To wean a young mammal is to get it used to food other than its mother’s milk. When it comes to kids, weaning is important because this enables the mother – the ewe – to regain its strength after pregnancy and lactation. In this way it will be ready for breeding again after some time.
Maximum production can be obtained from the breeding ewe, pressure on the veld is reduced and a larger number of ewes can be kept on the farm.
Removing the kid from its mother’s milk can result in weaning shock, and daily weight gain will be reduced for seven to 10 days. So it’s important to prepare the kid for weaning through the gradual introduction of a suitable creep-feed ration from the age of three weeks.
For males, the ideal weaning age is 12 weeks to 16 weeks. For females, it’s 16 weeks to 18 weeks.
Should drought, lack of grazing, and late rains demand it, kids can be weaned earlier – but then a suitable creep-feed ration is essential. Your animal-feed supplier can advise you here.
Source: SA Boer Goat Breeders’ Association, 049 842 4411, e-mail [email protected].