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Goat Milking Questions

 
Posts: 44
Location: Central Pa
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So having just slowly been changing into a homestead I have been adding new things to my life to test them and see what works best for me I was raised on a farm but got away from it alittle as I got older but when I moved back to the farm in my own little place I started needing the farm life again it started with 2 chickens and a dog. I added a garden then quail to meat chickens and meat rabbits, now being winter in PA I have my 3 breeding rabbits in my chicken pen with my new laying stock all raised from eggs and will be putting up the meat chicken temp pen shortly but as I don't like to take on more then I can handle I pushed last years project off til this year (fingers crossed). Goats when I was younger we had a few here and there but never dairy goats and I have been wanting some for a while now and have been looking into fencing where to put the pen how big a milking stall all of the things that might go missed by someone but my question and problem is I work full time some days 10+ hours I am close to home now with a career change but the idea of getting up an extra hour early to milk just seems hard. So I was wondering if just leaving the doe with her kids during the day work then just have an evening milking for the milk I am going to harvest? Just the thought of getting up at 330am to milk a goat before work is a lot. I plan to only start with one milking doe and maybe another doe for the company.
 
Posts: 121
Location: Zone 4b Ontario, Canada
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Hi Hunter.

If you could find a goat family, meaning; a doe with nursing kid(s), you could leave the babies on her during the day and milk in the evening.  They'll keep each other company.  The kids should be doelings if you don't want to band a buckling to keep him from breeding with mom and sis later down the road.  Young bucks start throwing live rounds at about 6 months.

Cheers!  K
 
hunter miller
Posts: 44
Location: Central Pa
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That is what I was wondering if I would be able to leave kids with them during the day and skip morning milking and just milk in the evening when I have my free time and wont be rushing in the dark.
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 121
Location: Zone 4b Ontario, Canada
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goat medical herbs wood heat homestead
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Here's an after thought:  

When the kids reach the 8 weeks old mark, they do take most of the milk, so you won't be harvesting much in the evening.  You can, however, separate the kids and mom for a twelve hour period, say, on the weekends, in the evening and when you have the time to make the morning trip to the barn and milk mom, then let the little ones on her for the day.  Such a shift in schedule is hardly an issue, whether you or the kids take her milk isn't a problem, on the weekends you can switch time places with the kids.  You will get much more milk from mom when the kids have been off her for 12 hours.  

As they get older, she may make herself unavailable for nursing, but available for milking,of course the milk volume will go down, and she may dry up sooner, but not always.  So whether you or the kids "harvest", a schedule must be kept for mom's good health and continued production.  This way of things isn't how to maximize your harvest of milk, but more so a happy medium for you and the kids, they do better when not forcibly weaned.  They are healthier, less stressed as is the mother.  If mom is fed up with them, she'll wean them herself, and you may be able to continue milking only in the evening.  I have done this in the past with no issues.  But in saying that, the breed of goat you choose will have much to do with it.  So be sure to check into that.

Happy milking!!  K
 
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Posts: 517
Location: Tasmania
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You can usually get away with once per day milking at any time of the day, so your goats won't mind whether you're milking them in the morning or in the evening, just as long as it's at around the same time each day.

When I kept two dairy goats close to the house, milking would take me 20 minutes from start to finish (including all the milk straining, cleaning up, and so on), so it doesn't take very long.
 
I suggest huckleberry pie. But the only thing on the gluten free menu is this tiny ad:
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