Author Topic: Milking a goat for the first time  (Read 4143 times)

Offline JoeD

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Milking a goat for the first time
« on: May 03, 2011, 08:25:40 PM »
Hey guys

I got one Sannen goat milking for 25 days now,  yesterday I separated the kid and milked her for the fist time, one time in the evening surprisingly enough I only got 1.5 liters and left a bit for the kid. Today I got close to two liters of milk. Aren't Sannens better milkers?
I must say that I did not pay top dollar for the kids so I got what I payed for. Is there something can do to increase milk production of my goat?

Thanks in advance


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Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2011, 12:52:56 AM »
I'm not as familiar with that breed, but overall, genetics is extremely important.  If she doesn't have great genes, there's not a lot you can do about it. That being said, production will increase over time, then of course decrease.  What can you do?  Make sure she's got plenty of feed.  Hay, alfalfa, and grain.  Also, you'll want to be sure you milk her completely out once you take her kid off.  If a goats body senses that less milk is needed, it'll produce less milk.
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Offline JoeD

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 07:51:32 PM »
Thanks

They feed on first cut of hay all day long,  pellets and sweet formula, today I gave them compressed alfalfa horse feed as well. No milking today, the buckling snuck up on the fence and had a milking feast   :)

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 08:58:26 AM »
If goats are anything like cows, she's probably holding up for the kid and not allowing you to get all of the milk.  If you want the milk and the kid is old enough to be weaned, you'll have to separate them in such a way that they can't sneak the milk.  It may still take a few days for her to let down for you, but she should once she gets over the separation.

Offline Mountain Maiden

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2011, 10:50:00 AM »
I've raised them for many years and on average they are a very good producing goat.  That being said, when the kids are left on the doe the production will decrease.  The kids will only drink a small amount which will signal to her body to produce only what they need.  So, even if she freshened with a gallon a day, I sure it decreased day by day.  You need to make sure that she is getting a very high percentage of protein in her feed and if you milk her out faithfully it should bring her milk up a little but not what it could have been.  Hope that helps.


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Offline Oberhasli

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2011, 01:02:04 PM »
You can also try to give her some shredded beet pulp, sunflower seeds, and calf manna to up her protein.  The beet pulp I just put a handful dry, on top of their feed.  The pelleted beet pulp needs to be soaked first, but the shredded doesn't.  It will boost milk production and also their water intake which helps produce more milk as well.   The goat dairy feed I give is 16% protein and I top dress with a sweet feed that is 11% protein.  They also get alfalfa not grass hay. 

Good luck.

Bonnie
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than do nothing and risk they stay.     Anonymous

Offline JoeD

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2011, 08:17:32 PM »
Thank all

I milked her today and I git a little bit more milk than last time, I also made sure the kid does not sneak in during off hours for a milkshake. Basecally, I milk her at 6 PM everyday, I get like 98 percent of the milk in the can and only then allow the kid to get in the pen for his own milking time. I've been noticing a slight increase on the can, like I said above I started to supplement the feed with compressed alfalfa and sweet formula. The milk is creamy ldelicious and nowhere near goaty like.

Offline Mountain Maiden

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2011, 07:53:10 AM »
Sannen milk is wonderful and most people that did taste test with us could not tell a difference in taste between that and cows milk.  They could of course tell by sight.  We raised and bred Sannen and Toggenburg goats and have raised and miked Nubians and Alpines.  Just a note :)  Toggenburg milk is a very strong and "goaty" milk...word of the wise here!  We favored the Sannens above all others that we had...wonderful, strong and smart goats!

Offline steffb503

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2011, 05:32:09 AM »
Next time she freshens separate the kid around two- three weeks old every night. Milk mom out completely then let the kid run with her all day. You should milk her out completely again at night. She will produce much better for you then.

Offline Saltysteele

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2011, 07:52:54 PM »
we've got a couple dwarf nigerians.  milking once a day decreases not only the amount of milk per day (because you're not working in the morning), but also the amount you get during the one milking.  decreasing to just once a day also seemed to encourage her to dry up.  she got more and more difficult to get to stand.  at the end, she was kicking, trying to lay down, and anything she could to get me to stop.

this is our first milking goat, but we've had cows in the past.

also, if you'll notice when a kid is feeding, it head butts the udder to stimulate milk let down.  just kind of knock your fist into the udder (not violently or very forcefully, just to simulate a kid butting).  this did get ours to let down more milk.

be sure to milk her out, or she will decrease production.  as the others said, if their bodies don't sense the need for more milk, they will decrease output to the level of need


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Offline smoky mountain girl

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2011, 08:31:26 PM »
Very interesting, everybody.  I have noticed a direct and fairly dramatic increase in my goat's output when I give her really good, green looking (not brown) hay.  My mother-in-law makes timothy/orchard grass hay and like I said it has a greenness to it.  It does not look like fescue hay. I also feed 16% protein but it doesn't make the difference the hay does.

