Dam Raising and Showing

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Ravenwood, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. Ravenwood

    Ravenwood New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I am looking for some more info on dam raising. I am contemplating dam raising my kids this year pending negative CAE test results on my does. How many of you dam raise? How do you do it? Do you separate the kids at night and milk in the morning? How much do you milk off? Does it save any hassle/fussing? I am having my second human baby in July and looking for a way to "streamline operations" so to speak, for this year at least. Do you find your does lost condition with the kids sucking them so often?

    I was wondering if any of you dam raise AND show? How well does that work? I am willing to put the extra time into socializing and handling the kids. I just don't know how it would work logistically for showing?

    We dam raise our Jersey babies and they really thrive on their mamas. They sure do fuss a lot more at the shows than the bottle babies though. Wondering if you've found the same with goats or not. We milk once/day with our cows.

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
     
  2. J-Basqo

    J-Basqo New Member

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    I dam raised last year (which was my first year with a dairy goat!) and with my work schedule that is what I plan on doing this year.
    I just had one doe kid and she just had a single doeling. The night she was born she was kind of sickly so I had to bring her in at night to tube feed the first 2 days etc and she did just fine learning to nurse when put out with her dam. I then gave her the rest of 2 weeks to nurse without separating (leaving a heat lamp in the barn for her and momma to sleep under at night), just milking excess off mom morning and evening. Then after two weeks I would separate at night and milk in the AM, bringing baby in the house at night (in a dog crate) so she was with people too! :) Now some babies that might not work with as well (noise wise!) but Tango was always quiet and never made a fuss. Some of that could have been the original separation at birth (which I dont recommend unless it is necessary) to tube feed. She turned out just a friendly as my bottle boys I got before the dairy doe, just wasnt as pushy and clingy as the ones that thought I was "mom". She is now a pet at a friends house and follows them around everywhere. :)
    So that is my experience with dam raising. There is many variables to how you can do it to make it fit in with your lifestyle though :). The only comment I have on CAE is that some buyers may not be interested in a dam raised kid.
    Patina
     

  3. LMonty

    LMonty New Member

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    Ive got two buck kids so far, and left them both on their dams. One born today so I cant comment on that yet, but the first one is a 10 day old buck born to a Nubian FF and doing just fine. I'm milking twice a day without seperating at all at this point,. I'm getting 3 cups to a qt. at each milking (about 3-4 lbs a day). Both dam and baby look in good condition so far. I recognize its early yet and will definitely be keeping a close eye on that.

    Even with negative CAE tests I doubt I could sell a dam raised kid to a good home. I wouldnt buy one, at least not unless there were very special circumstances. Ive got a home for the 10 day old buck, and the new owner is fine with him being dam raised and is well aware that the tests can be misleading, and that only properly pasteurized milk can really ensure it doesnt get passed on. The new boy is a grade Nupine, and I doubt I'd find much of a home for him besides freezer camp, so it wasnt really worth pulling him.

    A doe off either one of them I would have pulled. But youre right, it sure is easier working long hours to dam raise. I guess our markets and our goals really dictate if its worth the extra work to bottle feed. I dont show yet, and am too new back into goats to really answer any better. This is the first time Ive dam raised and have far too little experience to give you an educated answer, but hope what ive shared might be helpful. Its an interesting question though, I'm looking forward to the replies.
     
  4. Pairaka

    Pairaka New Member

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    I dam raise our kids simply because it's what works best for us. We separate the kids into a separate pen in the evening and I milk in the morning. Last year it worked out great; I only milked three does once a day (even after we "weaned," by which I mean took the wethers to be processed) and even though I wouldn't have won any milking competitions, it was enough milk for our family. And there's five of us. We did occasionally have to dump some milk out because it went bad; so we had a little too much and that's even with making cheese and all of us drinking as much as we wanted.

    At first I didn't completely milk the does out; in fact, leaving the kids on them is convenient because if you happen to get sick or have an early appointment, you can just let the kids out and let them milk mama for you. But back to milking: I didn't milk them out completely for the first several weeks; I just milked what I figured I thought was enough for us. (Doing this, having Nubians, I did notice that compared to the previous year when I weaned the two buck kids we had and milked twice a day, we didn't get nearly as much cream.) I don't worry about milking out and mastitis because the kids will take care of that. I haven't had any mastitis since I've started (crosses fingers and knocks on wood).

