Late to milk...any hope??

Discussion in 'Goats' started by frogdog, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. frogdog

    frogdog Guest

    I bought a LaMancha doe(first freshener) with her 5 week old kid a few weeks ago. The buckling was eating hay and drinking water, so I put him with my other doe's 8 week old kid and put the mom on the milk stand. At first, she only gave about 1 pint per milking and gradually worked her way up to almost a quart. Then she dropped back off to only a pint per milking. I'm trying to figure out how to get her production back to 1 quart per milking.

    She gets free choice dairy-grade alfalfa and sweetlix meatmaker mineral salt. She's given 1.5# of 18% protein grain mix at each milking, but she's not always very interested in the grain. She completely snubbed it when I mixed in a bit of molasses. I read a few references to using beet pellets in the grain mix...would that be likely to get her production up (and hopefully get her more interested in the grain)?? I know that starting to milk 5 weeks into her lactation is likely the main issue. I figured she wouldn't produce as much (compared to milking from the start), but I would like to make the best of the situation. Is there anything I might try to increase her production...or at least keep it from declining too much more?

    Thanks,
    Liz
     
  2. frogdog

    frogdog Guest

    Bump... Is there any way to get her to increase production, or is it just what it is?

    Thanks,
    Liz
     

  3. cfarmher

    cfarmher Well-Known Member

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    :shrug:
    This is purely anecdotal, but you could try "human milk" techniques to boost milk supply.
    Some things I have done to boost my supply is eat a lot of oatmeal,drink lots of water, pump frequently, and take fenugreek.
    The fenugreek is awesome stuff!
     
  4. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    that's a really pitiful amount, is it possible she's holding back her milk? was she nursing the kid? if so she may not want you taking her babies milk. without the let down responce more stays higher up in the udder. Does she have a hard udder? Could you put bucky boy up on the stand to butt her udder then milk and see what you get.
    She should do better next year 2nd freshening. much better if she came from a mis managed goat home, and in a better place now.
     
  5. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    I think you will be able to get more milk from her and you did not start milking her too late. But do remember that she is a first freshener and that although LaManchas are great milkers, their are lines of goats in all breeds that do not milk as well as others. But try this:

    Separate the kid from the doe at night and do not let it nurse. Milk the doe regularly at the same time each morning. There may be some hollering from the momma and the baby at first with this situation, just ignore it.

    You are doing great keeping the alfalfa pellets and hay in front of her all all times and you are using great mineral salt. Keep offering her the grain, but do not put molasses on it, that may cause problems later on. No sweetfeed either. Alfalfa makes milk just fine, grain gives energy. Molasses contributes to acidosis in the rumen and I for one believe it contributes to off-flavoured milk.

    Do everything exactly the same each morning when you milk. Goats thrive on routine. The milk letdown reflex is terribly important. When you feel the doe letdown the milk, really try to milk fast before the reflex is over. You can tell when she is letting it down as it will surge. A doe will let down when you wipe the udder, some will let down when they hear you getting the milk pail ready etc. Then be sure to empty the udder completely. Massage it and really empty it. Don't save any for the baby, take it all. She will adjust her 'volume" to make enough for the kid if she is any kind of milkgoat at all. Also, nervousness will interfere with the letdown, so running screaming children, barking dogs, etc, may hinder things.

    After a week or so of this routine your milk production should really pickup. She should start making more and more. She should peak out at around 2-3 months and milk for 10 months. if you don't milk her for a long lactation, it will be "set" as a short lactation, and from here on out, every year, she will have short lactations. So this first year as a first freshener, you should milk her for as long as you can. Most goat 'experts" recommen 10 months. That may be difficult, but just don't dry her up anytime soon.

    Good luck and if you have problems, post again :)
     
  6. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Oh, also, after milking, put the momma and the baby back together all day and then seperate again that night. The baby will get enough during the day to do fine. Just keep alfalfa pellets and hay out for the baby as well, that's all the feed it needs, nothing fancy.

    Oh, and was the doe wormed after she gave birth? You can use Cydectin orally 1cc/25 lb with no milk with drawal.
     
