Pregnancy cause for decline in milk production?

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by JenJenWv, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. JenJenWv

    JenJenWv New Member

    13
    May 5, 2008
    I have a Nubian doe that has dropped production over the last week or so and I was wondering if this could be because of pregnancy? I'm hoping she is bred, but not sure. Thought I saw signs of breeding on Jan 25 (just over 5 weeks ago.) She acted like she might have been in heat again in February, but the buck didn't seem to be interested in her although she didn't seem to want to leave him alone.

    Anyone able to help me out with this?
    Thanks and have a great day!
    ~Jenny~
     
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    How long has she been in milk? Even without a pregnancy, does at the end of their "normal" lactation range will drop production.

    Pregnancy can also cause it.
     

  3. JenJenWv

    JenJenWv New Member

    13
    May 5, 2008
    I've been milking her (Bella) for two years. Her last kids were born in Feb '09. I just didn't wind up getting a buck in last year to breed so I kept milking both my does who were in milk. They aren't giving lots, but it's enough for our family. We have a buck on the property with them now. Bella's been really steady at just over a quart a day for quite a while now, though. That's with only milking once a day. That's about what my other milker gives also.

    I'm hoping the drop is due to her being bred, but I know I've also pushed the lactation pretty far on this one. Just wondered if that was something that others had noticed if they were milking does until the two months or so before the next kidding. We've got a pygmy buck in with the does now. I'm looking for babies next month from Star, our LaMancha/Nigerian doe, and positive he bred her. I'm just concerned whether he's gotten the bigger girls with the difference in size. I thought I saw evidence of breeding in January and marked down the date so I would have a record. I just want to keep these two milking until at least I can start milking Star who is due next month.
     
  4. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I milked my Pygmy/Nigi cross doe Bootsie for 26 months...I retired her from breeding after freshening in 2008 at 8 years old...anyhow, after she hit the 21 month mark her production went down fast..she steadily gave 2-3 cups a day with once a day milking then it went to just over a cup, I won't breed her again but I did dry her off totally after that as I felt that she was telling me she'd had enough. And, yes a mature pygmy buck can reach a standard doe...where theres a will theres a way and I do hope she's preggy, Kinders are adorable!
     
  5. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    I don't have dairy goats, but WOW that seems like a long time for her to still be giving milk.
     
  6. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    Kinders ARE adorable! Hope you have kids. I milked a nubian for 18 months and dried her up because I thought she was bred and she was not. I am so sad. This year I hope she is bred again, and that is to a pygmy also. I have heard rumors of some nubians milking for years, that their production drops and then picks back up again in the spring. Not like the first year of course. If only I can get her milking again I don't intend to dry her up, she will have to quit on her own. She is just about 7. I really don't want to feed a great big dry doe for 8 or nine more years, but she was my first goat. We did an ultrasound and it was inconclusive, it was not clear because she is very big. Her sire was a monster, I bred her to a tiny pygmy buck. I really want those kids too, although I would be satisfied with just milk.

    Jan
     
  7. JenJenWv

    JenJenWv New Member

    13
    May 5, 2008
    I am really hoping she is bred because I'd hate to dry her off and then nothing. She's half our family's milk source. I did notice that the first year I had her she picked up milk production when my other goats kidded several months after she did. Then she started letting some of the kids nurse off her again, so the amount of milk we were bringing into the house went down again! But that was remedied when the kids went, at least.

    Jan, you said your nubian doe is very large and you bred her to quite a small buck. I'm just wondering if you had to assist this in any way. I keep feeling like I should have a little step ladder out there for him or something. I measured Bella the other day with the dairy goat tape and it wouldn't go around her. She is well over 200 pounds. (And feels every pound of it when she manages to stand on my toes!) The buck we have seems so small. He is only about knee height. We had a Nigerian dwarf buck in the first time to service our does, but he was probably twice the size of this buck.
     
  8. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    O yes I did assist. We put a straw bale up against her shed, with room for her to be against the wall in front of it. Then we held her there, it was easier to hold her still enough because of the wall. Two not very strong people can do it this way. The little buck needed no instruction, he got it right away and was up on the straw bale to do the deed. It was still a little difficult, and impossible if the doe isn't willing. The does I have had to do this with have been too stupid to figure out they need to back up to something. (Not intended as an insult, I love my big does.)

    Jan