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Author Topic: Maiden milker?!  (Read 7144 times)

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
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Maiden milker?!
« on: April 22, 2011, 06:10:05 pm »
Well, have had something of a surprise today and am keeping everything crossed that I might have some good news..
I noticed that my one and a half year old doe suddenly had quite a large udder, its been looking a bit bigger for a few days but today looked just like my old nanny goats. thought i'd just have a go at milking to see and sure enough she has milk. have only managed to milk from one teat - her teats are quite small and she's not so keen although she was pretty patient considering, I have to say!
So...eek! help?! is she a maiden milker? its definately milk, there's not any blood and her udder looks really well shaped etc.   
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...
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Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Maiden milker?!
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2011, 06:45:48 pm »
Lucky you , as I just said in another post billy goats are hard to find up here that mine are not directly related to. My Pygmy/ Alpine still milks well even though she has not been mated for two years and my youngster does need mating even though I pray for her to be a maiden milker. She is now nearly two. I want to get a Billy up of my own but get conflicting reports about smell, some say they stink others say when you keep them just with a couple of nannies and no rivals they dont smell. I have kept Billies before and dont mind the smell it is my OH that is a bit wary. What do you find?

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
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Re: Maiden milker?!
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2011, 06:49:31 pm »
I've heard that they smell more during mating season and the only real experience I've had with billies has been at a friends place where she has a few - and yes, they were smelly!!
I won't have a billy here because I have very small children and just don't want to take my chances even though I know it would be more convenient with movement restrictions etc, my needs are not such that i require a billy - I just need some milk for my children to drink and some to use in my soap  :)
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

Roxy

  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
    • festivalcarriages.co.uk
Re: Maiden milker?!
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2011, 12:19:33 am »
I had a very large British Sanaan called Heidi which I bred myself.  We tried numerous times to have her served with a registered BS male, but no luck.  But, Heidi came into milk every spring and would milk through untl Autumn - stop for the winter and then start again.

So long as you are sure its not mastitiis, your goat may well be milking without kidding.

As to billies smelling - my pygmy billy smells all year, but pygmy goats do breed all year (twice if you let them).  The Anglo Nubian billy does not smell at this time of year though!!

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
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Re: Maiden milker?!
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2011, 08:51:27 am »
There's no indicators that it could be mastitis but I will keep a close eye. Her udder isn't hot or red, shes in no discomfort (that's she's giving away anyway!) and the milk, although only a tiny amount, is quite white, no clots.
will her teats get bigger? its like milking a guinea pig at the moment  ;D ok slight exaggeration but they are quite small (although bigger than they were I believe)
would you try to milk once a day or more to bring milk yield up? she's obviously got free access to hay as per usual and the extra grass from spring now, will gradually increase her concentrate too I suppose? wasn't expecting this so spent last night manically googling maiden milkers and reading all my goat books! still nothing beats the experience of someone who's been through it  :)
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Maiden milker?!
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2011, 09:04:57 pm »
I don't know about maiden milkers, but be careful not to push her up too quickly, my BT type girl went to 6 ltrs within 4 weeks of kiddding (unexpectedly so), and I am dealing now with (subclinical?) mastitis and lumps in her udder.... she's still increasing her yield....and she has tiny teats... they don't necessarily grow any bigger

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
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Re: Maiden milker?!
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2011, 09:09:57 am »
I suppose you have to find a whole different technique for milking then with tiny teats? I'm very mindful of not squeezing where I shouldn't and causing harm  :-\  she's given us half a pint of milk this morning, the children have just drunk it and said its "yum"  :)  am just so ecstatic to have our own milk again.
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Maiden milker?!
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2011, 11:35:08 pm »
Maiden milkers are fine, but they will not milk to their full potential until they have actually had kids themselves. Be cautious- if you want to put her in kid for next spring, and you milk her heavily from now until the autumn during the period when she should still be growing, you will place a strain on her calcium levels.

You are fortunate she is that bit older- she may well be fine. We try and not milk goatlings unless absolutely necessary- ie udder hot or too tight with milk.

If you want to encourage in the milk, then yes, milk her twice a day and increase the concentrates slightly. It is a common thing to happen at this time of year, days getting much longer, and some nice spring grass coming through.


Beth

plumseverywhere

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Re: Maiden milker?!
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2011, 07:29:07 am »
Thank you Beth  :)  I don't think we'll be putting her in kid as I'd planned to buy in another milker - possibly one already in kid so that my herd could cope with alternate nanny's kidding each year but savannah producing milk, coupled with avocet's breeder havin gfilled my freezer with milk too - I now have enough goats milk to keep my soap production going for quite a long time, phew.
any advice for milking with tiny teats Beth? its quite a knack?!
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Maiden milker?!
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2011, 05:45:13 pm »
Sore middle fingers! I speak from experience!

Both my BT goatlings just have developed a tiny udder, but I have too much milk already... (and no triplet lambs as yet!)

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Maiden milker?!
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2011, 11:25:13 am »
Yeah- its just painful and slow I'm afraid. A two fingered job.

It's always annoying- judges like goats teats to be little and neat, but the little ones are always hard to milk....


Beth

plumseverywhere

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Re: Maiden milker?!
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2011, 12:35:42 pm »
Seem to be mastering a two finger technique and this morning had finished milking much quicker than the last few days, so pretty  chuffed LOL.
still not getting much milk but am wondering if it will be building up same as if she was feeding kids and if she will increase her yield now to match my milking.
ohh all good fun and I can't put into words how happy I was seeing my children drinking our own goats milk again  :)
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

 

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