New to Dairy Goats, Advice Please! She kidded.... Picture Added

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Chic-n-farmer, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    I recently acquired a sweet little (registered) Alpine doe, due to kid in a week. I'm reading all I can on dairy goats.... the more I read, the less confident I feel. (I have pygmy goats, and some experience)

    She's 2 years old, a first time freshener, she was a bottle baby raised as a pet. I mention this because I hope her friendliness will make her patient with me.

    I have some questions and concerns:

    * Leave the babies with her until weaning or remove after the first 4 days and bottle feed? (I know the importance of colostrum.)

    * What size of a pen (pasture) will she need. As long as she is getting quality hay and feed can it / should it be a 'dry' lot? (I really want to relocate my goat pen.)

    * How elaborate should the milking area be? Can a roofed milking bench do until bad weather sets in?

    I guess that is a start, I'll have more in about 4 seconds..... but my human kids need me now.... [​IMG]

    Thanks. I really appreciate benifiting from all the knowledge here!

    UPDATE: The baby is here!! Born Easter Sunday 4-12-2009
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  2. Sebrightmom

    Sebrightmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    Greencastle, IN
    Welcome to the wonderful world of dairy goats. I have 7 nubians now. I just love them. I will try to answer some of your questions.

    First, has she been tested for CAE, TB, and Johnsons? I don't worry about these as much, but some people do. As long as you get your goats from a breeder that has a healthy herd you should be ok.

    Some people take the kids off the mother as soon as they are born. They pasteurize all of the milk they give to the kids. I am doing a little of both right now. I got a buck kid from a friend that I am pasteurizing all of his milk that he gets. I also have two doe kids that I left on the mother. I let her feed them for two weeks. After that, I let the kids on her during the day and take them off at night. This has been working great for me. I get a 1/2 gallon of milk from her in the mornings. Since the day they were born, I was still milking her two times a day to get milk for the buck kid. All of the kids are very friendly and sweet.

    As for the pen, right now all of my goats are kept in dry stalls. I do let me outside during warm days in a dry lot pen. You have to be careful with your milking does. They need to be in dry lots or pastures without weeds that might change their milk flavor.

    If you are just milking for yourself, your milking area don't have to be that elaborate. I just have a milking stand 10 feet from their stalls. It would be best to use stainless steel or glass to milk it because they can be cleaned correctly for milk. Cooling your milk quick is very important. Once I filter my milk, I put my glass jars in ice water. I keep a bucket of water in my frig that I have in the garage. I also keep ice in yogurt containers in my freezer. I put several in the bucket every time I put my milk in.

    Here is a great website to look at http://fiascofarm.com/goats/index.htm

    I hope I have helped. I know someone will have something else to add.
     
  3. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    Thanks Sebrightmom!
    I see that you are about an hour or so away.... good to know! [​IMG]

    I talked to one man who said he uses coffee filters instead of a milk filter. Opinions, please?
     
  4. Sebrightmom

    Sebrightmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    Greencastle, IN
    I use coffee filters too. I like them because they are bigger than the milk filters that I had. I order most of my goat items from www.hoeggergoatsupply.com/ They have a great cheese making kit. I love it. It comes with the best book.
     
  5. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    Quote:Questions: Is it necessary to pasteurize the milk when feeding it to the goats?

    On the kids you are removing at night... do you bottle feed them during the night?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Sebrightmom

    Sebrightmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    Greencastle, IN
    No you don't have to pasturize the milk just some people do. I don't feed the doe kids at all. They get all the milk they need during the day from their mother. I usually don't take them off of her until 9 or so.
     
  7. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    Quote:When do you remove them entirely? Or do you? I've read that some kids will nurse for months longer than necessary if given a chance.
     
  8. Sebrightmom

    Sebrightmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    Greencastle, IN
    Everyone is different and it sometimes depends on the kids. I weaned my last kid at 8 weeks. I am going to wean theses around 8 weeks. I might leave the does on a little longer. It depends on how they are eating hay and grain.
     
  9. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    One more question and I'll give you a break [​IMG]

    Do you use a double boliler or an actual Pasteurizer? What brand of Pasteurizer? Okay, that was 2 questions...... [​IMG]
     
  10. Sebrightmom

    Sebrightmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    Greencastle, IN
    Right now, I am using a double boiler. It is working great. I just found out that my grandmother has an old pasteurizer that she used 30+ years ago. She is giving it to me. I hope it works. Now, I want a cream separater.[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by