Lowering milk production on purpose

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by BeeLady, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. BeeLady

    BeeLady New Member

    My two Nigis are now producing over a quart of milk per day each, around 5 cups each giving me over 1/2 gallon of milk a day. This is way more milk than I need or want. I've got a fridge full of yogurt, milk in the freezer, Liz's delicious pudding and an ice cream maker on order.

    I have begun limiting my milking of them to 20 oz a milking or 40 oz per day each (32 oz in a quart). Since they are first fresheners, will this affect their production in later years, i.e., udder development? I don't really want to limit their later capacity, but on the other hand I don't know if there will ever be a time that I need more than 1/2 gallon of milk a day. (Unless I become a cheese maker! Where's the recipe section?)

    I plan on milking them the 305 days recommended for full udder development and quite understand they will not be giving this much milk for most of that time. They've currently been lactating almost 3 months.

    Am I making a mistake limiting their production? I could be getting almost another pint out of each per day if I pushed it.
  2. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    From personal experience, if in later lactations you want them to milk for a certain length of time, then it is better that you teach them now how long you want them to milk rather than later. With FF's, it is usually best to milk them for a full 305 day lactation so that later on when they milk, they will know that they need to milk at least as long as that before they start drying off.

    A few years ago I had a few FF's that had small teats, and I didn't need the milk so I dried them off early. Last year was their next lactation and around the 6-7 month mark, they decreased their production and started drying themselves off, even though I was milking them twice a day.

  3. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I agree with Sarah, most will go with 2 a day milkings for 6-7 months, as FF you would want to milk for the longer time, but since they are 3 months fresh.....well they are still at peak production, they will cut back on their own, but if you want to help them along, and only take what you need, go with a 1 x a day milking. But once you do that, when they start to dry off on their own, you will likely get less than a quart a day from both.

    Here is what I do and I get PLENTY milk.
    I have between 2 and 3 does freshen around the same time. I start milking in the am when the kidsare 2-3 weeks old and are ok being separated from moms at nite.

    Milk 2 x a day at 12 hour intervals when the kids are 7-8 weeks old and continue with that til October when I want to breed them again. My girls freshened mid March, I started milking 1 doe the first of April, the other just had enough to feed her twins so I let her go for 4 weeks, then started 1x a day. It was mid May when I started 2x a day and they are slowly cutting back their production already, I was getting a quart and a half from my nigi doe, she is now giving 4 1/2 cups a day, the other cross doe is at 2 cups a day, I won't start to dry off until the end of September for October breedings, but they seem to know and will really slow down on production then. My nigi doe never wants to dry off totally til she's a month past breeding, she'll still give 3 cups a day if I would let her.