Milk Stars

Discussion in 'Mini Mania' started by CaramelKittey, Aug 28, 2020.

  1. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Well-Known Member

    Hi all!
    My knowledge of milk stars is very small, so I figured TGS would be a great place to learn about them! Any and all information about milk stars would be great if anyone is willing to share! Thank you!
    Another question, I just totaled up our doe Squeaks' production for the year. We aren't quite done yet, but will be drying her up in December. She produced a total of 196.1406lbs this year. She is three years old, and kidded two bucklings on February 16th, 2020. That was her second freshening. Do you think she is capable of earning a milk star, or is it not even worth trying?
    Thank you so much in advance for any help given!
    AlabamaGirl and Kass like this.
  2. Gooseberry Creek

    Gooseberry Creek Member

    Jun 3, 2020
    Was she able to get her milk star? I will be following your thread. I have been watching You Tube videos on people working on getting their doe's milk stars.
    I am also going to try and work on milk stars next year. One of my ND's doeling's dam has 6*M so when this girl kids/goes into milk sometime next year, I feel like I owe it to her to help her get her star lol.
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  3. Calistar

    Calistar Well-Known Member

    I'm on test for the first time this year with my herd of nigerians. I originally had 7 does on test, now down to 6. So I am by no means an expert but I have been doing lots of research lately and have hands-on experience lol. I have 2 does who should earn stars in all 3 categories, 2 who should earn them in 2 categories, 1 who is a maybe, and 2 not even close. I'm confused by your number though. You're saying she milked 196 lbs? What breed is she?

    Edit: I see that this was posted in the mini section so I will assume she's a nigerian. For a 3 year old, the volume requirement is 630-658 lbs depending on exactly how old she was when she freshened. The minimum requirement for volume starts at 600 lbs for does 2 years or younger and goes up to 690 for 5+.
    Butterfat and protein stars are easier to achieve but if production isn't good it won't be enough to get them to those numbers.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
  4. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much! I didn't do milk testing this year. Maybe next year I'll try it if I can get my my last doe bred. I only have two NDs, but I would really like to do it!
    What exactly is the procedure? Do you have to partner up with somebody else while doing milk test? Do the ADGA milk testers come out weekly, biweekly, or monthly?
    Thank you in advance!
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  5. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Well-Known Member

    Is there any way to tell how many milk stars a goat has on the ADGA genetics page? I stink at navigating it. ;)
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  6. Calistar

    Calistar Well-Known Member

    Yes and no. There are several different options for milk test. I am owner/sampler, so I do my own testing. All the other plans do require you to have a certified tester come out, except for group testing. With group testing you need 3 or more herds and you take turns testing. Even as an owner/sampler (o/s) I do still need someone to come out at some point to do a verification test. So there is one other person involved at some point, but otherwise it's very minimal. ADGA's involvement in the whole milk testing thing is very limited. Testers are not certified througH ADGA but through a DHIA (dairy herd improvement association.) Basically all ADGA does is file your verification test and then at the very end of your goats' lactations, awards stars or not.

    Testing frequency is up to you. Tests have to be more than 16 days apart, but if they're more than 45 days apart you have to provide an excuse. Most people do monthly. If you're on AR (advanced registry) you have to have a minimum of 8 tests and 280 (I think) days in milk. If you're doing ST (star) only, you can kind of do whatever. Testing is the same but AR has a few more rules. It's kind of like the difference between taking a class pass/fail vs taking it for a grade lol. I'm on ST by default this year because one of the rules for AR is that your first test has to be within 90 days of your doe freshening, which mine was not because of hangups with my DHIA.

    There isn't much milk star data on ADGA genetics aside from just showing if they have a star or not, but there is a link along the left side menu for CDCB Data. If you click that link it takes you to a site with all the doe's milking records. You do have to make an account to use it but it's free. It won't tell you what categories the doe earned her star in or when, but if you look at her data for each lactation and compare it to the requirements in the ADGA guidebook you can figure it out.

    I'm (ironically) out milking goats and then I have to run to work, but I'll see if I can get you an example from my goats' pages later.
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  7. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Well-Known Member

    Thank you so so so much! Probably a dumb question, but what does CDCB stand for?
    Thank you!
  8. Calistar

    Calistar Well-Known Member

    Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding. Hey, everything regarding milk test is centered around cattle lol
  9. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Well-Known Member

    Yes it is! Thank you! :)
    Iluvlilly! likes this.
  10. Calistar

    Calistar Well-Known Member

    Ok well this is not going to be exciting to look at, but here goes! First is the ADGA milk star requirements from the guidebook for reference in case you don't have them handy:


    Next is a screenshot from one of my doe's pages on the CDCB website. This doe has her star but she earned it while on test with a previous owner. She is 4 years old and has freshened 4 times. I just took a screenshot of the information from her first 2 freshenings.


