How can I increase milk production?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by TWOGOATS, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. TWOGOATS

    TWOGOATS Animal Lover

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    My pregnant goat had babies! (twin does) :D :D Unfortunately, she isnt producing very much milk , ie, not enough to support the babies. I know because I milk her to bottlefeed it to the babies, and I have to add milk replacer to come out even. :waa: I have been milking her 3-4 times per day, and have a bucket of molasses water out there. Any other ideas? :confused:
     
  2. windyhollowfarm

    windyhollowfarm Well-Known Member

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    How long ago did she kid? Does her udder feel tight/full even though you can't get any milk out of her? She may not be letting her milk down.


    Genetics and nutrition play a large role in how much milk a doe produces. She could be in excellent condition, and receive all the nutrients/feed she needs BUT if it isnt in her genes to milk......

    You can try adding I believe beet pulp to her feed. I sprinkle Diamond V Yeast on feed/minerals. Make sure she has a nice loose mineral out at all times. If you are graining her you can slightly raise the amount slowly. A good alfalfa or alfalfla mix hay out too. Are you graining her everytime you milk her?
     

  3. Milking Mom

    Milking Mom COTTON EYED DOES

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    What kind of goat is she? How much grain are you feeding her per day? Is she getting either alfalfa hay or alfalfa pellets? Make sure she is getting plenty of calcium in her diet otherwise you might face hypocalcemia in your doe. Try getting some injectable CMPK from your vet. Give her 30cc per day for 5 days sub q under the skin just behind the last rib. This will help get her calcium level up and will assist in her body being able to produce milk. If you can't get the injectable CMPK from the vet, you can get liquid CMPK at the feed store. It has an oily base and if aspirated could cause pneumonia in your doe. Be very careful if you drench her with the liquid CMPK and don't get it in her lungs. (Why I prefer the injectable above all.) You can also get CMPK paste, however, it is caustic and can burn the back of their throat and is an all out rodeo to get that down them too. Good alfalfa hay or either alfalfa pellets fed free choice daily will greatly help in her calcium intake. What is her body condition? Skinny? Does it seem she had a lot taken out of her because of the kids? Giving about 3-4 pounds of grain (without molasses) in the am milking and again at the pm milking will help to give her the necessary nutrients to produce milk and maintain her body condition. You can also add a handful of Black Oil SunFlower Seeds over her grain to add some fat to her diet. Watch your doe for any signs of being "off" feed or being lethargic. If you see any of those signs you need to act quickly. Here is an article for you to read.

    http://dairygoatsplus.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30

    Just a thought on the milk replacer for the babies, sometimes it will give the little ones diarrhea. If it were me I would just use regular store bought whole milk from the grocery store to supplement. I started out feeding my newborn babies 16 oz bottles of milk 3 times a day. Sometimes they would take it all and sometime they wouldn't. After about 3-4 days they started taking 20 ounces 3 times a day. Now I may add in an extra afternoon bottle if I have enough extra milk from their mom. Don't overfeed the babies as that could cause diarrhea too.
     
  4. rhjacobi

    rhjacobi Well-Known Member

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    We use a product called Oxytocin (2cc injection) usually within a few hours of kidding to ensure the expelling of the after birth. I can't remeber if it is IM or SQ and I am not at home to check my notes. Probably most of the sites that list medicines and dosages would have it. As a side benefit, it aids in milk let down. I don't know how long it has been since she kidded, but it might help. I do know of a case where the vet recommended a 1cc injection of Oxytocin morning and night for three to four days for milk let down.

    Bob
    Lynchburg, TN.
     
  5. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    before i would recommend any drugs i need more info. breed, diet, condition the doe is in right now. and than go from there. bottle babies could easily drink more than what comes from the doe if she is not a heavy milker. and that does not mean that they need it.
    also with oxytocin on a regular basis gives you a doe who will become dependent and will need it every time for kidding. not something i want to see with my does.
    susanne
     
  6. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    b complex will boost her appetite if she's not eating well.
    calf manna may help
    beet pulp may help
    there's a microbe supplement that helps, but the name of it escapes me...

    how long ago did she kid? is it still colostrum,or has full milk come in? look at her feed...1 lb for her and 1 lb for each 2 lbs of milk she gives, at least, more if she is skinny. feed her every time you milk her.
     
  7. rhjacobi

    rhjacobi Well-Known Member

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    Susanne,

    We don't know how long ago this doe kidded, but one injection of 2cc of Oxytocin after kidding to help ensure the expelling of the after birth won't make the doe dependent on it. That is only about one shot a year (3 in two years if you breed that much).

    The other example was an extreme case of a goat rescue, but it indicates that the vet thought that there would be a positive impact on milk let down even a few days after kidding. No one is suggesting continous injections of Oxytocin nor would it be of any value to do so.

    Bob
    Lynchburg, TN.



     
  8. TWOGOATS

    TWOGOATS Animal Lover

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    she kidded on the 24th of march, she has regular milk now, the afterbirth is coming out nicely, and she gets access to grain every time I milk her. she is a purebred lamancha. she is not skinny, but i wouldn't say she is fat either. today, (03/30/05) she put out a little over a quart from 7:00-ish the previous night to 7:00-ish this morning. so her milk production is going up.

    they have access to pasture and hay, which is either CA grass or alfalfa.

    hope that answered some of the questions.
     
  9. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    She's less than a week fresh, so her milk production should gradually go up for the next couple of months. The one thing you want to make sure of now is that she has enough to eat, and plenty of fresh water to drink. If you are feeding her grain on the milking stand, make sure she has time to finish it before you put her back in the pen with the other does. I used to have trouble with this when I was milking several does. It was hard to wait while they finished eating their grain, when I had several more does needing to be milked. Now I'm tying all the does, even the dry ones, in the pen, and feeding them their grain there, so it doesn't matter if they are finished with their grain at the same time I'm done milking, or not, they still get their full ration.


    Kathleen