Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

This was my first time ever milking.  After watching many videos and reading about milking, I knew that it was not going to be easy.  For the first try we were able to get 1/2 cup of milk.... not successful at all.  Maybe next time we will get more?

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Comment by Lisa Cotter on April 14, 2013 at 10:24am

I was just reading through, I have no advice as I don't have any goats and never milked.

Just wanted to comment that I just learned something reading through this post. That if I get a doe that is milking and since I have no experience it helps to try and buy her kid(s) to help milk her while I'm in the process of learning. 1) she isn't stressed about being at a new farm and 2) the kid(s) help milk her while I fumble about and she doesn't dry up.

Comment by Eloisa Acevedo on March 22, 2013 at 2:05am
Thanks everyone for your comments. I will keep trying but I have a feeling that she will stop producing milk soon. It's only been a few days and now she is not moving around too much and is letting me milk her more comfortably. I will keep practicing as long as she gives me some milk. I have another doe that has been bred and should be kidding by end of may. Hopefully by then I will have more experience and be more comfortable doing this.
Comment by Glenna Rose on March 22, 2013 at 12:41am

Eloisa, please don't let yourself get discouraged. It is really easy to do.  The maximum I got from my doe this past year was 1-3/4 cup in a morning milking.  However, with encouragement from all the wonderful folks here, I kept trying.  I also found a source to purchase ND milk so I got to try lots of good things.  It was Capri's second kidding (one baby) and her first time milking as it was mine.  I did stick with it though people thought I was nuts for so little milk.  Capri is due in a dozen days and I am looking forward to lots of milk this year as I will better know what I am doing.  With all the difficulty the first time around, I know this will be worth it.  Stick with it, no matter what the quantity, and it will pay off for you.

Comment by Deborah Niemann-Boehle on March 21, 2013 at 9:34pm

If there is any chance you could buy one of her kids, that would help a lot. It is not unusual for a doe's supply to go down when she goes to a new farm, especially if she left her kids behind. If she is your only goat, that would add more stress for her. Add your milking inexperience to the equation, and you could have a dried up doe in a week or two. Since you're new to milking, there is really no way to know via email what is causing the small amount of milk.

Comment by Patty Meyer on March 20, 2013 at 8:47am

I had one doe who only gave a pint a day her second freshening.  By the third her udder capacity was SO much more, and I was really excited to see how much milk she'd make.  However, she died before giving birth. :(

I also have a doe who produced a quart a day her first freshening.  We're on the second freshening now, and she's nursing her triplets.  We'll see soon what she's making this time.

So, yeah, it depends on the goat.  Also, some lines mature slower than others, and though it is commonly said that the second freshening will tell, for some the third is more telling.

Comment by Jan on March 20, 2013 at 6:00am

How much milk you get from any goat depends on several factors. First of all your experience as a milker is important so practice helps. However no amount of practice will change the genetics. Breeding for milk is important. Teat size makes milking easier as well. Number of kids delivered matters, thye make more milk for more kids. I have two NDs that freshened in January. One has given me two quarts a day during her last two lactations  for 8 months duration.  Now she is giving 2 quarts plus early in this lactation period. Her daughter gave me 2 1/2 quarts during her first lactation and had only a single this time and is giving 1 1/2 quarts daily early in this lactation. Both are very easy milkers. I quickly moved others along that did not produce the milk we were looking for. 

Basically I guess what I'm saying is if you want milk you need to breed for milk.

Comment by Eloisa Acevedo on March 19, 2013 at 10:13pm
The doe does not have her kid anymore. I milked her twice today and still got another 1/2 cup. So all day together she gave us 1 cup total...after a few days about how much milk should I be getting? I've read that Nigerians dwarfs can give up to a quart a day.. Do any of you get that much ?
Comment by Patty Meyer on March 19, 2013 at 5:53pm

Does your doe have kids on her, so she will keep producing as you practice?  If so, you're in good shape.  I bet in a couple of weeks you'll be getting so much better, and your doe will too! :)

Comment by Jess on March 19, 2013 at 5:41pm
That's better then I can do. I've just started trying to milk also and can't get anything. My husband seams to be a milking machine but I can't even get a dribble. Practice, practice, practice.

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