NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: What is the best way to dry off a milker?  (Read 3428 times)

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« on: October 19, 2012, 06:49:22 pm »
I've been scouring my books and the internet and there is so much conflicting information out there  ::)


My girl has dropped from 2.2litres per day (on a once a day milking) to .9 litres. I want to dry her off and put her in kid. What would you recommend as the best way to do it?
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.
Voss Electric Fence

wytsend

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • Okehampton
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2012, 07:32:56 pm »
Once a day milking for  few days.......then every other day for a few days....then stop.    Any milk produced will be reabsorbed.
Goes without saying to cut out protein feed or at least to minimal levels for a few days.  Can substitute with chopped fruit/ soaked sugar beet etc.,

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2012, 08:16:29 pm »
Just don't strip her out, only milk a little until her udder feel soft and easy. After a couple of days just leave milking, but still check udder isn't going hard/hot. She should be dry in a few days if she is already down to less than a litre a day.
If her udder is filling up to be uncomfortable, just ease her out again.
She won't need much protein after drying off either, just a bit of sugar beet, fruit/veg and lots of hay.

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2012, 08:32:27 pm »
At the moment she gets ad lib haylage, access to an acre and a half, sugar beet, alfalfa cubes and some sprouted grains. I could do with getting a bit of condition on her so would I keep up the alfalfa?
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 09:29:12 pm »
Unless she is really thin, I would take out the Alfalfa and just go with sugar beet and fruit/veg plus roughage.
Once she is definitely dry you could re-introduce small amounts of mix, or oats or something to help put some condition on her. I have found that for example Alfa A does not help put condition on and gives loose droppings quite quickly. I have stopped using Alfalfa completely, but I know others are using it successfully.
Mine are on a mix of dairy nuts (when milking), rolled oats and sugar beet shreds, the GG's prefer goat mix to dairy nuts. Readigrass is a special treat, especially for the last two months before kidding.
 

wytsend

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • Okehampton
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2012, 07:04:18 am »
It is interesting all the various ways goats are fed...................my goats are fed the same, only quantities vary, all year round.   
My diets are...in varying amounts (!)    Just grass  (same as Ready Grass but softer ), soaked sugar beet, dairy nuts, rolled barley.   All mixed together  +   Brinicombes Goat Balancer supplement. 
All my girls keep their weight & in some cases put on weight.    The boys also keep their condition thro' the rut,  and this year have had the best growth pattern in the kids.
I dont feed Alfalfa in any form....my personal findings are that many goats dont like it, some scour on it whether fed as Alfa A or pellets and to my mind, it smells bitter.........apart from being incredibly expensive.
Costings come into the diet I have devised over the years........I can feed 40 goats on the above diet for £30 a week.   
Obviously they have hay ad lib all year round and access to 22 acres.....which in typical goat manner, is declined if raining.......unless they are wearing their waterproof goat rugs...then they go out quite happily !!!!!

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2012, 07:20:58 am »
My goats' diet isn't dissimilar: they have sheep coarse mix, ReadiGrass, dairy nuts, hay, flaked maize for treats. But forget mixing it all together! I can just about get away with mixing the coarse mix and dairy nuts. The ReadiGrass has to be in a separate bucket  ::)

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2012, 07:54:04 am »
Savannah is finally drying off nicely. I've gradually decreased her concentrates and mother nature has decreased all that lush grass that triggered my dear old maiden milker off again this year  ;)
We use beet, oats, course mix and vitamins/minerals.  Also some dried off nettles/willow/browsing that has been lovingly stored ready for the colder months when  I knew that buying hay would potentially require re mortgaging the house this year.
Mine don't mind a bit of rain but heavy downpours see at least 3 of them off into their sheds quick smart. 
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

Carl f k

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2012, 10:08:56 am »
Plums.. If you dry off a maiden milker will she start again?or will you have to breed her? ???

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2012, 10:43:45 am »
We've had 2 years now where she's suddenly produced without breeding so fingers crossed for 2013!
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

Carl f k

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2012, 02:47:08 pm »
We've had 2 years now where she's suddenly produced without breeding so fingers crossed for 2013!



That's pretty amazing how that happens... Well I think so..but if u do have to breed then there's a good chance her kids could be maidens.. Mmmm me buy one of you :innocent:
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 02:50:00 pm by Carl f k »

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2012, 03:55:35 pm »
Its amazing for us because she slots into our life so beautifully and provides more milk that we even need bless her. It also means not having the worry about mating/kidding/dealing with boy kids each spring which, although I enjoyed every minute last year, I don't think is the ideal while I still have 4 small children and a dependent mum...business..school..half finished house etc  ;)

I plan to mate her and keeping everything crossed to have a female off of her in the hope she too will have her mums maiden magic  :fc:  typical though, she'l have all boys!!
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2012, 10:35:09 pm »
I wouldn't mind having a maiden milker.  Saves all the hassle and the expense and you don't have to share the milk or bother with bottle feeding.  Maybe Cloud will oblige if I tell her about Savannah.   :fc:

sokel

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jun 2012
  • S W northumberland
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 06:46:19 pm »
Snowdrop started milking 11 months after she was born and has been milking since march this year. We have decided to kid her even though she is still milking
Graham

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: What is the best way to dry off a milker?
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2012, 07:02:09 pm »
I'll tell her about Snowdrop as well.   :D

 

Henry Milker hand milker

Started by Tracy@Rosegarth

Replies: 5
Views: 2440
Last post February 25, 2014, 11:27:01 pm
by Mad Goatwoman of Madeley
Considering getting a milker

Started by goosepimple

Replies: 16
Views: 3030
Last post January 14, 2013, 11:28:06 am
by goosepimple
BT milker

Started by kja

Replies: 0
Views: 786
Last post April 14, 2013, 07:34:29 pm
by kja
Milker going dry?

Started by westcoastcroft

Replies: 9
Views: 1846
Last post February 22, 2017, 10:59:55 am
by westcoastcroft
Maiden milker?!

Started by plumseverywhere

Replies: 11
Views: 7146
Last post April 26, 2011, 12:35:42 pm
by plumseverywhere

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS