Lights on by the goat pen, a problem?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by boren, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. boren

    boren Well-Known Member

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    Indiana
    I was milking out Cream last night, my star milker, and she gave 6lbs 6oz of milk (11lbs 7oz for the day). I was a little shocked, this year she's normally in the low 5lbs/high 4lbs per milking, especially given that she's 6 years old and 220+ days into this lactation. I've been expecting her to curve downward, and she had been doing that slowly up till about 3 weeks ago. Last years barn records showed a peak at 14lbs/day at 100 days in, and a gradual decrease from then on.

    About 4 weeks ago I changed her hay to a much better quality hay, 3rd cutting, nice hay. I assumed the good hay had caused her milk production to jump up a bit and left it at that. But with the increase of last night I got wondering.

    My duck pen is beside the goat pen. Both are good size, about 15x30 pens. and they are separated by a 2x4 wire fence, and internal barn beams, etc. But it's not solid, so light from the duck pen can leak into the goat pen. Since these are young ducks just coming into lay I've been increasing the daylight over the past 6 weeks up to 17 hours per day. It's not much light, just a 40w bulb in a shade directed down at the ducks. But, there some indirect light that comes into the goat pen.

    My biggest concern is this is going to throw the heat cycles off in Cream, which I'm going to want to breed in December. I've been looking and I haven't seen any signs of a strong heat this month. Any ideas if this might be cause problems?
     
  2. Milking Mom

    Milking Mom COTTON EYED DOES

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    Texas
    We have an outdoor night light on the end of the chicken house that lights up a lot of the goat barn end and end of their pasture. I haven't seen that it affects these 2 milkers in any way.
     

  3. geminigoats

    geminigoats Well-Known Member

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    Northern Maine
    Lighting can and does effect the heat cycle, belive me, I know first hand. Vicki can even vouch for this too. I had an experience about 4 yrs ago with lighting and heat cycles. Lights can cause the does to come into heat, many commercial dairies use lighting to plan breedings for off season heats. We had just finished building our new barn and my husband wa sso impressed with his electrical work he decided to leave the lights on along with a radio. Well.......a few months later, June, there were a few factors at play which made conditions right. The weather cooled just a bit, got to the 70's, we lived in VA at the time. Our one buck came into rut and was stinking slightly, didn't really think anything of it as his nickname was, Stinky" anyways. We left to show at nationals that yr and our son was holding the fort down. Well....while we were gone our son called to tell me the buck got out but to not worry he got him back in. OK, no problem....wait....there sure was, in Nov. 5 of our older does who had just freshened in Feb came into heat that June, the buck obliged and they got preggers. Never suspected they were pregnant until late Aug. We were on milk test and I noted that when the weather cooled at that time of yr production usually increased. But those 5 decreased. By Sept it was obvious something was wrong, they were drying up. Thats when we pieced it together and realized they got bred and the lighting was one of the biggest factors involved. By Nov, we literally had Thanksgiving babies.

    As for the increase in milk production, do you live in the South or a warm/hot climate where it cools nicely this time of yr? That would be one possible explanation. But last yr she decreased...might be the combination of weather and the better feed.

    Bernice
     
  4. boren

    boren Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Indiana
    Thanks for the info guys. Looks like the light isn't affecting it to badly, she just went into heat. Must be all the hormones going nuts. Her milking records for the past 3 days looks like:

    4lbs 13oz - 6lbs 6oz
    4lbs 15oz - 5lbs 1oz
    2lbs 13oz - 1lbs 8oz

    Didn't seem even worth milking out tonight. Oh well, she recovered last month, but then she only fell by 1 lbs, not to 1lbs. :yeeha: ;)