Milk analysis for the year

sawfish99

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Since our last doe has been dried up and we are getting ready for kidding season, I closed out the milk records for last season. If you are not familiar with the dairy industry, milk production is actually tracked and discussed by weight (pounds of milk), not volume. While it was obvious on a day-to-day basis what the production of the goats was, we decided last June to start tracking it for analysis (I am an engineer after all). So, after each milking, we would weigh the milk for the doe and record it on a sheet in the milking area. Then, at the end of the month, I entered the data into a spreadsheet.

This year, we had 4 goats in milk. We chose to only milk 1 time a day because it provided enough milk for us and reduced the chore load in the evenings. When we dropped to 1 time a day, we saw the daily total for each goat drop by about 30%. Lilly was sold shortly after starting the records, so she is excluded from the totals. Here is how the others did.

Saffron Lamancha, first freshener. 283 days in milk. 840 lbs produced. 3.0lbs avg per day over entire cycle.

Tang Lamancha, first freshener. 266 days in milk. 656 lbs produced. 2.5lbs avg per day over entire cycle.

Betty Oberhasli, second freshener. 303 days in milk. 565 lbs produced. 1.9lbs avg per day over entire cycle.

Total for the 3 goats: 2061 lbs, or about 257 gallons. If we were purchasing raw cow milk, it would have a value of $2570. If we were purchasing raw goat milk, it would have a value of $5140. If we were purchasing the milk, we probably wouldnt use as much as we do.

We had already observed that our Oberhaslis dont produce nearly as much as the Lamanchas. Therefore, if we decided to change to a single breed, it would be Lamanchas. Of course, we are not in this from a maximum production standpoint.

Conclusions. We use a lot of milk. It is cheaper to raise your own goats for milk than to buy milk.
 

sawfish99

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My conclusion is it is cheaper to keep goats for milk than to buy raw milk (cow or goat) in CT. Of course, if you keep a large herd of goats and only a couple of producers, that eliminates the savings quickly.

Raw cow milk in CT sells for $10/gal. Raw goat milk is $20/gal. There are only a few licensed dairies for either because of the regulations/restrictions.
 

Southern by choice

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Very encouraging! Thank you for recording and sharing. I love my ND's but that is one reason I got a lamancha. I wanted more milk but sell mini manchas.

I plan on doing the same with recording this year. You gave me the push though to realize it is worth doing! Thanks
 

Southern by choice

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In NC it is not legal to sell raw milk for human consumption.

We go through 2 gallons of milk a day...just for the basics of use. If we made our own cheese we would need more. I have thought of switching and getting a cow, for the ease of making butter, drinking, and cheese making. We eat/use alot!
 

WhiteMountainsRanch

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This is awesome! Thank you for sharing! I would love to try this, this year. How did you weigh it? In a bucket? Did you milk each girl separately? How did you do it in the end when they were drying up? Just continue to mark it down until the very last day? Thank again for sharing!
 

sawfish99

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Sorry I missed the questions about how we did it. We have a handheld digital luggage scale that we kept in the milking area. I printed a basic spreadsheet to record the data and wrote down the weight of the various buckets we used when empty. Milk 1 goat, weight bucket, subtract empty weight, record. Milk goat, weigh bucket, subtract previous weight, record, etc. Yes, we recorded until we stopped milking.
Due to moving this year and other changes, I have stopped recording. The initial data told us what we wanted to know. I probably won't bother with weighing again unless we go on test.
 

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