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Old 11-03-2012, 02:55 PM   #1
Junkscouts
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Default How long do you milk first fresheners before breeding again and drying off?

I have a couple first fresheners that are relatively hard to milk due to their small teats. I was wondering if it is important to milk them for a while during their first freshening or is it ok to breed them as soon as possible and dry them off? I'm just wondering if milking is important during the first freshening for easier milking the the future. Do the teats and udder need to stretch during the first freshening? They both kidded in May and I just started hand milking about 2 weeks ago. Thanks.



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Old 11-03-2012, 08:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: How long do you milk first fresheners before breeding again and drying off?

If they both kidded in May and you bred them now, they would be kidding in April. That is not much different from a regular lactation where they would be kidding again in May. I would keep milking them for at least a little while longer, so they don't get programmed to dry up as soon as they are bred. But, there are plenty of people that milk them for short lactations the first time, and they are just fine afterward, so I don't really know if I buy into what some people think about short first lactations leading to encouraging goats to repeat that pattern. So, I guess I'm saying it is up to you. This far into lactation, I would think they have past the point where they are gaining capacity and stretching out teats. All that happens in the first few months, say the first 3 or 4 months, max. Their teats might just always be small; they will gain a little bit more size next lactation, but not a whole lot, with the increased capacity.



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Old 11-03-2012, 09:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: How long do you milk first fresheners before breeding again and drying off?

I always milk my FF for a full lactation, just like the experienced ones.

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Old 11-04-2012, 04:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: How long do you milk first fresheners before breeding again and drying off?

Since you said you just started milking, I'm assuming kids were nursing? What stretches the teats is letting the udder fill with milk 12 hours. A goat that is nursing babies does not ever fill her udder to the point the teats stretch (unless she is super awesome, but then you probably couldn't get away with not milking). Also the lactation peaks fairly early, then as the kids get bigger and more aggressive mom starts weaning them. Even though they are still nursing, she does not allow them to nurse as much, so her supply starts to go down. If you haven't milked for three months, your goat is starting to dry up when you start milking her. That might be ok with you (it is with me sometimes depending on our needs), but you aren't getting that nice filling effect to help stretch tight teats. Next time separate babies 12 hours a day after a few weeks, and let mom fill that udder for you to milk out. It makes a dramatic difference. I had one doe whose baby was drinking only from one side. Even though I was milking every 12 hours in addition to the nursing,the teat the baby was using was smaller than the one that was filling. In order to keep the teats equal, I taped the baby's teat so he was forced to nurse from the other, and that allowed "his" teat to expand. If the teats are still tight the second go round, then breed for better teats. Tight teats are no fun.

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Old 11-04-2012, 04:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: How long do you milk first fresheners before breeding again and drying off?

PS Be careful taping teats with nursing babies. Don't want to choke them. I used regular human bandaging tape, and taped it so it was not coming off.

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Old 11-04-2012, 11:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: How long do you milk first fresheners before breeding again and drying off?

i bought a 4 year old goat that had never been milked that came from a great bloodline. she had 3 previous freshenings and dam raised all her kids. her teets are way too small and hard to milk. No problem with any other of mine that i milked through a full lactation period their ff.

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Old 11-04-2012, 07:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: How long do you milk first fresheners before breeding again and drying off?

That makes very good sense. Yes, the kids have been nursing this whole time. That is exactly the problem I am now having, the does aren't producing enough to fill and stretch their udders and teats now. I get milk out of them but I wouldn't ever call their udders full. I will breed them soon and continue milking for a while and then try again next year. Thank you.

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Old 11-05-2012, 01:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: How long do you milk first fresheners before breeding again and drying off?

I bought a 2nd freshener who had raised her kids the first freshening & I bred her for her 2nd..... I pulled her kids & bottle raised them. Teats were tiny the first week or so after freshening, but by a month into it, they had doubled in length & was very easy to milk.



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