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Menagerie More~on
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I almost posted this on Rose's thread about goat herd behavior, but it was a serious drift.

I let the girls and their kids out of the pen to browse after morning milking and put them back in at dusk, every day. The last two days I had appointments FAR away and they had to stay in their pen with hay. Not only were they angry with me for keeping them locked up, they all were 'down' at least a pint of milk this morning.

When they are out, they lay in the shade mostly, but then I'll look out and they are all gone browsing. Seems like they eat much less browse than hay.

It makes sense that fresh browse is healthier and they need less of it to meet their needs, but I never thought it would produce more milk, or that it would do nothing much but cause unwanted flavors.

Anyone else notice this? Two days without browse and a significant drop in milk, at least for my girls. It's been quite hot here, but I know they are drinking because I'm filling buckets over and over, and they are LaManchas and Nubians, they seem to barely notice the heat.
 

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Be powerful. No other option exists.
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38,462 Posts
I love drifting conversations, either here or in person. Fascinating to see how one's mind works, leaping from point to point! :)

All I can tell you, as you already inferred from the other thread, is with our one goat experience, the difference is significant. Our Alpine, Orange, gives consistantly 1 1/2 to 1 3/4+ quarts per milking....if she gets browse. If she doesn't, it drops to just barely over a quart. :shrug:
 

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Knitting Rocks!
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5,783 Posts
I have noticed something similar. With all the rain we have been having, the girls will NOT go out and browse. It seems every time they go out, it would come another downpour, and they would be running for the shed Now they stay in the shed unless the sun comes out. I have not been giving them hay, because there is tons of browse almost literally outside their door! (everything is growing like crazy!) And they have dropped in the milk department on those days, by almost a quart collectively. If I go out there and it is just overcast, I can walk out into the pen, they follow. Yesterday I was hauling rocks into their water-logged night pen (I too put them up every night) so we didnt all go swimming. They followed my every step for about an hour, then decided they could stay out in the woods between where I was coming/going from. :rolleyes: It is hard to haul rocks/gravel around an area with 4 girls helping you!

(as you can tell, I like to drift also! lol )
 
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