Production down

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by liz, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Bootsie is a nigi/pygmy cross, my eldest at 8 years old. She freshened February 2008, at her peak, nursing triplet bucklings, I got a 12 hour fill on her and she put out a bit over a quart. Now at just over 8 months fresh, I barely get a pint on a 24 hour fill, she has had BOSS as well as calf manna on top of her regular 18% feed, free choice browse, mixed grass hay a few alfalfa cubes and always fresh water......with all this the last 2 months I figured I'd see an increase.....but haven't. Normally she would be dried off and bred for next year but her age is keeping me from "chancing" it....is she "conditioned" to the slack in production or would this be expected from a goat of her "make". How long is "normal" for a goat to be milking? BTW...she isn't fat so I know she's not keeping the goodies for herself.
     
  2. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    I know that the mini's are definitely harder to keep milking than larger goats. I've never milked a mini for that long (but I will be next year!) Is there any way you could give her some more alfalfa?? I would think this to be normal especially with winter coming on and she would have normally been bred and dried off by now. . . . so, I don't really know what to suggest - it just seems like it would be a normal for her to taper off. I think she did quite well!! Going on a 9 month lactation is pretty good for a mini, I think! :D Good job Bootsie! ;)
     

  3. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    Since she is 8, how many months have you milked her in previous lactations? If she is used to being dried off after producing for so many months she may just be following regular habit. and you have to remember she is a mini, so as the seasons change, you're going to have a harder time keeping her in milk. LaManchas are the only breed I've dealt with so far that don't have huge fluctuations in their lactations. Even Oberhaslis go WAY down when wintertime comes. If you don't want to breed her, keep milking her even if she's hardly giving you anything, in spring she'll come back into her normal production.
     
  4. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Massachusetts
    I'm having the opposite issue. I've been trying to dry off xcell this week and she just wants to keep making milk! The little bugger wanted to dry up last month when I didn't want her to, but now that I want her to.... grr
     
  5. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
    My doe Faline just won't dry up! she is still milking about a quart a day.
     
  6. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    A couple breeders that I talked with when my alpine was loosing her milk was that it could be because of coming into winter and also the heat cycles. She also mentioned that she keeps all of her milkers on alfalfa as they need it for the calcium to maintain producing milk.

    Hope that helps :wink:
     
  7. My opinion is yes, you have set her lactation length. A dairy goat should be able to milk 305 days (10 months) and be dried of 3 months into pregnancy. You have also given the signal for her to make less milk by going to once a day milking.

    If you want more milk from her then go back to twice a day milking (some people will go up to 3 times a day milking to up production)....its all about supply and demand. It does also sound like she would need more alfalfa (those cubes can be awful hard), I give mine about 1.5lbs a day of alfalfa pellets (it was 2.5lbs but we cut back no change in milk amouts, just slimmer goats). My doe Speckles is a FF, kidded march 8th and at her peak was giving 1.5 qts. She is still giving 1 qt a day, I don't plan to dry her off until 2 months before she kids because I am trying to set her lactaion length. Although I believe she is trying to wean ME this week LOL. Once she was trained to the milking routine she has always done great, even can let little children try an milk her and her legs don't move. But this week she is putting up a fuss, kinda funny :roll: kinda not too!
     
  8. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I had gone to the 1x a day because she was barely giving me a cup each milking...the alfalfa cubes are broken into pieces...just under "bite" size so I know they don't have a hard time eating it....she does get 2 cups of 18% feed, 1 cup alfalfa flakes as well as the 1/4 cup calf manna..she really despised the BOSS...and she is my first "milker", very good on the stand, is up there with her head in the stanchion even before I'm ready...So at this point, because I "trained" her production by drying her off in previous years before she was bred...I'm pretty much at fault.

    Another question, if I go back to milking her twice a day, at 12 hour intervals and only get 1/2 cup each time, should I continue and for how long til her production picks up? It would have to be 4:30 am and 4:30 pm...as my work schedule is usually 5-2...to go 3 x a day it would still need to be after 2:30 because there are times that I work til 3......maybe my girl is just being her cantankerous self with me and I'm not seeing the milk disappear....her 5 year old daughter used to "sneak" a sip even at 3 years old...wonder if that's happenning again?
     
  9. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    Really, I think that it is up to you. If you want to keep milking and you want more milk - then back to milking twice a week to bring production back up. If you really don't want to milk twice a day and you are ok with not getting the milk until next kidding -dry her up, enjoy your "warm" winter inside and not milking and love on your girl :)
     
  10. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I think I will stick with the once a day...as long as she'll give it, besides it would be heartbreaking to see her up on that stand waiting and not getting any "alone" time with me...She was my first and always will be special....and I'm very pleased with her, 6 freshenings....12 kids and many months of milk....which is why she's retired....and will be a "hayburner" the rest of her years. I'll take whatever she's gonna give me ad stick with the once a day...even if it's just enough for my coffee :love:
     
  11. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    I forgot to check this thread again. . . . I just have to say that Liz you are such a good "goat-mama" - your goaties are very fortunate to have you! Just had to say that. . . . :D
     
  12. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Thank you Olivia....they are my "kids" and are very special to me.
     
  13. heathersboers

    heathersboers New Member

    629
    Sep 5, 2008
    Wilson N.C.
    Hayburners are great too! Sounds like she has produced very well for you over the years- I think the old gal will miss being milked when she is retired. she does her job well!!! :love: