Trying to decide whether to let doe nurse babies or not.

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by FrenchFarm, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. FrenchFarm

    FrenchFarm New Member

    31
    Jul 25, 2008
    Mid-Michigan
    Our two does are due to kid soon, one on April 30th, and the other May 1st. My husband and I are trying to decide whether to let the babies nurse or not. Has anyone ever tried leaving the kids on the mom during the day, putting them in a separate pen at night, and milking once a day, first thing in the morning? What problems do you forsee with this, either physical or emotional? I'm also posting a question about selling some of the kids at birth, and letting each doe keep just one baby, preferably a female if she has one. Please also feel free to let me know if either or both of these threads have been done before, as I'd be happy to read them too. Thanks, Stephanie
     
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    yup many of us do just this very thing. I put the kids in a crate or in a stall at night once they turn about 4 weeks old. I think milk mom and leave a little bit for the kids. Kids nurse all day till about 10:00pm and then I separate.

    This makes life a whole lot easier as I get milk, keep the doe in milk while she weans her kids and she takes care of them for me!

    The only problem I see with keeping a doeling from a milker dam is that you will have to have a separate pen for the kid to wean her off mom so you can get all the milk or you will always be separating her at night till you breed her yourself or you decide to dry off mom.

    I hear teat tape works (special kind of tape to keep kids from nursing) and I plan to try that if i get to keep a doe kid from my Sweet Pea
     

  3. FrenchFarm

    FrenchFarm New Member

    31
    Jul 25, 2008
    Mid-Michigan
    At what age would a mother/baby pair choose to stop nursing if we didn't do anything to influence the decision? Would the teat tape only be used if we wanted to stop milking the doe altogether, or would it be removed for milking, and not necessary after a while? We plan to keep milking both goats until a couple months into their next pregnancies, like we did this time around. And when you have removed the kids at night and milked in the morning, how much milk did you get? How did the goats (moms and babies) react to the nighttime separation, and how did the doe react to being milked when she hadn't seen her baby all night? Did you not milk her at all until four weeks after birth? Don't feel like you have to answer all the questions, but thanks for any insight you can offer us. - Stephanie
     
  4. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    oh no the teat tape is only to wean the baby - you have to milk her

    Most mother daugher bonds are very strong and a mother may even let an older daughter nurse even when she has a new set of kids

    YOu can milk mom as longn as you like.

    How much milk do you get? depends on the doe, breed and point in lactation ;) you get basicaly half of what she is producing.

    How will the doe react? depends on your goats. Mind are fine with it

    Unless she has tons of milk no I dont milk till she is 4 weeks fresh
     
  5. Sweet Gum Minis

    Sweet Gum Minis New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Easley, SC
    I have done the full dam raising, and the pulling at night. After a while they will settle into being pulled at night but the yelling tends to drive me nuts. Next year we will be pulling completely. We've been working our way to this conclusion slowly and had hoped to do it this year but alas it didn't happen. So this year was much better than last year, but next year will be even better.
     
  6. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    I am in the minority here as I do bottle babies. So I must separate for at least the first week so baby knows that I am food bringer not momma :) . I milk twice a day 6am and 5pm. the baby after the first week never even looked at mom as a milk despenser so we have had a fairly easy time of it. And the weening is goin smooth so far to. we just slowly reduce the ammount of milk she gets and I feed the doeling grain while mom is on the milk stand(milk trainin)
     
  7. rebelshope

    rebelshope New Member

    908
    Sep 20, 2008
    Wisconsin
    I do not view my does as milk machines, but rather as creatures that share their milk with me and with their babies. My babies, raised on the dam, are super sweet so I don't believe that babies need to be raise on the bottle to be friendly. I also believe that all our animals need to be respected and treated with love and care, even, or rather especially, if their ultimate destination is the dinner plate. Part of that, to me, is to allow the natural bonding of dam and kid.

    I do have a very vocal dam who yells for her kids, every night, it does not last long though and she eventually settles down.
     
  8. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I have a ND doe that has an exceptionally capacious udder and I HAD to start milking her at just a few days after birth....the single kid was eating well, just not taking in as much as mom was making. I don't bottle feed and really don't want to....those mommies carried babies for 5 months and I think they are rewarded by getting chance to care for those kids. All my kids are dam raised, I only take the "extra" when neccessary and those kids are always such loveable characters.....I get it all from mom once the kids leave. I actually still have a doe in milk after 14 months, she's retired and I figure that if she's gonna give it I'm gonna take it. LOL

    I do however do as Stacey does, separate at night for the full benefit of the morning milk....if you choose to leave the kids with mom, teat tape can help, but I wouldn't do it at less than 3 weeks old. There are numerous ways to hand raise kids as well as ways to get ythe milk for yourself and still have the moms raise them. Everyone does kid rearing in their own way and it usually takes a trial and error to find what works for you, my way works for me because I have a fulltime away from home job that would prevent a kid from getting the number of bottles they would need to thrive, moms do the work and I get the frisky playful babies to help me de stress after work.
     
  9. kannm

    kannm New Member

    267
    Mar 18, 2009

    Neither do we. He is just trying to express the fact that the baby still sees mom as mom, but sees us as the provider of milk. Her mom sleeps with her and protects her. Also, mom lets her jump all over her. The only thing is that we feed baby mom's milk.
     
  10. rebelshope

    rebelshope New Member

    908
    Sep 20, 2008
    Wisconsin

    Good for you. :thumb:
     
  11. Amy Goatress

    Amy Goatress New Member

    728
    Oct 1, 2008
    We dam raise all of our kid's unless something comes up that we need to bottle feed though.