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How long does a goat give milk?

Discussion in 'Behaviors & Handling Techniques - Goats' started by dianneS, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Sep 23, 2010
    dianneS

    dianneS Overrun with beasties

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    If I were to breed one or two of my does for milking, how long do they give milk if you continue to milk them daily.

    When would they need to be bred again in order for them to give milk?

    Is it better to milk twice a day if you want the goat to give milk longer or does that not matter? Can you milk just once a day?
  2. Sep 23, 2010
    ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Alpaca Master

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    It really depends on the goat. I have a goat that is going on 19 months of milking and I'm working on drying her off. Most goats milk for about 8 months I think and have to be rebred every year. If you milk twice a day, it will help them stay in milk longer. If you aren't anxious to rebreed, then I would simply try milking your goats for as long as possible and see how long your particular goats will milk.
  3. Sep 23, 2010
    Mea

    Mea Overrun with beasties

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    The longest lactation i've heard of was 5 years. I believe that there were issues when the owner decided to breed her after that extended time.

    We have a doe that milked thru for 22 months 16 of those months were once a day. She was consistent in the ammount of milk she gave. I'm thinking of milking her thru again. Right now all of our girls are on once a day milking as we don;t need the volumne of milk they were giving with 2x a day milking.


    If a doe is bred, she usually dries off about 3 months into the pregnancy, giving her 2 months of *rest*...(how they can actually rest when they get so huge is a good question ) :hu
  4. Sep 24, 2010
    Calliopia

    Calliopia Ridin' The Range

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    I have a maiden milker that refuses to dry off (she's 4) and gives a gal+ when milked.

    We're breeding her this fall to try and reset her and give her a bit of a break. Her udder is freaking HUGE from the times we've tried the "just stop milking" method of drying off. Yeah it didn't work.
  5. Sep 24, 2010
    Mea

    Mea Overrun with beasties

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    Just a very quick thought.... Have You tried cutting out the grain and only feeding stemmy hay ??? Sometimes...only sometimes...., it helps the body slow down on production.

    She sounds like a heck of a Good milker !!! scritchies to her !!
  6. Sep 24, 2010
    Calliopia

    Calliopia Ridin' The Range

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    We have tried everything short of chemical methods. I'm kind of scared to see what she does when she's actually in milk though. I might have a 2gal girl. Oy. I won't need to milk anybody else. (L)
  7. Oct 6, 2010
    Ariel301

    Ariel301 Loving the herd life

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    How much depends on the doe. What breed is she? Your best milkers will be breeds developed for dairying--Alpine, Saanen, LaMancha, Oberhasli, Nubians can be good milkers or mediocre depending on bloodline. Nigerians are decent milkers, but obviously milk much less than a bigger goat. Pygmies and Boers, not really that great at producing, but they will produce some.

    First time milkers will not produce at their full potential, usually. It takes them a couple of years to work up to it. They are also harder to milk than a seasoned doe, because they need some training usually to behave good on the stand, and also they have small teats so less milk comes out at a time and you can really make your hands tired!

    How long? The standard lactation for dairy goats is around 10 months, if you bottle feed the babies from the start. Myself, I breed for babies to be born in January, and the babies get all the milk for the first three weeks. Then I start separating them at night so they can only nurse in the day, and I milk in the morning before letting the babies back with the moms. The babies are fully weaned by three months. So I end up milking probably 9 months and a few days. The does are bred again in September, and dried off by the end of November, giving them a two month break before kidding again. I may dry them off early if they are getting really skinny and need more time to get back in shape, especially with an older girl or a first-timer.

    It's usual to breed every year, but some (not all) goats can go longer. With dairy goats, they typically are only in season in the fall, so you have to plan for your breedings around that.

    You can milk once or twice, whichever you like. If you milk twice a day, you will get more milk every day than if you milk just once, because you are putting more demand on her body to produce.

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