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Goat milk question...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Cara, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    My goat kidded 9 days ago, and yesterday we decided to try the milk. Before that I had been milking her but freezing it, and she still has her kids on her.

    The milk has a strange aftertaste to it that's hard to describe. It's not goaty, it's not exactly bitter or sour. It reminds me a bit of baking soda or alka seltzer. Is this likely to be caused by some colostrum still in the milk, or is it a characteristic of goat milk?

    She eats alfalfa hay and was on a blend of corn, barley and oats until this week. We had to switch to mare and foal feed as the feedstore was out of almost everything else. I did taste the milk previously, around 5 days after she kidded, and the taste was stronger to the point of being unbearable. I can drink it now, but my husband won't. I'm getting over a gallon a day with two kids on her.

    ETA I am milking into a freshly cleaned container, and putting the milk straight in the freezer to cool.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009

  2. SheriM

    SheriM Songster

    Jan 27, 2009
    There shouldn't be any colostrum left by day 9. I can't say I've ever experienced the type of after taste you're describing, but I do notice a slightly different flavor to my goat milk. I think the most likely cause is in the feed, especially if she's on a mixed feed like the mare & foal ration you mentioned. I would try it again after you've changed back to an all-grain feed.

    One thing that will really affect the taste of your milk is how quickly you chill it. The faster you get the temperature down, the fresher it will taste. I notice my milk has a strong goaty taste if I don't get it cooled down fast.
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I'm going to agree with SheriM; I'm guessing it's feed related. Does she have any access to weeds at all? If not, then I'm thinking it must be the feed you are giving her.

    The taste of goats milk is affected by feed, cleanliness of milking equipment, if there is a buck in the proximity and how fast you get it really cold.

    Good luck figuring it out.
  4. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    I had the same issue (at least it sounds the same) shortly after my doe kidded. I think I finally figured out that I wasn't leaving it in the freezer to chill long enough. As soon as I started leaving it in the freezer for a longer period of time, it started tasting better. I didn't change any feed during that time and we don't have any weeds that she could have been munching on, so I am pretty sure it was the way I was cooling it.
  5. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    That might just be it. I've been leaving it in the freezer until the container feels really cold, but it might not be cooling thoroughly enough. They are penned and can't reach any significant amount of weeds, just the odd tumbleweed. The strange taste is either getting weaker, or i'm getting used to it. My husband is another matter! It tasted worse on the other feed, but she had just recently kidded when I tried it. The only buck I have is 9 days old, so hopefully he's not causing it!
  6. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

    Nov 16, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    How big of a container are you using? To chill it rapidly, I break it down into no more than a quart in any one container.

    I also think it may be feed related, but it wouldn't hurt to make sure you are cooling very rapidly.
  7. MilkMaid

    MilkMaid Chirping

    Aug 14, 2008
    My goats still have a lingering colostrum taste in their milk for about 2 weeks. Perhaps some of us just have more sensitive taste buds? It goes away after about 14 days regardless of feed or cooling techniques for me.

  8. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

    Nov 16, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    What breed is your girl? And have you had her milk before? Individual goats can have "off" flavors. It's more likely to happen in the Swiss breeds but can happen in any individual.

    I don't use milk from my girls until they're two-three weeks fresh. But I always thought I was just overly cautious...
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  9. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    She's a Sable. She's my first goat and my first experience of goat milk, i've only had cheese before.

    The milk is actually worse this morning after being refrigerated all night, I couldn't drink it. It's a weird taste, somewhere in between bitter and salty. It has an undertone of good milk though! She's been suddenly producing a lot more too. Last week I was getting 3 or 4lbs, I got over 7lbs last night and had to stop milking because I ran out of space in the container!
  10. Chatychick

    Chatychick Songster

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    If its got a salty taste sounds like she might be getting mastitis...might want to have her checked.

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