Milking once a day - how?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by kerryandjennie, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. kerryandjennie

    kerryandjennie New Member

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    I currently milk twice a day and I'd like to go to once a day. How do I go about doing that? If there is another thread that has already discussed this, please let me know! Thanks!
     
  2. swgoats

    swgoats New Member

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    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.
     

  3. Rose

    Rose New Member

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    It's really quite simple. :biggrin Milk once a day.

    Seriously.... don't do it at peak production. Wait till she tapers off and then just cut out one milking.
     
  4. MF-Alpines

    MF-Alpines New Member

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    And cutting back your grain ration will help, too.
     
  5. mamatomany

    mamatomany New Member

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    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.
     
  6. Trysta

    Trysta New Member

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    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.
     
  7. kerryandjennie

    kerryandjennie New Member

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    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
     
  8. H Diamond Farms

    H Diamond Farms New Member

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    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.
     
  9. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

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    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.
     
  10. swgoats

    swgoats New Member

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    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.
     
  11. kerryandjennie

    kerryandjennie New Member

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    Haha, Angie, you made me feel a little better! It takes me about an hour to milk my girls and I only have two.... lol I don't mind the time spent because it is time I get to actually focus on ONE task without being interfered with by my children. So the "time" is what I'm going to actually miss the most! It used to take me an hour to milk the one and I still probably use up 45 min. on her because her teats are short and have small orifices and i have to give my hands a break.
     
  12. doublebowgoats

    doublebowgoats New Member

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    One of the great things about goats is that there are many "right" ways to manage them. Milking once a day can work fine but some doe that are not very "dairy" will dry up without more stimulation and some does that are high producers will have udder problems if you try to back off on milking.
    If you don't need the milk and these does are not in good condition, why don't you dry them off completely to let them put on weight and re-build their mineral stores? You could then re-breed late summer.
     
  13. kerryandjennie

    kerryandjennie New Member

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    Michelle, I originally wanted to just go ahead and dry them off, but I'm concerned about messing up their udder. Their kids are around 10 or 11 weeks now, so they've peaked and it should be okay to cut back without ruining them. I will probably dry them off a lot sooner than I normally would because I do want to breed them for fall milk.

    ETA: I didn't mean "fall milk" I meant be able to breed them in the fall!
     
  14. Trysta

    Trysta New Member

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    Do I understand it correctly that they they are slightly under ideal body condition right now (which, by the way, is actually very normal for a dairy doe in the first part of her lactation), that they kidded 2 1/2 month ago and that you want to go ahead and breed them to get them milking again this fall? I think that actually is asking a lot of a first freshener!

    I have my does kidding year round and the FF that provide my wintermilk are either my largest kids that were born in the fall (so true fall yearlings), or my younger spring kids of the season before (so 'almost 1 1/2 yearlings'). My true yearling FFs usually do very well, but this was the first year I had a group of the 1 1/2 yearlings and they all are doing fantastic in their first lactation, seriously competing with the 2 yr old second fresheners in milk production and udder quality and size.
     
  15. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    May I ask what condition you want them in? And why? Do you show? I can't think of another reason to see flesh on a milker, is that she is being shown (in Texas :) Are you going to milk for the whole 10 month lactation? Than why are you even worrying about her dry period, when you likely will give her months of dry period and you can get her as conditioned as you like? Condition on a doe who is only 10 or 11 weeks fresh is simply a doe who converts more of her calories to meat than milk, that isn't a dairy goat. Vicki
     
  16. swgoats

    swgoats New Member

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    I know some people with NDs breed them close two times then give them a break. I always kid mine just once a year.

    Lol, the other thing Jennie is I learned to milk on a doe with one teat. I find milking two handed too strenuous. I milk out one side at a time. :blush2 That probably adds to my time. Looking forward to the milk machine. We ordered our vacuum pump last night. I have to order my inflations today.
     
  17. kerryandjennie

    kerryandjennie New Member

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    Here is some more background on this situation. They are 16 month old Nubian FF that kidded around 2/11/12. When these girls were 16 weeks old they weighed around 75lbs and they were raised (until that point) in the guidelines "from birth till kidding" on this forum. 9 months later I got them and they were a couple weeks out from kidding. When I got them here one weighed barely 70lbs and the other weighed about 80lbs. I have been slowly adding grain and pumping the alfalfa to them. They're on a regular worming schedule and have been, de-loused, de-mited, copper suppliments and hooves taken care of. The previous owner did the best she could, but she is still learning about goats and has several so a lot of things fell through the cracks and nutrition for young/dry does was one of them. Basically the feeder was filled and it was every girl for herself and the smaller of my two didn't ever get to really eat. It is extra work, but I only have 3 does now and each one gets fed separately so I can make sure they get what they need. I provide them with as much grain as they'll eat twice daily and they're not really "shining" up as I thought they would.


    One now weighs about 80lbs and the other weighs 95lbs. Is that "slightly" or "severly" under-conditioned? The production for the 80lb one is +/- 4lbs daily and the 95lb one is +/- 2lbs daily.

    I don't want to get them "over conditioned" by any means, but from what I've read on this forum, they need to weigh considerably more going into their next pregnancy to be able to produce more than they are now. Something is seriously messed up and I'm hoping it is because they weren't being feed appropriately, so my reasoning is this: if I can get them in a decent (NOT FAT) condition by August, then they can go into healthy gestations and when they freshen again (about a year after their FF) then maybe I can get some decent amounts of milk from them.





    Am I correct in assuming they should still be gaining the 10lbs per month?

    And, if the best solution is to NOT go to once a day milking, what should I do?


    I do want to start showing them next year as 2nd FF's if possible, but I need to learn more about showing before I get started in that. Right now I just want enough milk for my kids to drink. I'd like more, but they're not producing it.

    Haha, Angie, I have to milk one handed... the other hand is holding the leg that is tied to the rafter from dangling over the milk bowl! LOL Awesome on the milk machine! :)
     
  18. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

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    So, you're saying that you got them at about 13 months of age (16 weeks plus 9 months later), weighing approximately 70 and 80 pounds respectively, and within a month of kidding, having not gained any appreciable amount of weight (or even lost) in 9 months? Those does should never have been bred in the first place, IMO, but there's nothing that you can do about that now. And I don't think that you can reasonably expect them to produce more milk, under the circumstances. If they were my does, I would probably seriously consider drying them off, but I'll be interested to hear what people with more experience with this have to say.
     
  19. swgoats

    swgoats New Member

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    Well, I have two Nubians that were stunted for some reason - not that badly. I held my does over til they reached 80 lbs and were just putting on weight not so much stature. Then I bred them to my ND buck. I give them all they will eat, and they are still growing and maintaining condition. I will be surprised if they reach their genetic height potential, but for my purposes breeding minis it really isn't an asset to be tall anyway. Personally, I would just milk your goats and feed them all they'll eat. Increasing slowly if they are not eating all they can now. To give you some perspective most on DGI recommend breeding at 100 lbs. I have a grade Nubian who is small; she weight tapes at 120. I wouldn't breed again until they get to 120 since they will be two year olds. They should be able to achieve that weight gain and milk 4-2 lbs. Establishing a habit of long lactations is important too. Just my opinion.
     
  20. swgoats

    swgoats New Member

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    It may be impossible to get 10 lbs a month at this point. Especially if there was any parasite damage done.