Maiden milker

Discussion in 'Goats' started by hoggie, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. hoggie

    hoggie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well - I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I have been at a low ebb this week - nothing seems to be moving forward and all of a sudden we have taken a giant leap and I am not ready - by about a year !! LOL

    OK - took my girls out for a walk to browse this evening and suddenly noticed - the Alpine is starting to bag-up. Had a look at the Tog for reference and sure enough she has nothing to show. Got them home and had a quick "fondle" and she let down immediately and I got a few squirts out of her. Didn't go any further as I had nothing to try to catch it in :) I think all that handling early on might have paid off as she stood like a lamb :)

    So lots and lots of questions

    If I milk her and strip her out I am assuming that she will pick up and give a usable amount - I know it won't be a huge amount but something we can use?

    Assuming that she will give enough to use - do I need to change her feed. At the moment she is on 8oz mix, 8oz maize, handful BOSS, handful mollassed chaff, and enough sugar beet ot dampen the feed. She gets this daily split into two feeds - morning and evening. Lots of hay and some browse.

    I have on order oats, barley, and Alfalfa chaff as I was going to start changing their diet away from the molassed stuff. Forgot to order the alfalfa pellets!! If she is going to give any milk what should I change to - she is only a year old - does she need anything extra as she is still growing and now milking as well.

    What do I need to put on my shopping list for milking stuff - wasn't expecting to need any of this for another year. Going to get the books and lists out now but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

    hoggie
     
  2. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    Is there ANY way she could be pregnant? Has there been any bucks on/near the property in the past 5 months?

    Also, if she's a year old I'd assume she's plenty old enough to milk... that is, as long as she's in the proper condition.
     

  3. hoggie

    hoggie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nope - no way pregnant. I live on an island and the nearest male is on a different island 25 miles away. I am in the process of tracking down a male to buy to breed them this Autumn.

    hoggie
     
  4. hoggie

    hoggie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I guess I'll have to take that as no takers then ? :(

    Thanks anyway

    hoggie
     
  5. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

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    hoggie, as far as equipment, I just use a stainless steel bucket, cheescloth, and glass jars to store it in. I also have a little tupperware container with warm water in it and a cloth, to clean the udder first.
    I am just wondering, how do you get milk if they havent been bred? :shrug:
     
  6. hoggie

    hoggie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have no idea how it happens - but it is something that is recognised as happening over here. Maybe it is something to do with the breeds we use - i don't know enough about it. It didn't occur to me that you folks wouldn't get it too.

    As it is Sunday today I intend to do some reading and find out a bit more about it. I will let you know what I come up with.

    The glass jars - that is someting i was going to query. I seem to remember reading that milk keeps better in glass - is that right ?

    hoggie
     
  7. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Hoggie,
    We have one of those, too, a Saanen. They're called precocious milkers. More common in the heavy milking breeds, including Alpines. As long as you never try to dry her up, it's supposed to be very good trait.

    Is your doe 2yo? Ours didn't come into milk until the second year. I think the reason you've got no takers is that most people breed their does the first year so it never gets a chance to happen. And those folks that don't breed for 2 years aren't usually into milking.

    I would think you would follow the same feeding/management methods as if you had a goat that had kids and you wanted to continue milking her. So I would search this board on feeding and management of milking goats. There is a lot of information here on that.

    Nancy
     
  8. hoggie

    hoggie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OK - thanks. She is one year old (well about 15 months now I suppose) - due to be bred in the Autumn. Yes the fact that people breed them early probably explains it. I will go and look for the info on maintenance.

    Do I breed her as normal - just not dry her off?

    hoggie
     
  9. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Hoggie, if you're expecting me to reply, I don't have a clue, and would not want to tell you something wrong. I know some people dry them off before breeding, but I don't know why. We don't breed or milk our goats. Maybe someone will chime in.

    All I know is our precocious milker was very difficult to dry off even on browse only, no grain, no good hay.

    Nancy
     
  10. hoggie

    hoggie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's ok Nancy - thanks anyway. I have a while before I have to worry too much about it. From what I have read it seems to be an hereditary trait so I may phone the breeder I got her from and see waht she has to say.

    Thanks again

    hoggie