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Saanen producing less milk. Can't figure out why. Please Help I am a total newbie.

1134 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Katrina Anon
I have a 3 year old Saanen. I just got her about 2 months ago. She came with her 3 month (now 5 month old) doe. I have been separating the mama and baby at night to milk in the mornings. I was getting close to half a gallon. Slowly over the past 2 to 3 weeks her milk production had decreased. I am now only getting a little less than a quart. I am totally brand new to dairy goats. Or any goat for that matter. I just don't understand. I dewormed her about a month ago, her poop looks normal, normal rumen sounds, gave her a topical tick/ fly treatment last week (permethrin), Famacha looks normal for her. I do think she looks on the skinny side but I THINK that's normal. The last two mornings when I go to get her from her stall she is laying down and this morning she slightly hesitated to get up. It doesn't seem she is drinking at night, she is eating all the grain I give her for milking (about 2 to 3 cups plus 1/2C alfalfa pellets). I do see her drink and eat hay during the day. I give free choice hay. Its a roll of field hay we bought last year that has been kept dry. They actually just finished it and I will be giving them spring cut hay we bought this year. They roam about half an acre of woods and pasture. I have not had any bloodwork done on her. I've attached two pictures incase something sticks out to someone more experienced. Any suggestions for what to try. Thank you!!


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Is it hot, feed etc. A doeling can consume more than you think! My doeling would empty a doe anytime she had acess to her mom. As soon as we see them eating grain we get them off momma and take all the milk. We give the doeling a lot of alfalfa grain pellets to eat plus good hay. The bucklings do not get all the feed the doeling gets. He has one job, two if you count the guest of honor at the BBQ. But the doeling needs to support making babies and milk so she needs that extra energy for growth.

The other way is to take all the milk and bottle feed the kids. Then you know how much milk they are getting and how much your doe is giving. The other benefit is having doelings friendlier to you.
She is thin . At 5 months it is time to wean the kid . Have a fecal run to make sure you are not dealing with parasites ? What did you deworm with and what dosage ?
What grain are you feeding ? I would up her grain . I am a big fan of Sunshine pellets or Calfmanna added to their milked grain . I also had black oil sunflower or flaxseed for extra fat . You didn’t mention her getting minerals which is very important. She needs a good loose dairy goat mineral .
It may be better to up her alfalfa intake. Alfalfa has a better balance of nutrients.
Are you milking x2/day? That can have a dramatic impact on milk production if you are not religiously milking x2/day.
...I was getting close to half a gallon. Slowly over the past 2 to 3 weeks her milk production had decreased...
It also could be the lactation curve. When you get a goat unless you see what her milking records are this could be normal for her. It may be she has always not been a consistant milker.

A number of people use 305 lactation cycle which would put you on the lower part of the curve.

Still even so, she might produce less but if you look at the total weight of the milk she produces she might be a good producer. You may also be able to milk her far beyond the 305 day cycle.

By the way, try using the weight of the milk and not the volume. Some milk might have more air in it and will mislead you in how much milk is being produced. 8 pounds of milk per gallon.
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