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Namaste
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is anyone here dairying with does milked thru? Is there a change to the taste of the milk over time? Everyone I know and the folks I work for dry off their does before breeding - sure it gives a break but wouldn't milking thru be more profitable if you are selling cheese? Read of one goat dairy who is/was breeding 2 groups, each group every other year for year round milking. But my employer claims that the milk gets "goaty" tasting and then people won't like the cheese. If this is the case then (pardon the sacriledge!) wouldn't it be better to have a dairy cow since she can be milked a longer interval per breeding? Looking forward to reading your experiences.
 

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I have 2 that I may milk thru this year as I have plenty of others to breed and have daughters from these 2 already.

I know that other folks have milked does through and would love to hear what they say about milk quality but I have never heard anything about the milk tasting off.
 

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Why would you think that a cow could be milked a longer interval per breeding? Normal for both goats and cows is ten months in milk, two months dried off before giving birth. Same for both.

I've never milked through, but I know people who do and have never heard anything bad about the milk quality.

Kathleen
 

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Hm-- I was always under the impression that goats were the only animal that dried up after 10 months and HAD to be re-bred annually.

We'd LOVE to milk through,but none of our gotas show any potential for that ability- they are already way off peak after only 5-6 months.
 

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Namaste
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
BlueJuniperFarm said:
Why would you think that a cow could be milked a longer interval per breeding? Normal for both goats and cows is ten months in milk, two months dried off before giving birth. Same for both.

I've never milked through, but I know people who do and have never heard anything bad about the milk quality.

Kathleen
Well, see the goats at the dairy are kidding in Feb., and they are being dried off this and next week so that's 6 months. Others are kidding in Mar.-April and they dry off their does in Sept. so that 6 months. And as I said, the reason given was the goats' milk getting an off taste. Even tho you aren't milking thru, are you drinking the milk and/or making cheese for the full 10 months? And you don't taste any changes? Because of working at the dairy I couldn't figure out a way to milk my own girls this year (this will change) and so I can't experiment with my own goats' milk.
 

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Namaste
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
BlueHeronFarm said:
Hm-- I was always under the impression that goats were the only animal that dried up after 10 months and HAD to be re-bred annually.

We'd LOVE to milk through,but none of our gotas show any potential for that ability- they are already way off peak after only 5-6 months.
This maybe another reason the dairy quits now, I have seen approx. a 10-15% decrease in yield over the last month at the morning milkings. But still from your experience we are "quitting" just after the peak aren't we? So whats the milking curve look goat vs cow?
 

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Goat lactation curve charts from ADGA:

http://adga.org/lactation_comparisons.html


As the fat content rises and falls through lactation there would be some changes to the milk, which I am sure would affect cheese making and such. However not saying you would necessarily 'taste' the differences. Milked one of our saanens 13 months this past year and no noticable tast changes to her milk. Just good :)

You can see the examples of how the lactation curve typically falls and depending on the goat it just comes down to how much milk are you getting and is it worth it to keep milking. REally varies goat to goat and also breed to breed.
 

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Namaste
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
MayLOC said:
Goat lactation curve charts from ADGA:

http://adga.org/lactation_comparisons.html


As the fat content rises and falls through lactation there would be some changes to the milk, which I am sure would affect cheese making and such. However not saying you would necessarily 'taste' the differences. Milked one of our saanens 13 months this past year and no noticable tast changes to her milk. Just good :)

You can see the examples of how the lactation curve typically falls and depending on the goat it just comes down to how much milk are you getting and is it worth it to keep milking. REally varies goat to goat and also breed to breed.
Hey, thanks for that link . I'll study it. The dairy I work for has mostly Oberhaslis - not the greatest milkers but they are quiet and put up with a lot of nonsense from the humans which I think is the main reasons she started with them. I cannot seem to convince them that they should stick to a milking schedule, they seem to think this can be done around their conviences! I am "accused" of being germanic - that's because I stick to a schedule. But I'll find out that the girls were milked at 4pm one day and then 8 pm then next. I breast fed our son and the thought of a 4 hour difference makes me hurt almost 30 years later! Well, getting a little off topic here, sorry. Does anyone on the list milk test thru their milking season? If so how are you doing this with a larger group - milking 24 this season, should have 30+ next.
 

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We always try to fit in a one-hour window (7-8) both am and pm. All of my reading has said it is better for the delicate goat psyche - and since we have Nubians... well, any help they can get:p

We do not do official milk test yet, but we weigh milk ourselves every day. (Only milking 5 now, so weighing each milking is easy) It is amazing how much variance you get day-to-day from weather, mood, heat (cycle, not weather), whatever.
 

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Even in a 10 month lactation there is differences in the amount of cheese both cow and goat milk make...but a change of taste no. Now a change in toungue feel and full bodied taste as they are longer in lactation....in later lactation my customers complain the the milk has no taste, that it is like grocery store milk :) Likely the butterfat decreasing down to store whole milk. I know as the lactation lengthens I make less and less cheese from the same amount of milk and culture.

A change of taste would have to come from seasonal worms or perhaps flukes....changes in the pasture quality or what is in it...the change from dried molassas to wet molassas or linseed meal to oils, that is typcially done in wet feeds fed during the winter so the bags free flow.

The milk amounts plumet this time of the year with the excessive heat, but come the first week of September the girls will start going back up and continue to milk well until dried up at christmas...due to kid end of Feb. So in the south you lacation curve has everything to do with the heat also, and it's not a downward slope, but a V. Vicki
 

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Icelandic Sheep
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Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians said:
The milk amounts plumet this time of the year with the excessive heat, but come the first week of September the girls will start going back up and continue to milk well until dried up at christmas...due to kid end of Feb. So in the south you lacation curve has everything to do with the heat also, and it's not a downward slope, but a V. Vicki
Thank goodness! This is my first year with goats and I'm REALLY glad to hear that the milk production will come back up again soon.

