What's going wrong here?

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by JenJenWv, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. JenJenWv

    JenJenWv New Member

    May 5, 2008
    So, here's my story. I could use a little help figuring out what the problem is.

    I bought a Nubian doe who had just kidded. I took her with her baby, and when he was about a month old, I started separating them at night and milking her first thing in the morning. I got about 3 cups a day milking once a day--not very impressed but it was something to hold us over until my two does that I've raised here kid. I also figured that I would get more once she wasn't nursing the baby. Last week I sold the baby and started milking twice a day. I had hoped to at least double what I was getting in the mornings, but that hasn't happened. The most I have gotten was 5 cups for the whole day. (I know weighing is the most accurate way to measure, but I've just been checking it with my measuring cup.) Morning milkings have dropped off to two cups and this morning I only got one and a half cups. :hair: Yesterday I got 3 cups between both milkings. That's what I used to get in the morning when she still had the baby with her.

    This is getting so frustrating. Less that a quart a day from a full-sized doe. Is there anything I could be doing different to get better results or is this case hopeless? What if I just went back to milking her once a day? It's a pain to milk twice a day and not get more than when I was milking once a day.

    Please ask questions if it would help to give an answer and I will check back to update if need be. I don't really know anything about her background. She is supposed to be purebred and registered, but this is the first time she has been milked. She is also supposed to be two years old, but she is very skittish about being handled and I can't get into her mouth to check her teeth for age. I didn't get papers with her because the guy I bought from said he didn't get papers from the original owner--and you know how that goes.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Hi Jenny. :wave:

    Is her udder still looking full? or does it look very deflated? it sounds like she is holding the milk back from you.

    What you can do is massage her udder and keep massaging and "bumping" like a baby would to encourage her to let the milk down.

    How much are you feeding her? She needs a lb of grain per 1lb of milk she is producing i do believe it is (I know you didnt do it in lbs but someone will chime in here and tell us how many cups makes a 1lb I think it is 4 but I am not sure :oops: )

    What kind of % protein grain is she getting? I like to use a 16% protein. The feed bag will state it easily on the lable it will say like "12%feed" or "16% feed" that would be the protein.

    Do you have salt available to her? they need salt to make milk.

  3. JenJenWv

    JenJenWv New Member

    May 5, 2008
    Thanks for replying, Stacey. :)

    I had to call the feed store to check because they mix the feed there, and the bag doesn't have a label. But it is 16% sweet goat feed. They have a loose goat mineral, but not a salt block. I was planning to get a salt block in with them today because I had read earlier this week that it will help with milk production. I don't think she is holding back, or not so much if she is. I sit there and massage her udder until nothing more seems to come out. And I can tell just from looking at her when I get her on the stand that she isn't as full as she was when the baby was around. Does the salt block have to be anything special? Walmart sells big salt licks for deer, but I saw that you can also get smaller blocks labeled for goats.

    I had just been eyeballing the feed, but took the scale out this morning to measure how much I was giving her. I've been giving her about 3 pounds of sweet feed, plus a little over half a pound alfalfa pellets, which she doesn't love, but eats after the grain is gone. I've also read that it might be better to just give the alfalfa free choice instead of mixing it with their grain? The two does I've had since they were babies, will just gobble the alfalfa with their food, but I've been giving it to them almost since I got them because the breeder that I got them from said good luck getting them to eat it and implied that they might not be willing to eat the pellets. So I figured I should introduce it right off if I wanted them to eat it. No luck getting alfalfa hay around here, so that's why I chose the alfalfa pellets instead. They have free choice hay all day long, and I change the water twice a day. Plus free choice on the loose mineral and baking soda.
  4. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Well, First of all Welcome to The Goat Spot. You can to the right place. I do not have dairy goats but there are lots of experts here.

    The only experience I have with this is just helping mom's get enough milk for her babies.

    I would massage her utter with a good oil like a Peppermint oil so it feels really good and relaxing to her, and massage it as high as you can.

    Make sure she has fresh water at all times. Maybe one with a electrolyte and one just plain water. Give her options so she will drink more. I would NOT put a salt BLOCK for her. They will not be able to get the salt that she needs before it burns her tongue. Just give her a good fresh mineral loose, and if you have access try to get Sea Kelp. I noticed when I was out of it my mom's really cut back the amount of milk for the babies, then when I found it finally, the does ate it by the mouth full and they they went and drank for a long time. I would also have good alfalfa hay out for her at all times.

    It is just my :2cents: 2 cents worth of information.

    God luck and we love pictures.
  5. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Lori I do believe she said she cant get alfafa hay but is giving pellets so I think that should be good - what do you think?

    the amount of grain seems adiquet so she might have been weaning her kid and that caused the drop in production.

    It is rare but some goats will not keep milking once they have learned to dry off after the kids leave. Since she wasnt milked last year I assume she was dried off after raising her kids for 2 months. This might accoutn for her low production. But she had a low production even with the kid on her so its hard to say.

    I would go with the loose goat minerals over the salt block (I actually have both because I am weird).
  6. JenJenWv

    JenJenWv New Member

    May 5, 2008
    I won't bother with the salt block then since they have loose minerals available all the time. I thought I might try adding some Kool-aid to the water since I've read that might make the water more appealing to them. They never run out of water now and I change it morning and evening to make sure it is fresh.

    Where do you find sea kelp? And do you just give it free choice like the minerals?

    Thanks for welcoming me. I actually joined last year right when I got my first goats, but had only been reading and not posted anything. It's so great to have resources like this readily at hand, though. I was trying to figure out pictures, but my internet connection isn't being friendly right now. You can see some pictures on my blog, though. http://www.petalzandfinz.com
  7. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    You can purchase sea kelp here, in small amounts. http://firmeadow.com/ Or you might be able to get your feed store to order it for you, if they don't have it.