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Discussion in 'Goats' started by pointer_hunter, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    I've been toying with the idea of getting a few dairy goats for milk, cheese etc. The problem that I keep coming back to is that I don't want to milk twice a day everyday. I've read that you can milk in the morning and then let the kids back in during the day. That should take care of that part, but, there are only two of us at the house and I don't think we could drink all of the milk we'd get even with the one milking. So, my first question is this...can I raise a few veal calves in a small pen and feed them the milk from the mornings and then let the kids have the milk in the afternoon? We would only take what we needed from time to time but the rest would go to animals. My second question is...I found a stainless steel milker up at the family farm. Uncle told me they used it a long time ago on cows and it looks like all I need is new rubber. They have an old air compressor set up to run it. Is there a way to set that up for goats or would I have to get a new setup? Would that be overkill for just a few goats?

    I look forward to the responses!
     
  2. Julia

    Julia Well-Known Member

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    I think you're overestimating what a couple goats can produce, especially with kids on them even part-time. A well grown kid can easily drink all the milk a doe produces, and usually they don't milk more than a gallon day for a short peak time right after freshening, and with excellent feeding and management.

    And especially if you're talking about making cheese, which takes gallons & gallons of milk. So unless you had a herd of 10 or so, you really aren't talking about enough production to go into veal.

    Ditto about the milking machine. They're very easy to convert to milking goats, but they are so much trouble to take apart and wash each time you milk, it really doesn't pay in terms of timesavings until you are milking 12 to 15 goats.

    So it just doesn't pay in a two goat herd. (Unless you have a physical problem that prevents you being able to milk. Or unless you like washing dishes more than milking.)
     

  3. Milking Mom

    Milking Mom COTTON EYED DOES

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    Kind of depends on what kind of dairy goats you get. I have Alpines and my milk runneth over. :p Out of 2 does I could get 6-7 quarts in my morning milking and almost fill up my 6 quart pail in the evening. I started milking once a day end of August and at this time I am still getting a gallon of milk each evening out of the 2 does, this is after 9 months straight milking. One of my does was a 1 year old first freshener. I will have 5 does milking this spring and expect (because of the high milking background of these does) to easily get a gallon each morning and then again in the evening. That is approximately 10 gallons of milk a day and I will be getting a couple calves to raise on the excess (after the baby goats wean).
    I have no problem hand milking 2 does, but I am in the process of setting up a surge milker for 5 of them. Not sure my hands would hold out for that much milking. I got some of my stuff off of eBay and from Hamby Dairy Supply. I built my vacuum tank out of pvc and bought my lines and fittings at Home Depot. You can also buy a nice little milking machine already set up for 1 or 2 goats on eBay also. I built a frame to hold an old double kitchen sink inside my milking barn. I moved an old table with a porcelin top in there. I ran a waterhose from my outside faucet into the barn and hung it over the sink with a thing on the end of the hose so you can shut off the water right there. I put up a couple shelves and I added an extra electric plug to run my milking machine. I do not have any hot water out there, but I am going to try plugging in an old coffee maker and running a couple pots of hot water while I am milking. I'll use cold water and cleaner/bleach to suck up in the hoses and milker, wash it out with a rag, pour out that water and rinse with the hot water a couple times sucking it up through the milker and hoses. Since I haven't actually used it yet, I just sort of have this in my head. I'll have to see how it actually plays out.
     
  4. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My 5 girls kidded between Apr1 and april13 this past Spring. I left kids on moms exclusively for 2 weeks then milked once a day. May 25 I bought a Holstein bull calf and started giving him 6 pints milk/day then up to 9 pints by 2 weeks later..at 2 months old he was getting a gal and half goat milk a day. I kept him on milk until 4-5 months and weaned him to hay grain & a little pasture. I milked 2x daily for July August and Sept after kids were sold/weaned. We are butchering him next weekend and he is about 450# at 6 months.

    Milking 4 goats takes about 30 minutes by hand. I think cleaning the milk machine would take longer. Also the beats per minute is faster for a goat than a cow (suction).

    Feeding the calf was about 10 min 3 times a day...which my children did most of the time.

    We certainly didnt make any money at raising our own meat but we learned, succeeded and will have some very healthy meat for our own family and extended friends and family. We will do this again. Our calf cost $65 but Jerseys can be had for $20 but you wont get the growth rate. My friends Jersey calfs of similar age are only 175-200# raised on goats milk.
     
  5. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    Mpillow, I think that was a good idea which I have read of people doing, but not as detailed, especially your feeding schedule. I am going to put your post in my favorites for possible use. I would think that you did ok dollar wise on raising your calf especially if you couldn't use all the milk. I will be milking four that will kid in Feb. and will need ideas. I have also found that my chickens as well as my pets love the whey that is left over from making cheese.
     
  6. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    pointer-hunter,
    it doesn't take much time at all to milk- it takes me 2 minutes each to milk my first fresheners. If they are used to being milked at a certain time and place and it's a pleasant experience, they will milk out in a hurry.
    There are different pulse rates and ratios for goats and cows and what is right for a cow will keep your goats in mastitis (so I'm told).

    I planned to do the same thing- just take one milking and let the kids have the other. What I got was 2 hysterical, screaming goats (mama and baby want to be together) and mama who was not going to let me steal her baby's dinner!

    Milking mom, I'm fascinated by your home-made milking parlor- I'm planning to do the same thing myself and I'm stealing your ideas! I saw a thing in Nasco catalog that might work better than a coffee maker- it is called a rapid water warmer. You stick it in a bucket (or sink) and it heats a 60 deg. water to 130 deg in 10 minutes. $31!
     
  7. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for the replies. I thought the milking machine would be the easy way of milking, but if it only takes a few minutes per goat to milk, but longer to clean the milker...well...hand milking looks to be the choice.

    I don't think that I want a large veal operation...just two at a time to add to the freezer. I thought the milk along with added grains would be a cost effective way of feeding them out.

    I also know that you don't want just one goat, so I figured I would need at least two. I thought of doing two milkers and then a meat breed. BUT...from reading the posts...I'm weary of even getting two. I see that it is addicting and that my herd would be large in no time! I don't think DW would like that!

    Thanks again for the direction and ideas!!!
     
  8. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I also fed whey to the calf when I made cheese....substituted for his reg. milk portion at that feeding. I did cut whey half with water when he got it. He really liked his milk warm and now prefers warm water....he tries to drink out of a gallon milk jug (water) because thats how we carry his water to him....a bit tedious but a good manageable size for my children.

    The first day I got him I gave him a package of "deliver" its an electrolyte formula mixed with water and/or milk just to be sure he hadnt been stressed by the move. The packet was less than$2. I bought from a local farm not an auction.

    My goats are outside mating at the moment....milk and babies in the Spring!

    BTW our calf was named meatball but he was fiesty and it changed to COWBOY! :yeeha: :yeeha: My children want to ride him before he is done in :haha: :eek: :no: