Goat milk question

Discussion in 'Goats' started by familytrees, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. familytrees

    familytrees Member

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    First, a little history: We have a two year old Saanen doe that we bought last summer. She was fresh when we bought her and we never had a problem with her milk . . . it always tasted great. We dried her off in October to breed her and she gave birth to twins a little over 2 weeks ago. I started milking her about a week after she kidded. The milk smelled fine, but had an AWFUL aftertaste. Her feed has not changed (I feed her the same thing I did when she was fresh last summer), we follow strict sanitation procedures with our milking equipment, and she does not have mastitis. The only difference is that I have had the buck in with my does up until just a couple of days ago; I know the "scent" of the buck can make the milk taste bad.

    I separated the buck from the does on Monday. My question is this: if it was the buck making the milk taste bad, how long might it take for the taste of the doe's milk to return to "normal"?

    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  2. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Since you didn't drink her milk in the very first part of lactation, this could be something to do with her. Also did you worm her after kidding? Do you run fecals?

    Nothing ever doesn't change in their diet, there are different weeds in the pasture in the early spring, than in the summer when you got her last year, hay quality changes, and if you feed a byproducts feed tag the feed can change each and every time a lot is milled, remember they are not going by a menu but only a guranteed analysis, lots of poor tasting winter milk comes from the high acids caused by the move from a little bit of liquid molassas during the spring/sumer to the fall/winter dried molassas so the bags are free flowing and not cement bricks. They also change oils, and goats hate linseed oil, and it makes their milk taste medicinal, so can cottenseed meals/hulls.

    The way the buck effects the milk is the smell that is on your hands and the equipment and on her with him in the pens. This is much less apparant with machine milking, so move the buck and wash the does and milkroom, or move to a machine if you have to pen him with them. The buck odor does not permiate the udder wall like some would have you think, it simply goes back to milk cleanliness, hand milked does have the health of the hands milking her, cracks and hangnails will contain staph bacteria, if you don't have little girl soft hands you should be wearing gloves. Udders and bellys have to remain slick shaved to hand milk cleanly, and should be cleaned and dried thoroughly before milking. Washing hands, applying gloves or milking with clean hands, into a spotless container, immediatly straining the milk and starting it to chill in the milkroom before you get to the house. A soda bottle frozen with water, placed in the milktote works really well. Getting the milk in the house now, and not waiting until after chores are done. Teat dipping, the whole teat, not just the tip. Using products that work.

    Bad tasting milk is usually caused by milk handling. Secondly is the goats health. Are you using an adequate mineral for her? Have they added more molassas to the grainmix? We feed no molassas to our Nubians. Does she have enough calcium in her diet for her milking ability? Does she have alfalfa in the form of hay or pellets or just the calcium carbonate in her minerals and grain mix? Is the same person milking her this year as last? Vicki
     

  3. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    Our Nubian doe's milk had a funny aftertaste for the first 2 weeks after she freshened and our Nubian/Alpine does had that taste for about a week after she freshened. I think it's just the transition from colostrum to milk. :)
    Patt
     
  4. Emily Anne

    Emily Anne Active Member

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    yes, after two weeks the taste should have gone away, ours had a bad after taste till almost two weeks after freshening.
     
  5. familytrees

    familytrees Member

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    Thank you all for the suggestions . . . definitely some things to think about.

    Jeff
     
  6. doralee

    doralee Member

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    It took almost a month for the taste to return to normal when I made the same mistake. That bucky taste can hang on, try powdering her with baking soda, brush it in. And make sure all the bedding that they shared hs been changed. I think I even put baking soda in their pen. That helped us.
    This topic is what started me watching these goat threads a while back. Same thing, Had heard that a buck could influence the taste of the milk, But until I had kept the buck in with the doe, Oh my gosh! My husbend still wont drink the milk. His loss! tee hee!
     
