What is considered a good milk supply for a Mini Nubian?

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by Feira426, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    Being still pretty new to goatkeeping, I am trying to decide which direction to go breed-wise for my herd. I have a registered Mini Nubian doe and her two registerable doelings, and they are adorable and friendly and I love them. I also have a mostly Alpine grade doe we got as a bottle baby (she is sweet sometimes but can also be a real bully) and her doeling who is half Mini Nubian. The Alpine mix gives WAY more milk, even though she's about the same size as the Mini Nubian doe. But we like the taste of the Mini's milk a little better.

    Basically, I'm thinking of going Mini Nubian for our herd and working on developing May's line. But what is considered a good amount of milk for a Mini Nubian? May only gives about a pint after twelve hours, at five years old. That doesn't seem super good. The Alpine mix is giving a quart after twelve hours as a FF, which I'm told is pretty decent for a grade doe.

    We could sell the Minis and go Alpine and presumably get more milk. I doubt all Alpines are bullies, right? I definitely want to work towards more gentle goats that won't pick on my human kids or the other goats. For gentle I've heard LaManchas are excellent, but I don't really care for the LaMancha look personally.

    I'm getting off-topic. Sorry. My real question is, is it possible to get a good milk supply from a couple of Mini Nubians or should I go with a different breed for that?
     
    MadHouse likes this.
  2. Chelsey

    Chelsey Well-Known Member

    276
    Dec 6, 2018
    It all depends on her line. You could keep the minis and work on building up their udders through good bucks. I don’t have experience with minis yet, mine is due soon. A pint is closer to what I’d expect a Nigerian to milk though. What generation is she?
     
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  3. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki

    How long fresh is this doe? How many freshenings? At the 12 hour fill... her kids have had absolutely no access to her correct?

    i have a ff mini nub that is ten months fresh and still gifts me right at half a gallon a day. Her dam was a gallonish a day milker.

    if you prefer the flavor of the mini nub milk go that way. Just ask breeders how much the dams gift and the sires dam. That can help in seeing how the doelings will produce. A ff usually will not gift as much as a second and third freshener.
     
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  4. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki
    my nigi gifted at least a quart a day. Then farther in her lactation it was less. :). Some nigis can gift upwards of a gallon i have read.
     
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  5. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    A lot of Alpines are strong willed to other goats. (Some call it bullying). Put a bunch of Alpines together and there is always someone trying to upstage another.

    If you are looking for milk production, a poor milker eats as much as a good milker. In other words, it costs the same to feed a lower producing doe as a good producing one. If you want a lot of milk, start with a good milk line.
     
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  6. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    According to her registration certificate, she's gen 5, and is 53.41% Nubian. She seems to have high caloric needs compared to the rest of my goats. Maybe it's just her? Or maybe it's just her currently - perhaps there's something I can do to get her a bit healthier and then maybe she'd produce a bit more.
     
  7. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    She kidded at least once before I bought her and she's had two kiddings with me. So maybe just not a great producer. I really like one of her babies though - do you guys think it would be worth it to breed the doeling maybe next year and see how she milks, or would you recommend completely starting over? I know nothing about good milk lines. What can I look for in the sire's papers to give me an idea of the milk production in his line?
     
  8. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki

    How much and what kind of feed does she get? Mineral? Copper and selenium?
     
  9. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    I haven’t weighed the feed, but I’d guess about 3 lbs per day when she’s in milk. I’m currently feeding a mix of whole oats and corn and a goat feed by Purina. The feed contains copper and selenium, and they have loose minerals plus a salt lick with trace minerals in it. She might have been a bit deficient in the past, as I only just learned of loose minerals recently and added those. She is drying off now, though, so I guess I won’t know if those helped her milk supply until next freshening.
     
  10. MadHouse

    MadHouse Well-Known Member

    I also only just recently learned about loose minerals here and started offering them, since the end of November. My milking doe has definitely gone up in production. She is a Mini Nubian (I have no knowledge of her background at all) and is now giving me 2.5 cups twice a day. Before that it was between one and two cups per milking. This was her first freshening.
     
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  11. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki

    Just for insight on the feed/milk ratio thing.... i have read many times over that a pound of feed for a pound of milk made. Maybe also try to find a feed with very little to no corn. Corn will add weight but not nutritional value at all. And everything that goes into the mouth of a doe in milk needs to count for good nutritional calories.

    My does in milk get all they want to eat on the milk stand. And if they seem like they are still a tad hungry when they get off i will give everyone a bit more alfalfa pellet in the barn at night. If they are not done eating when i get done milkin in the mornin i sit and wait til they are done eating before i let them off of the stand.

