How important is timeliness when milking?

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by blip3200, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. blip3200

    blip3200 New Member

    Jan 8, 2013
    I'm just wondering just how much wiggle room there is when it comes to milking times. Timeliness is not my specialty, and on top of that, I have a fairly irregular schedule myself. I've tried to stick to regular times, but there's been some fluctuation. What is the window for milking times. For example, can I milk between 8am and 10am and 7pm and 9pm each day, or will that mess up a goat's production?
  2. happybleats

    happybleats Active Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    it is better to have no more then 12 hours between...we all need some flexability but going longer then 12 hours may stress their udder...depends on how tight their udders can also efect milk production

  3. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Not being dairy but once in awhile I have one or two to milk. I try to keep it at 12 hrs give or take an hour.
    There are some who wont let you slack for a minute.:D
  4. Dayna

    Dayna Active Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Keaau Hawaii
    I'm horrible with milking then I guess!

    I milk at 5:30pmish and 730-830amish.
  5. HappyCaliGoats

    HappyCaliGoats New Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    That's funny that this tread came up because my family keeps getting mad at me because I tell them that I can't go out to dinner with them or go out to the movies because it would make me either an hour+ late or an hour and a half early for pm milking and if I was early for the PM milking then I would be after 12 hours for the AM milking (because i dont want to wake up any earlier than 6AM!) and I freak out if I'm 10-20 minutes late! Lol however there has been an instance where I could not control it and I was about an hour late for milking her and she was fine, udder was a little firm but after a couple squirts it was relaxed and easy to milk again. Though she is not a heavy producer as a FF, she is giving about 10 cups average per day.

    Newbie to Nubian dairy goats! 2 nubian does, 1 Nubian buck, 1 Pygmy doe, 1 Pygmy/ Nigerian wether, and 1 alpine/ guernsey wether! Plus the rest of the farm pets which would take the whole page to list :)

    Sent from my iPad using Goat Forum
  6. lovinglife

    lovinglife Member

    Jun 6, 2013
    Southern Idaho
    I am really steady during the week with 5 am and 5:30 pm, but on the weekends I sometimes am not out until 6 am then usually 5 - 5:30 pm. That is about all I care to push it. I try to put myself in that position, if I am going to be too late I will try to fit in an extra milking so they don't get to full. That works for me.
  7. LuvMyNigies

    LuvMyNigies Member

    Sep 14, 2013
    Great question! I totally feel your pain!!! :) :) the doe we milk still has a kid that hasn't been weaned yet, so if we are late or early( :)) the kid nurses her and so we just get less or more milk! Not the end of the world! But i guess you are supposed to have a reasonably strict pattern and it probably helps the doe too... :)
  8. luvmyherd

    luvmyherd Active Member

    Apr 9, 2011
    For peak production of course it needs to be regular 12 hour intervals. But that is not my lifestyle and it just does not happen. I do not wean kids so if I am sure I will be very late I just put mom and baby together. But I have one whose baby died so I have to milk her every day. (This is the first time I have had to do this.) I only milk her in the morning and it can be anywhere from 8AM-11AM and I still get over a half gallon from her. She doesn't really seem to mind.
  9. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator

    I can't milk at perfect 12 hour intervals either. I still get good milk production. All you can do is try it and see. Probably would not be good for a high producer.
  10. Twilight_Dustbowl

    Twilight_Dustbowl New Member

    I have been milking 20 goats, twice a day, for the past 3 months and let me tell you that I am always an hour or two late or sometimes early lol and said goats are perfectly fine.

    If you are off by 3 hours or more every other day you will really mess with their production though. Try to keep it as regular as possible.
  11. Hollowdweller

    Hollowdweller Member

    May 5, 2011
    The closer to 12 hours apart the better you are.

    However I find that you can vary the milking times by about 3 hours and not lose much, but that depends on the stage of lactation.

    Basically when a goat is in peak and is bagging up tight stick really close to 12 hours or you will cause her to get mastitis or cut down on the production.

    Later on like in Sept thru Feb you can be more lax.

