Dairy products would not be digested properly in an adult doe. When kids nurse, the milk by passes the rumen. However, in an adult it would become trapped in the rumen and possibly cause some very serious issues. I would feed her plenty of quality alfalfa, dairy grain, alfalfa pellets, BOSS, and some Calf Manna.
I think the idea to give milk to add weight is because it works with hogs and a pig will put on a lot of weight in a short amount of time. Goats are not hogs, so it is not a good idea. How far away is fair? It takes time to put weight on a goat, if she is weaning her kids I would finish the weaning and increase her feed intake. More alfalfa, and add some vegetable oil to help add some fat. If you are drying her up you don't want to give her a bunch of high protein feed as that will only increase her milk. If you still want her in milk, just keep feeding her the same grain she has been getting and add either vegetable oil or rice bran to up the fat in her diet.
I swear by Rice bran, either the meal, pellets or oil. I also give soaked beet pulp. It keeps my heavy milkers in awesome weight while feeding their kids, the dogs, chickens and me!
An added plus would be the gorgeous, , soft, silky, shiny coat they will have because of the oil.
That said, I did use milk to bring an adult doe back from the brink of death. I got her and her sister back and they were in horrible shape-yearling Nubian does that I could pick up and tuck under my arms, at the same time! They didn't even have enough muscle to give an injection in! One had been a bottle kid, so when she was too weak to eat, I gave her a bottle of milk 3 times a day for a week until she got her strength and appetite back. I added probiotics and yogurt to the milk. Once she felt better, she stopped taking the bottle on her own.
I just finished milking Rosie an since our milk supply was good I was going to give it to the chickens. I left the bucket on the floor and ran to get something when I can back miss Rosie had her head in the bucket and was just finishing off the last of her milk. I started laughing which startled her she looked up at me with a huge milk ring around her face like oops was I not suppose to do that
I know this is a controversial subject but I give my goats especially Beep back her own milk at least once a day. I generally give just a cup but Beep gets up to four cups a day. Some people suggest feeding the doe back some of her own milk prevents or helps get rid of mastitis. I personally think this is true. If I give Beep more grain she just gives more milk and is generally still really skinny and run down looking. When I feed her back her own milk I notice she is in a better mood and doesn't look so unthrifty. I would see other venues first such as beet pulp, rice bran oil/pellets/meal and such first but it won't harm her if you just give her a little at a time.
Thanks everyone! That's what I love about this site - getting everyone's ideas! I know our breeder was still feeding pasteurized milk back to kids late last fall that were born in January thru march of last year. That would have put them at 7-9 months old and they did just find - in fact- they looked great. They ate feed, hay & milk. Not sure what exactly I'm going to do - I'm contemplating the rice bran thing because time is running out before fair. I'm also looking at adding more copper but am not crazy about bolusing. Our breeder used free choice copper sulfate (I think) and he is one of the top breeders in the state if not region. I have an email into him, asking multiple questions and I can post his findings if anyone is interested. I just hate to bug him all the time. Thx for all your help.
So I got a reply from our breeder. He mixes salt 3-to-1 with feed grade copper sulfate to supplement his dairy herd. He also said to use sweetlix magnum milker (as some of you suggested!) and that he used to use Nutrena Onyx but can no longer get it in Indiana. He also agree with the beat pulp and BOSS & Calf Manna (if necessary). I've ordered the Sweetlix and am on the lookout for feed grade copper sulfate (used for poultry water). Getting ready to buy a bag of alfalfa pellets to add to the mix as they get plenty of good hay, but waste so much - I think adding the pellets would help! Thanks everyone - you all are SO helpful!
I was feeding Alfalfa pellets but recently switched to lucrene farms Alfalfa Supreme its chopped alfalfa in a bag the girls love it and my heavy milker glory who always looks thin when in milk is putting on weight and they seem to like it better than the pellets I just fill 2 5 gallon buckets with it then clip them low on the fence so they wont tip them over they are also under cover of the barn