When does milk production peak?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Kathy'sKID, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. Kathy'sKID

    Kathy'sKID Kelly in Nebraksa

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    I have a book that shows a chart of how milk production generally goes throughout the year but can't find it. Is that info on-line somewhere? WHen does it peak? Also, do the does generally produce less their first year? I just thought we'd be getting more milk than we are. Maybe I'm just being impatient. LOL
     
  2. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    According to what I've read, peak production is about 2 months after kidding, then a sort of slow decline from there. And yes, first-time kidders generally give less milk. Of course, it also depends on the goat. How much are you getting?

    Now this is our first year with milk goats, so someone with more experience may give a better answer.
     

  3. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    For a doe who kids here, at 6 to 8 weeks its as much as she is going to milk per day, than we start the downward decline. Some does decline quickly (not a good thing) others have long level lactations (a really good thing) we usually see a second decline in the month of August, coinciding with first heats and also the summer heat and high humidity. The girls level off once again, are bred in October, stay pretty steady until Dec, then steeply decline the longer into pregnancy she goes.

    First fresheners here milk half of what they will milk as 3 and 4 year olds. But our first fresheners are 12 months old.

    If you purchase a doe you can expect a much poorer milk production than she would have had (with all things like nutrition being equal) than a doe who is not stressed from moving during lactation.

    Also does who are not asked to milk their whole 10 months, will also have poor wills to milk the following years. They get preprogrammed to dry up at 3 months fresh, they don't automatically dry up the following year at 3 months, but the decline at that time is usually so large it makes her very hard to keep milking.

    Never give up on a first freshener. They can have tiny udders and small milk productions the first year. If she has a nice udder, eaisly milked, with good milkstand manners, keep milking her, don't dry her up early. Dry her when she is 100 days bred and you know she is bred. She will then milk alot more for you the following year, promise. I had a 4 pound milker as a 12 month first freshener. But she had alot going for her including a really nice udder. As a 2nd freshener she milked 8 pounds, now as a 4 year old she is 5 months into her lactation and is still milking 9 pounds, she has a long level lactation as does her daughter.

    Vicki
     
  4. Kathy'sKID

    Kathy'sKID Kelly in Nebraksa

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    Wow! 9 pounds! Is that the total for the day or at each milking? I just cannot imagine. Thank you for the info. Our girls are first fresheners and their kids are 7 and 8 weeks. Kids are on them during the day, separated at night, and we milk them first thing in the a.m. We also milk them at night just to make sure they're fairly empty. Naturally not much at that milking...we don't even bring it in...it goes to the cats.

    I have not seen any pattern to their amounts at all. No gradual increase. This morning we got 2 lb 6 oz from one and 2lb 10oz from the other. First girl averaged 2lb3 oz from Aug 5 to today. Second girl averaged 2lb 12oz. For now I don't mind this amount....it is perfect for what we are able to use but I would like more so I could try making cheese.
     
  5. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I get 8 to 10 lbs. a day from each of our Lamanchas. I'm guessing Vicki gets 9 lbs. at each milking since she has nubians. What kind of goats are these Kathy?

    My guess would be they are holding back on milk for when the kids are back with them. I think the way you're doing it, kids with them during the day, can have a negative impact on their long-term production for just that reason. They get sort of trained to save their milk for their kids, and don't give you nearly as much.

    But still, they'll give more on the next freshening probably.
     
  6. Kathy'sKID

    Kathy'sKID Kelly in Nebraksa

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    These are Nubians. The buck kids will be removed in another 3 weeks so we will get that extra milk then.
     
  7. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    You will be suprised once you wean the kids and have both milkings to weigh! Those kids can really suck down the milk! Why we raise ours on bottles, they don't need that much milk to grow out well, and I want my milk for me!!!

    Nope 9 pounds a day, I have Nubians NOT APLINES!!!! I know Tracy on our list has Alpines that are small cows with their milk numbers, truly impressive numbers! I do have one doe who peaked at 15 and who is still milking 11 pounds, but thats way over the top of what my Nubians milk, and she has an udder to match those numbers too ;)

    8 to 9 pounds after their peak, daily for 9 of the 10 months they are in milk is really good production for my girls. Numbers like this are easy to get in a small operation, in a large operation they would kill for pounds of milk even like mine per day for any length of time, like Tracy has is unheard of.

    Get back with us about a week after the kids are weaned, bet you have better numbers than you think. Vicki
     
  8. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I thought Nubians gave more than Lamanchas generally. I guess I should be very happy with my 9-pounds-a-day LM then. Cool.

     
  9. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    We had LaMancha's and crosses of for 8 years when we dairied for real. They had the highest herd average of all other breeds here (mostly because of our heat) and because in a large herd they simply get along. When we stopped selling milk commercially and my middle daughter showed them, they still outmilked all but a few of our Nubians, even as first fresheners. I have always been impressed with LaManchas. Vicki
     
  10. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just found this post, talk about way behind lol. Thanks, Vicki -- it has been a great year no doubt. Out of 8 milkers in my barn (including 3 just purchased does) 4 of them went over 3000 lbs. Agatha, a 2 yr old Alpine, milked 4710 lbs with 209 lbs of butterfat! She was milked 10.5 months and NEVER dropped into the single digits. Her 24 hour verification test was 23 pounds :) I'm expecting even greater things from her next year. She gave us the quad doelings last year, and now we'er just watching that belly grow again!

    Tracy
     
  11. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Wow Tracy. That is absolutely incredible. Good for you!!!!!!!!
     
  12. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    I don't mean to highjack this thread, but I'm kinda wondering how much less milk a person would get from 1x day milking. I had read in some dairy journal online, that it's a little more than 1/2 as much milking once a day with the kids milking also. Does that make sense? In other words, if I milk 1x in the morning, and the kids are with the doe the rest of the time, I'll get a little more than 1/2 as much than I would if I milked twice with no kids. I just wondered if any of you found that to be true.
     
  13. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    Do you milk 3x a day? I know some people do.
     
  14. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you want a doe to keep up her production, she needs to be milked on schedule twice a day, especially as the kids get older. I have a doe who had twin doelings in spring. I didn't realize it, but she had started to wean her kids. When I sold one of the kids, I brought her in to milk every morning. After about a week, she didn't have too much milk in the morning and I assumed the remaining kid was just drinking more. I didn't need the milk, so I stopped bringing her in. She dried up and I then realized that when I sold the one kid, she completely weaned the other. I milk my regular milkers twice a day until they are bred about 2 months at which time I milk them once a day for another month. Their production drops when they are only milked once a day. Since I don't have a commercial dairy, this meets my needs.
     
  15. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No, just twice a day. Roughly always 12 hours apart, though it sometimes varied by an hour or so -- life happens <g> Test days of course, they are exactly 12 hours in between.

    Tracy
     
  16. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    Geesh, you got 23# from one day from that doe. I've never even heard of such a thing. Do you find that heavy milkers like her have a bigger problem with mastitis?
     
  17. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Honest to goodness, I have NEVER had a case of mastitis in my herd. Knock on wood, that is a trend that we'll continue. I both machine and hand milk --machine mostly when they first freshen and we're dealing with lots of teeny teated yearlings, and then once the milkers are pared down again, we go back to hand milking. Anything under 10 or so just isn't worth the effort of cleaning the machine to me.

    Basic cleanliness and a good iodine dip have worked for us.

    Tracy