    Cricket (my doe in milk now) eats about 3-4 cups TWICE a day on the stand. She some days wants grain and other alfalfa pellet. So i always offer her that choice in her double sided feeder. Days she wants the grain it is more like 3 cups twice a day and when she noms on the alfalfa it is more close to the four cups twice a day. Alfalfa pellet is also great for helpin make milks. Alfalfa pellet also does not usually add weight to them like grain would. But to make milk they do need more calories. You just have to watch their condition and work with the feed accordingly. Some does need the grain calories to keep up their condition while in milk while other are fine on alfalfa pellet for the most part.

    Your feed might have selenium and copper in them but it also may not be enough to keep them from being deficient. Most people even with feed and loose mineral need supplement those two things. Replamin gel is an excellent supplement to use as well. If you do that you may see them not eating as much of the loose mineral simply because it is giving them a good “boost” of it weekly. The loader dose is 5cc for five days then 5cc once a week after. I do not use it all of the time but when i see someone startin to look like they need more i do give it. And usually see improvement in a week or two.

    Ours also have pasture and free choice hay as well all day.

    All in all... your doe might make more milk if she had more feed and you might also notice a difference with the new mineral supplements you are currently doing. And maybe a bit more if you supplemented selenium/vit e gel and copper bolus OR do the replamin. Replamin has more sel vit e than the gel. Even using replamin you may need copper bolus them just not as often. All of that plays in the makin of milks. :)
     
  12. My mini nubians give between 1/2 to 1 gallon a day. Or 4-8lbs. There have been some known to give a bit more.

    My girls eat Alfalfa pellets and Chaffhaye (equals roughly about 3lbs) and some alfalfa hay sometimes, in their pens plus free choice grass hay. On the stand they get about 1lb of oats and BOSS each milking. And sometimes more chaffhaye. I've raised the grain and they didn't milk more so I lowered it back down. I tend to raise the alfalfa though for more milk.
     
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  13. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    I started giving her some corn after someone here suggested it - she seems to have very high caloric needs and tends to slip into ketosis in the winter, and someone (I can’t remember now who it was) recommended adding corn to help keep her from entering ketosis. So far it seems to have worked. I am looking into purchasing individual minerals to offer free choice so that should help with any deficiencies she might have.

    I guess I could have tried giving her even more feed? I had heard that too much grain could really be bad for goats, so I was afraid to give her very much. But it sounds like you feed quite a bit with no problems.

    I have tried feeding alfalfa pellets but my goats don’t seem to like them. So I buy alfalfa hay, which they love. I need to find a feeder I can use for it that will keep it clean and reduce waste. They do waste a lot of the hay.

    Oh, they also have about three or three and a half acres of forage and grass hay.
     
  14. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    You have some beautiful goats, Jubillee! Where can I buy chaffhaye? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. Is it expensive?
     
  15. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    TEXAS
    Russell feed carries it, I believe that's not too far from you. Atwood's has their own brand of chaffhaye too. Both are about $15-$17 a bale.
     
  16. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    I’ve never seen any hay but coastal and alfalfa at Russell. Do they keep it hidden? Lol. I never thought to ask about other kinds - always assumed they only had what was in the trucks out front.
     
  17. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    TEXAS
    It's inside the store lol. I almost never go to Russel feed, not fond of the staff they're pretty rude and lack knowledge on goats IMHO...but for $8 less a bale of alfalfa I might have to take a second look at them for hay.
     
    Feira426 likes this.
  18. Thank you!

    You can look on the chaffhaye site and fid a dealer. Sometimes though there are ppl that have it and aren't listed. Also I know on the past but not sure now, you can get samples from the website to see how you like it.
     
  19. There's so many ways to feed though. And it's different for different areas. You have to figure out our you WANT to feed and find what works best.

    I wanted my herd to eat mostly browse and forage product. Alfalfa makes milk. And is exceptional in calcium. So it's the bulk of their diet as well as grass hay and the forage they get on property. For milking, I didn't want unknown or not very natural feeds. I started with the barley oats boss, went to a custom mix high protien feed as I read it would do better...I didn't lijke it and it dropped their milk, also just had too many ingredients I didn't care for. So we went back to oats/boss. Sometimes barley when I can get it.
     
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  20. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki
    it might not hurt to do milk trst on your girl that does the ketosis thing. @Goat Whisperer can help you more with this one. But it can tell you how the doe processes the feed somehow.
     
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