Bad tasting, salty milk

I know salty milk typically means mastitis, but I haven't seen a single sign of mastitis in either doe I'm milking. One kidded on Sept. 1 (4th freshening) and the other kidded on Sept 11 (1st freshening). The kids haven't let the dams' udders get full and I haven't started to separate yet (will do so when I get back from vaca next week). I do milk in the morning and get about 1 to 1.5 cups total since the kids are on them all night, but they are fuller still.

For pasture they are getting field peas and millet, and the winter rye is starting to come up. There is also a round bale of Coastal Bermuda under the overhang off the barn that they munch on. On the milk stand they are getting sweet feed, grain, alfalfa pellets, and BOSS.

Last year the older does's milk only tasted salty for a week or two but then it was very sweet for the rest of her lactation period. Her diet on the stand is the same as last year; however she was just getting Rye and browse as pasture. The fields peas and millet are a new addition.

I also added a buckling this past June. He's 7 months old and definitely in rut, but is separated from them.

The milk doesn't necessarily taste "bucky", just super salty. Could it be the presence of the buckling that is causing this? Or perhaps there is a weed growing in the pasture that they are eating that could make the milk have the bad taste? Oh, and they are eating lots of acorns right now, considering the season...

Also, they are on free-choice Golden Blend minerals (out of baking soda at the moment, but will get more soon).

Any ideas or suggestions??

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  • piper had salty milk but she was naughty and got into the red ti leaves...

  • I would suggest doing a CMT. If you cannot buy one in your area, you can order it online. You could also milk a little from each teat into separate cups and taste them. If only one side is salty, I would definitely say it is mastitis.
  • I had a doe do this last year, and in hind sight, I'm pretty certain that she had a low grade infection. Keep in mind, mastitis can still be present, even when you can't find sure signs of it. I would say, that unless the flavor is normal in milk from a doe recently freshened, that if it were me, I'd treat for mastitis.

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