Milk question

Discussion in 'Goats' started by gccrook, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    I am just curious. Those of you that milk your goats, do you keep records of the amounts they give, and if so, what do you consider to be a good milker? We are just getting started, and a couple of our goats are first fresheners this winter. They are not giving much milk, but we are not taking the kids away from them yet. We are lacking milk, and this is really just a learning venture for now, but I am curious as to what would be considerd to little milk from one goat?
     
  2. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Well I am not the best one to answer this for you but I think alot depends on the breed might be wrong on that. I had one LaMancha that milked 2 gals per day and have two LaMancha's now that milk a gal to gal 1/2 and I got them at the end of their lactation so don't know for sure what they will do.
    One thing you can do to increase your milk supply is after the kids are 2wks old put them up at night and milk in the morning then let the kids back in with mom for the day. My Mini LaMancha milk aprox 1/2 gal per day but each one is a little different some more and some less. It also depends on the quality of goat you got and also what you feed them.
     

  3. Milking Mom

    Milking Mom COTTON EYED DOES

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    I had 2 Alpines milking this summer and on average I got about 2 1/2 gallons a day from the both of them when I was milking twice a day and when I cut back to once a day I was getting about 1 1/2 gallons.
     
  4. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Just reread your original post and first fresheners as I understand don't usually produce as much either that is one reason we should milk them 305 days if possible as they tend to quit on their on early the next year if not. Don't know as I explained that very good, but say you milk one or let the babies stay on a doe 3mo and then dry her up, next year she most likely will start drying up at the same time.
     
  5. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. We are planning to keep milking them. When it warms up a little, I will try to take their kids from them at night. It has been in the single digits here at night lately. It seems strange, but my tamest doe prior to kidding, is the hardest to milk. She likes to dance some. The least tame before kidding has become a fairly easy milker. Go figure. We really enjoy the goats, and we want to learn to make cheese and yogurt and kefir and soaps. I really appreciate all the information I have picked up here. We have helped a couple of our goats through scours and a couple of newborns who almost died on us thanks to info here, and our very helpful vet.
     
  6. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm pretty darn demanding of mine I guess. Anything very much under a gallon a day as a first freshener is definitely down the road around here....it'd have to be pretty darn nice to keep.

    Tracy
     
  7. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Very true Tracy on large breeds but it is rather hard to tell how much Grycooks goats are producing with the kids on them all the time don't you think?? maybe I am wrong as I have never left the kids on and milked too.
     
  8. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Of course -- once they take the kids away at night and milk in the morning it should give them a better idea of what they have going on. It's great that they have been milking them all along though and keeping the demand up on them and keeping them even.

    Tracy
     
  9. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    I am actually freaking out if my young first fresheners start tipping the scale at 1 gallon a day, 4 pounds of milk held for 12 hours is alot of milk when you are 12 months old! I would instantly start milking 3 times a day until their lacation leveled at 6 to 8 weeks, so I didn't stretch out those attachments or teats by overfilling.

    I weigh the milk each Monday, which is a hassel having to dump out the milk machine pail between does, and you loose some left in the can, but it gives you a good idea of what everyone is milking. I weigh the milk in first fresheners if they keep coming in with too full of udders.

    It would be so much more conveinent to leave buck kids on those young does to keep them empty, but then those little wild hellians become a nitemare of their own :) Vicki
     
  10. Lrose

    Lrose Well-Known Member

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    We have had Saenan, Alpine and Nubian goats for 25 years. We found Nubians give richer , creamier milk but lesser amount than Alpines and Saenans. Nubians are also better meat animals. Right now we have a four year old Nubian/Alpine cross going into her third time having kids. The first two lactations she gave about 3 Imperial quarts every mornig . That is a 40oz. quart rather than a 32oz. quart. We milk once a day and let the goats nurse their babies the rest of the time. We start separating them at about 4 weeks old at about 9:00pm. After milking At about 6:30am. the kids are left with their mothers. This goat usually has two or three kids. This is the no fuss way to raise goats. This particular goat drops production about December to two quarts. One quart in January. Then we dry her up so all her nutrients go to producing healthy kids by the end of Feb. or in March.We use to keep milk records but don't bother anymore. We know about what each goat does. That is good enough for us. We believe in raising animals as natural as possible and mimic what would happen in the wild. Wild goats are not huge producers like commercial dairy goats and cows also that are bred to overproduce.
     
