Milk flavor from bred does

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by homeacremom, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. homeacremom

    homeacremom New Member

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    Do any of you notice a different flavor when milking bred does? We are getting an off flavor from something, almost a vinegary smell or the goaty smell/taste of some store bought goat cheeses. I seldom store milk more than 5 days with it still good on day 5, but it is getting gross by day 2? No one else is getting milk right now, just us... but yuck!!! I won't keep milking 2x a day just to throw it out!

    Especially the 2nd F develops dips in production levels along w/ a change in flavor during heats so I wondered if this development could be a result of pregnancy hormones. During heats you can taste a difference; now I am able to smell the flavor right away in both warm and chilled milk. They are about 50 days bred ( not tested but no more heats) ; change started about 10 days ago. I have never milked longer than 60 days bred. The 2nd F dried up immediately upon being bred last fall. This year she made it all the way to 35-40 days and is now dropping off. The other doe has more will to milk and is hard to dry off. She is still holding steady in production but has off flavored milk as well.

    The other possibilities that I can think of are:
    -cheaper brand of alfalfa pellets, still just alfalfa 17%, smells good but a little more dusty, not as greedy for them
    -different cutting of grass/alfalfa hay, smells good, greedy pigs on it, started feeding a week before flavor change
    -flavors changed exactly with the arrival of colder weather
    - small dry lot right next to bucks dry lot, but they have been there for 4+ weeks right through rut/breeding w/no problem

    They were dewormed approx. 2 months ago. A set of 3 doses of cydectin. The first dose was Cydectin/Valbazen.
    Same amount of grain; clean tempered water; same salt, minerals, b. soda. Normal temperatures, no hot udders or signs of mastitis, normal berries, same milking routine, milk looks fine- no strings/lumps and makes cheese as normal except for the off flavor even if the milk is pastuerized first
    Are there any other factors I am overlooking? Any recommendations?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Good Goats

    Good Goats New Member

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    I have not experienced that. I am milking a few bred does right now and their milk tastes the same as the unbred ones. The main thing that we have found to get good milk is go get it cold fast. Right when I am done milking each doe I put it in the freezer, then when it is cold (takes a few hours or so, depending on the freezer) just take it out and put it in the fridge (if you don't want to keep it frozen). Our bucks are housed right next to our does and we have never had a problem with off-flavored milk. Our does get alfalfa and alfalfa/grass hay, along with barley, rice bran, beet pulp, protein pellet, and corn.

    Just trying to give you ideas.
    Suriyah
     

  3. homeacremom

    homeacremom New Member

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    Same milk handling procedure as I have used for three years so I don't think it is that. I know what you mean about getting it cold fast. I milk over glass bottles of frozen water - everything sterilized, strain immediately into glass jars in salted ice water for 10 minutes or so until I am finished cleaning up. At one point I had checked temps and from the goat's udder to 40* took 10 minutes.
    Shouldn't be a problem w/ bred does since others do it all the time... Does the Alpine/Togg breed make a difference? Tracy??? I have always thought that the bad rap for Alpine and Togg milk was bunk because our milk is sweet and creamy.

    Edit to add:
    And no it is not just my pregnant nose and taste buds! :lol Dh says the goats smell more goaty recently. I think he is right. The buck odor is lessening though. Reminds me of a disinfectant we used in the pig barn when I was growing up; can't remember the name. Oh I know what it was- Lysol...
     
  4. GallopingGoats

    GallopingGoats New Member

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    I have this problem every year, late fall, winter. I think it may have more to do with heat cycles or hormone levels. I fianlly started just drying them off because it is too much work for milk that stays good for only 2 days. I asked on here and several people. Handling the same, feed the same, nothing different. No one had any answers. A lot of people didn't seem to know what I was talking about. I thought maybe my family just have sensative taste buds. I figure the goats and I both need a break anyway. But I do hate buying milk! Shannon
     
  5. Corky

    Corky New Member

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    I haven't noticed it either.
    I am only milking one doe and her milk is good.

    That is amazing in itself as she is half Togg.
    Must be from the good togg line.
    She is the only doe I ever kept from that buck.
    I am glad because the others had Dams from the strong tasting milk lines.
    This one is half Alpine. So her milk is very good even though she is bred now.
     
  6. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

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    So far this year, my goats' milk still tastes good. I started breeding in early October. I have noticed that my first bred doe is dropping in production. She's a 2 year old who got to raise her doeling last year, so she may lose the will to milk after being bred. My does who are raising kids usually wean them after being bred. In past years, I have noticed the milk tasting more goaty the closer the time comes to drying them off. At that time, they are in later lactation. I've heard that the somatic cell count is higher in goats in late lactation (this is one of the reasons why commercial dairies need does freshening all year - the dairy inspectors in Montana use a test meant for cows and expect the SCC to remain under a certain level). I would imagine that when the SCC changes, the flavor may change as well.
     
  7. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    We only fed alfalfa hay after milking, all they would clean up, then out of the holding pen and out into the pasture/woods and their barn with grass hay and minerals. We had keeping quality problems with our milk if the girls ate their alfalfa hay whenever they wanted. I have no idea why this was...because certainly they aren't making milk right before milking, but it certainly did work, and we have talked about this at club before. Never had any problems with alfalfa pellets. Vicki
     
  8. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    have never had the problem but have never fed alfalfa hay either only pellets.
     
  9. Gabe

    Gabe New Member

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    I feed both, pellets and hay. The milk always taste the same :yes
     
  10. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    different cutting of grass/alfalfa hay, smells good, greedy pigs on it, started feeding a week before flavor change
    .....................

    I posted after reading this....Vicki
     
  11. homeacremom

    homeacremom New Member

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    Since I was planning to milk for another month I think I'll do some experimenting w/ the alfalfa hay theory. The why of that theory is bugging me... :? It doesn't make any sense on the surface, but it has a ring to it that begs experimentation.

    Higher somatic cell counts had crossed my thinking...Would there be any reason to run a test for subclinical mastitis before I dry these girls up? I haven't done vax or anything other than watchful care and consistent care in milking routines.

    Another possibility we came up with is something w/ the water. They have been getting city tap water for approx. 6-7 weeks. Before this move they had well water. If this is causing the problem it would have to be something like chlorine building up in the goats' systems or changing rumen function since it did not manifest immediately.
     
  12. we've never noticed a change after breeding.
    it likely has something to do with the new hay........
     
  13. homeacremom

    homeacremom New Member

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    Well the mystery seems to be solved; it was the new brand of alfalfa pellets. Still using that same cutting of hay and they are still eating it up like pigs when it is cold ( the probable explanation for increase. Used up those new alfalfa pellets and went back to the old brand and they started eating them as normal and the milk flavor corrected itself within a day. Something just wasn't right in those pellets; the goats could taste it and so didn't eat up and we could taste it in the milk. Now I wonder what it was that was wrong as the pellets smelled (even tasted) fine?...
     
  14. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    who knows could have been the cutting or something before processing