    As the kids grew and started eating more solid food was when I started milking the doe out closer to completion. My thoughts were that, yes, the kids are drinking more milk because they're growing more, but if I take a little more milk it would help to keep the doe's milk production up longer into her cycle. Which kind of worked, too. This year, I managed to keep both of my milkers going almost up until their dry-off date and the one that's still milking, while she's not setting records, she's getting close to have been milking a year and still going strong and steady. I could have probably gotten more milk from her had I started milking her twice a day when I took her kids away (she had buck kids, which we wethered and sent to the processor).

    I know I've probably confused you every which way I could. Sorry. Just trying to explain my philosophy. Basically what I do is this: I let the kids and the dam bond for two weeks, then we put the kids up at night and milk the doe in the morning. At first I don't milk the doe out; just get what I want/need (depends on how many you're milking), then slowing increase the amount as the kids grow.

    Also, we have a small herd and the kids and I tend to go in and play/observe the goats and that helps get them socialized like bottle babies would be. My kids (my human ones) think is hilarious when the goat kids climb on their backs and nibble on their hair. :)

    Anyway, if I've just confused you too much, uh... I'll try to explain further. :/

    -- Wendy
     
  5. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    As someone show has had another breeder feed their goatlings her milk "They were just hungry so I let them finish the lambar"...I don't take unweaned kids to shows period.

    Those who dam raise simply will loose sales due to the CAE prevention demanded of good quality stock. Those who sell dam raised quality kids have years of reputation and years of negative testing behind the decision of dam raising. I would never choose to dam raise off the back of one test result for CAE. Until you are milking your own tested kids, that you, not your children or others, milked, heat treated the colostrum, pasteurised the milk and then tested yourself...then a decision on dam raising...I can see that.

    But pasteurising is alot more than CAE, it is mycoplasma it is staph mastitis.

    I see it this way, it is 12 weeks worth of work. You have to milk the does anyway when they nurse kids, so why not just milk them all the way? You have to play with the kids to keep them tame, so why not just bottle them. For 12 weeks worth of work I would rather end up with tame saleable kids. And most dam raised kids are only tame for their owners...purchased these kids are not as tame as bottle kids in their new homes. Vicki
     
  6. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

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    I usually have 18-20 does freshen at my place each year and I work in town 30 miles from home 4 days a week. Because of the time constraints, I allow some of my dams to raise their kids. I usually don't pull the kids off the dams at night except to be able to see the udders completely full, and when showing the does. I don't use that much milk in my home and babies always have priority over customers as far as the milk is concerned. I breed the older does to kid early enough in the year that I don't have to take their kids to shows if I choose not to. The problem with leaving kids on the does is that their udders can become uneven. I have a few does this year, who are nice enough that I will not take the chance of letting them raise their kids and mess up their udders for show. They are also nice enough that I may want to be able to ask more than a commercial dairy price for their kids, so I want to raise them on prevention. My eventual goal is to have my herd more fine tuned as to show quality (hopefully, this year) and reduce the number of does goats I keep. When I have my numbers down, it will be much easier to bottle feed all the kids.
     
  7. Melissa

    Melissa New Member

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    doelings I bottle raise, bucklings are allowed to stay w/ mommas that I will never show. I milk everybody morning and night all the way. singletones are also pulled.

    -Melissa
     
  8. Agape Oaks

    Agape Oaks New Member

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    I do a combination of dam & bottle raising. As a single mom, working full time, there's just not enough hours in my day :). I start mine off taking a bottle really early, & normally pull them during the day, leaving them with their dam at night- easier for me to milk in the evening then in the morning. I do DHI & show & have had no problems. I do test frequently for CAE ( 2-3 times a year). I prefer the personalities of the ones raised partly on dam & partly on bottle to that of my total bottle babies. I think ideally, it'd be nice to milk & bottle raise everyone, but realistically, there's no way for me to do it that way. I've only had one doe get uneven- she had twin bucks who insisted on nursing one side.....she's almost completely even again now.
     
  9. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    I used to dam raise and pulled at 2 wks old at night and milked in the am .
    I now dam raise bucklings going for meat and bottle everyone else.
     
