By hand or by machine?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by dosthouhavemilk, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So I am considering showing some of our dairy crosses at our local fair in September. It is non sanctioned...all dairy breeds shown together and last year there were two dairy goats I believe total.
    This means I would need to keep our does in milk. Normally they just raise their kids and dry off when done.
    Will machine milking them with a cow milker (we have a dairy farm) hurt their teat placement, size, or their udder? Is hand milking better if I decide to show them?
     
  2. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Well don't think your cow milker would work unless you change the inflations. I would just milk her by hand myself.
     

  3. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Machine milking won't hurt them, but I believe cow machines are set at a higher pressure than goats. You may need different inflations as well, like Sondra said.

    If you are dam raising kids, then you are still going to have to milk them out twice a day to keep their udders even for showing. Otherwise, they are going to look lopsided since the kids tend to prefer one side over the other.

    Tracy
     
  4. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We've used our cow machines on a couple of our goats before. We have the old bucket machines and not the newer pipelines. It worked fairly well on our half pygmy, half LaMancha and our half nubian, half LaMancha.
    I am already working on milking them twice a day. Though I have to break one of them into being milked. She is quite the chore. *sigh* The other we hand milked two years ago to feed four bottle babies (eventually grafted two of them onto her). The other two I am considering have not kidded yet.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  5. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Use the fiascofarm.com model for raising kids then. Getting the girls up on the milkstand once a day to milk will go along way in taming them down also. The problem with trying now to show goats who have only nursed kids in the past is that they have never filled their udder. They likely don't have the will to milk past much when the kids are weaned, and if you udder them up full when they are 4 months fresh it likely will just dry them up faster. You may be able to show them at their best before they wean their kids, during that first 3 months that they will be nursing and being milked.

    Kids nursing are the ones who damage 'show udders. An udder that is lopsided because one kid demands more milk from their side than the other, two or three kids nursing from one side while the other dries up etc., is what causes the unsightly lopsided udders...in fact if one half of the udder is less than one half of the other side in size, it is a disqualification, and honestly you aren't winning anything if you are even a little lopsided.

    Are these dairy crosses of dairy stock or boer?

    I hate county type shows, it gives folks a false sense of what they have. First your judge will likely be the leftover cow judge. Who cares what he thinks about my goats! You might try finding a local ADGA member to come and judge at least, both a girl friend of mine and me do this for local 4H clubs. Vicki
     
  6. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The four I am considering are dairy crosses. Danielle is half Nubian, half LaMancha. Her dam was my younger sister's show goat. A purebred Nubian who took overall champion at our county fair. Danielle herself took first as a dry yearling I believe, or a kid. At that time dairy goats and pygmy goats were the big deal in 4-H. Now it is simply market wethers. The "Dairy Goat" barn had one dry Alpine yearling, I think seven pygmies and the rest of the pens were market wethers. I thought since we show our Jerseys, we could take some goats along and maybe get some more interest in the dairy goats. It won't cost us much more having them there, since we are spending money on the heifers and they are thinking about making it so the goats will be with us in the Dairy barn.
    Snow White is half Saanen and half LaMancha. Her daughter, Milky Way is out of a purebred Nubian buck. They would be in the dam, daughter class. Liliana is half Nubian, 1/4 LaMancha, and we believe 1/4 Togg. She looks the best right now. Though Snow White has matured into a beautiful doe.
    They have a serious goat judge come in and judge the goats. 4-H is big in this area.....the dairy goat aspect has simply gone under, unfortunately. The money for the kids is in the market wethers.
    I am not taking anything that I don't think looks decent enough for the show ring. I may decide not to take any at all. I have until August to decide and I want to see how they do with the milking first.
    Danielle, unfortunately, has a lopsided udder, that evens out slightly when she is full, so she may not go afterall. She has also injured her legs. She will be kept in milk anyways because I want to make goat's milk soap as well adn she is a treat to hand milk. :)

    Thank you for your input, Vicki. I am not looking to make dairy breeds look bad in any way. It was a way to bring a little bit of extra money on our good looking does, and maybe spark some interest in the area again.
     