    It looks like it doesn't say how old exactly she was at the time of freshening but that won't affect a whole lot. I can figure it out but I won't bother. For her first freshening she was less than 2 years old. As I highlighted in yellow, you can see that for her first lactation, she was in milk for 242 days. She produced 305 lbs of milk, 23 lbs fat, and 16 lbs protein. These are not great numbers, but minimum for a star for her age would have been 600 lbs milk, 21 lbs fat, and 18 lbs protein. So she would be eligible for a star in butterfat only.

    Second lactation is highlighted in blue and she did much better. She was in milk for 267 days, produced 690 lbs of milk, 45 lbs fat and 32 protein. For simplicity's sake, we'll assume that she was exactly 3 years old when she freshened. In that case her star requirements would be 630 milk, 22.05 fat, and 18.90 protein. So that means on her second lactation she would have earned her star in all 3 categories.

    Lastly, I'm including a photo of one of my doe pages. This is a different doe, one I currently have on test.


    The doe sheets are much more helpful and easy to read than the CDCB website, but of course only the owner had access to those. Your DRPC (data records processing center) sends them to you after each test. In the middle of the page you can see that Flower was 1 year 10 months at the time of kidding. So I'd be able to look up exactly the numbers I'd need for her stars. (Except under 2 years is all the same anyway so for her it doesn't matter.) You can see that she's had 4 tests so far, and the dates and results from each test are listed. You can also see her current overall totals at the bottom of the columns, as well as her lifetime totals at the very very bottom right of the page. Since this is her first lactation, her current totals ARE her lifetime totals. She is a first freshener so her requirements are 600 volume, 21 butterfat, 18 protein. She is rocking it with 708 volume, 42 fat, and 31 protein so far at 237 days in milk. So she will get her stars in all categories.

    I hope this answers some of your questions and doesn't confuse you further lol!
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  11. Calistar

    Calistar Well-Known Member

    I referenced this website heavily when I was going through the signup process and it helped a lot! The author does a great job explaining all the steps. The only thing I'd note is that she recommends DHIA West because she's in California. I have no idea where you are, but I definitely do NOT recommend DHIA West! That's who I used and they're terrible.
    CaramelKittey likes this.
  12. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Well-Known Member

    @Calistar thank you so so so so so much for the great information and the charts! They were all SUPER helpful! The first chart is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Your does sound like they are incredible! I’ll average up my does totals this year and see if they might’ve made it in milk production. :)

    So now my questions are..
    Can a doe earn a star in protein? I’ve heard of them getting a star in butterfat and volume, but I didn’t know about protein.

    We are in NJ, so would we use DHIA East? Does that exist? Lol
    I’ll be sure to avoid DHIA west, thank you!

    So do I just need to keep an accurate record of my doe’s milk production (in pounds) throughout the year, and have the milk tester come monthly to test the protein/butterfat? We always keep records of their milk production so that won’t be a problem. :)
  13. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Well-Known Member doe Gracie is 2 years and 7 months old right now. When she started her lactation this year, she was 2 years and 3 months old, so she would’ve need to produce 608lbs of milk for a volume milk star, right? :) How long should their lactations be while on milk test? 10 months? Thank you so much for all your help!
  14. Calistar

    Calistar Well-Known Member

    Yes, a doe can earn a star in protein. For my herd, butterfat seems to be the easiest to earn, then protein, then volume. A doe will earn her *M from a star in any category. For a doe to be able to produce a *B buck though, she needs to earn her star in both milk volume and butterfat.

    I don't believe there is a DHIA East, but there will be DHIAs closer to your area. The first step to starting milk testing is to contact ADGA. They will mail you an information packet. One of the pages included in the packet is a list of DHIAs nationwide, so that will give you your options. You don't necessarily have to pick the closest one to you.

    You don't even need to keep an ongoing daily record, unless you want to for your own information. They don't add up daily milkings or anything like that. They get all their data from the information recorded on test day. They take the weights from those 8 (or so) days and calculate everything from there.

