heat affect milk production?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Merry Beth, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Merry Beth

    Merry Beth New Member

    I was wondering from some of you southern heat wave milkers if the heat is affecting your milk production? Both our does have dropped in the last few days and we've had 100 degree weather. We've made efforts to keep them cool water and hay but they don't have lots of browse where they are presently. They aren't eating as much grain when we milk and I thought about adding a feeding so they would be getting enough protein to maintain good producing. ???

    If the heat DOES affect the does will they return to normal in cooler weather or will the milk production remain what it is now?

    I feel really dumb and know I'm ignorant, but they don't teach you this in school. hehe.
  2. Ravens Haven

    Ravens Haven New Member

    Here in Georgia, yes the heat affects the girls production, we don't worry about it cause come cooler weather they tend to come back up some. We keep 50 gallons of clean water out in two different spots and they have a fresh water creek running through their browse area so they do get lots of water options. If you haven't shaved them try shaving them to help keep them cool. But I wouldn't expect to much milk increase until cooler weather comes.

  3. Heat does effect milk production in the summer months. That is just a fact of life. There is ALOT of research done every year and the past 40 years on the heat on dairy animals.

    The big thing you want to watch is just like kids(the human kind) dont make them be outside in the sun in the hottest part of the day. Make sure there is plently of fresh water. Fans does help but, you dont want them blow right onto the animal. You also want to make sure that the fan is doing its job, there should be no flies in the barn if they are doing their job right. You can add misters if you want to do that route. Most fans are set up to blow on the feeding area not the bedding area of the barn, since you want them up and eating.

    Feeding grain or hay more than just twice a day does help with them the milk slump in the summer. Also change you grain/forage ratio. In the summer they can eat more grain, and have no ill effects on them. Since grain does not cause as much heat in the rumen as long stem forages. But, you still want the long stem forage in the diet. Also, you can go with a hotter grain(more corn) in the summer and does not have the ill effects either.

    Ken in MO
  4. rg1950

    rg1950 New Member

    Heat does affect milk production. Goats tend to lay around alot more and eat a lot less. They will also stay out of the sun to avoid drinking. I noticed ours drinks a lot more at night than they do during the day, even with fresh cold water replaced every morning. Make sure you are feeding free choice hay and plenty (or free choice) alfalfa or good quality grain. They might pick up a little more as the weather cools, but as a rule, they slowly decrease over time and have to be rebred to kick-start their milk production again. We stagger ours so we are milking year around. We just bred our first set of 7 1 month ago and will breed our next set of 7 in about 2 months from now.

  5. KJFarm

    KJFarm Senior Member

    My milkers are down some in production since the temps have hit 100+ degrees for several days in a row. Some if it is due to them cycling already. They drink lots and lots of water and have nice shade trees out away from the barn. The way our land lays, we have a breeze of some kind most of the time.
  6. Kaye White

    Kaye White Guest

    Disagree with that statement. There is a big difference in Swiss and Nubians. Swiss will keep on milking and come back to decent production when the weather cools. Some lines will even hold production for several years.

    You just contradicted what Ken said...
    I'd be more inclined to go with Ken's statement...as he has a "few more years" of experience with dairy animals. :really
  7. Milk production drops with anything...cattle, goats, sheep, mares...during the hot months. That is why if you look at the National Survery of Dairy animals on DHIA you will find that up to 30% less freshen in the summer months. That is caused by the body heat of the animals are higher in the summer than they are in the fall and spring months of the year. Also, most animals will come into heat in the dead of summer but, alot will not have the reproductive cells that they will have in the other months. Hense, that is why they don't collect bulls in the months of July and Aug, unless they are in climate controled barns.

    The lines with dairy goats has more to do with it than anything. Since, most people are breeding goats that show well but, has lost the dairy factor in the generations that they have bred. That all has to do with the lacation curve in the animals genotype. Some will milk long at a higher rate than others. As some breeds will carry that on longer, the lines of a breed does the same thing.

    Ken in MO
  8. Bella Star

    Bella Star New Member

    Yep,the heat does affect the milk production . I am in the heat . I never milk a doe out completely in the heat due to dehydration , give fresh cool water ,limit the grain and get good hay if you dont have enough forage . The amount of milk should come back up when it starts to cool down and it could be fall as in Louisiana it's no air breeze and stiffling humid hot probably now :(
  9. Our does usually have a nice jump in production mid-late August.
  10. Agape Oaks

    Agape Oaks Guest

    I had a mister out for my milkers & They all seem to enjoy standing in front of it to cool down. Someone removed the misting tip off of it last week & milk production dropped qquite a bit. Wasn't sure if it was the heat, the trip to the nationals or what. I bought a new mist unit over the weekend & sure enough production has gone back up. They're pretty funny all standing in front of the mist
  11. Tricia

    Tricia New Member

    Not nearly so hot in the northeast, but we've had an unusual string of humid days in the low 90s.

    My does are just picking at their grain in the morning but really chowing down in the evening. They aren't going out to graze and browse much, but their hay consumption is very strong (particularly since they're eating our own now). Our does hay out quite a bit before each milking so most are just cudding through the morning milking or enjoying a couple quarts of salad (this time of year: collards, willow, comfrey, carrots, garlic, cherry tomatoes, beans, calendula flowers and leaves, parsley) in lieu of barley and sunflower seed. Milk production is okay.
  12. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

    The girls are picking at their grain in the mornings but night milkings they are eating much better. I am also giving them some of their grain just before bed 1 to 2 am.

    We will loose milk during August and it will slowly start to creep back in September not quite to June weights but pretty close, we never had trouble uddering up for the last week of September show, wouldn't want to try in August! I don't see a huge decline after 8 weeks fresh until the does are bred, then it's a ski slope downhill to 100 days pregnant. We have cycles starting to be tracked on nearly every adult doe here, even the mini's. Vicki