  10. Tricia

    Tricia New Member

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    Hi Tam --

    Our dams raise their kids. We'll intervene to provide bottles if a newborn is not getting sufficient colustrum and milk (smallest of triplets, for example). We've only once had a mother (first freshener) who was not attentive to making sure all her kids were equally fed (we had an 11# newborn doeling whose mother vastly preferred her to her 8# sister), but that situation wasn't repeated in a subsequent freshening with twin bucks and a doeling. Some of my friends do pen at night, particularly helpful if you are on test!

    I milk all does twice a day, mainly evening out the udder initially and progressively taking more as the kids age. My recently kidded does will stay lean -- it's not the frequency of the kids nursing (the mums soon structure access after the first 7 to 10 days of on-demand nursing) but the dams' overall will to milk and productivity that seems to keep them lean. I find them putting condition back on during the winter months (we're on 22-month lactation cycles).

    We don't show, and our herd doesn't travel or co-mingle with other herds. If we did, we'd be on a disease transmission prevention program. We do testing of dams in the spring of their kidding (half the herd each year).

    Like your Jersey babies, our kids also really thrive on their mums, are very growthy, and very well socialized. Because our herd is small (ten adults), we do spend time handling kids and encourage visitors during their first weeks. I accept the fact that my cheesemaking business isn't perfectly optimized in terms of diverting milk away from kids into cheese revenue and that some of my time is taken from the business to the pleasure of sitting with kids and walking with the herd during kid rearing season. The business is healthy enough, the herd is healthy and content. I could still use a nap!

    However, when I've brought in goats (two in the past 6 years), I've required fairly extensive health testing as terms of the purchase -- both came from larger herds managed quite differently than mine. That said, some buyers come to me because they specifically are looking for dam-raised kids because they believe that the kids' overall health will be superior to kids bottle-raised on pasteurized milks or replacers: I've six doeling sales for this summer and 3 sales last summer based on this preference for dam-raised kids. Maybe this is a New England thing, eh?
     
  11. Doc

    Doc New Member

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    I have no problem selling my dam raised kids (from CAE negative dams), and I get the same $$ for them that breeders of similar bloodlines are getting. Perhaps its regional? A vast majority of my clients don't care, as long as the herd has been negative for a number of years (in my case, 10). I only pull kids when customers request it prior to their birth. Last year I bottle fed about half, and let the rest be dam raised. Today, you can't tell which of those yearlings were bottle fed, and which were dam raised. They'd all jump in your lap if you let 'em.

    I watch the udders on my dams carefully, and milk them out daily from day 1. Last summer one of my does took BOS with a still nursing kid at her side. None of my dams have blown or uneven udders. It's management, sure, and it's husbandry. My girls are from good milking lines.
     
  12. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    as the herd has been negative for a number of years (in my case, 10).
    ..........................

    My point exactly. Once your reputation is established you could sell pickles. Dam raising is the kiss of death to get top dollar for your stock, with 1 or 2 seasons of CAE testing, for new folks.

    So it is a double standard. And when folks who dam raise buy, they want every test done and also purchase bottle raised kids. We had a poll before on this and it proved this point quite dramatically. Vicki
     
  13. Ravenwood

    Ravenwood New Member

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    What if you are a new person but bought your stock from herds that have tested for years and years and you continue that on?
     
  14. LMonty

    LMonty New Member

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    So it is a double standard. And when folks who dam raise buy, they want every test done and also purchase bottle raised kids. We had a poll before on this and it proved this point quite dramatically. Vicki

    I agree with that as a buyer! I'm definitely looking for bottle raised CAE prevention kids. I'm not investing hundreds or more into an animal thats health status is at risk if I can help it.

    I do think its likely regional and the education and interest levels of your market that will make a difference- and regional preferences may vary. IMHO for meat bucks, it doesnt much matter, which is why Ive been lazy so far. The one little buck thats going to my friend is off an animal from a CAE neg herd that was raised on CAE prevention and thats been tested neg. twice before I got her, and once since. Ive told her that, and also told her its no guarantee, that although I dont expect it to turn up positive, it is a faint possibility. Shes willing to take that chance for a buck to use on her meat girls. He's better and safer than what she's going to find around here unless she shells out the big bucks. IF I get any does, I'll definitely pull them, even if they are off the grades. That way I can offer them to local 4H kids with a clear conscience that they are most likely healthy and good for their needs. I'm guessing one of the quickest ways to damage my reputation (or create one!) is to sell or even give away diseased stock. I sure dont want that to happen!
     
