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For goat people

 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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I have always wondered if goat milk tastes like cow milk.

I know if a goat gets into some strong graze it can affect the milk, but I mean just normal milk.

Does it have the butterfat of cow milk?

Sue
 
Gwen Lynn
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I am not a goat people. Could make a joke here about horny goats...but I'll refrain.

I've drank store-bought cow's milk all of my life. (I'm on the high end of my 40's. Or low end, depending on my mood!) I had fresh goat's milk (from Leah's dear, departed Lilly ) for the 1st time last year. It was excellent!

The novice in me thought it would taste very different than cow's milk; but it was similar in flavor; actually better...almost sweet, definitely creamy & rich! Sorta like a milkshake.

I've been in the habit of drinking skim milk or 1%, rarely whole milk, so I might not be the best judge, but if I had a steady supply of goats milk, I'd drink it exclusively!

Yep, Lilly, it was that good. One glass convinced me!
 
Leah Sattler
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the butter fat can be higher than cows. depends on the cow and the goat! it can depend on breed and your feeding practices and stage of lactation. as you go for higher volume you reduce butter fat so most of the stats on butter fat for goats will be skewed. most people who get the milk tested are also going for high volume.  also if you feed too much grain you reduce butter fat (which kinda goes along with stretching production limits). my fresh goats milk tastes very similiar to cows milk. differnet breeds are purported to taste different. many of the swiss breeds were/are bred for cheese and they want that 'goat milk' taste for goat cheese for its distinctive flavor. I don't think goat milk keeps as well which is why the goat milk from the grocery store is nasty. it also seems (and others have told me they have had the same experience) that the more you "churn it up" the more chance it has of developing an off flavor. I have notice that the more i transfer it from one container to another the more chance I have of developing an off flavor. I think its something to do with the somatic cell count naturally being higher. california mastitis tests can't be used in goats except to establish a base line for an individual for this reason. t

the only time I have possibly enountered off milk from lilly that seemed to be food related was with the black oil sunflower seeds. which was a bit depressing since they are a super fat food.  now I can't (and won't for a while at least) be able to do more experimentation with that. browse for her consisted of honeyh suckle, poison ivy, a plethora of small unidentified things and bermuda grass. no off flavors appeared when it was summer. other than that she had alfalfa. I went grain free last year. lamanchas and nubians are widely considered to have the best tasting milk but you can really get people riled up when it is discussed on a goat forum!! nubians generally have the highest butterfat and lowest volume. i am going back with lamanchas. smallish, quiet, super producers and high likelihood of other qualities. alot of people breed nubians (they are most popular) and it seems that there are more 'backyard' breeders that don't cull and breed for good traits.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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I've had goats for most of the last 26 years, and have done taste tests on quite a few people -- nobody has ever been able to tell me which glass had goat milk and which had cow milk in it.  Warm goat milk does have a goaty taste, but warm cow milk has a cowy taste!

It does depend on the goat, and the breed, and the feed, and her general health.  Leah mentioned that 'some Swiss breeds' have been bred for stronger-flavored milk -- that's actually just some strains of Toggenburg.  As far as I know, none of the other Swiss breeds have that problem.  If you are looking at a Toggenburg, make sure you taste her milk, or her mother's milk, before you buy. 

The higher the butterfat, the sweeter the milk will taste.  Nubians have generally got the highest butterfat of the large breeds, but any breed can be selected for high butterfat (if you have enough goats to do some selecting from).  Nigerian Dwarfs and Kinder goats are both VERY high in butterfat (and so are Boer goats, a standard-sized breed raised for meat -- but you can milk them, although if you go that route, get one that is half or less Boer).  Kinder goats, if you can find one, are usually going to be easier to milk than a tiny little Nigerian Dwarf, but a lot of people do milk the Nigies. 

The off-taste of store-bought goat milk doesn't have anything to do with keeping quality.  The problem is from the processing -- canned cow milk doesn't taste like fresh cow milk, either.  Goat milk has mostly short and medium-chain fatty acids, which do break down more easily -- they make goat milk easier to digest, but it also needs to be handled with a little more care.  On the other hand, I've had no problem with goat milk keeping well in my refrigerator -- it actually keeps better than pasteurized milk from the store.  The key is to make sure your equipment is CLEAN (that means using an acid cleaner once a week), and the milk is chilled quickly after milking.  I strain the milk into clean jars as soon as I'm through milking the goat, even before I return her to the pen, so no hairs or specks of dirt get a chance to set in the milk. 

