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Discussion in 'Goats' started by rnmom23, Jun 16, 2005.
How much milk on average will a nigerian dwarf provide daily?
One to two quarts/day is average.
Where in NY are you? I raise nigies in western NY.
We're in Erin,ny. Near Elmira/Horseheads. About 90 miles south of Syracuse. Do you sell your nigies? I'd love to hear some advice from you! Are they much more difficult than standard size dairy goats to milk? We're pretty sure we'd like goats- we want something for dairy and feel we don't have adequate acreage for a cow (1.5 acres). Have done quite a bit of researching on goats in the last couple weeks and really think that 2 or 3 nigies would fit best into our picture. We go through about 1/2 gallon a day and I would like to learn to make soap/ butter/ cheese as well so I think having 2 in milk at a time would work best at least for part of the year. However, we've never tasted goat's milk and the only source I've been able to find around here is powdered from the supermarket. We bought some and tried it and really thought it was aweful stuff. Tasted almost rotten. Please tell me fresh milk is better! Anyway, we obviously need to find some fresh milk to try prior to moving forward with these plans to be sure goats will work for us. I'd love to hear from you! e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do yourself a favor and buy a Nigerian only from someone who is milking Nigerians for their household milk. And it's best to buy a newly freshened second-freshener. That way, she's presumably been trained to the milkstand. Watch her get milked, and try it a bit yourself, before buying her. Her milk is just about guaranteed to be incredibly delicious - she is a Nigerian after all - but she might be an incorrigible brat on the stand, or have a terrible let-down, or tiny teats, or a very short lactation, or poor capacity. All have quite an adverse effect on your dairy adventure. The worst is poor milkstand maners. Milking can be such a pleasant, calm, meditative time to commune with your goats, but it's a whole different story when they make you feel as though you're raping them every time you milk. So be very careful, and definitely try before you buy, even if it costs more for the animal, which it should and very likely will.
Oh, yeah. A Nigerian can get a milking star producing well under two quarts a day. A milking star is an award telling what a wonderful milker they are on a one-day test. Please note that awards are generally reserved for above-average animals. People do one-day tests on their goats usually during their peak production in the lactation curve, so the amount that will earn a star award is NOT the average daily production over the course of the lactation. Then you have to account for the fact that for at least the first two months of lactation, most if not all of the milk will be going to the kids. Goats hit their peak production usually some time between one and three months into their lactation, and then taper off from there, slowly or sharply depending on the goat. You might want to check out some other options for a family milker. One standard dairy, with a Nigerian bred out of season to get you through the lean times, might be a viable option, although the standard could easily overload you with milk all by herself. Mine did. Another option would be a couple of Minis or a Mini and a Nigerian. Check out the Mini Registry for more information. Here's a link: http://www.miniaturedairygoats.com/ .
Thanks for all the great info Laura! I'll be sure to check out those miniatures. It sure would be frustrating to get a nigerian that would be hard to milk as well as only give a cup or two a day. The more I've researched the nigies, the more this seems a common problem. They sure are cute though! I guess if I really am serious about needing something to meet all our dairy needs perhaps I should look more into the standard size breeds or maybe miniatures. How much do miniatures (nubian/nigerian cross) give on average?--Elizabeth
I can only talk about my own minis, because they are the only ones I've milked. There is probably more information on the Mini registry website. My two girls, as first fresheners, peaked at 6-plus and 8-plus pounds. They are easy to milk, stand well, and held their lactations nicely until three months before kidding. I dried them off two months before kidding. As second fresheners, they're peaking at about 7 and 10 pounds. I'm keeping their kids on during the day because I can't use that much milk. I'm feeding potbelly pigs with the excess - those should be tasty after a while! In the fall, when the girls start to taper off, I'll take the kids off and drop to milking once a day, thus keeping my own household milk supply fairly constant.