Dairy Goats. Tell me what I need to know!

ChickenWisperer

Songster
11 Years
Jun 30, 2008
2,525
18
193
KY
We're seriously thinking about getting dairy goats.

Now, I know I'm a newbie, so don't laugh - but I don't understand the process of how and when a goat has milk, and when they don't.

How many times a day should I milk?

How much/what kind of food do YOU guys suggest?

We are going to fence them in with cattle panels. Does this sound good?

What breeds do you suggest? We are thinking La manchas, nubians, and oberhasli. (Want something that will be more friendly)
 

shadowpaints

Songster
10 Years
Jun 20, 2009
2,005
12
181
Rigby, Idaho
we have dairy does. we have a registered alpine ( due to freshen anyday) and a nubian/alpine cross. we always feed our does horse quality hay ( 2nd crop alfalfa) and when they get close to their kidding date we start giving them a sweet feed made specially for goats . they get 1/2 lb 2x a day. we also milk 2 times a day 3 days after kids are born if we leave them on their mom. make sure that you get them from a reputable person. so you (hopefully) dont have to deal with unhealthy goats.

i hope this helps a bit!
 

Cara

Songster
12 Years
Aug 30, 2007
3,267
8
221
NM
Cattle panels are great for fencing in goats.

I wouldn't recommend Nubians. They tend to be loud and not the most cooperative goats in the world. They can have somewhat of a 'drama queen' personality. LaManchas, Oberhaslis, Saanens, Sables, or Alpines are a good choice (or a good Experimental).

Ours eat alfalfa hay and either sweet feed or corn/barley/oats mix. They each have 2lbs of sweet feed twice a day, and about two flakes of hay each.
 

michickenwrangler

To Finish Is To Win
11 Years
Jun 8, 2008
4,511
33
241
NE Michigan
Right now, I'm only milking once a day.

When kids were 2 weeks old, their Mom, Clover, went into a separate stall at night. I would milk her first thing in the morning and put her back with Bear and Sable, the kids. At 6 weeks old, the kids are getting big and lifting Clover off her feet when nursing, so we'll be weaning them to a bottle/pan soon.

You can milk once a day for awhile at least.

I have LaManchas and they are very sweet but they are the "weird looking earless" goats that some people san't stand to look at. But once you look at it everyday, you get used to it.

This is Clover. Another bonus of LaManchas is that they can come in any color and pattern while most other full-size dairy goats are restricted to just one color or a few patterns.

11594_015.jpg


My neighbor has Saanens (white Swiss-type) and Toggenburgs (brown Swiss-type w/ white markings). Saanens are like labradors they are so friendly--they will also charge over to get petted. Toggenburgs are friendly, but more polite about it.

Go to TSC or go on Amazon and get a book on raising goats. "How to Raise Goats" has wonderful pictures in it too.
 
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ChickenWisperer

Songster
11 Years
Jun 30, 2008
2,525
18
193
KY
what a cutie!!!

I just love the La Manchas, but mom doesn't so much. She want's nubians.

So, do goats have to be pregnant to milk them - their not like dairy cattle?
 

mrbstephens

Songster
10 Years
May 25, 2009
1,785
5
161
Long Island, New York
Quote:
Is that really true? I know that a woman who has not given birth is able to breastfeed. She just needs to continually nurse a baby and after a week she can bring in a full milk supply. That's how in some countries grandmothers are able to breastfeed their grandbabies while mama is working. This is good knowledge for a woman looking to adopt an infant.
So, couldn't this be the same with any mammal?
 

michickenwrangler

To Finish Is To Win
11 Years
Jun 8, 2008
4,511
33
241
NE Michigan
She probably had some kind of hormone therapy. Not sure about "other" countries but in many 3rd world (for lack of a better word) nations, mothers give birth young in most generations, so Grandma may only be about 30 years old and still in child-bearing years. They also nurse longer than we do, sometimes up to 7 years. If Mom has a daughter at age 15, another baby at age 20 and another at age 25, she would probably still be nursing Baby 3 when Daughter 1 has hers and could nurse Grandchild occasionally if Daughter 1 needed help.

The body won't produce milk until the placenta passes, triggering hormones for milk production.

Some dairy goats will "milk-through" and keep producing for a year or two without re-breeding.
 

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