As far as breed preferences, I have a registered Oberhasli buck, and a couple of cross-bred does -- one is 3/4 Oberhasli, 3/16 Boer, and 1/16 Togg; the other is half Ober and half Alpine (she's only a yearling and won't be in milk until next year).  I also now have a baby doe kid out of the first doe and my buck, who is 7/8 Oberhasli.  IMO, the Ober milk is nearly as good as Nubian (I've had several of them, was milking six at once for a while), though not quite as rich.  I like having the little bit of Boer in there, as they seem to be easier keepers than straight dairy-bred does, and have sturdier bodies.  I have the brother of the 3/4 Ober doe, kept him for a pack wether because he's such a sturdy fellow.  (And I have the brother of the new doe kid -- he would actually make a nice buck for a cross-bred herd, or a good pack wether -- I'll let him go cheap!  I'd keep him if we had more room, but can't do it.)

Kathleen
 
                      
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I have always had Nubians, probably because that is what I grew up with. They do tend to be vocal but I like a girl that speaks her mind.

I wouldn't buy any doe without milking her and tasting her milk first. Milk can be different from one doe to another, even on the same feed and even of the same breed. Also, milk really absorbs odor so cleanliness is super important for the health of the herd and the taste of the milk. With that said, if there is a buck in with the does, you'll have his stank in the milk. I think that is what a lot of folks associate goat milk with, musk.

Also, I agree that milk needs to be put ot chill immediately and storing milk in glass containers that are squeaky clean helps to keep the taste sweet. Plastic absorbs other odors and will infuse the milk with them.

My does were bred with a Nubian buck this year but I am looking to breed them to a Broer next year. We will see how that goes.

That's my two-cents. I hope it's useful.
 
paul wheaton
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My understanding is that if you feed a goat cow food, the milk will taste like cow milk.  But ... goats are browsers, not grazers.

 
Susan Monroe
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Thank you for all the good information!

I was curious,  as I had my very first taste of raw (cow) milk a couple of weeks ago.  I only buy store milk for cooking because I am lactose-intolerant.  Reading AcresUSA, one article mentioned that raw milk was used as an aid with stomach problems. 

I drank a quart of the raw milk in two days.  WHAT A SHOCK!  No stomach cramps, no gas, no diarrhea or ANYTHING!

So, at least for me, it's not the MILK that causes the problems, so it must be the PASTURIZATION!

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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paul wheaton wrote:
My understanding is that if you feed a goat cow food, the milk will taste like cow milk.  But ... goats are browsers, not grazers.




i wish it were that easy. but if that were true commercial cows and goats milk would taste the same  ....and they don't  .  They generally recieve a very similiar diet in domesticated situations. although goats are natural browsers most are not natural animals anymore. my lilly had access to lots of browse. her milk was indistinguishable from cows milk. so were two nubians I had. the browse issue has more to do with parasite control. browsers have less exposure to the them and less resistance. also browse often contains more nutrition (harder to digest) and possibly higher various mineral content.


I ate lots of dark chocolate when nursing my daughter so that she could have chocolate milk
 
Susan Monroe
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"I ate lots of dark chocolate when nursing my daughter so that she could have chocolate milk"

I love it when a mother REALLY loves her baby!

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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I don't mean to say that diet doesn't or can't affect the taste or quality of the milk, just that it is not as cut and dry as cow food vs. goat food. There is alot of crossover there for one. it is really difficult to find any milk that is produced through purely 'natural' forage situations. few people or dairies will bother with the kind of quantity that is produced or deal with the potential health complications of dairy animals on a purely "natural diet" for either cows or goats and yet there is often a difference in taste reported. if you wanted to find that kind of goat milk you probably would have to go to a meat herd to find out what it tastes like, around here at least......
 
Leah Sattler
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Susan Monroe wrote:


So, at least for me, it's not the MILK that causes the problems, so it must be the PASTURIZATION!

