How do you dry up dairy goats?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Bricheze, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. Bricheze

    Bricheze A Girl and her Goat

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    I thought you just stopped milking them and they dried up naturally... but my teacher says we are supposed to milk them and just leave a little more each time so they stop producing as much or something... lol I'm confused.
     
  2. copperpennykids

    copperpennykids Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We dry up our Saanens by

    1) Milk once a day. Milk completely out.

    2) Put on grass hay

    3) Reduce grain to about 3/4 of normal

    4) After a week of this, we just stop milking completely. No more grain for a week or so and grass hay only.

    Please note that we milk our girls until 3 months bred - so once they are dried up, we only have 6 weeks or so before they kid, so they are put back on alfalfa and start getting grained again.

    If you are drying them up long before their kidding date, then you may need to leave them on grass/no grain longer, depending of course on their condition. You do want to start them back on alfalfa at least 60 days before they kid and start on the grain as well to provide energy and prepare their rumen for their grain ration once they are in milk.

    ALWAYS milk a goat out completely. You are just begging for mastitis to leave the milk in. Reducing the milkings is a much safer way to go.
     

  3. Bricheze

    Bricheze A Girl and her Goat

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    Thanks a ton for the info, I'm drying them up early this year because of school and I don't have enough time to deal with the milk.
     
  4. kimmie816

    kimmie816 New Member

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    My Cookie is not pregnant, I tried milking only once a day for a week, gave her only hay and she won't dry out! any suggestions?
     
  5. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    - stop feeding grain and rich feeds. Take them down to a plain hay if possible. No need to reduce, just stop it completely. Weaning them onto a plain, nonrapidly digestible hay only won't cause upset.

    - stop milking. The sudden full feeling is what triggers them to stop producing, as well as the sudden stop in extra nutrition. The less you open the udder to the outside world

    Some does may need once a day milking to relieve, but I would say the vast majority of average animals do not need to do this. Opening the udder once a day still opens them to organisms that can cause mastitis, except now you're only milking 1x per day so you're allowing it to sit in there for even longer, so I do not prefer this method though some like it and some does may need it especially earlier in lactation or when they're really high producers. You can milk them out in a week or two to relieve or to reduce chance of injury walking around with a full udder all the time if they need it.

    Whatever method, always watch dried does closely. I always 'cop a feel' of their udders on a regular basis. ;)
     
  6. jwal10

    jwal10 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are they in peak production? A little different than if they are getting ready on their own. IF so, I would put them on grass hay and no grain for several weeks before quit milking. Then milk once a day for several days, every other day for several days and then leave alone. The goat has no feeling for starting the process herself if drying off at peak production. She needs less nutrition to help the process along....James
     
  7. kimmie816

    kimmie816 New Member

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    I did cut her grain and gave her only hay, then milked her out 10 days later. The next day she was full of milk again! so I tried it again & she was full of milk again.
    I don't want to hurt her. What should I do?
     
  8. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    Then leave it longer. It's very unlikely the fullness will hurt her directly, but dry off mastitis is always a risk. The only reason I milk them out is if their udder is physically large, and that is just because a large udder is just more likely to be injured on things in the pasture, when fighting, getting stepped on.
     
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