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How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwarfs



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Old 01-12-2011, 08:53 PM   #1
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Default How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwarfs

I have had NDs for almost two years now and still feel quite new. I milked the doe that freshened last Dec and am thinking that now I will breed her yearlings and maybe mom again as well. I was told mom, Gemma came from good milking lines, she was pregnant when I got her and dried her off right away. When the babies were a month old, I separated the kids at night and milked in the morning. I consistently got a little over a pint per day(2-3 cups). It didn't seem like very much milk to me. During the summer, I really screwed things up because I didn't realize how important it is to milk at the same time everyday... Anyway she began to really protest and sit down on the stand, instead of the patient milker was used to. I even took pictures!! I dried her off with no trouble and feel a bit of a failure....

How much milk can I expect to get from NDs? Should I milk twice a day? I love my girls and would really like to have a productive dairy herd. They do eat my blackberries and a working on restoring my pasture, but ...... I feel like I am reinventing the wheel or maybe just spinning wheels. How can I make my next freshing more productive? erica


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Old 01-12-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

I separate at night...usually at around 8pm starting at 3 weeks old, milk mom at 4 30 am and the kids are with her the rest of the day, I also do not retain kids due to my space restrictions so kids are weaned and leaving by 8 weeks. Then I start milking twice a day, my work schedule requires a 4 30 am milking so they are milked again at 4 30 pm. I have had one PB nigi doe the last 3 years, starting with her second freshening at 3 years old, each year after she has increased her out put to her peak at 7 and 3/4 cups a day, just under 2 quarts. I will have the pleasure of milking my 2nd nigi doe here in a few more weeks as she's due to be a FF on 2/10...she comes from heavy milking lines and I have milked her dam and her sister...I'm excited!
My pygmy/nigi cross does gave a fair amount as well...a little over a quart a day. I do provide them alfalfa hay, good minerals and they get 2-3 cups of an 18% grain with added BOSS twice a day and weather permitting they have access 24/7 to pasture.
Milk output greatly depends on the does number of freshenings, litter size and her feed intake as well as committment on your part to take so that she produces even more...milking 3-4 times a day will also increase supply, time permitting of course, keeping her udder "empty" will have her producing more to try and keep it filled...I'm going to attempt the 3x a day with my FF and see if it works..I suspect that she's going to have a single.


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Old 01-17-2011, 01:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

I am wondering this too. Can anyone else tell us how much their ND doe milk????
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

Probably the most any of mine have given was a little over 2 quarts a day. That is milking twice a day with a good feeding program and lots of good hay! I have two does that have milked that much but they also both produced quads (and one time quints)! It is hard for me to milk twice a day due to work schedules so most years I milk in the morning only, keeping kids on them during the day. Really, you could expect anything from a few cups to 2+ quarts, as Liz said there are many variables that affect how much they will produce any given freshening!
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

I only get to milk once a day in the evenings, so I would probably get more milk but I have a FF that kidded in September with twins and I just started milking her 3 weeks ago. She is from heavy milking lines as well, and she has increased her production steadly every week. She started off giving me approx 1/2 quart a day to just a little over a quart a day. I cannot wait to see what her output will be by her 3rd freshing.

I have to admit that I do not pull kids to milk, I wait until they are 3 months old, and when I wean them, then I start milking.
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

I have one Caesar's Villa doe that I was milking regularly, and she gave 2 qts per day.
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

Okay so what bloodlines would anyone recommend for a heavy milkline.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

I have two does from Olson Acres, one produces 1 qt. a day, the other 3 qts. a day. I also have a doe from CornerStone farm that gives 2-3 quarts a day easy. It really depends on the goat, and each one needs to be looked at closely. It helps if it's an adult and you have production records you can look at, otherwise its a crap-shoot and you look close at the sire's dam, sisters and other offspring and the dam herself. I found it was well worth a higher price to get a doe with good capacity, but even then it's not a guarantee. I will say the doe I have that doesn't produce as much has a super high butterfat content, and we love her milk! I really like Twin Creeks, Rosasharn, and CornerStone. There are others, those are just the lines I'm working with. I really like descendants of most Gay-mor goats as well. FYI, I have 2 kids out of a high producer, and one looks like she is going to be great, the other so-so. Each goat in unique!
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

The big milk production lines out there see an average of 3.5-4 lbs a day. This is on an ideal diet with no mineral or vitamin deficiencies and plenty of protein, being milked 2 times a day, and no diseases. If a farm is hit with mites, a staph infection, or a mineral deficiency no matter how good their lines are they will suffer a loss.

3.5-4 lbs is about 1.75-2 liters or half a gallon, ish. Although I have had one doe give as much as 6 lbs a day! But she injured one side of her udder jumping off a play structure and never got back up to that amount. I eventually had to sell her or I would have kept every doe she ever produced

There is a LOT that goes into that amount of milk though...diet, age, how far inter her freshening, health, how frequently you milk...and so on. And of course, genetics!

FF will produce less especially if they are bred their first year. If you milk once a day you'll get less. If you feed poorly you'll get less. You get the idea!

Lines I like for heavy milk production...

Castle Rock. I have attended their DHIR test days and LA days. Love this farm, great program, lots of milk. My doe who gave me 6 lbs a day was from this farm.

Old Mountain Farm. Milk production is very important to the owner and it shows in her program.

Algedi Farms, have seen the daughter of the owner at shows milking her girls (usually after good placement!) and watched the milk just keep on coming. They use their milk for food, so again it's important to them.

Twin Creeks Hoofin It Poppy Patch

If you can...if you go searching for milk lines...look for stars and milk records. DHIR records are a GREAT way to see what the does in the lines are producing in a lactation. Stars that the doe herself has earned let you know she is reaching high standards. Though, stars are easy to earn if you time your testing just right, so get the full record if you can!
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

Blesses my heart to see friends names here like Algedi, Poppy Patch, & Castle Rock...these are ladies/families that I SO admire.

In addition, my experiences with Pholia Farms have been incredible when it comes to finding excellent milking genetics...those Jobi lines haven't been around as top milkers FOREVER for nothin'! They are very proven.

But also as many others here have said....MUCH depends on the particular animals and her/your particular program for feed, milking, etc. And if you are looking to bring in stronger milking genetics then DEFINITELY look at the prior milk history in the dam's, granddam's, etc on BOTH sides of the pedigree. This is very important! Production, butterfat, etc is a genetic trait just like teat placement & other "visual" things.

Improvement is a wonderful thing!! Best wishes & good luck to you with your Nigi's!


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