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A question for all those of you that are concidered experienced caprine farmers/or handlers:
Do you think there is anything wrong with extending the lactation of a milker? This past May 2013 was my first time, as well as my doe's, giving birth and freshening. I started milking once a day a month after my doe had her first kid. I still am milking once a day for my family's consumption, but waiting to wean kid to milk twice a day. My plan was to breed this particular doe again this coming December..2013, as well as my other Alpine. But I have been thinking about just breeding only my other Alpine doe and just milking through another season with my milker now; without rebreeding her. ( Plans then would to breed her again at the end of 2014, in December.) Is this O.k.? Is this concidered good practice? If not, then what would be the reason for farmers to extend lactation/milking through?
Your expertise advice in this matter is appreciated! Thanks!
 

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the natural lactation period is 10 months...some Does can go longer...depending on genetics, feeding program and health of the doe...if you can skip a breeding season and keep her in good condition and in milk then I say go for it...there are those who can go quite a long while in full milk production and others who will taper off naturally..keep in mind that even with good health and condition she could still begin to dry on her own...
 

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I had a doe that I did that with. You do have to make sure your feeding program keeps them in good condition and you want to make sure they have plenty of alfalfa to help keep that lactation up.

I have 2 young does now that I plan to do that with. I only want to have one giving birth per year so will breed them every other year and keep them in milk until then. Genetics does play a part so time will tell if you can do it or not.
 

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I have 2 young does now that I plan to do that with. I only want to have one giving birth per year so will breed them every other year and keep them in milk until then. Genetics does play a part so time will tell if you can do it or not.
That is my plan when my girls are old/big enough.
I look forward to hearing how it goes for you.
 

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I kept two doelings this year so I can breed 4 and keep two in milk. The next year will be a different set of them. I am hoping I won't lose my customers like I have in the past when all my girls went dry at the same time. We will see how it goes for me.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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If you have a doe willing to keep milking then you can keep her IN milk for years. As mentioned you just need to make sure she stays in excellent health. We sold 2 very heavy production does to a large family that most of the members are lactose intolerant. That was over 3 years ago and they are still milking to this day. Certain times of they year they need to feed a much higher quality alfalfa to offset any slow downs in production but its a pretty common thing. Most milk records are done on a 305 day test cycle. Leaving just enough time to dry the doe off, breed her and let her put the extra into the baby instead of the milk.
 

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~Crazy Goat Lady~
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I know a breeder that dose that :) he even had one at a show this year and she looked great for being milked through (body condition and her udder) :)
Like stated above it also depends on genetics.. My two does in milk have seemed to think they are drying themselves off early this year :roll:
 

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You can do it, but after 10 months their production drops. I have a doe that milks almost 3 gallons a day when fresh, 5 years later, I decided to milk her again. She milks a quart a day. Genetically, she is bred for that kind of lactation. Every doe is different.
 

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Goat Girl
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There's no problem with that. It is much easier on the body to keep lactating than it is to be pregnant and kid again and again. Your girl will most likely drop some this fall (due to heat cycles and nature wanting her body to prepare for being bred again) but if you keep on milking her she should pick up some in the spring. I know someone who had a doe that was milked through for 5 years (never could get her to breed again) she was still giving a gallon a day, 5 years later. That doe was also in the Top Ten in 2003.
 
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