Weaning

It is essential that lambs are weaned from their dams in order that the ewe may regain lost condition during pregnancy and lactation and be ready to rebreed within a certain timeframe. In this manner 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 a given size of farm.

The Boer Goat producer must be aware that weaning produces weaning shock in the lamb and that production or daily weight gain will be reduced for a period of 7 to 10 days. Preparing the lamb for weaning through the gradual introduction of a suitable creepfeed ration from the age of 3 weeks can significantly reduce this weaning shock while also increasing weight gain in the young lamb.

Should grazing conditions (drought, lack of grazing, late rains etc) demand it, lambs can be weaned earlier than indicated below but a suitable creepfeed ration should then be fed to compensate. It will benefit the producer to consult with his animal feed supplier in this regard.

  • Male kids: 3-3 1/2 months of age
  • Female kids and wethers: 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 months.
Creepfeed

Feeding creepfeed increases growth rates of kids and reduces the nutritional demand on the ewe. Kids can also be weaned at an earlier age.