  7. frogdog

    frogdog Guest

    She's not *quite* back up to her original peak, but very close (whew!). I don't know that the baby will be of much use to her...he's fully weaned. I've been "bumping" and massaging her, although a good bit more respectful than her kid would ;-) We've already endured the sleepless weaning nights and would prefer to not do it again if possible.

    I have no idea if she was wormed after kidding, but I suppose so. She came from someone who bought her from a show breeder (she was kept as a show prospect, but sold after a few shows...has a incredibly tiny blemish on her udder), but did not have the time for the number of goats they had. She looks to have been very well cared for.

    What is the benefit of alfalfa pellets over dairy-grade alfalfa hay? She has free-choice dairy hay and goat mineral...grain on the stand only. When you feed the alfalfa pellets, do you also feed alfalfa hay or just good grass hay? Just wondering, as the grass hay is soooo much less $$ than the dairy hay.

    Liz
     
  8. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    I was under the impression that the kid was still nursing. How long had she been dry?

    Go ahead and milk her twice a day and see what happens. If she has gone a while without being milked regularly, she may be drying up. Milk her twice a day and see if you can prevent that.

    I misunderstood. I thought you were feeding alfalfa pellets. We can't get decent afalfa hay in Texas so we use pellets. If you can get the hay, that is great. The need alfalfa for the calcium.

    You need to assume she has worms unless you know different. Some may feel differently, but that is they way I feel.

    What do you mean that she is almost back to her original peak? My first freshening Lamanchas give over a gallon a day and my older ones give a gallon and a half if not more. How much is her "peak"?
     
  9. frogdog

    frogdog Guest

    She hasn't been dry at all. She was not milked before I got her, but was nursing her buckling (5 weeks old when I bought the 2 of them together). The buckling was eating hay and drinking water and immediately became friends with my other doe's 8 week old doeling. I put both kids in the weaning pen one night and began milking the LaMancha the following morning. She hasn't been dry at all.

    Perhaps "peak" was the wrong word to use. In the time we've had her and milked her, she has produced no more than 1 quart per milking. I'm sure that if we had had her when she kidded and could have started milking her then, that she would produce a lot more than she is. Next year she should be awesome. I will certainly milk her as long as possible so as to not set a short lactation. Good to know! Would it be better to milk her as long as I can, then wait to breed her again until next November, instead of breeding her this November?

    Your advice about timing consistancy sounds good, but I have no idea about the "let down" reflex. I milk as fast as I can, but since she's a first timer she's hard to milk. It probably takes 10 minutes to milk her out, because of the small teats.

    I think I'll stick with the hay. I called the local mill and their alfalfa pellets are considerably more $ than the $110/T dairy alfalfa I get. Also, in thinking about it, I don't think she was wormed after she kidded. I'm going to track down some Cydectin and see if that helps. She does seem to have somewhat soft poop. She had a really nasty cowlike poop when she got mad about me trimming her feet...

    Liz
     
  10. frogdog

    frogdog Guest

    OK, I gave her Quest equine wormer a few days ago, the only moxidectin I could find around here. Convienently, horses and goats get the same dose, .4mg/kg, which makes dosing with the horse "syringe" very easy. I guess we'll see over the next few days or weeks whether that helped. I'll give another dose 14 days after the first.

    So, would it be best to milk Clementine until she stops producing, and breed her next fall? Or should it be fine to breed her this fall, and dry her up 2 months before she kids? I'm leaning towards breeding her next fall, since she would get milked as long as possible. Sorry for all the questions, I'm a complete newby to dairy goats.

    Thanks,
    Liz
     
  11. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm thinking that you should go ahead and breed her this fall, because either way she will have been in lactation for 10 months (if she kids the same time as she did this year... She did kid in the spring, right?)
     
  12. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Five weeks old is pretty young to totally wean a baby goat. I feed mine milk until they are at least 12 weeks old. I think it would be a good idea to put him on his mom after the morning milking and put him in with the doeling at night. I'm sure he'll start nursing again. I weaned a January doeling off her mom in April so I could have the milk for my spring bottle babies. With the doelings growing, the baby pen was getting crowded, so I put her back in the big goat yard with her mom. In a couple days, I noticed her mom didn't have milk but acted healthy. Upon watching, I saw the large kid back nursing on her dam.
     
  13. goatmarm

    goatmarm Well-Known Member

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