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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I got my first goats ever, just under three weeks ago--Nigerian Dwarfs--a doe in milk, and her daughter. The kid was eight weeks old then, eleven weeks now, and is nursing far less than when she arrived. Mama goat, a veteran kidder, was not milked by the previous owner, but was nursing two kids--of which I have just one.

When the goats arrived, I immediately started a twice-a-day milking schedule--that is, I would go out twice a day to milk, and get in a tussle with the doe who didn't want to be milked, and barely got a squirt! We are slowly achieving nicer milking manners. She's a doll otherwise, and has never been aggressive toward me, just mighty squirmy.

When she arrived, the right side of the doe's udder was so huge with her absent buckling's milk that I thought she would burst! (The doeling always drinks from the left side.) Now her udder is much reduced in size; from the side view I can't see it, only her teats. I am getting at best only a few tablespoons of milk, per milking.

Would the delay in calming her down for milking be at the root of the low production? Or is it not enough grain? I have never seen it written, what weight or volume of Goat Text to feed a Nigerian Dwarf doe in milk. I was told, equal volume of grain to the milk you are getting, but I had no idea how much milk the doeling drank, how much mom was holding back, and can only guess at how much was spilled, to calculate the grain! Can someone please give me a numerical guideline? Is it too late to get more milk out of her, or should I just keep up the demand, and hope the supply increases?

Thank you for any pointers!
 

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She probably did dry up. I feed my Nigerians around 3 measuring cups of feed per milking. I will feed a little less if they are in good condition and don't seem to need it.

How much have you been feeding her? You can try getting more milk. Milk her 3 or 4 times per day. Make sure you are feeding alfalfa. Increase (slowly) grain. It may or may not work.
 

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I can't help you with the grain but for the udder it sounds like she is naturally drying off. When the body feels the fullness of the udder it tells her to stop making so much milk and the longer its full the less milk she will produce. Since the previous owner did not milk her and just let her kids drink she probably has a habit of drying up quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your replies! Not what I wanted to hear, but sometimes ya gotta hear it....

They have all the alfalfa hay they care to eat, and I'm currently giving about 2 cups goat chow (flattened grain and pellet mix, molasses coated) per milking. I sneak in a third, mid-day milking on the days when I'm at home during the day. I grant that I'm a newbie, but both goats appear to me to be in good condition--neither fat nor lean, active, bright eyes and shiny coat, white teeth, and from someone who does a lot of showing...not that the latter would prove anything. I will continue to try increasing the milk yield. Even if it doesn't work, at least we'll be building good milk stand manners. And the little girl likes to go up on the milk stand beside mama, and nibble grain too, so I make sure to pretend-milk her so she takes it in stride when the time comes. Should I worry about giving mama too much grain at 2 cups per milking attempt, if production doesn't increase?
 

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Unless she gets fat I wouldn't worry about it. Milking two or three times a day isn't going to hurt anything and may just bring her production up a little bit. Play milking the doeling is a good idea too just make sure you don't accidentally pull the keratin plugs out of her teats.
 

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Katrina
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The doe I bough in milk had her kids back in February. I am milking her once per day and getting 2 cups. She weighs 65# and I'm feeding her 3 cups Poulin sweet grain and 2/3 cup alfalfa pellets (on the stand)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, so half as much again, to twice as much, grain/pellet blend as milk gotten, Sassykat suggests. Interestingly, I got 3/4 cup yesterday morning, a vast improvement, but not today. Maybe I got there before the kid did. I remain hopeful. Fortunately I don't "need" the milk at this point, but am enjoying learning the ropes! Thank you, all. I'll report back if successful in obtaining a meaningful increase in yield.
 

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Katrina
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I feed her twice a day, but only milk in the morning. At night she seems to only eat about 2 cups plus 2/3 cup alfalfa. So about a cup less for dinner
 
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