lactation period : tell us about your goats

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by goatskeeper, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. goatskeeper

    goatskeeper New Member

    May 14, 2010
    i always find in web sites that goats produce milk for 305 days per year, it is 10 months latation then the goat is dried off preparing for the next lactation (2 months rest).
    but, could all goats produce milk for ten months?
    please tell me about your goats lactation period, do you milk 10 months or less ?

    thank you.
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Mine haven't gone that far because I choose to let them have a break during the entire pregnancy. I have Nigerian Dwarfs and Nigerian/Pygmy crosses...from the time they freshen til the time I dry them off it is about 7 months. I did milk my oldest nigi/pygmy doe for 26 months, dried her off due to having all the milk from the 3 girls that freshened this past Spring, she had been retired from breeding after her last kids in February 08.

  3. Realfoodmama

    Realfoodmama New Member

    Apr 12, 2010
    Santa Fe, NM
    I alternate breed my girls because I only need milk from one, so I milk each goat for longer than most people because they aren't pregnant every year.

    Last year I milked my Nubian for 12 months. I am not sure that my Saanen will go that long as this is her first year in milk and my first year with her, but I have no plans to breed her in the fall so I will simply milk her until she and I are both fed up with it.

    As an aside, I have a friend who has had her goats in milk for nearly two years. She also has not bred them in that time so neither have had a pregnancy in two years.
  4. elchivito

    elchivito Active Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    According to "Goat Medicine", the definitive veterinarian's book on goats, "normal" is 5 mos. pregnancy, 5 months lactation, and 2 months dry/pre-breeding period.
    For us, it depends entirely upon the animal. I have two that are finishing weaning now who will be bred in the fall. I'm going to milk them till September and then dry them off for Nov. breeding. I have two others who I'm not going to breed this fall and I plan to milk them thru the winter or as long as their milk quality remains good. When I can no longer get a good curd set making cheese, they'll be dried off. Some does will produce quality milk nearly forever and others, no matter what they're fed or supplemented with, will begin to decrease butterfat and or protein after 6 months or so.
    I've milked a goat nearly 3 years before drying her off, to no ill effects.
  5. goatskeeper

    goatskeeper New Member

    May 14, 2010
    26 months and 24 months, and 12 months, that surprised me, i didnt know that goat will produce milk for this long period.

    but what about milk quantity, how much do you get from the goat when miking for long periods like 24/26 months? is it dependant only on food? i mean as you feed good you get more milk however the period is.
  6. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Since "normal" lactation for Dairy breeds is 10 months, and they reach peak at 6-8 weeks post delivery, they do start a slow decrease in quantity... and because most of the nigerians will normally peak at 2 quarts or just under, they will go to giving cups regardless of feed cross doe started at giving 5 cups for 5 months, then 4 for 9 months, and gradually decreased over the next 10 months til she was giving under 1 1/2 cups a day..I figured she did well enough to go into full retirement, and her milk quality as far as taste and cheesemaking ability didn't decrease.
  7. goatskeeper

    goatskeeper New Member

    May 14, 2010

    do you mean at time=26 months==>the doe gives you 1 1/2 cups that is about 0.4 liters per day, right?
  8. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Yes, at the time I dried her off she was giving 1 and a half cups a day at 26 months fresh, she had slowed to the point that it seemed "wrong" for me to keep taking from her, she was my first mini doe and is a pet first so I felt it was time to dry her off.

    When she first freshened, I started milking her 2x a day at 8 weeks that time she gave 5 cups.
  9. fibromom

    fibromom New Member

    Mar 30, 2013
    The weather here dictates when I stop milking. Last year, "our" first year of having babies (goats) and milking (?Alpine/Saanen, 1st time mommy [twins] and gave us a 1 1/2 quarts a day with babies still nursing!) we stopped around the end of October (I'm disabled so my body can't tolerate much temp change.) We had a small freezer full of milk which, to this day, IS SAVING LIVES! This winter, we used it for a baby llama (who, thank God did get colostrum before his mom died of a prolapsed uterus :-() The other day, we had friends come get more frozen milk for a newbie on their land (JUST starting to hobby farm.)
    We are blessed.
  10. lottsagoats1

    lottsagoats1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Middle Maine
    I believe it depends on the doe, and the milker. Mine usually are milked for 10 months and then dried up for 2 months prior to kidding.

    Some places only let them have a dry period of 1 month.

    I have had does that I milked for 24 months on 1 kidding.

    I have also given my herd a long break during the winter because I didn't have the time to milk daily during the winter months. I dried them off in November after they had been confirmed bred and due in March.

    Those are dairy does though. I did have Boers and Boer/dairy crosses that I milked. My Boers and the crosses would milk for 10 months but not fully as productive as the full dairy girls.