    Another important thing is how much "Will To Milk" an animal has. An animal with a lot of "will to milk" even if you screw up the milking times if you go back to 12h she will go back up. A goat without will to milk you vary much and it cuts her way back.

    There is an interesting Segment in the "Goat Medicine" I can't remember all the details but it says in France they studied if they could only milk 1 time a day on Sunday so people could have off. I may be off but I THINK it said that they could milk only once on Sunday and only lose 5% overall production but that only worked if the goat was in day 100 of her lactation or greater.
  12. FarmerJen

    FarmerJen New Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Skagit County, WA
    I think a lot of it depends on the goat of course, but also on where they are in their milking (early season, late season, etc). When my does were in peak production, I could definitely tell if it had been over 12hrs. They were full at 12... they were engorged by 13 and they were "start with your fingertips" ready to explode by 14hrs if I ever let it go that long. But now that they're 15mo fresh, I could skip a whole milking before seeing a super tight udder.

    I'm not saying a good 12/12 schedule isn't the ideal... it most certainly is. But I do give myself some slack. I usually milk at 6:30am & pm... but on Friday evening, I usually try to stall at least an hour, so I can sleep in a bit on Saturday. Then there's days where I want to go out to dinner... so I might milk at 5 instead of 6:30... or if I'll be home at a reasonable time, I wait till then instead of milking early. MY girls dont seem to care - though again, when they're more recently freshened, this can be hard on their udders and I try to be much stricter on my timing when that's the case. I do have the benefit of having well-behaved goats - I can go out to milk AFTER I've gotten "ready" to go out or go to work - in my nice clothes - and usually it works just fine. In the winter time however, all bets are off. :)
  13. Sylvie

    Sylvie city-turned-country girl

    Feb 18, 2013
    Fallbrook, CA
    Sometimes, when I need to be gone the entire afternoon & evening and can't get someone else to milk, I'll milk 3 times that day. Once at the normal time in the morning, once before I leave in the early afternoon, and once again when I return late at night. Hey, whatever works. ;)

    ETA: Of course my doe's production is a little less the next morning, but she bounces right back.
  14. HappyCaliGoats

    HappyCaliGoats New Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    That is a fabulous idea! As long as I know ahead of time that I need to be somewhere. Usually my family springs it on me last minute but at least now I know a way I can make some plans and have a little bit of a life! Lol!

    Newbie to Nubian dairy goats! 2 nubian does, 1 Nubian buck, 1 Pygmy doe, 1 Pygmy/ Nigerian wether, and 1 alpine/ guernsey wether! Plus the rest of the farm pets which would take the whole page to list :)

    Sent from my iPad using Goat Forum
  15. armortrails

    armortrails New Member

    Jan 8, 2014
    I can't milk every 12 hrs. but I milk consistently at a 10 and 14 hr interval, 7pm and 9am. Their production adjusts accordingly.
    I would probably have a little better production if I was able to do 12hrs, but my schedule does not allow it.
  16. Dayna

    Dayna Active Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Keaau Hawaii
    I've moved to milking once per day after some research and it's working out well for me. No kids on the moms, just working out doing it every 24 hours.
  17. armortrails

    armortrails New Member

    Jan 8, 2014
    When I have more goats in milk, I will also milk once a day. I also found through my research that there does not seem to be any more mastitis associated with once a day milking.
  18. Pattycake

    Pattycake Patty

    Mar 12, 2017
    Scottsville va
    I just recently switched to once daily milking of a doe. She is 4 months into lactation. I skipped her evening session which wasn't very productive anyway and milked her in morning. The first day was great good a lot of milk for her. But the next day was less than half of the first day. Did I do this wrong? I hope I haven't triggered her to dry up.
  19. There is no rule really about how many hous or how often only if you are doing offical milk tests as in 24 hour for dairy doe points as we call it here to get milking awards. Anyway what I do because I'm time poor is twice ad day sometimes the earliest I can manage is 10 hours apart depending on the daylight hours don't forget we are in winter here now. In summer I try to milk early to beat our heat and as late as possible in the arvo.
    Everybody has their own routine and the goats adjust their milk supply,teejae
  20. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Pinnacle, NC
    They will dry up some when you switch to once a day.