I'm curious about the response to this. I was under the impression the standard advice at DGI was to milk twice a day.
I have milked once a day for a few years. I simply started milking only once a day from the start, separating the kids for 12 hours so I could get a good amount. I usually leave a doeling on as long as she wants, but if a doe has only bucks, I just kept on with once a day milkings at weaning. But I have to say, I haven't had any goats that are busting with milk at kidding, leaking teats and all that. Twice a day milkings has for certain maximized their production, and I could not just stop now without trouble. I would think slowly pushing back one milking an hour at a time would eventually get you down to one milking.
As you said Angie, the standard is twice a day, but everyone is different. I have babies on them during the day and only milk once a day. They are still put up on the milkstand at night to eat their ration and have my hands over them, but they have growin babes on them so there is not but 2 squirts after the day is done. The part I don't think I would like tho, is milk sitting in the udder for 24 hours? Jennie I don't think you have to worry about strutting with your does, but I knokw condition was an issue so I don't think I would be cutting back on their ration. To a certain degree they are like us, in that the more the baby nurses the more you produce. That said, they will drop down in production, but still not sure how good it is to leave milk in there for 24 hours.
Shoals Creek Farm
Milking twice a day is much better for the does, especially if they're high producers. Better for the udders, plus it makes you spend time with the animal and nothing is better to keep track of how your animals are doing health wise than to make sure you spend some time with them at least twice a day. And milking really doesn't take that much time. I really do not understand why people want to milk once a day. If you need less milk, why not just have less does? Some things just come with the 'pet', you can't walk the dog just once a day, and you can't clean the rabbit cage just once a year. It saves time, but is not part of the 'total care package' you sort of agree to when you decide to introduce these animals into your family. Just my opinion.
Marion Venema, East Leroy, MI
Saanen, LaMancha, Nubians
Marion, I agree with you! It isn't the amount of milk that I want to decrease. I want the girls to make less milk so they will gain body condition but I dont' want to dry them off completely as Linda has poiinted out it will mess up their udder. From these two FF Nubians I am getting slightly less than 3 quarts from one and 1 quart from the other. So, I don't think they'd fall into that "heavy producer" category. I just think they would do better on their next freshening if I "asked less of them" in terms of milk production during this lactation as they were severly under condition when they came to me.
I spend time with my girls and Linda, i would definately still feed them on the stand (2x a day) just so I could check them over and make sure no problems brewing. It isn't a saving time issue so much as it is, what is best for the doe. I wasn't goign to cut back on the ration.
So instead of just doing one milking, you think I should just take out about 1/2 of whats there during the two times I milk? Thanks
South Eastern US
1 Nubian, 2 Lamancha mix wethers. 1 bred Dexter cow, 1 Aussie, 2 persian barn cats, and a bunch of hens and two fuzzy bunnies!
Just about the time I figure something out... it is going to change!
If they were undercondition, I don't think I would cut back their grain really. It sounds like they still may need it. Breed/age/# of freshenings/amount produced? If they aren't high producers, if their udders aren't tight at milking, you can certainly go longer, and generally can probably just cut back to once a day. A doe's production is based off what is demanded from her. If she was milked 5 times a day, she would make more milk (up to her ability of course) than just twice a day. Milked once a day, she will make less than milked twice a day.
Sables and Boer/Dairy crosses
Do what works for you. I disagree that it is absolutely necessary to milk twice a day, and like dam raising, it doesn't ruin udders if done properly. I have a nubian doe that I allowed to dam raise her single buckling that she had last year as a FF, then I milked her 2x/day for a while, and eventually switched to 1x/day for approximately the second half of her lactation. This year, she had quads, which I took and bottle fed, and have been milking her 2x/day since she freshened at the end of Feb. She is giving me approximately 10 pounds of milk/day (1 gallon plus 1 quart) and her udder looks FABULOUS.
Milk straight out of the udder is going to be fine, whether you milk once a day or three times a day. It's not like it's sitting there, spoiling, like it would sitting on your counter all day.
How much time it takes to milk depends on a number of factors. Training first fresheners or bumping does that are dam raising and don't want you to empty them or dealing with less than ideal teats... Factors that can add time to the task. I wouldn't say that across the board milking doesn't take much time. I average about fifteen minutes per doe per milking.