  7. Milk n' Honey

    Milk n' Honey Well-Known Member

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    I have an older Saanen...not sure of her age exactly. When we bought her, her milk was awesome. I shared it with several skeptical friend who wrinkled their noses as they sipped it, only to discover that they loved it. These were people who do not drink milk because they don't like the cow's milk from the store. I was so happy to have impressed them with this wonderful milk and to open some people's eyes about goat's milk. Well, I had a Boer buck dropped off at the same time. He is about 5-6 months old. They were our first two goats. The milk was great for at least a week or so and then it started turning. It doesn't taste bad on the first sip so then I'd take a gulp and then a few seconds and this horrible aftertaste would come. Then I can't seem to get rid of the aftertaste for most of the day. Yuck!! I've been reading and researching and did finally take out the buck. He's been out for close to a week and her milk is still nasty. I don't even want to sample it because of the horrible aftertaste. Today, I went to an auction and got my first whiff of buck odor. Oh my. I had no idea it could be sooo strong. The whole place wreaked when they brought an active buck through. After my husband and I left, we agreed that the aftertaste in the milk tasted exactly like that buck smelled. Horrible is not the word. I had touched one of those bucks and I came home and could not get the smell off my hands. It took 5-6 good hand washings plus a shower and then the smell was mostly gone. Anything that strong, I'm quite sure can permeate the milk and so I've read on about 99.9 locations about this. So, I'm hoping and praying that the milk goes back to normal soon. I can't stand it the way it is but it just kills me to throw all that milk away. I'll definitely try the baking soda...especially on my new gorgeous nubian that I brought home, who was in a pen with a very smelly buck. Ewwwwww!!!! I bathed her tonight but what did I expect...that I could get the smell off of her when I couldn't get it off myself?? Yeah right. Nice try though. The baking soda idea is smart so I'll try it. My question now is: When I breed her, will I have to wait another entire month for her milk to lose the aftertaste from being with a buck again or does it take longer than that for it to ruin the milk? This is a great website that I'll be using a lot. Can you tell I'm a newbie? I love my goats so far. I have the Saanen doe, a Nubian doe (2 yrs old), a Pygmy doe (less than a year old) and a blk/wht paint Boer buck (about 5 months old). They are really fun. I love them. The Nubian is my first registered one. I got a steal on her or at least it seems. She is a 4-H goat from a family who's kids are out of 4-H now so they got rid of all of their goats. She is really healthy, marked beautifully and I got her papers too. It isn't easy to find good, healthy animals at the auction. You have to be careful. Well, thanks for listening and and advice would be eagerly accepted. Thank you and happy goat keeping!!
     
  8. gryndlgoat

    gryndlgoat Well-Known Member

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    Vicki is absolutely right- if you are scrupulous in your milk handling and you will have no problems with bad milk or buck flavor. My EXTREMELY stinky buck still runs with the doe I am milking but her milk is still superb in flavor. One thing I do is to have the milk stand in a separate room the buck never goes into, well away from his sleeping quarters. The doe is also trained to jump onto the stand without my having to touch her, so I don't get buck smell on my hands from handling her (and she does have enough smell on her to notice!). I just open the door to the milking room and let her in (she runs in from the pasture and stands on the other side of the door when she sees me coming). The only part of her that I touch before milking is her udder and that is cleaned and washed well, as are my hands. Then clean cotton gloves go on for milking into sterilized stainless steel. The milk is taken into the house immediately and like I said, it still tastes as great as it did before the buck went into rut.
     
  9. Eveningstar

    Eveningstar Active Member

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    Cleanliness is a key factor and also how fast you can cool the milk down. I milk into a stainless steel bucket and strain the milk into a clean glass container which I sometimes set in a tub of ice in the kitchen sink. On really warm days, I have taken the milk inside and strained it after milking each doe. I don't let it remain in the pail or I get strong tasting milk. My buck ran with the does and I didn't have a problem, but then my does were trained just as Gryndlgoats goaties are.

    Bucky smell won't come off? Just personal experience here, but try using goat milk soap. It doesn't remove it completely, but I found it to be more effective that storebought. It also depends on how much bucky smell is on your hands.
     
  10. Milk n' Honey

    Milk n' Honey Well-Known Member

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    Do you think it could be possible that some does are more affected by the buck smell than others? I don't know. It just seems like I've tried everything I could to fix the problem and I can't get it fixed. It is very disheartening. I do use very clean equipment, although I don't boil it all. I don't know if she had the smell on her or not. I hadn't thought about petting her and then milking having anything to do with it. I don't believe that she has an odor though. This new girl does. She was in with a buck when we bought her and whew, does she stink. I washed her down but it barely cut the smell. I think I'll opt to keep my buck separate just for that reason. I love my girls and I love to love on them. They aren't very lovable with that smell on them!! ;o) I brought in the milk tonight and tasted it. I didn't notice anything strong so maybe things are looking up. I have a cold though and can't taste things as well. Is there any other way I can test this milk without tasting it everytime? I can't hardly bring myself to try it for fear of "the aftertaste." I am pregnant too so that probably makes it less tolerable for me. Well, I'm off to read more postings!! Bye for now.
     
  11. tinetine'sgoat

    tinetine'sgoat Luvin' my family in MO

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    Hey I like the idea of the frozen soda bottle. It takes from a half hour to an hour depending on how fast the goats and I are to get the milking done and on some of the HOT :flame: days I worry about not getting it to the house quick enough. Thanks, I'll try that!! :D
     
  12. Starsmom

    Starsmom Well-Known Member

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    When I bathe my goats to get rid of the "Bucky" smell I use the same thing I use to get rid of Skunk. It is a mixture of dish detergent, baking soda and lemon juice. I used it once to deskunk my white huskies when they got out of the house and went for a 12 hour romp in the woods. It worked great and eliminated the skunk smell immediately. It works great to get my girls clean and fresh and I also wash the bucks during rut about once a week. Any longer than that and I can't stand to even bathe them....YUK