Changes in Milk Quality

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by groovyoldlady, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
    Hi Gang,

    We've been milking our own goats for over a decade now. Now faced this one before: The girls all kidded in April and May. The milk has been wonderful - sweet and creamy. It usually keeps about a week before it starts to lose quality. I've made a zillion pounds of farmer's cheese which all my friends love. However, in the past 2 weeks it has changed. The milk appears to be less rich. BUT it takes longer to run through the filter. And when I made cheese there was a definite loss of milk solids and a ton more whey. The solids were also much finer in texture than usual. Worst of all, though, is that the milk only tastes good for a day or two. Then the goaty flavor starts to bloom.

    My daughters and I have racked our brains. We're using the same nutrition we always have. Same cleaning and chilling routines. The only differences we can think of was that this started shortly after our drought here ended and rain and humidity became more abundant. Also, we dried off 2 of our does. So we're just milking one Lamancha and one Nigerian.

    They do get loose Sweetlix minerals, copper is up to proper levels, and they have access to a cobalt/selenium block which they love.

    Thoughts?
     
    MadHouse likes this.
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Extreme conditions whether drought or tons of rain can affect what is in your pasture which in turn can affect milk taste.
     

  3. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    Possibly, the other two that you dried off helped dilute any off taste of one you are still milking. Can you separate the milk and see which one is the problem?
     
  4. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
    Yes, I can. I'll try it!
     
    MadHouse likes this.
  5. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
    OK...I think I'm onto something. This morning I tasted Jasmine's milk straight from her teat to my cup. It was lovely - sweet, creamy and amazing! Then I tasted Minnie's. Minnie is our new LaMancha. Her milk was flat tasting and slightly metallic. It's HER! I think the odd taste was just covered up when there were 2 more milkers in the line-up. Now that we've dried them up, her milk is standing out. And it's not pleasant.

    So now to figure out why. We've had Lamanchas before - on the same feed - who've had sweet milk. My first experiment will be to switch up her grain. She was an insanely copious producer, so I changed her feed mix to 1/2 17% milker grain and 1/2 12% horse sweet feed plus some alfalfa pellets and a sprinkle of BOSS. That successfully lowered her production to a more manageable level. However, in reading the feed labels I see that the high protein grain has B-12 in it and the lower protein grain does not. I have read that B-12 can really affect milk taste. So experiment #1 begins today: We'll drop the 12% grain and only give her the higher protein grain. Hopefully she just has a higher need for B-12 than my other Munchies did, and this will effect a cure.

    I'll keep you posted!
     
  6. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Great you figured it out. Hopefully the B Complex will help.
     
  7. goatblessings

    goatblessings Fair-Haven Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Southwest Ohio
    Do let us know what you find out - very interesting info....
     
    MadHouse likes this.
  8. Morning Star Farm

    Morning Star Farm Well-Known Member

    343
    Sep 26, 2018
    This sounds a lot like a high SCC to me.
     
  9. Goat Whisperer

    Goat Whisperer Well-Known Member

    535
    Dec 3, 2018
    My thoughts too
     
    Morning Star Farm likes this.
  10. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
    What's SCC?????
     
  11. Morning Star Farm

    Morning Star Farm Well-Known Member

    343
    Sep 26, 2018
  12. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
  13. Morning Star Farm

    Morning Star Farm Well-Known Member

    343
    Sep 26, 2018
  14. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
    Yes it is.
     
  15. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    I’ve heard of accounts where certain goats do not do well with sweet feed (usually from molasses quantity) and it causes all the weirdest tastes to milk that could exist under the sun!!
     
    groovyoldlady likes this.
  16. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
    Well folks, It was clearly the low protein grain. We put her on all high protein and within 24 hours her milk had improved. In 48 hours it was PERFECT. We're back to sweet and creamy!

    We've used that TSC horse grain for years. I give it to my girls who are not lactating and they do well on it. I only use it with milkers if they are over producing. The last 2 bags of the grain looked different (the grain, not the bag), but I didn't think anything of it. Apparently there's something in it that makes the milk weird.

    I imagine with all the COVID crap going on TSC had to get a different supplier for their brand.
     
  17. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Great that it was an easy fix!
     
    groovyoldlady likes this.
  18. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    It all depends on where the grains came from as to the "consistency" of each batch. Drought, flooding, etc. all change the taste and texture of processed feed.
    (This is a little off the subject) A college prof, years ago, in an Ag class, was taking about the nutritional value of ingredients in dog food. He described one- high protein, all the vitamins and minerals present, good taste, sounded like the perfect food. Turns out it was high quality SHOE LEATHER! He said, "just because the ingredients sound good, doesn't mean it is good!"

    Sorry, your comment about the grain changing made me remember that incident.

    So glad you found out what was making your milk taste off.
     
    groovyoldlady, Ashlynn and ksalvagno like this.
  19. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
    Well, the problem has resumed. *sigh* Back to milk that develops a metallic "off" taste and thin texture by day 2. We're almost out of milker grain now. I'm going to switch from Nutrena Sweet feed (17%) to either Poulin or Blue Seal pelleted feed.

    Any recommendations?