Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Today was my first attempt at milking after seperating momma and babies last night for about 9 hrs. The kids are 5 weeks today. I only got a couple tablespoons. Now I'm worried I will do more harm than good by not letting kids nurse all night and getting such a small amount. She was dont eating and ready to get off the stand! Can this hurt her from not relieving her of enough milk??? Or will the kids make up for not eating all night? 

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I'd suggest only separating for a few hours in the middle of the day -- like three hours -- to start. The udder will not be that full, so it will be easier to milk. It is not easy to milk a full udder. And it's not a good idea to let kids in with a doe that has a full udder because it's uncomfortable, and they're more likely to damage it when they're bopping it. And does do not stand still long enough for kids to empty a full udder. You might also use a warm washcloth to gentle massage/wash the udder and help the let-down reflex. Give her the morning or evening ration of grain during the milking time so that you don't over-do it with grain feeding while you're perfecting your technique. This is another reason why it's a good idea to start with only a few hours -- even I have trouble getting all of a doe's milk out in the amount of time it takes her to eat her grain when she is at five weeks fresh, especially if she's a heavy producer!

I will try that! This does kids will be going to their new home in a month so I'm wanting to get this figured out so I can milk her when they leave.  How should i go about working towards when they leave? Gradually increase time apart? or get it down at a couple hours a day then all night?  Such a learning process! I don't want to do any harm.

Yep, just gradually increase the separation time until you adjust and perfect your technique. I remember watching my daughter learn to milk when she was 10 years old. I so wanted to move in and just do it myself the first couple days because she was so slow, but within a week, she was actually faster than me. Now, she's almost 19 and milks up to 20 goats at a time, which I could never do!

Ok Thanks Deborah!  Can your daughter come help me?? How important is it to feed and milk 12 hrs apart? And do I have to milk twice a day?


 Also how do I know if I'm feeding her enough to keep up with 2 kids and me milking?


 Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

Yep, just gradually increase the separation time until you adjust and perfect your technique. I remember watching my daughter learn to milk when she was 10 years old. I so wanted to move in and just do it myself the first couple days because she was so slow, but within a week, she was actually faster than me. Now, she's almost 19 and milks up to 20 goats at a time, which I could never do!

The books say that they should have 1 pound of grain for 3 pounds of milk produced, but in most cases, my goats get whatever they can eat while I'm milking, which is usually more than that.

You only have to milk 12 hours apart when kids are not nursing. If kids are nursing you can milk once a week or whenever. If you sell the kids, and they're gone by 2-3 months, then yes, you have to milk twice a day, roughly 12 hours apart. If it's 13 and 11, it's not a big deal. If you start doing 14 and 10, the doe might not be happy after 14 hours, especially if she's a heavy producer. We are not morning people, so we typically milk around 8 and 8.

Maybe I'm just tired, but I didn't see how many kids she's nursing. There is a very long post on here somewhere about how to share milk with kids, but depending on how many kids she has, she may not be able to make enough milk to feed the kids and you, if you're separating her every night. Kids basically need 24 ounces a day minimum, so she needs to be making 3 pounds a day to feed twins. If she was making that much and you were separating her every night, the kids would only be getting about half as much as they needed.



Margaret Langley said:

Thanks for telling us about your daughter Deborah. I find that story very encouraging because the main reason I started getting interested in this again was because of my 9 year old little girl. She has never miked but can't wait. Although she loves the kid pics she gets more excited over udder pics. It is really funny cause she says things like I would sure like to milk that udder. She has really studied them and knows what they should look like and is very picky. If they are not what she perceives as perfect she  will tell you everything that is wrong. I wonder if I might be raising a future judge, I don't think I would want her judging my herd. She's to hard to please!

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

Yep, just gradually increase the separation time until you adjust and perfect your technique. I remember watching my daughter learn to milk when she was 10 years old. I so wanted to move in and just do it myself the first couple days because she was so slow, but within a week, she was actually faster than me. Now, she's almost 19 and milks up to 20 goats at a time, which I could never do!

She's feeding twins. So it sounds like I need to get them to go longer during the day between feedings and get ear plugs for when they start yelling at me! (bottle babies!) So she gets use to going 12 hrs during the day between feedings. I tried w the time change to stretch it out by getting up earlier but then they just yelled at me earlier! I don't get it!!! It's mainly one that gets all the others going.   7 and 7 would be a dream to me :)  lol!  right now I feed at 630 and 4. But I have to listen to them yell from 3-4!

Someone had suggested I use a urea free 14% horse feed to keep them on the milk stand. I haven't bought any since I know nothing about horse feed and just get confused looking at all of it.  I feed 16% Dairy Goat ADM feed. I worry about over feeding her when she's on the stand. She's getting 2 cups & alfalfa pellets twice a day. Plus hay/grass.

We all took a drink of the milk I got yesterday. It tasted lovely :) !!!!! Sweet and silky. Made me more excited about milking but I'm not about to take too much from the kids!

I didn't spray her with the fight bac or anything afterwards since shes still nursing. I really only need to use that when kids aren't nursing right?

Questions, Questions! Thank you for taking the time to answer them :)

I am NOT saying the kids should be separated for 12 hours during the day. I was suggesting three or four hours during the day simply because it's not very practical to separate her from the kids from midnight to 3 a.m. and milk her at that time. If you're only separating her for three or four hours during the day, you could probably do that for a few days in a row until you perfect your milking technique. Once you have the milking figured out, you can separate them overnight for 8 hours. It is highly unlikely that she is producing enough for you to be able to separate her every night at this point.

I have no idea why anyone would think that horse feed would be better than goat feed for a doe in milk. Did they explain why? What nutrients would be in better proportion? The problem with overfeeding grain isn't the protein percentage -- it's the simple fact that it's grain and will give her diarrhea if she gets too much. Mixing alfalfa pellets with the grain will make it last longer while she's on the milk stand so you can take longer to milk.

I personally wouldn't spray a chemical on a doe's teats if the kids are nursing because they're just going to suck it right off.

Oh no I may have worded it weird but no I know not to seperate for that long. I was meaning when after the kids are gone getting the does use to eating 12 hrs apart for me to milk since they dont now. I'm going to seperate them this afternoon before I feed them this evening so I can try again and see how that goes.

I think the horse feed was just to keep them on the stand longer.

 

This post has been helpful to me as well in terms of how much bottle babies should get during the day. Right now the two get 24 oz more or less in three feedings. They are 15 days old. The boy of the quads feeds exclusively on mama ans she dotes on him. The other girl sneaks in when Mama is licking and feeding her little prince. However I noticed she seemed hungry so I have bee adding supplemental bottles to her diet as well. She will take 4 or 5 ounces morning and evening. I have started separating and am milking Mama morning and evening. She is giving a quart and 3/4 in the morning and almost a quart at night. Much of that milk is going back into the babies. 

As for the yelling...they all are sure they are starving! I rub their bellies sometimes instead of caving and giving a bottle!

Quads are so interesting to tend!

I am now separating the twins(two weeks old) as well and their mama gave me a quart this morning (good milking line that mama and daughter) and her kids are little butterballs. 

Kristen, you will learn to milk and milk well, just hang in there. 

Thanks Jan!  I tried to separate them this afternoon and the babies just cried and cried to get to momma. Soooo I'm going to get up at 3 am and separate them then try and milk in the morning when I normally feed them. 

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