  15. Qvrfullmidwife

    Qvrfullmidwife New Member

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    "What if you are a new person but bought your stock from herds that have tested for years and years and you continue that on?"

    You are taking their word for it in many ways...that the doe who is listed on the test is actually the doe whose sample was submitted, etc.

    But then, you are also taking someone's word for it that when they say that they raise CAE prevention that they actually DO. I know of one breeder who states that she practices CAE prevention on her website but in actuality milks does, pools milk and just pours it straight into lambars unpasteurized. So if she also tested...they could be negative fine at her place, the stress of the move coupled with maturity could cause that doe to end up testing positive and in the end...you are stuck. Breeder SAYS that she practices prevention, has accurate tests, but you could still well end up with a positive doe.

    So...in the end when you BUY it comes down to the word of the breeder that you buy from. If you sell...is your name strong enough to withstand potentially negative impressions of dam raised kids?
     
  16. Ashley

    Ashley New Member

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    Well, I would have a different opinion on the CAE prevention, I wouldn't necessarily seek animals animals raised on CAE prevention. To me the perfect situation is one as mentioned above, someone who has had a CAE and CL free herd from years, keeps a closed herd, raises their animals on a healthful diet, where they are able to browse on a variety of plants and get plenty of exersize, and are handled plenty. But barring that, yea those raised on CAE prevention is my next choice, from which I can raise them my own way without getting started with someone else's problems. I would take that over getting animals from questionable sources that are dam raising for sure. But I do not believe pastuerized milk is as healthful to the animals as fresh raw milk from their dams.
     
  17. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    But I do not believe pasteurized milk is as healthful to the animals as fresh raw milk from their dams.
    .............................

    Make sure you don't put human emotions into your management choices.

    Although you believe your statement, it simply isn't true. My goats are healthy, are likely healtheir than most because I do manipulate colostrum on my farm. Choosing only heat treated colostrum from my older vaccinated does. Kids nursing dams, especially very young dams simply can't be as healthy as does receiving colostrum from older does.

    Also pasteurised milk will rid you of lots of things that are not testable in your kid crops. Vicki
     
  18. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

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    My hubby thinks the same way Ashley does and tries to convince me that raw milk is better for the kids. Though my does have tested negative, and some are allowed to raise doelings, I never feed pooled raw milk to my bottle babies. If I'm going to take the time to bottle feed kids, they will be raised on prevention. There is always the off chance that a doe could pick something up at a show, and there's no way I'd risk a whole crop of bottle babies. My kids raised on pasteurized milk grow just as well as the dam raised ones.
    Kathie
     
  19. Tricia

    Tricia New Member

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    I would buy dam-raised stock from a breeder who did documented disease testing for Johne's, CL, and CAE and who maintained a closed herd. There just aren't that many closed herds, and, hence, the "double-standard" I've used since my first care is herd health.

    Vicki's point about choosing very high quality colostrum (high in immunoglobulins or "IgG") for pasteurization is important: you will reduce the IgG concentration through pasteurization. So use the best you have. The lower temps recommended for colostrum pasteurization help keep those IgG concentrations up, but the lower temps will not destroy all disease-causing bacteria, importantly Mycobacterium paratuberculosis which is responsible for Johne's disease. I'm as concerned about Johne's as CAE since there is an unclear link to Crohn's disease in people.

    Pasteurization does rid or reduce a lot of disease-causing organisms, but it also reduces enzyme and IgG concentrations. Whether the later is clinically significant, I don't know. If your management is such that you find colostrum's disease risk negligible (for me, that's dams test negative for diseases of concern), then allowing kids of take it unprocessed has made sense to me.
     
  20. Odeon

    Odeon New Member

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    I look at it this way.. Unless you test JUST before the doe kids, how can you be sure the dam is still negative as she is nursing. Does have switched from Negative to Positive before. To me, raw milk is the kiss of death. I have pasteurized since the late 1980's and cannot see myself doing it any other way. I work full time, get up at 3am so I can be out at the barn by 3:30 to milk. I pasteurize every drop of milk on the farm. No one told me I had to breed goats, no one forced them upon me... so its MY responsibility to provide the best management that I can. Pasteurization is part of that management.

    Ken (in Idaho)