How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwarfs

Discussion in 'Mini Mania' started by eellegant, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. eellegant

    eellegant New Member

    12
    Aug 27, 2009
    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
     
  2. liz

    liz New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    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.
     

  3. peggy

    peggy Senior Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    B.C. Canada
    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????
     
  4. Sunny Daze

    Sunny Daze New Member

    307
    May 18, 2010
    Fairplay, MD
    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!
     
  5. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    815
    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    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.
     
  6. 4hmama

    4hmama New Member

    467
    Jan 9, 2009
    No. Central WV
    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.
     
  7. peggy

    peggy Senior Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    B.C. Canada
    Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

    Okay so what bloodlines would anyone recommend for a heavy milkline.
     
  8. nigerianmeadows

    nigerianmeadows New Member

    42
    Dec 12, 2010
    North Carolina
    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!
     
  9. quakingcanopy

    quakingcanopy New Member

    68
    Feb 21, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    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!
     
  10. Bellafire Farm

    Bellafire Farm New Member

    810
    Jan 5, 2010
    NW Oregon
    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. :applaud:

    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! :thumb:
     
  11. SkyesRanch

    SkyesRanch New Member

    694
    Nov 11, 2010
    Stephenville, Texas
    Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

    I'd have to say the best collection of ND bucks I've ever seen are those from Proctor Hill Farm in Massachussetts and Dill's in Oklahoma. They have excellent genetics to work with. See I live like an hour away from Piddlin Acres and Twin Creeks and their goats they have now just don't appeal to me. I have one from Piddlin Acres but I'm just not very pleased. I love their older genetics though. I am one of those people that thinks the buck is everything in a herd and I just don't like their bucks much. That is totally just my personal opinion. I hope I didn't offend anyone. :wink:
     
  12. wookiee

    wookiee New Member

    100
    Oct 26, 2009
    Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

    I get my does from Old Mountain Farm (or affiliated farms based upon her genetics) and my seniors easily peak over 2 qts per day. My first fresheners have not even peaked and will give me 1.5 qts per day. I am sure my maintenance is not perfect and can be improved, but my does are very productive. You pay for those kind of genetics, but it's worth it. Each doe is healthy and proven and it shows in the pail.

    :thumb:
     
  13. ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl New Member

    771
    Jan 31, 2010
    ohio
    Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

    i have no experience with nigis or pygmys but i dont think i will ever get one for milk because my parents had a small herd (6 milkers) of standard (?) size dairy breeds. i just dont see how my time and work and money would be worth it for not much milk. my dad said he heard that for a family of 3 you would need about 15-20 pygmys/nigis (he doesnt remember which) to keep from buying milk. i just dont see how upkeep for 15-20 littlies is equal to 6 big girls. and we had 5 people in the house and made plenty of butter and cheese and had some for the pigs occasionally. i just dont see myself as ever having any, no offence to anyone.
     
  14. quakingcanopy

    quakingcanopy New Member

    68
    Feb 21, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

    ohiogoatgirl -

    That is certainly one side to consider, but the numbers your father herd are way off. How much milk do you use? We use a gallon every 2 days which includes 5 people and 2 dogs that get 1 cup each a day with their meals. That means 4 Nigis is sufficient for a family out size.

    Many times this argument has been considered by enthusiasts, judges, breeders, etc...And for the amount Nigi's eat and how much space they take, they produce their weight in milk just like a big girl does. Many also choose to keep them because on top of the benefit of the amount of milk, there is the high butterfat content ideal for butters and cheeses and soaps. Plus, some people also enjoy the variety of colors and easy to handle a smaller goat -- especially with children.

    Pygmy's are not a dairy breed. You would need a considerable amount more of Pygmy's versus Nigis or even big breed does to produce the same amount of milk. The breeds are VERY different.
     
  15. Bellafire Farm

    Bellafire Farm New Member

    810
    Jan 5, 2010
    NW Oregon
    Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

    So for a Nigi producing 1 quart (4 cups per day), that's 1/4 gallon per Nigi per day...isn't it? ....so 15-20 Nigi's for a single family seems WAY off. That's literally gallons of milk per family member per day. I could understand if this was from rumors way back when, as I don't think Nigi's were really taken seriously as a true dairy goat for a long time... or this could be from the stand point of a Pygmy goat because the pygmy is not 'necessarily' a true dairy goat and doesn't typically produce as much milk. They are more of a multiple purpose animal. Maybe that's where some of the confusion lies??? Just a thought...
    I guarantee that a single family w/20 Nigi's is going to be swimming in milk within a week though... ha ha ha...
    It sure is nice though to watch the other ladies at the shows fill up a HUGE bucket of milk on just one milker! :shocked: :drool: Makes me jealous!
     
  16. quakingcanopy

    quakingcanopy New Member

    68
    Feb 21, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

    Well...if you consider a Nigi from some of the milking lines we've discussed then that's 2 quarts a day (half a gallon). We'd get away with just 1! lol If we had 15-20 making half a gallon a day we could probably fill a swimming pool in no time with the extra ;)
     
  17. ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl New Member

    771
    Jan 31, 2010
    ohio
    Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

    my dad says for then (5 people) "at least 5 gallons a week. if making cheese or butter..... maybe 11 gallons a week..." yadda yadda. for now (2 people) "about 3 gallons a week".
    but the second is low because i only drink chocolate milk if its store milk. for lots of reasons. but if we had chocolate all the time or if we had goats in milk now then you would have to add alot because i can easily drink a 1/2 gallon of milk a day. :D i love milk!!!!
     
  18. Bellafire Farm

    Bellafire Farm New Member

    810
    Jan 5, 2010
    NW Oregon
    Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

    Ahhh, with people drinking/using milk like that... then yes I can definitely see where those numbers come from. :greengrin: I'll bet you're family has the strongest bones of anyone around! :greengrin: Nice!
     
  19. ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl New Member

    771
    Jan 31, 2010
    ohio
    Re: How much milk production can I expect from Nigerian Dwar

    ha ha ha! well so far i have good bones. never broken a bone.
    my dad knocks on his head and makes bongo noises... ya.