The Goat Spot Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read in several places that if you want to increase milk production you should feed more grain. But if your doe already looks like she's a good weight, won't more grain simply make her fat? Or will she convert it to milk before she gets fat? What is the "tipping point" where you are feeding too much and not getting any increase? I'm used to horses and dogs, not dairy animals, where you determine the right amount of feed based on their body condition. It seems odd to me to give her more feed when she looks so good, but if that's what I need to do to up production I guess I should. Does it make sense that she would need more grain now that the weather's getting colder and she's burning more calories to keep warm -- and taking them away from producing milk? I'd really like to understand this better.

This doe is on pretty limited browse but has access to clover/grass hay 24 hours/day. She gets 1 lb. 16% goat feed, 1 1/2 lbs. alfalfa pellets, and a handful of black oil sunflower seeds 1x day at milking. In the evening she and her 7 mo. doeling share about 2 1/2 lbs. alfalfa pellets. If I knew how to post a photo I would, but I think her body condition is about ideal -- you can feel her ribs under her flesh, but they are not visible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,285 Posts
She sounds like she is in good body condition, and you are feeding her well. If she is are already a good weight, then yes, feeding more grain will make her gain more weight, and she might produce a bit more milk.

The rule of thumb I have mostly always gone by is 3lbs of grain per every gallon they milk. That keeps them milking well and keeps the condition on them. You dont want to be able to see the ribs, but should be able to feel them. And the hip bones shouldnt be overly prominent, but you should be able to see them.

When you are posting a reply, click "Manage Attatchments" and it will bring up a window for you to browse your pictures, click one of the "Browse" links and find your picture, double click the picture, and that file will be selected. Then click upload, once the file is uploaded, you can close the small window that you brought up, and post your reply. The picture should be posted then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the tip! Here are a couple of recent photos:
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,224 Posts
Yep.. very nice condition :)

Are you wanting her to make more milk?
If she just had the single doeling that can factor in what her body started making from the get go... and also the fact that she has been in milk for 7 months, peak production is usually between 6 and 8 weeks fresh, also if her doeling is still nursing it will influence what you are getting.

I do raise nigerians and I do measure out feed with an old plastic kitchen measuring cup... does here who are feeding multiples get 2 cups 18% for themselves and an additional 1 cup for each kid they are producing for with a cup of alfalfa pellets and either dry shredded beet pulp or BOSS 2X a day. Once kids here are separated at night so I milk in the mornings I find exactly what each doe produces after 8-10 hours, one girl here at peak gives up 5-6 cups after a 10 hour fill so the feed is needed to help her keep condition :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I guess I'm just wanting her to pick up a bit. She's dropped production over the past few weeks, and hasn't really returned after her heat cycle and being bred. She kidded triplets 7 months ago and nursed them all, but they were weaned at 5 months. More than anything else I'm just curious about how it all works. I'm glad to know she's in decent shape.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top