"Goaty" milk - any experienced milkers have ideas?

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by Cinder, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Cinder

    Cinder New Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    I've been milking goats for almost two years so I do have experience with the 'normal' issues. This is new for me.. my Alpine doe's milk is off flavor this year. It is the typical goaty flavor but not real strong... just enough that it is very noticeable and we'd rather not drink it. I'm open to any suggestions from anyone who's had this ... here's a little more background on her if it helps...

    Her first year she freshened her milk was wonderful!! I milked her for just over a year and then dried her off about 2 1/2 months before she was due to freshen again.

    She didn't freshen... she ended up not being pregnant that second year.

    Last fall I had the vet look her over, she looked great and there was nothing apparent as to why she didn't get pregnant the year before. The vet put her on two doses of Lutilyse. She freshened with twins in February this spring; a doeling and buckling. The buckling was not quite 'right' and died two days later - the vet had no idea what was wrong (she is a very experienced goat vet by the way). The doeling is doing fantastic.

    I started milking this doe about three weeks after freshening. I separate her kids at night, so I get her morning milk and they get her all day and I don't milk in the evening. Once her doeling was weaned.. at about 11 weeks of age, I started milking morning and night (like normal). Her milk has not tasted right at all.

    I've given her straight alfalfa hay, klassy goat mix with BOSS. She's not on pasture so all her feed goes through me. She has 24/7 access to loose goat minerals and baking soda.

    Any ideas?
  2. Realfoodmama

    Realfoodmama New Member

    Apr 12, 2010
    Santa Fe, NM
    Here are my two cents:

    a) Have you done a test for mastitis? Sub-clinical mastitis would result in a high bacteria count which could affect flavor

    b) Does her milk have a high fat content? I have two breeds - Nubian and Sable Saanen. My Nubian has a very high fat content and I have noticed her milk gets "goaty" much quicker than my other girls - it doesn't taste off the day it was milked, but after about 36 hours it starts to and I have always blamed the fat content.

    Sadly those are my only ideas. :?

  3. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Hmmm... I haven't had my girls milk tested but I have been told as well as read that nigies and pygmies have a high butterfat, I've never noticed a "goaty" flavor in their milk....unless it's over a week old.

    Sounds like she's getting all the right things to eat, testing her for mastitis would rule it out.
    To me and my tastebuds, the Alpine milk I've had has been strong in flavor...and this was from 2 different does, maybe it's due to her getting older?? IDK.. Just a thought.
  4. Cinder

    Cinder New Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    She does not have high fat content in her milk. I also milk Nubians and the Alpine milk is much different (to me).. more like 2% milk than whole milk (Nubian).

    She hasn't been tested for mastitis for a while and has always been negative in the past but that's a good idea. She shows no signs of it but you never know.