Milk Production Question

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by sungoats, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. sungoats

    sungoats New Member

    167
    Oct 6, 2007
    Jackson NJ
    My doe gave birth 6 months ago and during the last couple of days the amount of milk she is producing has dropped alot. She is in standing heat (we are having her bred tonight). Would this be the cause?
    She gets to free range and has orchard grass free choice. She also has a mineral block and gets grain when she is milked. Is there some other diet I can give her to increase her milk?
    My "gut" is telling me that she is at the end of her lactation cycle (is that the correct term?). I've really gotten used to having sweet, delicious milk and I hate to think I'll have to go back to that other cow stuff so soon!!! :sick:
    Last year was the first time I ever bred a goat, so this is all still new to me. I've had a great time with the new baby and the fresh milk! I love doing this!!!!! :leap:
     
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    well what was she giving at peak? and how much did she drop? it is common for them to drop during the winter months because they drink less water.

    I would encourage her to drink by giving her fresh water a couple times a day (if she likes it warm then bring warm water out). Also they need salt to produce milk so make sure you have a salt block available to her.

    Mine tended to milk until 2 months before their due date - that is when I dried them off. But even at that point they weren't producing more then a quart at the most for the whole day (two milkings).
     

  3. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    What breed is she? What did she peak at? How much are you feeding her?(grain wise) How many kids did she have?
    There production will go down when they are in heat, it may take a week for it to come back up. You can milk her 3 months into her pregnancy.
     
  4. sungoats

    sungoats New Member

    167
    Oct 6, 2007
    Jackson NJ
    Thanks so much for your replies. To answer you questions:
    • She had one kid on May 9 and I was getting only about 2 qts at the most. She is now giving only about 1/2 that much.
      She is an Alpine.
      I'm giving her about 2 cups of grain at each milking, but she sometimes doesn't eat it all.
      She has water at all times and a salt block is provided.
    One of the things on my "wish list" is a scale to weigh the milk. I'm only guessing based on the size of my mason jars! I've been reading other posts and it sounds as if she never really produced that much anyway. I'm not totally unhappy about that, though. As long as I can get enough for our own use I'll continue to milk her. I've read that after their second kid they tend to produce more. Is this true (I hope!)?
     
  5. fcnubian

    fcnubian New Member

    764
    Oct 22, 2007
    Yes they do produce more after their first kidding. My does udder improved in size between last kidding and this kidding. Her previous owners are the ones that noticed it. I get so use to seeing it I don't see the changes like they do. Lol
     
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    actually a doe doesn't get to her peak till she is at 4 years old. (and assuming that she was bred from her first year that would make it her 3 or 4th freshioning).

    And her amount that she produces will depend on the size of the doe and her lines behind her.
     
  7. fcnubian

    fcnubian New Member

    764
    Oct 22, 2007
    I never said she hit her peak... I was just saying that the milk production does increase. :wink: :D


    Atleast it always has with my does. (Pygmys included) :wink:
     
  8. sungoats

    sungoats New Member

    167
    Oct 6, 2007
    Jackson NJ
    Thanks for the info! I'm so glad I can look forward to more milk in the next few years! She is on the smallish side for an Alpine, but within the breed standard. She is not registered so I don't know anything about her lines. I'm waiting to receive my membership packet from the ADGA, then I will register her as NOA. I'll probably know soon if the reason her production went down was because she was in heat (We bred her last night - only 149 more days to go! :leap: ).
     
  9. K-Ro

    K-Ro New Member

    371
    Oct 13, 2007
    Texas
    Her milk supply will probably go back up in a couple days. It usually drops during their cycle but will pick back up afterwards.
     
  10. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    One thing you do to have milk year round is have two does. Stagger their breeding dates a little byt about three months or soe. A good dairy doe should be able to milk ten months of the year. Two month of off time to recoup for nee kids.
    And like others have said, things like age feed how many kids etc are all contributing factors to how much milk your doe will give you. You can have a four year old that happens to have a single kid that year and more then likely you won't get as much milk. Her body is telling he there is only one kid there to feed. You can encourage more milk production by milking her more times a day.


    beth
     
  11. sungoats

    sungoats New Member

    167
    Oct 6, 2007
    Jackson NJ
    Thanks for all the great info! I would love to stagger breedings, but I'm involved in a sport that takes me away from home on weekends in the winter.
    My plan is to breed her for a March/April kidding, then dry her off during the first part of January. That way, she will have about 2 1/2 months to recuperate. I'm assuming that when I stop milking her I should do it "cold turkey". Is there harm in not milking her for a weekend, then starting again? I probably wouldn't do that anyway. I know she needs some time off. Just curious...
     
  12. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    To dry them off, you decrease their grain and start milking them once a day for a while, not milking them out all the way. When you see production drop, switch to milking every other day and so on and eventually she will just dry up on her own.
     
  13. alpinemom

    alpinemom New Member

    36
    Oct 28, 2007
    Waldoboro, ME
    I switch my Alpines over to once a day for the last two months of their lactation usually by this time they will be producing 4 lbs a day and gradually decrease. When they have reached 305 days I quit cold turkey. it is the hormones that produce milk not the amount of grain so each time you take away milk the brain says replace it. most of the time the udder will go down after 5 days. Watch for any inflamation and redness, but this seldom occurs if the doe has a healthy udder.
     
  14. fritzie

    fritzie New Member

    751
    Oct 6, 2007
    TENN
    i would not recomnend stoping for a week & then starting up again. i have just dried my does off. i start with once a day for about three weeks then every other day for about a week then i strip them out & dry treat them with tomorrow & don't milk again unless one of them's bag is getting hard or hot. then i will just milk off a little to give them some relief. they will usually start to reabsorb in about 3 to 4 days. also while i am drying them off i cut there grain in half & that helps to.
     
  15. sungoats

    sungoats New Member

    167
    Oct 6, 2007
    Jackson NJ
    Fritzie... This is an old post, but I'm currently drying my doe up so I looked it up again for reference. I don't quite understand what you do after milking once a day for 3 weeks and every other day for a week.