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Author Topic: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.  (Read 4088 times)

Thrift Bee

  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Co. Wicklow
Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« on: September 07, 2013, 09:15:21 pm »
Hello,

We have adopted a beautiful 5 yr old Toggenburg and her 6 month old Nubian x daughter.  It was at fairly short notice, we have created good indoor and fenced outdoor space for them, but im still a bit unsure about a schedule for milking.

She was milked fairly casually i think by her previous owner. Her kid is still suckling from her.

During the first week we had her we just about managed to milk her every second day. Then she let us milk her morning and evening.

Ideally i would like to milk her once a day in the morning.

What i'd like to know is, should the kid not be weaned by now, if so how do i do that?  If we leave her with her mum how long is she likely to produce milk for. 

Help!



Thrift Bee

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2013, 10:36:29 pm »
Mine usually wean themselves at about six months or a bit older. You might need to give her a bit longer while she settles in. If you are milking her after that, you will probably have to milk twice a day, depending on how much she is producing. What time you do it is up to you so long as you don't leave more than about 14 hours between milkings. I'm about to go and do mine now.

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2013, 11:29:56 pm »
The key question is, when was the kid born? Our kids still get milk, and they are nearly six months old- though they only get it at night now. If the kid is 5/6 months, it can easily come off milk. I would start shutting the kid away from mum at night, so you can milk in the morning and get a drop of milk. Let the kid in with her through the day and monitor to see when she stops suckling in case you need to start milking her twice a day. If the kid was late born and is only 2 months old, then she needs milk for at least another month, and we like to feed ours until they are 4 months old.


Beth

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 02:24:00 am »
As said, main thing is age of kid, the other - how much milk is she giving?
I'm not bothered about much milk, so I'm only milking in the morning, but I don't give too much concentrates either. milking 2 goats, one still with a kid, I'm getting 3 litres, more than enough for us. no point in buying too much feed if we can't use the milk. and goats are looking well.
I like my Toggs - is your girl registered?

Thrift Bee

  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Co. Wicklow
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 06:38:14 am »
Okay, Thanks all for answering.

The kid is definitely on the older side of 5/6 months, i'm going to try and find out from her previous owner. I don't see her suckling very often, but I'm sure she is. I would have no worries that she is too young to weaned.

So I think we'll seperate them at night and milk in the morning, let them together during the day.

Will i milk in the evening just if she looks very full?  Is that how I monitor?

Is she likely to dry up over winter, or could i keep her going until next autumn? To keep her going would it be better to milk twice a day?

We don't want a lot of milk, but we would like to gain experience over the year before we get her kidded again perhaps next winter.

Penninehillbilly, she's not registered as far as i know.
Thrift Bee

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2013, 07:27:40 am »
Milking twice a day and feeding well are necessary to keep her going over the winter. She should milk through.

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2013, 09:07:07 am »
Yes I would monitor by seeing how full her udder is at night, and if you need to milking her then as well. Milking her twice a day will encourage her to milk right through the winter, so it might be better to just opt for the milking twice a day option.


Depends how much she is giving now, but she should be able to go right through- every goat is different though. I once had a goat that had a milk switch. She got to a certain week in October, and she obviously went, right that's it and would dry off. Even if she was giving 5 or 6 litres a day at the beginning of the week, by the end of it she would be dry. Nothing we did could stop it.


Beth

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2013, 10:34:54 pm »
My Sanaans go through at least two winters and still give a reasonable amount. My older one lasted into a fourth winter although she was hardly producing anything by then. He daughter is still giving between 3 and 4 pints a day atm so I would expect her to carry on for a third winter.

Thrift Bee

  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Co. Wicklow
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 09:23:25 pm »
We are only getting between a pint and two pints. Which is plenty for our needs if I thought I could keep it going.  Is it only likely to reduce in volume from now?, or is there anything i can do to increase the volume?
Thrift Bee

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 09:43:24 pm »
We are only getting between a pint and two pints. Which is plenty for our needs if I thought I could keep it going.  Is it only likely to reduce in volume from now? Yes, or is there anything i can do to increase the volume? Unlikely at this time of year, but you could try lots of branches - willow, hazel, comfrey, dandelion leaves maybe - but it is getting colder now, so yields will be dropping.

Depending on her body condition you may be better putting her in kid again this autumn, the reason she is quite low already is probably because the kid is not taking much anymore and her natural instinct will be to reduce milk production if there is no demand anymore.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 11:58:14 pm »
Penninehillbilly, she's not registered as far as i know.
Just wondering
 
That's a shame, I think they are either at or approaching rare breed status, they need all the help they can get, main problem I found was finding a registered male.
 
Just wondering what she was being fed, what do others think about giving her cow dairy nuts (if she isn't already on them), would that improve milk yield and help her milk through?
Someone told me they gave Ash leaves/branches to improve the yield.

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2013, 07:03:31 am »
Cattle dairy nuts are good, so it might be worth trying them, yes.


However, I feel if she is only giving 1-2 pints, that might not last through the winter. Goats are affected by the daylight hours, and their body tells them to slow down on the milk production when it is darker. People i know say that for every winter a goat goes through (without kidding) that the milk yield will drop by a litre.


If you can keep her going until March on that 1-2 pints, then when the daylight hours increase again, her milk may increase for the summer.


Beth

wytsend

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • Okehampton
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2013, 09:21:35 am »
It is possible to check her registered status from the eartag number.   Most BGS members can access Grassroots database which would show her if registered.
In my opinion if she is pure Toggenburg, then most likely has been registered.   The BGS would transfer her to your name if she is..........probably have to get the Vet to verify the tag number.      Several pedigree goats have been 'found' like this.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2013, 05:43:08 pm »
If she is a pure Togg you really ought to put her in kid to a pure Togg billy - very few of them around now as well.
 
If you post her eartag number I can check her status. Has she got two names, with one being the (possibly registered) prefix?

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Newbie goatkeeper. Milking schedule advise needed.
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2013, 07:12:24 pm »
In my opinion if she is pure Toggenburg, then most likely has been registered.   
Sadly, even though we can confirm her breeding, BGS have on record who owned both sire and dam at the time, and she gave me a letter confirming that, because one of mine wasn't registered before she was 2 yr old, BGS would not accept her  :(   >:( . Even the breeder of sire and dam tried but we didn't get anywhere. shame considering the breed status, the breeding is so obvious you can't tell the difference between her and her aunt/half sister (who is registered).

 

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