Skinny milker

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by elchivito, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. elchivito

    elchivito Active Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    I have two sisters, 2 year old first fresheners who kidded in April. Standard Toggenburgs. Both very heavy milkers. We are in the process of drying them down now and have cut down from 2x day milking to once a day and finally about a month ago to every other day. We cut out their grain of course, and they get alfalfa/bermuda blend pellets on the stand. One sister has reduced her milk to the point where we'll be able to stop milking her soon, but the other one, while having reduced somewhat, is still giving 6 quarts every other day. She gets so tight she waddles in one day's time. In the meantime, she's gotten bone thin. I've wormed her, and her coat etc. looks good and her appetite and energy level seem fine. I'd like to get some weight on her without increasing her milk. I'm pretty sure, although not entirely, that her weight loss is due to her heavy milking.
    Our goats eat free choice alfalfa and get Sweetlix Magnum milk minerals regularly. Any suggestions? I'm afraid if I grain her she'll make even more milk.
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Sounds like you have a very good girl on your hands. Some does just put everything into milk production and they "forget" to keep some for themselves. If she's still giving that much with EOD milking, you have 2 options, cut out all but the hay, I would get a mixed grass for them over the next 2 weeks, alfalfa is great for goats but it's also great for milk production, milk her every 2 days but do not empty her udder, leave half there, when emptied totally, she'll make the same amount, if you leave her udder half full, she'll not make so much. Of course though, she will engorge and you do need to be sure to check her for the signs of mastitis but with 1 week of milking every 2 days and only milking enough to relieve slight pressure, she should be dried up in 2-3 weeks. The udder needs the pressure to tell it to stop making milk, a few days of having a tight udder and no grain or rich hay, her body will stop producing. Good luck and please update her progress.

  3. elchivito

    elchivito Active Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    That sounds like good advice and I'll try it. Complete milking out in all situations is my usual mantra, as I'm so gunshy about mastitis, but this case may need it. I'll just watch her carefully. Thanks!
  4. fcnubian

    fcnubian New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Yes, that's good advice.
    With my does, I cut them back to once a day milking, when I want to quit, I take away the grain all together. That helps with reducing production, atleast for my does it does. I then quit milking and just check them twice a day and only relieve them if need be. I have never had to and never had any issues with mastitis either.
    Goodluck! Sounds like you have some good milkers!
  5. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    I like feeding beet pulp pellets to help keep the weight on. :)
  6. elchivito

    elchivito Active Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    I keep beet pulp around, although shredded, not pellets. I've hear there can be bloating issues with the pellets as they expand in the rumen. Unfortunately, she doesn't like beet pulp. I half milked her today and am going to do that every other day for a week or so and see if she cuts down. My others in milk are cutting back on their own well enough that I'm going to stop milking them in a couple of weeks. This one worries me though and I don't want to just quit on her. She gets so tight. Thanks for the tips!
  7. comingsummers

    comingsummers New Member

    May 6, 2010
    Northern New Mexico
    Were you able to get her dired off? Is her weight coming back up? I hope that she is doing well!