Off-Flavored Milk in Excellent Doe

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by kornhypknotic, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. kornhypknotic

    kornhypknotic New Member

    273
    May 14, 2009
    Waco, TX
    I have a wonderful Saanen doe who freshened 2 months ago and all of a sudden she develops a strange bitter flavor to her milk when everyone else's milk is perfect! I have tasted her milk directly from the teat and it does not taste goaty . . . it just tastes bad! It also does not foam like my other does milk does :hair:

    Everything I can think of that might fix it I've already tried and nothing's helping. :doh:

    The bucks are very far away from all my milkers
    Her Somatic Cell Counts were well under 1 million (so I assume she's not sick)
    Our milking conditions are extremely sanitary
    The barn does not have a strong odor and it is kept pretty clean
    I have left her inside for a week and fed only oats and rye hay to see if it was a bitter plant she was eating out in the pasture- no change

    She did the same thing last year, but she produces so much milk I want to keep her in rotation this year! Her mom and sister do not have this problem . . . and since her milk tasted great in the beginning of the year I don't believe the off-flavor is genetic.

    What can be causing this? :shrug:
     
  2. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    WOW, Jess, I am not a dairy person but the only thing I could think of was if you changed the feed, or if she is able to get her head on the other side of the fence and eat some different weeds.

    I am sure some of the expert milkers will have some ideas. Good Luck
     

  3. RowdyKidz

    RowdyKidz Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    NW Ohio
    I'm not a dairy person either...but could it possibly due to a strong heat?
     
  4. grandmajo

    grandmajo New Member

    352
    Oct 14, 2008
    Pioneer, Ohio
    When she did this last year, did it improve on it's own after a while? If so, I'd suspect a heat like RowdyKidz suggested.
     
  5. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Even though she is healthy and gets what the others do, believe it or not but certain does are sensitive enough to pass odors that they inhale into their milk. Are there any strong odor causing products being used close by?

    I'm curious too as to wether or not she had better tasting milk after this point, also, how long did she go in milk?
     
  6. kornhypknotic

    kornhypknotic New Member

    273
    May 14, 2009
    Waco, TX
    I wasn't hear last year . . . but when I asked the farm manager he said that they just dried her up last year because of the flavor. So I don't know if it would have improved.

    There are no strong odors nearby the barn that she could be inhaling.

    She shouldn't come into heat for another month though, right? She shows no other signs of being in heat.

    Could she have a mineral deficiency or something? I give her free-choice minerals, but maybe she's got a problem with uptake of something? :shrug:
     
  7. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    Was she the same amount of time into her lactation last year when her milk went off flacor? It very well could be a hormonal change. Esecially if she kidded around the same date she did last year.
    beth
     
  8. grandmajo

    grandmajo New Member

    352
    Oct 14, 2008
    Pioneer, Ohio
    Well, bummer, the history from her lactation last year would have been nice, to know if it is something that's going to stick around or not. Since they dried her off last year, I guess you won't be able to judge from that.

    Normally they wouldn't be in heat yet, but this year doesn't seem to be a normal year. I'm hearing on other forums of really unusual behaviors this year, in both the does and the bucks. So I wouldn't totally discount that she might be having a heat. Also, there are a few does that seem to break the rules when it comes to heat cycles. I know of a lady in Michigan who has nubians, and some of her girls cycle year round, so maybe you have a saanen like that?

    The only other thing that I can think of is to maybe take her temp, just to make sure that she's not running with a mild infection of some sort. If that's normal, I'd try to keep milking her for another few weeks, and taste the milk every 2 or 3 days to see if there's an improvement. If you don't see an improvement after 2 or 3 weeks, then it might just be that this is going to be the normal for her. I feel for you, I had a togg that was like that. It's very frustrating!
     
  9. kornhypknotic

    kornhypknotic New Member

    273
    May 14, 2009
    Waco, TX
    I think it was the same . . . but good records weren't kept on her off-flavor.

    I will check her temperature too . . . she seems pretty healthy otherwise though :shrug: . If it is something hormonal will it probably go away on its own?
     
  10. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    It likely will, hormones rise and fall with normal heats, but this doe could naturally be "hormonal"....with freshening the hormones are high, as time passes they will drop, hopefully her coming into heat will level them out again.
     
