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Legacy Lane
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have come across two goaties.. One looks to be an Apline the other is unknown so far..
I have a few questions..

How is Apline's milk? How fatty is it ? ect..

When do you start to milk them after they have babies ?

How much milk will she produce/ how many times a day does she need to be milked ?

Does any one have plans for a milking stand ?

I know some of these questions depend on the goat, but guestiamtes work :) anything else I need to know :)
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Plans can be found on the internet, ill see if I cant get some links posted here.

Lots of good questions but no solid answers for em, so will just give the typical.
Alpine milk for the most part is great. But so is Saanen and Lamancha milk as well. Nubian milk is also good and typically is higher in butter fat.
Alpine milk is pretty much the bases for judging other milk. Saanen milk is usually lower in butter fat then an Alpine while a Lamancha is usually a little higher. A lot of commercial dairies are really liking the Lamancha because it has the higher volume of the other short ear breeds like the Alpine but a higher butter fat. Nubians typically have lower volume then the other breeds. Toggenburg milk I hear from lots of people has a unique flavor that isnt real popular. And no idea about Ober milk. THOUGH each animal can be different from its breed norm.

You can start fully milking a doe in 2 to 3 days. Before that you only want to milk about 1/3 of the milk outta the udder. Fulling milking out a newly fresh doe can result in milk fever. Not to mention the first few days of a does lactation is colostrum and that stuff is nasty no matter what breed its from.

The amount of milk depends mostly on genetics. But a doe who has a single kid will most often not produce as much as if she had triplets. Her body just knows in advance how much she is going to need to produce for the number of kids she has. There is also a volume change from milking by hand/machine or letting her keep her kids. Keeping kids on a doe does not allow the udder to stretch and expand as its not long before kids are taking enough that the udder never gets the chance to. This effects following year(s) freshening as the udder has a memory and will continue to grow throughout a does lifetime if only by a little bit each year. So the amount of milk will depend upon you.

Does are milked twice a day for at least the first 3 months. At this point you can choose to keep milking or start cutting her back to once a day. If you have good milk blood lines you can even choose to keep the doe in milk for years without breeding her again. If you do breed her, you want to give at least 2-3 month of recovery time when she isnt milking. This allows her to put the extra into the kids instead of the milk and gain some weight back. The average good milk doe will milk about 1 1/2 to 2 gallons a day. While random back yard blood lines will often be under a gallon a day. But its not unheard of for an amazing milker to milk as much as 4 gallons a day. Rare but not unheard of.
 

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Legacy Lane
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!!!

Okay, One big question I should have asked ... do you leave babies on her and milk? (In cattle we either milked or gave her another baby to raise) Or do you completely remove babies ?

I won't be relying on milking them, I have a family member that would be interested in some for soap.. but I want them to raise their babies by themselves, unless they are bad moms..
 

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Junior Member
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I milk my does as soon as the kids are born, and then once or twice a day if the kids are on them, making sure the udder is emptied each milking to keep the udder from being lopsided or engorged.

I milk twice (sometimes 3X's) if they kids are being bottled.

If you plan on drinking the milk, I'd wait 2 weeks after delivery before drinking it to make sure all the colostrum is out. Colostrum tastes icky.

Milking them right out soon after birth will not cause milk fever. Milk fever is caused by a lack of calcium or an unbalanced calcium/phosphorus balance in the doe before the kids are born.

Alpines give (on average) less butter fat than Nubians, Nigerians or Lamanchas. Oberhasli's have a decent fat too. A lot of the fat/protein % and milk production is genetic, so you can have High production Alpines with a high fat and Nubians with very high production and low fat or a combination of high/low production and high low fat. Where they are in their lactation will cause a flucuation in the fat/protein% and the milk amount.

I used to have Alpines and Nubians on DHIA test. I had Alpines who had 4.5 and 5.2% fat during their peak milk production times! That was the same as some of the Nubians!

Feed can cause high or low production and fat% too.

For home use, I milk at least twice a day. Some of my does require 3 times a day milking during peak.

My mature Alpines were culled if they peaked at less than 9 pounds of milk a day (over all average). I had some who averaged 15 lbs a day. First fresheners were not held to that amount, I waited until their 2nd freshening unless they had glaring faults.

For a decent grade Alpine I would expect close to a gallon for a mature doe being milked twice a day.
 

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I'm planning on waiting 2 weeks after mine kid, then separating them at night, milking in the morning (giving kids a little bit of the milk by bottle after) then letting them be with mom the rest of the day. After they are weaned at roughly at 12 weeks, I will milk twice a day.... That is my plan... I am wanting them to be dam raised, but also by giving the kids a bottle in the morning they can associate me with getting a meal, thus making them friendlier:)
 

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Legacy Lane
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I probably won't drink it.. maybe some but I am not to fond of milk in general. I have had goats milk several years ago, it was Nubian but I was young and can't remember what it tasted like.

I mainly was interested in buying them (2) to get them out of the house they were at and to have extra milk in case I have a bad momma and need to bottle raise.. since I will be having a 5 first time mom's in the spring..

My sister in laws, mom will use it to make soap.. and what's left over will probably be a treat for the dogs, if I don't have any babies needing bottle fed or supplemented.

Has any one ever fed a calf goats milk ?

Also can you freeze it? And if you can how do you go about it, and how long is it good for ?
 

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Yes, any species can drink goats milk. My doe's milk actually taste like regular cows milk, my family that has tried it too was surprised.

