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Everyone loves baby animals, and baby Ibex and Turs are particularly active, playful creatures that can provide endless hours of enjoyment to the observer.


Advantages of Mother Rearing


No one can raise a baby like a good mother can. A mother’s nurturing will yield hardiness at an earlier age. A mother's ability to encourage activity helps develop physical strength and social skills. If she offers a good supply of milk, it is also available on-demand, which will jump-start growth and immunity. A good mother is protective of her young; babies feel secure in her care and will learn social behaviors appropriate to their species. As they grow up, their behavior will closely resemble that of their mothers.


Bottle Raising Babies


Although not a frequent occurrence, inexperienced mothers may not give adequate care to their newborn babies. For example, if a baby is born when temperatures are low, the mother may not clean the baby soon enough, which will lead to a drop in the baby's body temperature and ultimately to a premature death. Newborn babies should be up and be nursing within 15 minutes of birth and be stabilized within the first three hours of life. If a mother neglects to stimulate a baby upon delivery, it becomes necessary to rescue it. If you are able to encourage the mother to care for the young and assist her with this process, that provides the best outcome for the newborn.


However, if this is not possible, the best alternative is to take the baby into a warm environment and begin feeding it with colostrum from its mother or another female in the herd. (A supply of frozen colostrum is the cheapest insurance you can have to save a youngster in distress.)


If a baby is not stabilized within the first three hours of life (either by the mother or with assistance), the chances of survival are greatly lessened.


Bottle raising by choice will help with handling the animal in captivity. If a choice is made to bottle raise a baby, it is recommended to separate the baby twelve hours after it is born. This will give them the opportunity to obtain the essential colostrum contained in their mother's milk, which is so critical for good life-long health. Colostrum serves to transfer immunities from the mother to the kid and also aids in the proper functioning of their digestive system. Once a baby is taken, they must be fed either fresh goat’s milk or a commercial formula specially designed for young goats. (We successfully use Goat and Lamb milk replacement products from Merricks.) Bottle reared animals are more relaxed around people, which makes it easier to manage their long term care. They are less stressed during transportation, medicating procedures or any hands-on activities. 


Bottle-feeding kids is can be a very rewarding experience, helping the animals to develop gentleness toward their handlers. However, it is a task that requires an investment of time, discipline and knowledge in order to have a good rate of success. Once the decision is made to hand-raise a baby there is no turning back. Around-the-clock care is necessary during the first days of life and a very structured feeding schedule is a must for several weeks.


It is very important to have small houses for kids so they can hide and sleep without too many negative stimuli.


Using a feeding box is recommended after kid begins taking the bottle. This allows the kid to access food without becoming totally imprinted to their keeper.


As the kids reach maturity, it is essential to leave them alone during the breeding season to enable them to select breeding partners within the herd.


Important Don'ts in Hand-Rearing


It is extremely important not to isolate babies but rather to keep them with other animals, ideally their own kind. These are not solitary animals by nature. They feel most secure and relaxed when in the company of other animals.


It is also imperative not to encourage males to be playful with people from an early age and avoid touching their horns at all cost. Roughhousing is not advised under any circumstances. If you play with them as babies, they will become aggressive as adults. It is also important to house males with other males so they can develop the head-butting behaviors that are so natural and important to this species. Being housed with other males will allow them to develop normal social skills, which they will need as they become mature males and assimilate into a herd.



David will be happy to discuss which

raising method will best fit your needs.


Please call 864- 316-9572 or 864-472-2039

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