  11. kornhypknotic

    kornhypknotic New Member

    273
    May 14, 2009
    Waco, TX
    Well . . . it's been 3 weeks now and her milk does not taste much better :hair: . . . we're considering drying her up because our customers are complaining. :shrug: She's a fantastic producer and it would be such a waste to dry her . . . I just don't know what else to try.

    Any other suggestions? I will try anything at this point.
     
  12. Zelda

    Zelda New Member

    185
    May 2, 2009
    Rocky Mountains
    If she was mine, I would try feeding her some Diamond Yeast and probiotics and see if there is any improvement. Maybe something is screwed up in her rumen. It's a very long shot, but I'd still try it.
     
  13. kornhypknotic

    kornhypknotic New Member

    273
    May 14, 2009
    Waco, TX
    What the heck is diamond yeast? :scratch: Is that the same as any old yeast or is it a specific brand . . . or is it made out of diamonds, lol :p?
     
  14. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    grass fed goats tend to have sweeter milk. Some goats just dont have a good flavor. You might try crossing her with an ober or a nubian in years to come. Higher butterfat in the breeding may make the milk better. While still keeping the production of your doe.
    beth
     
  15. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    Triple check her browse area. She may be gettin to stuff no one else is is. Also she could be more sensitive to the outside temp than the others. Luna's milk got a bit nasty when it got hot in Az.
     
  16. kornhypknotic

    kornhypknotic New Member

    273
    May 14, 2009
    Waco, TX
    Her pasture changes constantly . . . but even when we isolated her and only fed hay she still had bad flavor.

    It tasted a little less nasty today . . . it's almost like the milk got stale even before leaving her udder :scratch:
     
  17. grandmajo

    grandmajo New Member

    352
    Oct 14, 2008
    Pioneer, Ohio
    Have you checked her temp yet? Perhaps she has a low grade infection of some sort. I think that I'd also re-check the somatic cell count too. I'm not sure what else to suggest, this goat is being quite the test!

    I understand your desire to keep her in your milking rotation, but if your customers are complaining, then it might not be wise. Unhappy customers will try to find milk elsewhere, and will generally tell all their friends that your milk tastes bad. It's the curse of the business world, everyone forgets all the good things that you do, but instantly remember one bad one.
     
  18. Zelda

    Zelda New Member

    185
    May 2, 2009
    Rocky Mountains
    It's a food grade nutritional yeast and is like a probiotic - it makes the rumen work better (reduces acid, increases the number of good bacteria, improves digestion). It is very cheap at the feedstore - a couple pounds of it should be a couple bucks, and you just feed a TBSP topdressed on grain so 2# of it lasts a long time. It definitely straightened out my doe's rumen when it got messed up.
     
  19. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    yes certainly dont use her milk till you figure something out.

    How long did you have her in a stall for and only on hay? was it alfalfa hay or just grass hay? I found that the alfalfa caused a goat of mine to have bitter tasting milk but not the others. (I sold her as a pet)
     
  20. kornhypknotic

    kornhypknotic New Member

    273
    May 14, 2009
    Waco, TX
    We had her inside for 1 week on hay that we put up ourselves this winter. It's a oats, rye, and clover mix . . . pretty good quality stuff, but it is not pure.

    I've been reading up on this A LOT :coffee2: and it seems like a bitter or stale taste that has nothing to do with how the milk is stored could be because of the animal's lack of protein/energy in their diet. She is on Sorghum Sudan grass pastures and supplemented with 2 pounds of Lacuesta Dairy Goat grain ration and 1 pound of corn a day. We added the corn 2 months ago so that our girls protein/energy needs could be met.

    Is there some way that she could not be metabolizing enough protein/energy? If so, how can I fix that?

    Edit:
    NEWS!! :shocked: I just got her Somatic Cell Counts, Protein, and Butterfat counts back and there was some difference from our other girls! SCC was below 1 million, butterfat was 2.05, but the protein was the interesting part. All our other goats had protein content of 2.74-2.15 . . . but Wappy (unfortunately, that's the name of the goat we are discussing in this forum . . . poor thing:p) had a protein count of 1.93! Finally, I may have found what's wrong with her milk!!! But I don't know what it means :help: