problem with goat's milk???

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Deb&Al, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. Deb&Al

    Deb&Al Well-Known Member

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    Aug 21, 2002
    hello,

    i get raw goat's milk from neighbors and when i picked up my milk order tonight i only got 1 and 1/2 gallons, instead of two, because "the milk was pink". they have three goats that have recently given birth within the past month. i asked if the goat had a mastitis problem, and the mother answered that the problem was "something is wrong with her udder, it's deformed or something."

    i have been getting milk from this family for two years now, and the only other time i have been concerned was when the children had chicken pox, and the oldest girl was still doing the milking. i posted here about that and got some helpful advice from several people.

    my husband is going to fence in our pasture this spring, if spring ever gets here, and we are going to get a couple of goats for ourselves.

    but in the meantime, i have so many questions about this "pink milk" thing. now i'm wondering if my one and 1/2 gallons are from the other goats that they milk...they have about five milkers. i have been down to the barn when the goats are milked and they use a stainless steel pail for all the milk, until the pail gets full, so several goat's milk is mixed up in one pail.

    is that an acceptable practice? i would like to have milk from our goats, and i know that this whole process is going to be a learning experience, and sometimes i think i'm being hypercritical.

    i guess, to stop rambling, i've looked at the milk i just got tonight and it's perfectly pure white. i have let it set undisturbed and looked at the bottom of the glass container, and there is no sediment, pink or otherwise, of any kind on the bottom.

    from what i've read on this forum, wouldn't blood from a milking doe be considered a mastitis problem?

    should i dump the milk?

    thank you for any advice that you can give me.

    debbie
     
  2. Lrose

    Lrose Well-Known Member

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    Dec 17, 2004
    The pink in the milk is blood from ther udder. New milk often has a little blood in it but clears up in a few days. And yes mastitis can also cause blood in the milk. The goats udder should be uniform in shape and soft and pliable. A hard udder usually means the goat had mastitis at some time.
     

  3. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Victoria Australia
    Whenever I have had pink milk it is from the does who have had their babies feeding from them....buck babies ramming at the mothers udder...causes the little blood thingys to burst, causing the milk to go pink. I personally wouldn't drink milk with blood in it. Do they have the kids nursing from the does? You could perhaps strain the milk through cheesecloth and see if it catches the "pink". :)
     
  4. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    North of Houston TX
    Pink milk is normal in high production does, especially in young ones. As they freshen the udder has to stretch to accomadate that first flush of milk after the colostrum. As the udder stretches it breaks tiny capilaries under the skin, causing blood to seep into the milk. From a slight pink tinge, to a noticable residue at the bottom of your container after the milk sets in the fridge. No I do not sell milk like this, it's unappetizing, you want products you sell to be perfect.

    Of course all the milk at a dairy is pooled, I milk into a can that holds 3 or 4 gallons by machine. If you had just 2 or 3 goats, yes you could milk each doe by hand seperatly, and then strain each does milk and hold it in the fridge in her own container...in fact this is done to help with off flavors in the milk, if one goat it's likely just her, but if all the milk is poor keeping, or off, than it's usually a milk handling problem.

    Masitic milk............ other than subclinical staph which usually only shows up as a lopsided udder with very poor shelf life of the milk............is not something you have to guess if you have. The doe is ill, the milk is nasty, smelly, you could not even begin to make yourself drink it, think Fear Factor gross. The milk is from stringy green snot, to cottage cheese that spurts out of the small orifice in clumps and is the grossest thing you have ever tried to do, milk a doe with a mastitic udder. By the time you would have blood in the milk for a mastitic doe, her udder is ruined, it usually turns blue and sloughs off that half or just the teat (malignant edema)

    So if the goats you are purchasing milk from are bright eyed and busy tailed, they do not have mastitis.

    Like everything, your own stint with goats will give you a new found compassion and understanding of folks who dairy. From the really hard decisions you will have to make about culling, to trying to explain to others the kind of questions you are asking. In selling family milkers, folks knows these are my culls, so they assume their must be some deformity to the udder for me to sell them. They still milk, very well, they just may not have as smooth of foreudder attachment as I need to show them, or perhaps the rear udder isn't high enough, or the teats point in the wrong direction, none of this effects them as good family milkers for years. So the mom should have choosen her words more wisely. Perhaps they do not sell milk out of her because her milk is strong tasting, Toggs are like this. Perhaps they had just given her some antibiotics for one reason or another and just didn't want to disclose this. Perhaps the doe has a blind teat, or has had mastitis in the past and has an udder full of scar tissue that simply doesn't milk, or they have CAE and she has a hard udder that doesn't milk.

    Stay on the boards, ask tons of questions, until you know all this yourself, don't buy anything :) Vicki
     
  5. Deb&Al

    Deb&Al Well-Known Member

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    Aug 21, 2002
    wow,

    thank you all for the information. i'm going to learn a lot here.

    debbie