How does Sannan milk taste compared to Nubian?  What about the difference in volume you get per milking between the two?  And, since Nubian has the highest fat content have you noticed that you get more cheese from a gallon of Nubian milk verses the Sannan's milk?  Thanks

Offline Saltysteele

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2011, 11:40:42 PM »
from research i've done, saanen's produce on average 3 liters of milk/day, and the nubians 2.5 liters per day.  the nubians having slightly higher butterfat.

the highest butterfat will come from pygmy's.  though, they're the hardest to milk (small teets).  next up is the dwarf nigerian.  we have DN's, and there milk is very rich, no off taste whatsoever.  keep in mind, feed types, being around bucks in rut and other things will tend to give goat milk an off flavor.

i'm wondering if all goats produce the same amount of butterfat, however, the amount of milk from the higher producers decreases the percentage.  in other words, if you have 1 cup from all breeds, if one gives a gallon and another a pint, the pint will be higher in butterfat.

this is not a fact, just a theory that has not been researched  :)

Offline steffb503

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2011, 04:11:27 AM »
No butter fat is a percentage.

I have mutts and all produce around 6lbs a milking not a day.
I would think a Saanen would be in the 8lb a milking range if she had the genetics.

Pop in at www.homesteadingtoday.com go to the goat section. Tons of info there.

Offline Pam@doehillfarm

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2011, 09:46:33 AM »
Good Morning,

You don't say whether she's 25 days fresh or the 25 days is just how long you've been milking her.  If she's only 25 days fresh, she'll peak around 45 days.  The true test is what she does after that 45 days...if she maintains a nice long lactation curve, or plunges off the face of the earth once her 45 days has passed.

Also, it would help to know how old she is.  A first freshener cannot be expected to compete with a fourth or fifth year freshener as that's when they hit prime milk production.  And, a sixth-seventh freshener will usually begin to drop in production, so if she's aged...she might not be showing you what her potential was when she was in her prime.

And, as previous posters commented on, if she has kids on the udder, they're not only taking from her, but by incremental feedings, are telling the doe to produce smaller amounts at one time.  So, that will skew milk production numbers. 

You said you're feeding first cut.  Dairy goats require second cut.  It's not only more nutritious, but they'll waste less. 

And, since milk production is measured in weights, I've converted your 1.5 liters into pounds...I'm terrible with the metric system, but I've figured it to be about 3lbs.  Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong. You're milking once a day...and leaving the kid on for the rest or separating them for 12 hours and taking one milking and letting the kid have the other 12 to himself? or are you leaving the kid on for the entire time and taking her in during that time for one milking?

You see there are many variables.

In as far as increasing milk production, first, as I'd mentioned, you should switch her over to second cut.  First cut is usually used for non-working, non lactating, animals. 

Protein isn't necessarily going to increase milk production, but fat can.  Make sure she's getting fat in her diet either by your grain (mine has 4.75% fat) or in the form of BOS or even adding an ounce of corn oil to her daily ration. 

Make sure she's not copper deficient or has a large load of parasites as both issues will create an issue with milk production. 

Make sure you have a good loose DAIRY mineral salt - don't put blocks out for goats, they need more than they can get from the blocks.  Don't use grain or mineral salts intended for both sheep and goats...goats will always lose out as they need much more.  They're metabolism is much greater and they require a lot of copper and sheep grain usually doesn't have copper because of sheep's high level of toxicity.

And in conjunction with the loose minerals, make sure she has access to clean fresh water...as water=milk.

In as far as Saanens, if you're here on this forum, you must be interested in making cheese.  Sannens might be the holsteins of the goat world, however, in as far as milk production, they are also produce the lowest protein/butterfat which means that you need more Saanen milk to match, pound for pound, that which is required to make cheese made from other breeds.  Rarely do you see a Saanen in a cheesemaking goat herd because of that. 

Here's ADGA's link to breed averages: http://www.adga.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=325:arc09breedavg&catid=46:production-testing&Itemid=200   

And genetics is key to having a thrifty goat who produces well.  I raise registered LaManchas and just recently Nubians and my first fresheners must produce no less than 7-8lbs to remain in the herd. (although if I have FF who is consistently milking a little less but has an excellent lactation curve, I'll keep her on to see how she does the following year)  I have some FF who have peaked at 12lbs.  I don't have nursing kid issues as I maintain CAE preventative practices and remove the kids from birth and feed them pasteurized milk.  That not only ensures a CAE negative herd, but also allows me to effectively gauge each doe's level of production.

All this said, if she's a FF and has a kid or two on the teat and is giving you 3 lbs and your'e feeding her first cut hay...give her a second chance as there are so many variables going on, that it's hard to tell if it's genetic or environmental.

However, if this isn't her first freshening and you start milking her without the interference of nursing kids and she's fed a sufficient balanced diet, and she doesn't pick up...I would get rid of her as it takes just as much time and money to feed and milk a poorly producing animal as it does a good producer. 

And, always ask about the milk production of the dam and the sire's dam when purchasing unproven does.

Sorry for the long ramble...but when it comes to dairy goats, I usually have a lot to say. lol

Good luck,

Pam

Offline psearle

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Re: Milking a goat for the first time
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2011, 03:00:30 PM »
Hi there

These are the rules that I've discovered to get the best results from my goats.

Milk your goats twice a day and always at round about the same times. 
Make a ritual of it, always do things the same way and in the same order. 
If milking more than one goat then make sure you milk them in strict pecking order, queen goat first. 
When you've taken the milk from a goat massage her udder for a minute or so then gently milk again - you'll get another 5% to 10% but, more importantly, you'll encourage the goat to produce more milk next time. 
Finally, end the milking session with a reward - my goats each get a digestive biscuit at the end of being milked and this is a big high spot for them; it keeps them happy and well behaved.

Hope some of this helps.

Good luck with it

Peter