    Yes, 608 lbs is correct. Lactations can be as long or short as you want but they only use data from the first 305 days, and you need to have enough tests to get your DCR (data collection rating) high enough. So, I am on o/s so my DCR is 75. Basically, the DCR is the level of accuracy/trustworthiness your data has. It increases as you get more tests and when you get your verification test. ADGA told me that I'd need 6-8 tests to get my DCR to 75. Usually you can view it online at that CDCB website, but since my does didn't have their first test until they were over 90 days fresh, the CDCB doesn't calculate it and ADGA has to do it manually at the end of the lactation. So, I could do one test a month and be able to dry my does off after 6-8 months. Or if I was on a time crunch I could do my tests 16 days apart and get it done in closer to 4 months. For milk stars, the lactation ends at 305 days whether you're still milking or not. So if your doe doesn't quite make enough milk for her star by day 305 but you keep her on test and she makes the requirement at, say, day 335 before you dry her off- too bad. She wouldn't qualify since it took her over 305 days.
    CaramelKittey likes this.
  15. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Well-Known Member

    Thank you so so much!

    I totaled up one of my does’s milk production volume just out of curiosity, and she had about 129lbs in about 100 days. We are drying her off now though unfortunately, as things got timed wrong, because she miscarried. Do you think she could’ve gotten a milk star? She isn’t dry yet but will be in a month.

    Thank you so much for all your help!
  16. Calistar

    Calistar Well-Known Member

    That's tough, since I only have my own does' records to compare to, and only 7 does at that. Most of my does were 130-150 days fresh when they had their first tests. Looking at the doe sheets from my first test this year, my closest doe to yours would be one I bought from another herd who was only 72 days fresh when she first tested. At 72 days in milk, she had done 112 lbs. So close-ish to your doe. This one unfortunately will not earn her star in any category. My second-closest to yours (as far as days in milk and volume) is one who had done 205 lbs by 132 days fresh. She should earn her star in butterfat and MAYBE protein, but not volume. Don't let that discourage you though! You never know what your doe's butterfat percentage is until you start testing, and that's the easiest star. Plus with more freshenings volume should increase.
    CaramelKittey likes this.
  17. Calistar

    Calistar Well-Known Member

    I don't know if this will help you or not but here is the average pounds of milk each of my does has milked on test day so far and their current PROJECTED totals they'll reach by the end of their lactation. The projected totals change slightly with each test as the data becomes more complete and gets tweaked, and are just estimates. But I know from experience that when you're just starting, even vague ideas help lol! If you can average totals from each of your does maybe you can get an idea by comparing them to mine.

    All numbers refer to lbs of milk.

    Journey (1-09, first freshener)
    Daily average: 1.18
    Total predicted: 359

    Stala (5-00, 5th freshener)
    Daily average: 2.20
    Total predicted: 718

    Trinket (3-05, 3rd freshener)
    Daily average: 2.38
    Total predicted: 768

    Flower (1-10, first freshener)
    Daily average: 2.68
    Total predicted: 850

    Snowball (1-10, first freshener)
    Daily average: 1.85
    Total predicted: 576

    Reckless (2-11, 3rd freshener)
    Daily average: 0.20
    Total predicted: 101
    (We just try not to talk about this one :p )

    Virginia (3-01, 2nd freshener)
    Daily average: 1.35
    Total predicted: 343
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
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  18. FoxRidge

    FoxRidge Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2016
    I really encourage you to do DHIR! It can sound or look intimidating but it is really quite simple once you get going! This is my first year doing it. I wanted to take the easiest route the first time around and I am having the DHIA gal come out every 16 days or longer and test. It has been an adventure for both of us because she is new to testing for Goats. Me being new I didn't really keep track of the CDCB site at first, I found out about it halfway through and made an account and noticed my herd didn't exist on the database. I had to contact a few folks and they have slowly been getting all my tests to filter in properly, some still haven't but I'm still excited. 3 of my 4 does have earned their stars so I am really excited to see our final number close to the 305 day mark. We will be finished in late December. Even with the mix up its been pretty awesome! Here are some of my pages :) and my goofy looking CDCB site pages.

    Attached Files:

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  19. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much! Your does sound awesome!
    My doe was 1 day fresh when I starting recording data. Lol

    Do you mind adding your doe’s ages? Thank you!
  20. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much! Those charts were very helpful. :)

    Probably a dumb question, but what does DIM stand for?
    Also, does it say on there what their projected totals are? I couldn’t find it.

    Thank you so much!
    FoxRidge likes this.