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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to goats and have been milking our 1 1/2 year old Alpine FF for almost 3 months. She kidded in late March so she's been in milk for 7 months or so. I milk once a day and measure every time. This fall her output started dropping and I was able to tie it to her heat cycle. The last time it dropped she was in standing heat and was bred (10/17). I assumed she would pick back up again afterward but she's still a bit low, and today dropped way down again. Is it because she's bred and (hopefully) pregnant? Is it because the weather's changed and it's definitely fall? Nothing else has changed here (diet, etc.) and she looks/acts great. I had intended to milk her up to the last 2 months of pregnancy but I'm really hoping she'll pick back up again. I wish I could find a sample production schedule of a "typical" dairy doe so I can really understand the lactation cycle over the course of a year taking into account kidding, heats, pregnancy, the seasons, etc. Those lactation curves online are too general for me to really understand. Any and all advice would be appreciated. If her production doesn't pick back up over the winter it feels like it will hardly be worth the effort to milk!
 

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I wish there was a protocal the goats follow but everything effect milk production lol...Genetics, Stress, Food, illness, heat, pregnancy, whether or not she dam raised and how long and worm load, have a fecal done to rule it out. Check for anemia.
There is not one guide to meet how every Goat will act. General guide is 10 months lacation period, but some go longer,others not that long...Its common to decrease while in heat, some when bred...
You can try increasing her food..bringing her up to the table twice a day, or even 3 times to stimulate her body in thinking she needs more production... Once production drops to 2 cups in the PM feeding, That Doe is dropped to AM milkings only...That also tell the body that less milk is needed..some just dry up with no warning...Im sorry I knowhtis is no help, just confirming that Goats do not follow the rule book : )
 

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Make sure she is not coming into a five day heat. My doe did that earlier this month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I was worried about that, but she's not showing any signs of heat like she did when I bred her (mucus, lots of flagging, pacing, etc.). I had a fecal run recently and wormed her so I doubt it's that. Maybe she's just having an off day :whatgoat: .
 

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She may or may not come back up. Pregnancy affects production too. With cattle we see at least a 30% drop initially as the hormones change to "pregnant". Once she settles in, we see the arc in production again. I haven't ever had a girl come all the way back up where she was originally but they do come up. Goats also follow the same general idea, however depending on breed, production line, and feed, she may dry herself off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting. She comes from fairly strong production lines I think (her mom and grandma both milked through regularly) so I can only hope she comes back up. Once I have a positive pregnancy blood test I'll feel better about it for sure.
 

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merryoaks
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2 of my does who were bred in September dried themselves up yesterday. Every doe is different but some of mine usually pick back up, I hope she does the same for you.
 
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