Anyone have experience with "milking through"?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by NWgoats, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. NWgoats

    NWgoats New Member

    I have heard about continuing to milk a doe through without re-breeding. By that I mean, breeding one season and milking clear through the next breeding season so that you only breed every 2 years instead of yearly. Any thoughts or information pertaining to this?
  2. Tricia

    Tricia New Member

    Hi Michele -- I've been doing this for the last seven years -- I have one family line that does just wonderfully on 22-month lactations, very flat lactation curves. I have a 2-1/2 yo FF who is still milking 9-10# on her 18th month. My second family line does fairly well but we've had some issues with false pregnancies. Be persistent through winter milking, particularly don't get discouraged by production dips during estrous. My milk is tested monthly by the state, no substantial quality changes in terms of SCC and bacterial plate counts. Solids and fats rise but drop back in the spring.

  3. Rose

    Rose New Member

    I think much depends on the individual doe or families of goats. Some do, some don't.

    We have an Alpine who kidded in February of 2007. She's still making 1/2 a gallon per day, which is what we need.

    We are breeding her this fall.
  4. Karen Bailey

    Karen Bailey New Member

    And I would add this: Keep milking 2 times per day at the same schedule, even if production drops pretty low. If the will to milk an extended lactation is there, they will eventually come back up. But it is true that some individuals just won't continue, and really do better on a yearly breeding schedule. I both select for and manage for extended lactations. Winter milk from a doe doing an extended lactation is the best milk there is for drinking and cheesemaking.
  5. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    yep I agree I have 2 that I milk thru last year but only milked once a day since last Aug and their production is not real good so it needs to be twice a day milking in my opinion.
  6. NWgoats

    NWgoats New Member

    Thanks for your input. I don't need the extra kids, but we do want the milk. I have continued to milk her twice a day, just wanted to be sure that was what I should be doing. She was a total donkeys behind when we first started milking, but in the last month has really settled down. Now she stands like an angel for me. I figure the more we milk, the quicker I will get. Also keeps her on her regular schedule.
    I am curious about feeding her. Since she is producing less, should she still be eating the same? I am still feeding her the same amount she was getting when she was producing 100%. I don't want to cut feed if it is going to cut production.
  7. haeema

    haeema New Member

    I wish I had thought about this before I went and purchased my 3 bucks. I have 3 to keep the inbreeding down to a minimum. However, I must say that I think I have beautiful boys! Check out my website.
  8. baileybunch

    baileybunch New Member

    We milked our grade Alpine doe through 22 months. We only milked once a day and she gave a consistent 3/4 gallon each day. The following spring she went up to a gallon. We bred her last fall as I sold her only doeling (duh!) so had to dry her off after 22 months. She gave us triplets this spring. We kept one doeling. I won't breed her again for quite some time. Carrying and raising the triplets was hard on her. She comes from a doe who kidded quads at 7 years old.

    This year we have been milking her twice a day since she freshened in March. This week her production dropped below a gallon so we began milking once a day. She's at 6.5 pounds a day now, once a day.

    She has the best milk. Mild, good keeping quality and consistent in production. We just love her. :)
  9. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

    I have two does I wanted to milk through, but my buck jumped the fence and bred them. These does are not show quality and do not have the best udders, but I really want their milk for soaping and cheese during the months the others are drying off and kidding so my plan is to milk these two through after they kid in 2009 for as long as they will milk. I don't need a lot when I am not feeding kids. They are both at once a day milkings and one of them is still producing 7-8 pounds per day. I am researching this also. It sounds like a great idea.
  10. FRW

    FRW New Member

    Due to back problems I sold allot of my goats to a lady who has a Grade A Dairy in Mississippi.She says she has several Saanen's that she has milked as long as 4 years.They were able to still give an average of 8 to 9 lb a day throughout the time period. I have heard of it working for Saanen's and Alpines but I have never heard of it working for extended periods with Nubian's.
    Have had several does that I have not been able to completely dry up before they kidded.
    I have always tried to milk as close to 10 mths as possible.
    But that can change depending on when does were due to kid etc.. But if you are going to show and get the best production out of your animals you need to breed them once a year and let them have their rest. It has been studied with cows etc that it will always pay to rest the 60 days before calving or kidding. Your greater surplus of milk and usually the raise in the higher amount of milk production each year will pay off in the end.
    The main reason you want to breed is if your doe is still milking and is not bred she is still ovulating. So most likely when our doe is 8 she might be done with kidding . Each time a doe kids and ovulates those is eggs are gone and she is only born with as many eggs as she will ever produce. So your doe may end her reproduction years earlier!!If you have gotten the genetics you need out of her and just want her to give you a little each day I think it is up to the owner.