Ok why do you think they are 'holding out'?
Ok why do you think they are 'holding out'?
Volume...or more precisely, lack of volume.
Two does. One a third freshener with only half an udder...the other half damaged by mastitis, but the good half well developed. The other a first freshener, with a smallish, but normal for first freshener, udder.
Both very healthy. Well fed...you've seen the grain mix...2.5 qts of grain each at each milking...free feeding alfalfa for over a week now...Golden Blend minerals free fed...
Production between 2 and 2.25 pounds per milking for both combined...a half gallon a day total. I should be getting 2 gallons a day...would be satisfied with one gallon a day...
How long have these does been milking? Goats have a lactation curve and you are fixing to hit breeding season. Some goats drop off sharply in their 'curve'after they have been milking X amount of time....other goats have a more level curve with no sharp drops.
A doe with mastitis damage will rarely milk very well..there's just too much scar tissue etc (usually)...depending on the pre-disopsition to mastitis, it can be re-occuring too.
Personally I would never want a first freshening doe to milk a gallon per day unless you are talking Saanens or some Alpine lines...it's usually too much milk for the mammary to handle.
IF these does were milking a gallon a day each (and you know this for sure) ...then it's quite possible they are getting later into their 'curve' and then you have to factor in heat/humidity and upcoming breeding season...when does cycle they drop in milk production.
Frankly, I don't really know just how much they were milking...the girl I bought them from wasn't very specific. I know when I got them July 29, I was getting 1 to 1.5 gal/day, and now I'm down to a half gallon/day, per milking, not per goat.
I read somewhere (Fias Co Farm site maybe) that fennel and fengreek have been reported to increase milk production. Any truth to that, and if so how much how often? I have some of each.
If they are following their natural lactation curve feeding them fennel and fengugreek seeds isn't going to help much...also keep in mind what you feed ends up in the milk...fennel can be strong in flavor.
If they have been milking several months now (you haven't said when they freshened) what they are doing is natural...especially coming into breeding season...and once they are bred milk production will drop also.
Honestly they do not sound like overly 'milky' (productive) does if you were only getting 1 to 1.5 gal per day out of 3 goats.
I also read in a book that moving does will often reduce their milk output because the routine has changed. The milking routine they said was very important in production, keeping on scedule and such.
I would assume/suspect these milkers where being milked by their kids, not by a person so maybe thats something? I would breed em, do everyting right to get good milk production next season and if they don't produce what you need then,....
I suspect they weren't sold at a high price, so you have some room to work with, plus you will have the kids, but I would really give them a chance by doing everything right and looking at the overall lactation curve for each goat while knowing whats going on. I'm starting records on my goats and bees now.
Of course this advice is comming from someone who spent the last two days wresting to get a pint of milk. She has plenty more but won't cooperate. I stopped milking her when she had worms, but the kids have kept her milk up. They are really getting a bit old for this. So now I am trying to milk her again, but she's not up with this idea. Things are looking good for my new milker, I milked her out some, but I'm waiting till her kids get older and I go on a vacation to get back and start milking her on a regular routine. Again the price I paid for my does is a consideration in overal expectation. I think they are good genes, but raising them to be good milkers, I believe requires working with them. These goats where bred from really good stock, but left to run wild. So I think it will take me some time to get them to be a good milk producing herd. I think your situation may be similar.
[size="1"][ September 05, 2005, 11:46 PM: Message edited by: Admin ][/size]
apologies to all for using a profanity bleeped out with *****s. I've seen it done often, so wrongly assumed that was ok. I also used the word for a female goat that is a mother, so perhapse there was some confusion. Anyway, apologies again.
Don't apologise Michael. I wish admin hadn't edited it...if I had seen the proper term for a mom goat it would have been a learning experience for a new goat person (me). Instead I'm stuck with "mommy goat" which, while technically correct, is not very "professional" in the goat industry.
MW, LaRae, or both...or others...
Would it hurt to milk 3 times daily to try to increase production?
from what I've heard, it dosen't make a difference in production to milk 2 or 3 times a day. Considering the amount your getting, I don't think it would hurt to try and see what happens. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Actually you can increase production by milking 3 times a day (many cow dairies do this)...HOWEVER the animal has to have the milk genetics to begin with ...they can only milk what they are genetically predestined to milk.
You can't make a doe who milks 6 lbs per day milk 10 lbs if she is not genetically capable of doing it.
Your options are to buy more does to meet your demand...or buy does that have better milk genetics...if you are looking at the commercial end of things...in the long run it's cheaper to buy better milk genetics than to feed mediocre does (commercially speaking).
I plan to buy, breed, and cull for milk production in the long term. Short term I'm limited by a shortness of cash, and I'm wanting to improve as quickly as possible. The cash issue postpones buying genetics, and the time issue keeps breeding and culling from being of immediate benefit.
I think I'll try a 6am, 2pm, 10pm milking schedule and see what happens.
Each person can set their own goals and agendas...some don't care if their goats milk a specific amount, others do. It's not 'bad' if someone doesn't want a goat to milk 10 lbs a day.
If you want to try and get the most bang for your buck (pun intended <G>...find a buck with the best PROVEN dairy genetics you can afford and breed him to everything, then cull from that point. Keeping daughters and culling dams etc.
If you use a mediocre buck you aren't going to get much improvement. Look for a buck within the breed you think will get you to your goal (with cheese protein/solids are very important).
Find a buck within that breed that comes out of proven production...this means the person will be on DHIR (milk) test and be able to provide you with papers showing their butter-fat, protein, etc etc.
I can't stress enough that all dairy animals have a lactation curve...after so many months milking they have a natural (or sharp depending on doe) drop in production...and breeding season causes other drops in production. A bred doe will drop in production. If you intend to milk bred does you will have to really feed them well to give them the extra support they need.
Bubba, a female goat is a nanny. A male goat is a billy. A young goat is a kid. There is no such thing as a buck or doe goat.
Now you can be both professionally and technically correct.
Anything else is droppings from a male bovine.
I hope those words are acceptable.
iddee I have no idea where you got your info.
However dairy goats are referred to as bucks and does...you can look it up in the dictionary if you don't believe me.
You can also go to most any dairy goat website (to include the American Dairy Goat Assocation) and find the correct terminology....buck, doe, doeling, buckling, wether and kid.
Webster's universal unabridged dictionary
Billy goat A male goat.
Nanny goat A female goat
What does yours say?
Random House College Dictionary page 175
Male of the deer, antelope, rabbit, hare or goat.
Doe: Female of the deer, antelope, goat, rabbit and certain other animals.
Dairy goats are not referred to as 'nannies or billies', not even in a commerical dairy setting (or any I am familiar with)...if you care to check any dairy goat website or official organization it will confirm what I've said as well.
I just want to know what the term for a mom with kids is that offended admin enough to edit MW's post...
Bob the only word I know of to refer to the parents of a kid is to say dam and sire ....so I have no idea what was edited.
While reading this thread, I've learned more about goats than I ever expected possible. It's been extremely interesting.
I've always heard goats called billies and nannies, but it's not too hard to imagine that there are different names for goats used for specific purposes.
I wouldn't argue too much with LaRae. She sounds like she knows her stuff.
Oh, the other thing I've learned about goats is that I don't think I really want any. But I think I'm going to buy some milk to try it out.
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