Please sound off: How much milk are you getting from your does. How long have they been fresh? What are you feeding? I think my girls are below par and need to compare feeds to see if we are missing something.
1. 15 weeks fresh 5 pints per day
2. 3 weeks fresh 3.5 pints per day
3. 1 week fresh 6 pints per day
4. 3 days fresh 4 pints per day (plus nursing 1 buckling)
Days total for 4 goats: 2 gallons plus 1-2 pints
Feed: Unmedicated Show Goat
Corn while in the stand (approx 1 - 2 cups)
Free choice goat mineral block
Firstly, I wonder what breed(s) your goats are. Minifarmer leads me to believe they are smaller breeds. If that's the case, your amounts sound about par. I'm sure there are individuals in the miniature breeds that give more (but mine don't!).
I also wonder if you are in a copper and / or selenium deficient area. Both could make a difference.
I can see that your goats need a better mineral. See if you can find Cargill's Right Now "Onyx."
My one teated Alpine is giving 3 qts per day
LaMancha (who is milked once in AM, with kid during day) 1/2 gallon
Mini-Mancha (once a day) just under a quart
They all kidded late winter.
I feed alfalfa pellets, Kent 16% protein dairy feed, and just a top sprinkle of corn, oats, and black oil sunflower seeds. They also have access to alfalfa hay, grass hay, and I take them for a browse walk every afternoon.
They get the Cargill "Onyx" mineral, are copper bolused regularly, and a blue cobalt mineral block I put out occasionally, too.
only 1 goat in milk right now (she has twin bucks nursing)
I milked her at first because the boys were forgetting one side. Then we switched sides or I should say they did so then I had to now they use both sides and they are keeping Sugar level(?) 2 weeks and weening starts.
But she has consistently given me 2 quarts a day from 1 side afternoon milking.
goat chow(not pellets) mixed with alfalfa pellets mixed up with BOSS (I like the texture, smell and look-so do my goats)
dumor goat block(my goats love this they can nibble it)
mineral block(my goats wont touch this)
loose goat minerals
protein bucket lick
I don't have top of the line milkers, but here's what I'm getting from my 2 girls:
Nubian (kidded early March): 1/2 gal a day. She's a FF.
AlpineX (Kidded June 4): 20oz per day while feeding her buckling. Mostly just milking to get her in the habit and to keep her even. 2nd kidding, she stinks to milk, but her production is about 5x what it was last year.
Mine get 16% dairy goat feed (looks like granola), loose minerals, lots of hay and some browse.
All NDs here - herd average is over 1/2-gallon per day per goat for 13 goats in milk. Several are first-fresheners, all but one are only a couple months (or less) fresh. Several were nursing 0-2 doe kids prior to complete weaning (bucks weaned earlier).
I have one girl that posted 6.5 pounds on test at about 6 weeks fresh. She's a second-freshener who had quads - three bucks and a doe. Can't wait to see what she does on test #2 this weekend!
some local grass hays (mostly timothy, brome)
if we are low on local grass hay, sometimes imported timothy or imported orchard grass (orchard grass is not my preferred feed)
grass hays are fed more frequently in the winter and hardly at all in the summer
limited local browse during the summer months, only when supervised due to heavy presence of wild predators
whole local oats & whole local barley in a 2:1 ratio, ~1 pound per day, split between two feedings
a small amount of loose cattle mineral (no added salt) in their grain ration (we use Lact-O-Min because it's what we can get here on a reasonably regular basis)
a small amount of brewer's yeast in their grain ration
a small amount of kelp in their grain ration
free-choice fresh water
copper bolus every 5 months (I slacked last time and was 2 months late but they all still look amazing and better than ever before)
Bo-Se every 5 months (I slacked last time and was 2 months late but they all still look amazing and better than ever before)
We tried all sorts of other things but this works well for us. If we have a skinny mini (lol), we give them a little beet pulp, but it's not my preference to feed it.
Our highest is a 2nd freshener Alpine who kidded about 3 months ago and gives 1.5 gallons a day.
Our lowest is a FF Alpine who about 3 months ago and gives 1 gallon a day.
We feed free choice alfalfa hay and coastal hay. Give a grain we mix (mostly 50/50 barley and oats, with BOSS, beet pulp, yeast). They have loose minerals and baking soda free choice as well. Browse is
Free Choice 2nd cutting alfalfa hay
16% Dairy Grain on the milk stand with a hand full of BOSS
High Quality minerals, free choice
Free Choice Baking Soda.