  7. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    What I so poorly put (sorry) in my last post...well what I meant is, if you at least make sure the meat goat judge who is going to judge the dairy goats is not only liscensed with ABGA but with ADGA, than he or she can at least give you ideas on what needs to be improved when you are placed. If the meat goat judge is not also ADGA liscensed than perhaps we can find you an ADGA member who will judge the show, this way after your placings you can discuss the merits of the goats.

    It's a pet peeve of mine out in our area that counties close entries to just their county. If the only competetion in 4H or FFA is other goats in their own county who are overseen by the same extension agent or leader, than it doesn't give a real sense of how this extension agent or leader is doing if only animals he is overseeing are judged. Judged against other goats, overseen by outsiders gives you a better idea of how you are doing. In fact National 4H rules demand that breeding shows be open to other counties, in Texas these rules are not followed, each county makes up their own rules. I can see market classes being closed to counties only because you want the money to stay in the county.

    OK so I can't explain it any better :) Vicki
     
  8. AndreaNZ

    AndreaNZ Well-Known Member

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    Vicki -- could you elaborate on the above? I'm trying to figure out what you mean by this; what does "udder them up full" mean?

    I "sharemilk" my goats with their kids (the does are removed from the kids overnight, and I only milk - milking out completely - once a day in the morning). Is that the kind of scenario you're referring to?

    Thanks!

    Cheers
    Andrea
    NZ
     
  9. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Your shows are closed to other counties? Ick. I agree, that doesn't do anyone any good. A good ways back my father had a string of show cows and heifers. He would do the round to the local County Fairs. They are clustered together time wise, so those animals and he would be on the road for almost a month straight going from show to show. Our shows are open to people in other counties, but Belmont County, since it isn't sanctioned, isn't high on the list for the serious Dairy goat breeders. There is one farm that usually comes every year but didn't make it this past year. The reminants of the hurricane came through here at that time in the form of rain...lots and lots of rain. Hopefully, she will be there next year and can give me some ideas about our goats and what can be improved. It sounded like they had a real dairy goat judge there last year and she took the time to talk about the doe(s) in the ring. We can hear everything that happens in the showring in the Dairy cow barn, which is neat.

    I don't know what will happen.
    I managed to milk ten whole squirts straight out of Liliana's left side this morning...which is big progress. She, however, decided she would only let me if she could lean her full weight on me. lol I am already making progress, taming wise with her. She lets me grab her collar and guide her along...as long as I am pulling her towards our makeshift milk stand. I don't know if she will hold up or not. Danielle should hold up. We had to put the milking machine on her last year around August/ September because she was so engorged and wasn't drying off real quickly. Snow White, since she isn't due until March, should hold together very nicely udder wise and production wise. She still had a nice full udder at fair time last year with her twins nursing.

    Any suggestions on where to look, website wise, to see if our does are up to par to be shown in a show ring? Places with good photos and descriptions. The ADGA is the first place to start, right?
     
  10. Tricia Smith

    Tricia Smith Member

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    Like Andrea, I also "sharemilk" the does with the kids, but I milk twice a day, fully emptying both halves of the udder.

    I find that all my does start structuring suckling sessions by the time the kids are a couple weeks old. The first sign of this is full udders in the morning: they just aren't allowing kids to nurse much overnight.

    When kids leave at 14-16 weeks, I typically milk three times a day for three or four days until the doe is comfortable with a fuller udder. If I'm keeping a kid to be part of the herd, we continue "sharemilking" until the kid is weaned. At this time, the dam will usually be a bit faddy on the milkstand as she tries to make me understand that I am to be weaned as well and as I convince her that I and my gentle hands are an exception!

    And the udders look good, they're even, they milk well through long lactations (20-22 months), they appraise well. They are in no way damaged by the kids nursing.

    --Tricia