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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Obviously, her peak for this lactation is past. She freshened in February. We are a monthish out from having bred her, and given that I have seen no signs of heat thus far, I am thinking she took with that breeding.

In the mean time, what can I do to increase the milk our doe gives us? Or should I just count on it being that late in her lactation, and that she will be picking up again when she freshens? If she did take with this breeding, we will be drying her up right after Christmas.

We've been withholding milk because the doe had to be given wormers due to lice and intestinal parasite load (stool sample from doeling showed a good bit of roundworm, then we found lice on the doe and doelings that was causing them to scratch at their shoulders enough to rough up their hair). Varying places talk about different withhold times on Ivomec (not ivomec plus, just plain ivomec), but I plan to start using it again soon for soup.

They've all been copper bolused due to some signs of copper deficiency. I will be taking a soil sample to Colorado to have our soil analyzed (we can see iron particulates for sure) to help figure out what might be causing deficiencies for the girls (and my garden).

They all get grain, graze, and alfalfa and/or grass hay, plus loose minerals and baking soda. Their water bucket it filled with warm water 2xday, and now that I have it in a place where it is harder to knock over, there is always leftover water when I refill it.

I am going to be switching her off Noble Goat grain and onto a combo of BOSS, mixed ration, and manna (if I can figure out which stuff is calf manna in our local store, as they don't carry the name brand). I want something healthier for them that will help with the dandruff we are seeing. They go nuts for my mammoth sunflower seeds that came out of my garden this fall.
 

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She's naturally on her downward spiral. I mean there is very little you can do now...pregnancy, time of year, genetics, feed intake are all factors into production late in the year.
 

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I'm not sure. Sounds like you are doing all the right things to keep production up.

You could try milking her 3x a day for a few days. If the doe is a real "Will to Milk" doe sometimes that will cause her to move up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How much feed would a lactating and pregnant doe need?

She has been giving 2-3 cups of milk in the morning, and around 2 in the evening. When we got her, six months into lactation, she was giving 4-5 cups in the morning, and 4 in the evening.

I have a mix of BOSS/oat/barley (1 part BOSS to 2 parts each of oat and barley), and I did find Calf Manna. We also have alfalfa pellets.

I keep reading all this stuff about giving grain/not giving grain during pregnancy, but not all of the things I read involve full size dairy goats. I don't want to over feed her, but I obviously don't want to under feed either. She is a big girl, on a tape measure is 140-145 prepregnancy, and has a "healthy rumen" (always is pretty barrel shaped through the middle).
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Breed, bloodlines and diet are the 3 mains. Things like milking more often can help, but those 3 things are the key.

Dairy breed (Alpine, Lamancha, Saanen average the most production)
Top 10 milk bloodlines with 3500+ lbs (or better) of milk over a 305 day lactation.
Diat should be high in protein. The best being dairy quality (20-24% protein) alfalfa.

If your animal doesnt have any of these then the chance of having a long term heavy production animal are slim.

A good sized flake of alfalfa a day is all that is required along with what ever grain you choice to give while milking. Pellets are max 16% protein, and thats not enough. Grains are not much (18% protein) any better and shouldnt be relied upon as a mainstay in a dairy goats diet. The grain just keeps them distracted while you milk and or can be used to add things like herbal wormers or other powered supplements (not loose mineral mixes, those are just given free choice).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Right now she is getting 2lbs of grain (avg of 14% protein) per day, plus 1lb alfalfa pellets. Standlee (brand we can find here) recommends online feeding up to 2% of a goat's weight. So I am guessing I should up her alfalfa? She is has been eating the alfalfa with her grain at milking time.
 
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