You can freeze it. Zip Lock bags or the breast feeding bags I heard were the best, and I think it's good up to 6-8 mo in the freezer.
 

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Legacy Lane
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's good I can keep it for any babies in the future or to bottle feed out calves ! Really happy about that :)
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Lottsagoats has a very dangerous stance on milking out does right away. Which is fine for her. But if you are going to give advice its best to error on the side of caution. Milk fever is cause when the animal produces to much milk to quickly. Drawing calcium outta the blood and putting it into the milk. Milk fever is brought on by that sudden loss of calcium and the animals inability to replace it quick enough. Lotts is focusing on the old feeding assumptions. That a doe who has an alfalfa diet before kidding is more likey to have this happen as the animals body is used to putting the extra calcium outta the alfalfa into their bones and then when the time comes for them to put that calcium into the milk the body cant adapt to the change. Which is ignorant at best when we are talking a whole 1% to 1.50% difference in the calcium levels of alfalfa over a quality grass hay. The funny thing is I know someone who grows top quality grass hay and ended up milking out their doe right away (their first time owning a milking goat) and put her straight into milk fever as they didnt know any better. This is not to say it will happen all the time or anytime. But the chance is there.

Think of it this way. New babies eat very little for the first few days. They rarely empty a doe out unless she has under filled her udder. If you milk out a doe right away you are acting in direct contrast to what her body is set up to deal with.

So as must of us like to approach goat management from a safe direction, do not milk your animals out right away. Lott says she does it to increase their milk production... Goats naturally dont come into their milk for at least the first 2-4 weeks for a reason and I just cover it in the above. Its also often times why they dont udder up to much before they kid. Its the goats body of managing itself. If you really wanna press your luck, be my guest. So the safe and sound advice is, do not milk them out right away. If you choose to, fine. They are your goats and you can do with them what you like.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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janeen has the good way to do it. This way you get milk and you dont have to bottle feed babies. This also allows for the udder to expand a bit, and increasing your next years production. The best of all worlds :) OH and if you do wanna drink it. The longer time between when you feed and when you milk the better. The cow milk you drink tastes the way it does mainly because they milk THEN feed and the feed they are given is usually finished or they are moved away from it hours before the next milking.
 

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we hve raised many bottle calves on goats milk..does a nice job.
we put babies away at night in a safe kids pen...milk mom in the Am then babies can have her the rest of the day..works great for us...
 

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janeen has the good way to do it. This way you get milk and you dont have to bottle feed babies. This also allows for the udder to expand a bit, and increasing your next years production. The best of all worlds :) OH and if you do wanna drink it. The longer time between when you feed and when you milk the better. The cow milk you drink tastes the way it does mainly because they milk THEN feed and the feed they are given is usually finished or they are moved away from it hours before the next milking.
Curious question...? Should I not be giving my pregnant does alfalfa until after they kid? I have 2 does that are due later this month.....
 

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Goat Girl
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Calves grow really well on goats milk. Any baby animal grows really well on it. We are raising a few pigs on milk (and pig food!) right now. They have almost doubled in size in the week that we have had them, and they love it. The pile right into the pan and have a gallon of milk sucked up in no time. lol

Here is an excellent article on hypocalcemia (milk fever), it is a good read and you can take your own opinion from it as to what causes hypocalcemia. http://www.dairygoatinfo.com/f20/hypocalcemia-late-gestation-lactating-does-16494/

Alfalfa, clover and peanut hay (or any legume) are all excellent sources of calcium and protein for your goats.

Janeen: Keep feeding the alfalfa, they need the protein and calcium in it to grow their babies and make milk.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Yep, totally agree with pt. I can testify to the fact that alfalfa is the best thing for milking goats before, during and after. 20 year of feeding nothing but dairy quality alfalfa. The only worry with alfalfa is to make sure there is a good amount of stem in it. A high protein small stem first cutting can be to hot even for goaties. Our first load of hay last year was to hot (later tested at 31% protein) and we had to buy crappy hay to mix it with just to keep the animals from bloating all the darn time. The need for stems is that is where your fiber is at. It slows the digestion and allows the animal to pull more nutrients outta their feed.
 

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Yep, totally agree with pt. I can testify to the fact that alfalfa is the best thing for milking goats before, during and after. 20 year of feeding nothing but dairy quality alfalfa. The only worry with alfalfa is to make sure there is a good amount of stem in it. A high protein small stem first cutting can be to hot even for goaties. Our first load of hay last year was to hot (later tested at 31% protein) and we had to buy crappy hay to mix it with just to keep the animals from bloating all the darn time. The need for stems is that is where your fiber is at. It slows the digestion and allows the animal to pull more nutrients outta their feed.
I'm actually feeding alfalfa pellets, they are okay right? I don't have enough room on the barn for hay and alfalfa. It is the Sundee brand:)
 

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Pellets usually max out at 16% protein. If possible for the milkers Id add something to boost it. I know there are some horse feeds with real high protein but my God they are spendy.
I feed it with Purina goat chow, that has 16% of protein as well. I was going to switch to my own grain mix, that Goathiker posted, but priced it out and the goat chow was a little cheaper.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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I wouldnt worry about it as long as she maintains weight you are good. Whatever you want to add will just make it more tasty :) And as we all know, to a goat, taste is everything... well ok not everything. Cause I have seen em eat some pretty nasty things that couldnt of tasted good at all. :)
 
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