Some things they just don't put in the books...

:) RedTartan
 

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Namaste
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians said:
Even in a 10 month lactation there is differences in the amount of cheese both cow and goat milk make...but a change of taste no. Now a change in toungue feel and full bodied taste as they are longer in lactation....in later lactation my customers complain the the milk has no taste, that it is like grocery store milk :) Likely the butterfat decreasing down to store whole milk. I know as the lactation lengthens I make less and less cheese from the same amount of milk and culture.

That's interesting since if that lactation chart I thought showed butterfat content actually rising again in the later portion.

A change of taste would have to come from seasonal worms or perhaps flukes....changes in the pasture quality or what is in it...the change from dried molassas to wet molassas or linseed meal to oils, that is typcially done in wet feeds fed during the winter so the bags free flow.

So if feed whole grains instead of processed feeds we should be able to have better quality control there, but there wouldn't be much to do about the pasture - only feeding the best hay. Does a legume hay increase milk solids? I don't understand how parasites would have an effect on milk taste

The milk amounts plumet this time of the year with the excessive heat, but come the first week of September the girls will start going back up and continue to milk well until dried up at christmas...due to kid end of Feb. So in the south you lacation curve has everything to do with the heat also, and it's not a downward slope, but a V. Vicki
Vicki, have you ever tried milking thru any of your does? 'and continue to milk well until...christmas' how much difference in yields are you getting between say the first 3 months to the last three months? Is this "V" senerio the same for a dairy cow too (here in the south) ?

Thanks everyone for contributing to this thread and sharing your experience, I am getting a much better understanding, 'tho questions still abound!
 

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Pook's Hollow
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I haven't had a lot of experience, only been milking for a couple of years, but here is what I have observed.

My big Saanen, Polly, was milking about 3 1/2-4 litres when I got her - she'd been fresh seven months at that time, a FF. I milked her for six more months, and had a hard time drying her off, and her milk yield did not drop considerably until I started drying her off. Last year, she was giving 5 litres at her peak, and I went to once-a-day milking, she gave 3 1/2-4 litres then. Same thing, hard to dry her off, and her milk yield did not drop until I cut back her grain.

Now my NubianX did not milk more than 8 months last year, her FF year. Her yield dropped quite a bit when I weaned her kids. Same this year - she'd rather give them the milk, than me! :p

My other two milking are both FFs, so we'll see. Sara, the grade Alpine, has dropped to about 3 - 3 1/2 litres a day from 4, after four+ months. Tiara, the yearling Saanen, is still nursing her kids, but when I separate them at night, she gives almost 2 1/2 litres in the morning.

I can't say as I've noticed any difference in the flavour of the milk. I have noticed that I get less cheese from the Alpine and Nubian milk, than I do from the Saanen milk - less cream, too! I'm sure that's more of an individual thing, than a breed thing, though. :rolleyes:
 

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I had a saanen that I milked constantly for 3 years. She yielded a max of 3 gallons a day and a minimum of 1 gallon a day, while nursing twins. This goat just refused to dry off. If we didn't milk her, she would self nurse to relieve the pressure. If we milked, she never self nursed. Everytime we tried to dry her off, she would get sick. We didn't mind milking her, but worried about her health. Both times we bred her, we did so thinking that it force her to dry up. It didn't work either time.

Ultimately, we had the vet give her a shot to stop her milk production. I was tired of milking at that point! While we loved her to death, we ultimately gave her to friends that didn't do any breeding and just wanted her for weed control and a pet. (they had an all wether herd) We were afraid that her constant milking would affect her health in the long run.

Her milk flavor did change during pregnancy. When she was with the buck, the milk was awful. Tasted really bucky, but we gave it to our chickens so it wasn't wasted. Then the last 2 months of pregnancy it tasted almost spoiled. Again it went to the chickens.

My guess is that most commercial dairies dry the does up before breeding because the buck so affects the taste of the milk. They won't want to keep up the effort of milking during the time that the doe is with the buck, only to dry them up a couple of months later.
 

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My girls only spend a few minutes with the buck as i put each one in indvidually as they come into heat. They are removed as soon as breeding occurs so they do not get stinky. The go in with the buck twice, about 12 hours apart ideally, just long enough for him to get the job done. I know absolute due dates and can keep milking them that way.
 

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Commercial dairies machine milk. With inflations connected to clean teats, how would the buck taste effect the milk? It effects the milk when you hand milk because the smell is on you, in the air the milk is going through into your pail.

Bucks may smell really awful but it does not permeate the skin :)

Sorry Liese, I have never milked cows. I do know my best milkers milk more than the Jersey down the road daily, from early lacation until now, she is being milked through.

Our girls butterfat is never that of mid lactation when heavy bred, yes I agree early lactation the butterfat is much lower.

Legume hay (we use alfalfa pellets) are simply key with dairy animals. If you move from grass hay to alfalfa hay or alfalfa pellets you will have more milk period, not only that you will have better looking stock.

Stress of anykind, worms, illness, nutritional stress (which is part of what parasties do) the rest is blood volume...milk is mostly made of blood and water....all effects amounts and quality of milk.

I agree, my nubains in every part of lactation don't make as much milk as my friends Alpines did...Saanens it would make sense would then make more cheese also even with the same amount of milk in the recipe.

Nope I have never milked does through, we talked about it with our crosses of LaMancha with the dairy since they were such good milkers, and their kids were not in demand. But with the purebreds, the bulk of sales at even a dairy are in registered kids. Vicki
 
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