new to goats- milking question

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chutewoman, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. chutewoman

    chutewoman Out Of The Brooder

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    My husband and I are looking into getting a goat for milk. We have never dealt with milking anything so I have a stupid question for any goat owners out there. Do you have to keep breeding a goat to get milk from her, or will she just make milk forever after she has had a kid. We did not want to have a male goat or any babies to deal with. Is this possible? Any advise will be welcome!!
     
  2. LMEggs

    LMEggs Show Me Feathers Poultry CO

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    i'm not sure there is a way possible to not have babies and have milk too. I borrowed a buck once for breeding then gave him back. If you want good milk you cannot leave a billy in with a doe very long. just long enough to breed then you have to move him. alot of goat breeders nearby keep bucks that they let other people use for those purposes.. if you intend to really raise them you need one but if you just have one doe check around near by farms they will stud their billy to outside does most times. and sell the babys at weaning or sometimes people bottle feeds them or sells them as bottle babies which I would NOT do but some people do...
     
  3. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    to keep a milker in top milk production, it is advised to give them a break.. this usually means having them bred.. after the second breeding, I found that the production went up..

    My wife's Gandmother had a cow that she milked for years without having it bred.. the quantity of milk was not very much, but enough for two people and a bunch of cats.. I think the cow was at least 15 plus years old..

    You can try it with your goat, ..

    somebody can jump in here who knows more than I .. [​IMG]
     
  4. Jazlyn

    Jazlyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The doe does need to have had a baby to be in milk but once milking some can be milked for long periods of time. A family that we have been talking with said they milked one pair of Nubians for more then two years! I have personaly met a nigerian dwarf that had been milking for 14 months. I have not had the time to try for that long. I dry them up after the kids a gone and the show season is over.

    Why don't you want kids? They are the best part! [​IMG] In our area we have no trouble selling kids. Grown bucks that is anouther storey [​IMG] .
     
  5. chutewoman

    chutewoman Out Of The Brooder

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    Well we just want milk for our family, to save money on groceries. So if we breed for kids, the milk production would be on hold and we did not want to have the expense of keeping a male around if it wasn't necessary. I love the little ones too, nothing against the cuties!! Thanks for all the help. It sounds like if I got a goat that was ready to kid after she had the baby we could milk her for a couple years before we would have to breed again?
     
  6. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    would it be possible for you to have two does? then you could stagger the breeding times and not be out of milk production??

    You know, milking your own goats is far from free.. you might find that is is cheaper to buy milk from a goat farmer close by..

    crunch the number$ once and do it honestly and objectively..
     
  7. chutewoman

    chutewoman Out Of The Brooder

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    How much milk will you get from a goat a day? We go through about 4 gallons a week easy with 6 kids. We would use more if we had it. What type of diet would they need, we have 20 acres of woods and grass. Anyone have any numbers for 1 goat?
     
  8. FrizzleFreak

    FrizzleFreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    The average goat will not milk through. You will probably get about 9 months of milk. See, the problem is that goats give milk in accordance to what babies would need (plus extra since we breed them for milk). Still, there are peak points. I recommend Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats. It walks you through every step, including building a shelter and butchering buck kids. Also, how much milk you get will depend on the breed you get. I personally have Nubians, and love them to death. They are like Jersey cows, with very high butter fat milk. They are large, but I can't remember how much milk they give in a day! Grr. You should supplement your goat(s) with a 14% feed. Good luck!
     
  9. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

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    I would also get two goats so you could stagger their breeding so you would not be out of milk.
    I used to have to milk one of my goats because the kids would not feed off of one side and I could get about a gallon a day off of her, she is a Toggenburg though, so a known milk goat variety.

    Also, have you had fresh goats milk before? If not, you need to try it first to be sure you and your family like it before you get the goat. I personally will not drink it and I have had people say that it has to be extremely cold to be good.
     
  10. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Most does will dry themselves off before a year is up. However, the record (that I've heard of) is for a doe who continued to give milk for going on three years after kidding. That's very rare. I have a friend who's Nubian continued to give milk for over a year and a half before they dried her off. I am drying off my Alpine doe right now and she's been giving milk for almost a year. She's giving me 12 cups of milk per day since last fall. Before that she was giving well over a gallon a day.

    So, to continue to have milk you need to breed the doe. Yes, you do need to figure out what to do with the kids. What is the market like in your area? Are you willing to consider butchering them for your own meat or to sell?

    You do not want to have just one goat. They are very social animals and need another goat friend. If you don't want to milk two does then you could get a wether as a companion for her.

    You don't want a buck at your house unless you have at least ten or so goats. Even then it's a personal decision depending on the space you have for him. And, he shouldn't be alone either so you would need another buck or wether to keep him company. Having a buck at your house means a stinky barn, especially through rutting/breeding season. If you touch him, you will stink. If he's near your milk doe the milk will be off flavor. You want to find someone in your area that has a buck who will allow you to take your doe to him to be bred.

    If you allow your milk doe to graze your milk will take on different tastes - depending on what she has eaten. That's when people get 'goaty' tasting milk. Yuk. That's why most people keep their milk does in a contained area and feed them a controlled diet. Therefore, you do have the cost of year round hay and feed/grain for your milk doe. You do need to crunch the numbers as said above, and see if it will truly save you money. We were buying 16 plus gallons of milk every week - I am now saving $200 a month by milking my goats and not buying milk and that's after the feed costs.

    You also need to think about the fact that when you are milking a goat - you have to be there every single day in the morning and night to milk her. You cannot skip a milking and you need to keep it as close to a 12 hour schedule as possible for your does sake.

    I love my goats and I love milking. We love our fresh, raw goats milk every day.

    Good luck in your decision.
     

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