Newbie Milking Minis!

Discussion in 'Mini Mania' started by BelievingHSMom, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. BelievingHSMom

    BelievingHSMom Guest

    1
    Nov 1, 2009
    Hello, I am new to this and I have many questions so please be patient with me over the next little while. I have read my dairy goat book cover to cover and I still have many unanswered questions.

    I inherited a herd of Nigerian Dwarf Goats from my Aunt who bread them. There were two buck kids, 5 females, and two more pregnant does who have kidded since and the births were uneventful. I have been trying to milk them since they kidded and I want to know:

    Is it normal for each of them to produce 14-20 oz per day? When I got the goats she told me that her friends were getting a quart or more a day. This is a significant difference! She thinks it's because they are first fresheners. I feel a bit put off because although I realized they would not produce as much as full sized goats I was hoping to get more then and coffee cup full! Do you really think they will produce more the next time?

    Is there anything I can do to increase production? I am milking until the teat is visibly flat and then bumping/massaging to get the last little bit. These little boogers eat a ton and then still want more. There is no way I can afford to keep this up unless I can sell a little milk.

    My book says that I can continue milking after I breed them and stop two months before delivery. It also says many goats dry up during Estrus. One of my goats does seem to be going into heat and has produced less and less. I'm afraid this is what is happening. If I breed her will she stop producing altogether? Might she produce more if she is bread?

    Should I dry them both off and breed again? Should I breed them and then dry them off 2 month before delivery? Should I wait till spring? According to the book I can breed them in December/Jan. One of them shows interest in the boys. The one with the younger baby/kid doesn't really seem interested.

    I feed goat feed.. not sure what brand at the moment. The store in town only has one choice in feed specifically for goats. The bag says dry does should get 1lb a day. I give the milkers 2lb and they would eat more if I let them. They have recently been switched from alfalfa hay everyday to alfalfa hay every other day and on the alternate days they go to browse in the pen which is mostly vines and privet. They eat a bunch on those days. Their bellys pooch out when I bring them back in. There has been only a slight decrease in production in one of the goats since the switch. She went from producing 16-20 oz a day to 14-19 oz a day. There has been no change in the other.

    I milk twice a day 7:30am and 7:30pm. I pulled the kids before I started milking. They drink moms milk from the bottle. One of the kids is 11 weeks and the other is 6 weeks. They were both single births.

    Please help me, I didn't really know what I was getting into!

    Elizabeth
    Rome GA
    Nigerian Dwarf Herd of 11
    http://www.specialchicken.com
     
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    welcome to TGS :wave:

    Yes First Freshoners dont usually give as much since its their first year. 6 ounces off per milking isnt to uncommon.

    Also peak production is 6-8 weeks after kidding.

    Do they have access to salt or loose minerals? Goats need salt to produce milk.

    How much grain are you feeding them? a doe should get 1lb of grain for every 2-3 lbs of milk depending on forage quality.

    Yes goats will eat to much grain if they are allowed but you are good to limit them.

    Depending on your state the sale of raw milk maybe prohibited or only allowed as "animal grade" - you should look into your state's law before advertising or you could end up in a lot of trouble. Its unfair but its the way it is :(


    as to breeding -- I wouldnt breed them back right away as this can shorten their lifespan over time. Depending on your climate breed so that they arent kidding at the hottest time of year as this can cause complications and it is in the very least uncomfortable for the doe. I wait til the doe has weaned her kids and is in good shape to be bred and carry kids again.
     

  3. silvergramma

    silvergramma New Member

    235
    Nov 9, 2009
    congrats on your inheritance,, sounds like another teaching lesson from up above ..i know all my animals the good lord has used to them to develop me as he sees fit..i have two does that are first timers and I may not milk them after reading the response given you .. besides with the onset of winter I think the babies need all they can get to get through a North Dakota winter up here in the hills..
    I didnt take these goats to make money,, they were gifts from a neighbor and the good lord above and more were added.. then i became addicted and bought my first doe and am picking up a second one this week and again next pay check..
    I dont plan on really selling the milk for profit but if its needed by someone I will.
    try your hand at goats milk soap with the little that you are getting from them,, lots of websites for that..books too..
    good luck and hang in there..
    you have not because you ask not.. if you need more for them,, ask for it,, its there for you .. dont panic