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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few questions,

How long will a doe produce milk after giving birth?

Are there special needs a dairy doe needs while producing milk?

If I keep a buck with the doe will they just keep going and going or is there an off season?

Would it be better to seperate the doe from the buck when I dont want kids?

I have also considered getting a couple of does and just breeding with someone else's buck. Is this ok too? Or are there too many risks of spreading disease and such?

Ok, thats enough for now.
:D
 

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The length of lacation depends on the goat and if you breed her again in the fall (kidding usually happends in the spring). For me my girls would kid in June and then milk until a month before kidding - so around the following April - May. Aprox 9-11 months.

There have been instances were a doe milks continually with out having to freshion (give birth again) but this tends to be rare.

While lactating a doe should be given a good quality grain 16% protein or higher. A salt block should be provided along with your regular loose mineral. Does need the salt to produce milk. Keep fresh water available daily so that they consume enough water to keep up with the demand.

Standard dairy goats are seasonal breeders. That means they go into heat from September to February. A doe will cycle every 18-21 days with in this time period.

Nigerian Dwarf goats can cycle all year round but tend to have stronger heats during the normal "season" for breeding.

I recomend that you NOT just run a buck with the does. By doing this you will not know when the buck bred the does and therefore will not know when to prepare for kidding. This is especially since you want to have nigerian dwarfs and they can breed at any time during the year.

I use an outside buck on all my does since I can't have a buck where I live. I first check out the living conditions and the buck himself then I set up a date with the owner where I can pick up the buck and keep him at my place for a month (to ensure he catches the doe in heat). Another way to do it is to send off your doe to the buck for a month. Unless you are good with detecting heats a month is a good length of time to work with so that you can be sure she is bred.

if you do own a buck then I suggest you keep him separate from your does especially when they are close to kidding. A bred doe close to kidding will send off extra hormones which causes the buck to harass the doe (mounting and chasing) this can stress out your doe and you don't need that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cool, thanks. Wasn't sure where would be better to post it.
 

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I would like to comment that a dairy goat does not require 16% feed in order to produce milk. We have standard size goats, and we milked 4 through last winter. We feed a 13% feed and we fed that all winter long and all winter long our does consistently milk 1-2 lbs under that of their peak(peaks ranged from 6-12lbs) and those still milking through now are still giving 7 lbs even though they freshened in early '06. They didn't always have access to alfalfa last winter either. With feeding a dairy animal, the idea is to have high energy low protien, or high protien low energy. We do the first and have had great success with it. Our goats did A LOT worse health wise and production wise on higher protien. Good hay is also important for a milking animal and plenty of fresh water and free choice minerals for them.
We feed a mix of oats, barley and BOSS.
Also about does that can milk through with out being bred, this tends to be genetic. I have LaManchas and LaManchas are known for their ability to be able to milk through with a consisten lactation. It all depends on the goat. I only milk through those that had a hard kidding, or those that cannot seem to keep weight on after kidding. I am breeding all the does except for one this year to give my hands a break from last winter though.
 

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Firegoat said:
Would it be better to seperate the doe from the buck when I dont want kids?
I don't own a buck, and when I bred my doe I brought her to him but, just out of curiosity, I've heard that if a buck stays with a doe that's lactating, the milk will take on the odor of the buck. Is this true?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How often do you have to milk a ND to keep it lactating?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
StaceyRoop said:
at least once a day. Twice is preferred for maxium production and lenth of lactation
Thanks !!
 

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I agree with all of them. I milk the goats twice a day. And With the buck. I keep them seperate from the does. Becuz it can cause the milk taste off. Good Luck!!
 

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I milk my pygmy/ND does 1x a day for as long as they keep giving me at least a pint! After the amount drops ...usually after 7 months then I start drying them off. And my bucks are not housed with my girls...separate sheds. Goats will give you what you give them...plenty of high quality forage and hay as well as an adequate amount of grain and always fresh water...it all adss up to substantial milk production...unless there are other factors involved...parasites illness etc. my girls are in the drying off process now...they should be bred to kid in mid February.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What is involved in the drying off process?
I thought I read somewhere that it can hurt a cow if you let it go dry, is that true for goats too? Or cows for that matter?
 

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From personal experience because my hubby is having a hard time getting off of the couch....

We now have I believe all 5 girls bred!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHH

Hubby was supposed to build a shed in the other pen for all 4 boys (he hasn't seen the "Joe Dirt" baby buck yet...LOL) because he will not let me put igloos over there. He says the igloos are trailer park.

So now, my 7 month old I believe was bred - and praying she DOES NOT settle! and then my other doe that I thought was prego - ultrasound says no - who knows. I keep her with a buck, cause the doc thinks she might be hamaphroditic. So we are "watching".

I have up to 5 does due to kid in a range of 2 months, and I am a bit worried. This is a first for me and for all but 1 doe!!!!!!

HELP!!!!!!
 
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