Plenty of fresh clean water
Yes, these are Saanens and yes we breed for milk production and high components. We also want long level lactations - our does slowly drop to 1 gallon/day - usually at about 9-10 months into their lactation.
Oh, 1 gallon of milk = 8.2 lbs.
Loose minerals are definitely better than a block. Otherwise your management sounds good. You may need to bring in milkier genetics.
The two I'm milking right now freshened in February. 18% Kent Goat Milker on stand, FC Alfalfa hay, FC Onyx Mineral, FC Baking Soda, browse. The six year old gave 11# yesterday, the two year old 9#. These are LaManchas.
I have one 3yr old who freshened for the first (and so far only) time 15 months ago. She gives me 7-8 lbs a day.
I have another 3 yr old 3rd freshener who freshened May 23 and gives me 3 1/2 lbs a day, milked once a day. She has more but holds back for the kids. She has a history of 8 lbs a day after freshening, but drops rapidly after 6-7 months and absolutely will not milk for the full 10 months. She's out of here next year when my new doeling freshens.
I also don't see if you said what freshening these girls are in and if they have been milked through in previous freshenings? As that will also play a roll in how much they give you.
We have Nubians & Nubian crosses 8 goats in milk and are getting between 6-7 gallons a day - here's the low down.
FF Nubian (from Ozark Jewels ) 5#'s a day 10 weeks fresh
Kinder 5thF - 5# a day 12 weeks fresh
Alpine/Nub cross 4thF - 10#+ a day - 10 weeks Fresh
Saanen/Nub 4thF - 6#'s a day at 15 Months fresh
Nubian FF - 2.5#'s a day at 14 Months fresh
Nubian 4thF - 9#'s a day at 12 weeks fresh
Nubian 5thF - 8#'s a day at 14 weeks fresh
Saanen/Nub 2ndF - 9#'s a day at 10 weeks fresh
Free choice Alfalfa
Grain mix - rolled barley 50# BOSS 20# Cracked corn 10#
Girls get 2-4lbs of grain a day depending on the goat.
Copper bolus 2-3X's a year + Mineral. I just started using the Cargill Right Now Onxy, but my girls don't like it enough to eat it on their own so I'm just mixing it in with the grain. I also add in Diamond V Yeast culture and Kelp - 1 part of each to 4 parts mineral. I pour on 1/2 cup over each grain dish, sometimes they eat, sometimes they don't, goats are sooo picky.
~ Kristen in SE Nebraska
Raising Nubian, Alpine, First Gen. Mini's & cross breed dairy goats. Est. 2004 www.LomahAcres.com
I am milking three goats at this time - free choice alfalfa hay and 3#of Nutrena Top Goat daily.
9 yr. old Alpine, fresh 11 weeks, 8#
Yr. Saanen, borrowed, fresh 12 or so weeks, 6#
5 yr. old Alpine, fresh 10 wks. 18#, just weaned huge twins.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
It's about learning to dance in the rain.
We are milking 2 Lamanchas and 1 Lamancha Tog right now:
Carla(Lamancha/Tog): 90 days fresh 3 yr 2nd freshener: 13.2lbs a day
Gloria(Lamancha):90 days fresh 3 yr 2nd freshener 10lbs a day
Billie Jean (Lamancha): 30 days fresh 1yr 1st freshener 5lbs a day
We feed a mountain meadow Grass Alfalfa mix, Noble Goat dairy parlor, Free choice Ranchway goat mineral, Free choice Baking soda, and the Blue cobalt block. We will not push the FF because she is still growing and producing milk, she gets 2 cups of her own milk fed back to her.
M & L Farm
Lamanchas, lamancha cross, Sable and Sable cross
My old gal alpine gives me 7-8lbs a day and my ff alpine gal gives me 5-6lbs a day but I only milk them once a day and they don't get suckled or anything otherwise just milking. When I was milking twice a day my old gal gave me 13-15lbs a day and my ff gal gave me 12-13lbs a day.
I just feed two quarts of goat chow and a quart of alfalfa pellets while they're in the stand. Hay the rest of the day. My old gal has a liking for milk and tends to get her nose in it before the kids get it all gone.
1 year old FF Saanen I got a week ago, freshened 2 weeks ago is giving me half gallon in the morning, and I milk about a pint in the evening just to relieve her some. She is also nursing 2 doelings that I haven't started separating at night yet.