Age of Milking


11 Years
Feb 4, 2008
Venice, Florida
At what age is a goat able to be milked? That article said that a virgin doe's udders could be stimulated and her milk would come in.

The woman I spoke with last evening said that she doesn't breed her goats until they're 2. Says it takes them that long to be adults.

So by getting a doeling, I'm looking at a couple year wait before I'll be able to milk her?
You can breed your goats when they've reached 75% of their total adult weight, which is usually at about 8-10 months of age. It's an average 150 day gestation, so in theory you could have a milking doe at 15 months old.

i have no idea about the stimulating udders.
you can join the yahoo group homedairygoats and they could probably tell you. Since I just got mine, I can only go by what I've been told. I was told not to let them go above about 1 year old before being bred because it'll make it harder to breed them later. I don't know the truth to that though. Can only tell you what I was told.

I raise Nigerian Dwarfs and I dont breed my does till they are 15 mths old...younger than that and its to hard on them. I had 1 get in with the buck before she was that old and she lost it...Stimulating into milk can cause problems with their udders. Not good there to do that. It would be better to buy a doe that is already in milk. Also the larger dairy breeds can be bred earlier than 15 mths and still do well. First fresheners can be a bit tricky also as most are in shock after labor and disown their babies if they are bred to young. I have Alpines also and I bred my doe when she was 1o mths old and she did wonderful with her babies and not a problem. If your wanting it for a milking doe you will have to either pull the babies at birth and bottle feed them, or dam raise and pen the babies away from the dam and milk in the mornings and let the babies run with the mother during the day. Some do this and still have plenty of milk. Good luck in your decision as to what breed you buy.
Yup - the 75% of adult body weight is the one I go by. I breed minis, I have to be extra careful to wait until they're well grown before I breed them - usually over one year but before their second year.

You'll get two schools of thought on this one.

I have never heard of a junior doe being brought into milk and milking well without freshening. I'm sure there are drugs, feeds...methods...but why?
I agree Kate why do this unless they kid...better to let them grow up and kid and go into milk...I havent had to do that and dont plan on it either...had 1 doeling that had a precoucious udder and it was fun getting her was hormonal but a pain as it can lead to mastitis I think in the long run not treated...
Ok now on the flip side of this coin, if you buy a doe already in milk, I know from past experiences that they will milk for years on just one breeding, but their peak will be well past. The first 2 I purchased had been bred at 1 yr, had only that yr's kids and were 7 when i bought them and still milking! Quite a freekish thing, but I was excited about it. I was getting a gallon of milk a day between the 2 (Saanen does). Sooooo, if you are looking for a doe who has raised her young but is still in milk, you could try that too, or maybe put in a request at a farm that she not be dried up after weaning.
Actually, yes, I was able to find a couple ads for does either pregnant or just freshened who are the cross I am looking for. I am eager to have the fresh milk sooner rather than later. I was having a hard time finding does for sale that were near me and the breed I am interested in.

Does nanny mean adult female goat?

That's good to know that they will milk for a good while as long as they are being milked - I guess that's like a wet nurse.
Well we call them does...and they will milk for a long time also and as long as they are fed the proper feed and hay they will continue till dryed up. I personally dont milk that long but you can. I give mine a well deserved rest after a while. If you time it right you can get 2 does and breed 1 and let her rest and when she freshens you can milk the other. Rotation is what I do. I feed mine Purina goat chow and whole oats and alfafa pellets, and if you can find it alfafa hay is the best for them. Good luck

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