0.05 0.03 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Phosphorus mg 111 93 14 0.70 0.70 0.50 45% 60% 0.65%
Potassium mg 204 152 51 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sodium mg 50 49 17 1.1 1.10 0.80 90% N/A N/A
Zinc mg 0.30 0.38 0.17 N/A N/A N/A 60.00ppm N/A N/A
Copper mg 0.112 0.027 0.128 17ppm 17ppm 5ppm 4.00ppm N/A 6ppm
Manganese 0.044 mg 0.007 mg 0.064 mg N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Selenium N/A N/A N/A .3ppm 0.30ppm 0.3ppm 0.30ppm N/A 0.3ppm
Vitamin Cmg 1 1 4 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Thiamin mcg 40 40 20 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Riboflavin mg 0.138 0.162 0.036 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Niacin mg 0.277 0.084 0.177 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Pantothenic Acid 0.310 0.314 0.223 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Vitamin B-6 mcg 60 60 10 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.065 0.0357 0.045 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Folacin mcg 1 6 5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Vitamin A mcg 44 52 58 30,000 IU/lb 27,000 IU/lb 20,000 IU/lb 20,000 IU/lb 20,000 IU/lb 30,000 IU/lb
Vitamin E mg 0.03 0.09 0.34 100 IU/lb 150 IU/lb 100 IU/lb 50 IU/lb 50 IU/lb 150 IU/lb
Vitamin D mcg 0.11 0.03 0.04 5,000 IU/lb 5,000 IU/lb 5,000 IU/lb 5,000 IU/lb 5,000 IU/lb 10,000 IU/lb

Take a look at what the ingredients are in the most common used Kid Milk Replacers: All have animal fat- What kind of animal and what possible diseases are you transferring to your kids? Preservatives, Dried Whey (this also has to come from someone's milk) - from what animal and again, what are the chances of disease?  Look at all the perservatives and artificial flavoring- Do you REALLY want this in your baby goat? Can you see now why they scour and die?


Sav-A-Kid® Milk Replacer

Dried whey protein concentrate, dried whey product, animal fat (preserved with citric acid, BHA and BHT), dried skimmed milk, lecithin, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, l-lysine, dl-methionine, sodium aluminosilicate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, cobalt sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, magnesium sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, folic acid, ascorbic acid, Vitamin B12 supplement, choline chloride, d-calcium pantothenate, niacin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin A supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, artificial flavors.

MannaPro Kid Milk Replacer


Dried whey protein concentrate, dried whey, dried whey product, animal fat (preserved with BHA, BHT, citric acid and ethoxyquin), lecithin, ethoxylated mono-diglycerides, propylene glycol, calcium carbonate, l-lysine, dl-methionine, sodium silico aluminate, dicalcium phosphate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, zinc sulfate,  maltodextrin, vitamin D3 supplement, magnesium sulfate, ascorbic acid, niacin supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, vitamin B12 supplement, sodium selenite, folic acid, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, cobalt sulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite compex,  pyridoxine hydrochloride, artificial flavors.

Land O Lakes Kid Milk Replacer



Dried Whey, Dried Whey Protein Concentrate, Dried Whey Product, Dried Skimmed Milk, Dried Milk Protein, Animal Fat (Preserved With Ethoxyquin), Lecithin, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Choline Chloride, Calcium Silicate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide and Selenium Yeast.

Purina® Kid Milk Replacer

Dried whey protein concentrate,animal fat (preserved with citric acid, BHA, and BHT), dried whey product, lecithin, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, L-lysine, sodium silico aluminate, DL-methionine; citric acid, calcium propionate (preservatives); ethoxylated monodiglycerides, propylene glycol, choline chloride, ferrous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, cobalt sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, folic acid, ascorbic acid, Vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, niacin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin A supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, artificial flavor.

Advance® Kid Milk Replacer

 INGREDIENTS: Dried Whey Protein Concentrate, Dried Whey, Animal and Vegetable Fat (Preserved with BHA and BHT), Dried Whey Product, Lecithin, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Choline Chloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, [Sodium Propionate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Calcium Propionate (Preservatives)], Ferrous Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Magnesium Oxide, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Sodium Selenite, Artificial Flavor.

Merrick’s Super Kid Instant Milk Replacer



Dried Skimmed Milk, Dried Whey Protein Concentrate, Dried Milk Protein, Animal Fat and Coconut Oil preserved with BHA, Dextrose, Lecithin, Dicalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Magnesium Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Activated Animal Sterol (source of Vitamin D3), Vitamin E Supplement,Riboflavin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Sodium Silico Aluminate.

Small Ruminant Research:

Effect of goat milk, cow milk,  milk replacer and partial substitution of the replacer mixture with whey on artificial feeding of female kids


The objective was to study a feeding system for female kids that could utilise whey from goat cheese making or a milk replacer.

Six feeding groups were tested:

one using a commercial  milk replacer,

three using 20%, 35% and 50% whey in the water needed for the milk replacer mixture;

another study compared whole cow milk with whole goat milk provided during nursing.

Fifteen kids were artificially fed in each treatment. Kids were Alpine, Saanen or Toggenburg separated randomly among treatments. Kids were born from November until January weighing an average of 3.3 kg at birth. Results showed an average

daily weight gain (DWG) of 153 g for commercial  milk replacer;

for whey and partial water substitution DWG values were 152, 168 (P < 0.05) and 152 g for 20%, 35% and 50% whey mixture.

Kids fed whole cow milk gained 170 g day−1 (P < 0.05);

those fed whole goat milk had a DWG of 167 g (P < 0.05).

When 35% whey was employed, DWG was similar (168 g) to those obtained with whole goat or cow milk. Of the six treatments, kids fed whole goat milk, whole cow milk or milk replacer mixed with 35% whey did not show significant differences in growth (P > 0.05). Kids fed only  milk replacer in 20% mixture with whey performed significantly less well than the others (P < 0.05). Kids fed  milk replacer in 50% whey had comparable growth at the beginning, but severe diarrhoea affected most of the kids resulting in significantly lower DWG values (P < 0.05); 12 of the 15 animals had digestive disorders at least once during the study, but only one died, so growth was irregular.

Our results showed that whey could enhance the nutritional quality of a milk replacer probably due to protein enhancement. However, whey offered in larger percentages in the water mixture promptly produced diarrhoea in the kids, leading to lower growth performances. Kids showed comparable results when cow or goat milk was offered.

Some breeders were asking for nutritional informaiton on canned evaporated milk for use in emergencies for baby goat bottles.  Dilute the evaporated milk half with water- and make sure you read the labels of the canned milk you use- I am showing Carnaiton as I know it not to have soy in it and is safe to use for baby goats. 

Label nutritional informaiton of canned milk

Last Updated ( Monday, 26 April 2010 )
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