  11. creeklady2000

    creeklady2000 Well-Known Member

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    You are not going to get hardley any milk by letting the babies stay on her if you want more milk you need to hand raise the babies and itis alot of work but for us we like the benifits lots of milk very tame friendly kids specially if you want to keep any of the does for milkers in the furture I find thta it helps alot and my girls fight over who gets to feed the babies I loose the job once they are on the bottle my real "kids" lol take over the job :) we bring our babies in the house in winter and put them in abig dog crate and then after we feed them they run aroudn the house and have aball then back to bed much easier for the before bed feedings
     
  12. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Maybe it's the sheer size of my yearlings Vicki? I found out when showing them this past year that they were every bit the size of most of the grown does, and absolutely *dwarfed* the other yearlings in the ring.

    My girls make money by raising calves, and they have to milk! I had them come in pretty darn full at milking time, but not usually stretched tight. I'll keep in mind the idea of milking them a third time this year.

    We're going on milk test, so it will be nice to get an overall idea of their lactation curves too.

    Tracy
     
  13. LuckyGRanch

    LuckyGRanch Well-Known Member

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    Tracy -

    Just wondering what breed(s) you have and what you think makes your yearlings so much bigger than everyone else's in the ring. I have a combination of both meat and dairy goats in my herd and I'm looking at ways to get this seasons kids to mature faster. I started cocci prevention last year...thinking more about nutrition and pushing them this year. Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Beth
     
  14. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Beth, I have Alpines. I would contribute these particular girl's size to genetics....their father was huge, and he passed it. Now yes, I do think that proper feeding and cocci prevention definitely helped them along!

    Just for an experiment, I raised the girls this year with no grain at all till after they were bred -- just excellent alfalfa hay -- and I really see no major differences in size!

    Tracy
     
  15. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    I weigh and record each milking from each doe- but I only have two so it's really no bother. You can learn a lot about what's going on with the animals with individual milk records. One will drop her production by 33% the day before she goes into heat. I also know what the feed to milk ratios are. These records will also let me know if their daughters are actually improving over their dams' first freshenings.
    As far as "too little"... if you look at DHIA records, some big commerical herds will continue to milk does to 305 days who are producing as little as 1 lb. a day so she doesn't start to dry off early next year. Even really good milking does can have a bad year. Might not be practical for those of us in a homesteading situation though.
     
  16. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    You guys are awsome. Thanks.

    I should have stated that my goats are nubians. We are planning to cross breed some to a boer buck this year to start getting some meat goats. I do have to say that I did not pay very much for these goats, as they were part of a herd that was being downsized due to too many goats for this couple. They are good friends, and are great with goats. They keep a clean herd, but had too many. I was able to pick the ones I wanted, and I tried to get the best looking ones as far as I can judge for milking. 2 of them look like they will give decent amounts if we take the kids off. The other one is hard to tell.

    I am also curious if anyone leaves the kids on their does, at what age do they get weaned?

    Also, how do you decide if a buckling is good to keep as a buck? I have 2 of the most beautiful bucklings, and I have seen their father, and he is a gorgeous registered buck. I believe that the doe is also registered, but I have not gotten the papers yet. (Wasn't originally thinking about breeding to sell)
     
  17. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am also curious if anyone leaves the kids on their does, at what age do they get weaned?
    *************
    When I used to dam raise, I'd take them off at 3 months. Otherwise they just get too fat, and it's hard to get that fat off of them. Of course, if I had meat goats, that might not be a bad thing!


    Also, how do you decide if a buckling is good to keep as a buck? I have 2 of the most beautiful bucklings, and I have seen their father, and he is a gorgeous registered buck. I believe that the doe is also registered, but I have not gotten the papers yet. (Wasn't originally thinking about breeding to sell)
    ***********

    We had a discussion on this somewhere? in another post.....but for me, bucklings are not decided on their own good looks ....they must have an awesome dam (and preferably grandams on both sides) that appraised high, milk well, and show well.

    Tracy
     
  18. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Tracy. For some reason I was thinking that the father determined the bucklings worthiness, but I can see that for milk goats like nubians the dam is ore important. No worry, we like goat meat, and a weather is easy to make. They can clean up for me this spring and feed me this fall.
     
  19. Lrose

    Lrose Well-Known Member

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    We separate the kids from the mothers at four weeks old at night. Milk the does in the morning. We never wean our kids . The mothers do it themselves usually when the kids are six or seven months old. By then we usually butcher the kids for meat. When raising a doe kid we want to keep, the mother usually weans it herself about the same time; six or seven months. May not be practical for a dairy farm but suits us. We get three to four quarts of milk from the morning milking from one goat at the height of its lactation. The production is less as time progresses.We have never had a doe have kids that was still nursing the last year kids.