for people who love the littlest dairy goats
I am looking into purchasing a ND doe and I am primarily interested in milk production capabilities and this would be the foundational doe for my herd. I want to know how much milk is considered a good amount for a ND? I know there are a lot of variables but just want to know what is considered the norm and what is exceptional and what should I expect. The doe I am looking at is currently in milk btw.
Since this was in 2011, I'm certain you have your answer by now. <g> The first two years, I measured in cups then bought a scale and now measure in pounds. Since a pound equals a pint, there is no reason to not interchange for our own purposes. I do keep barn records and record in pounds. I like using the scale to weigh because it gives me a more accurate guide. I have found that even the quart jars with the measurements vary in what they really hold.
Rachel Whetzel at MigMog Acres said:
I have a Q about this... I know that pounds is the "correct" way to measure milk... but do you really WEIGH it? Just curious how you even go about that.
We also have found that weighing gives the more reliable result. If the milk is a bit frothy, we have found we are measuring air! We weigh the bottle before milking, then simply subtract that weight from the bottle with milk in it. Too easy....
In addition, our scale is more precise than our eyesights so we can read the scale, but we have a harder time looking through the bottle to judge the amount of volume (and whether or not we are reading the top of the meniscus or the bottom, etc.)
We just had three of our does kid, so we will be trying this all out again soon, haha. Meanwhile we are eagerly waiting for our Simple Pulse milker to arrive. We saw so many good reports on that milker that it became our choice. How do you like yours?
Regards from Australia,
Absolutely, Michael, weighing is more accurate. The first year, I used a measuring cup and have since found out that they are not all equal nor are canning jars even!
I absolutely love the Simple Pulse. I am sure that since this was a year ago that you have already fallen deeply in love with yours, Michael. Admittedly, I am hand-milking right now because it is easier for the two particular does I am milking; it certainly has nothing to do with the Simple Pulse. I apologize for not responding a year ago! I just was not paying attention.
To the question of how much milk. I am still milking two FF from a year ago this spring. One freshened in March 2016, the other in April 2016. They are both still giving me over a pound a day once a day. One usually gives over 1.5 lbs. per day. My March girl will never be bred again because of kidding issues. However, I am really looking forward to when I breed my April girl again - I am certain she will give me at least three lbs. a day at peak. Both girls gave over two pounds early on as FF; both had twins but my March girl lost hers.
Michael Garwood said:
We also have found that weighing gives the more reliable result. [snip]
Meanwhile we are eagerly waiting for our Simple Pulse milker to arrive. We saw so many good reports on that milker that it became our choice. How do you like yours?
Regards from Australia,
When I read through the comments, there was one huge factor that I did not see mentioned and will because it mattered here. Much depends on your own milking skills. The more experienced you are, the more milk you will get from the same doe.
A huge factor for me was teat size, especially in the first year. My foundation doe had tiny teats; however, all of her daughters have had large teats - go figure. I also learned that when I had a scale at the milk stand and weighed as I milked, I got more milk. That only makes sense when you realize that you should always gets as much as the day before and if it is less, just keep milking. Some times we are tired, cold, or goat is fussy, and we don't keep on milking until they are actually empty. Also, occasionally a doe will hold back! My doe I just lost never gave me more than a pint per milking usually; however, if she were distracted, I would get more. I swear she had some sort of meter on her udder! When I put her back in the pen, her baby obviously got plenty more from her. After her baby (still nursing when she kidded herself) was no longer eating, I was getting almost a quart from that same goat. I truly don't think she started producing twice as much milk when her daughter kidded. Her silly example certainly shows there is no absolute amount from any one of our girls.
An important fact is how well you can milk. The best producer is going to go "downhill" quickly if she is not milked out at each milking. Also, how relaxed both the goat and you are is a factor. A relaxed owner and a relaxed goat is going to give more milk and keep production up higher and longer.
Regardless of what is going on, when you go to milk, be sure *you* are relaxed - it matters.