Sue


it might have something to do with the pastuerizations but you should check into how homogenization affects the fat in cows milk. there is some evidence showing that when it is homogenized an enzyme is released that would normally pass through the system undigested.....or something like that....I'll try to find a link. this could be responsible for the bad rap dairy food gets healthwise/heartwise/fatwise. it could be bunk too but it is worth considering.

found this link. it says its not a problem but gives the accurate terms to search with if your interested.

http://jds.fass.org/cgi/content/abstract/66/7/1419?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=homegenization+fat+enzyme+heart+disease&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT
 
rose macaskie
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Great the informacion of susan muroe about gas and diarhea and such except i don't know where to buy fresh milk. and great leahs Sattlers idea about eating chocolate to make her own milk taste better. I breast fed my two and mothers milk seemed to me to tast of melon juice so  there is no way it could start to taste of hot chocolate, maybe cholcolate woudl perfume it a bit. 
 
rose macaskie
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I was going to say," d'you know what a goat smells like that, what goats milk tastes of". Everyone here gives a much more varied and rich veiw of the situacion. My with goat milk experience is limited.
 
rose macaskie
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I like the smell of goats I love goat cheese i think maybe i noticed the taste of the milk because i am used to cows milk and you notice it when you aren¡t used to it, also i haven't tasted Leah Sattlers goat milk.
 
Leah Sattler
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I have discovered that outside of diet (possibly sunflower seeds) the only way I can make the goat milk "goaty" is to pour or agitate it alot. that is my guess as to why store bough goats milk tastes so bad. it goes through a milking machine then sits in a bulk tank with an agitator to cool it faster then might be pumped several more times before being packaged. I milk through a filter into a clean glass container. the lid goes on the container and it goes in the frig. I sometimes pour one container into another after cooling to make room in the frig. At first I did the super chilling with ice suggestions but found it made no difference. the difference was made if I milked. poured it through a filter. poured it into a container to cool then poured it into the 'bulk' pitcher.

goat milk is higer in caproic acid by quite a bit. it is thought that free fatty acids are responsible for the goaty taste that is sometimes found in goats. (some like this and bred for it). agitation breaks down fat globules and releases the fatty acids creating the goat taste. for more info...

http://www.healthnews-nz.com/cream.html
 
rose macaskie
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Really interesting that you can keep goat milk from smelling by not agitating it, and about the caproic acid and that agitacion breaks down fat globules. Writing it all will get me remembering it.
  Still i love the taste of goat in cheese and probably would in milk if i drank it often and as it is don't mind it.
  It is meant to be much healthier than cows milk i read somthing about cows milk being made to get a calf to heifer or bullock size in a year which is not very good for humans that take fifteen years to get to bullock or heifer size.
 
Leah Sattler
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I aslo think it has more to do with natural growth patterns. it is not as if people dont' drink milk as infants (or should) and although there are some significant differences it is not in the calorie dept. there are some anti milk crowds out there and the growing too fast thing is one of there bits they use. also they like to say that the only animals that drink milk past infancy are humans so it must be wrong. heck we are the only animals to cook our food. the only animals to actively teach our young. the only animals to domesticate any other animals......the only animals to do lots of things! we are unique and we have found a unique food to use even as adults. our versatility has been the key to our success and our ability to readily obtain (through cultivation and domestic animals) highly nutritious food probably spurred our brain development into what is now considered modern humans.
 
rose macaskie
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I did not mean cows milk is bad for you because it makes you a man in a year but because it is made for an animal that has to produce an enormous amount of bone in a short amount of time, not because your one year old would be humping the neighbours one year old, silly.
  The pamphlet i read a bit of on it said, there was a lot of something called colostrum or some such in cows milk that wasn't to cool for humans. I don't think it had anything to do with cholesterol that is a problem in our arteries. I was buying something in a herbal shop that doubled up as a homeopathic clinic and idley flicking through the panfletes they had . rose macaskie
 
rose macaskie
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Bytesmith. Is there anything in cows milk that helps the calf grow so much bone in a year, a thing humans obviously don't do. Just think of a year old baby and a year old calf. I read the article briefly more than twenty years ago and in Spanish, so i  seem to have forgotten the vocabulary or confused various themes a bit really got in a muddle but the main idea, as i remember it, was that cows milk is made for an animal that does a lot more growing and a lot faster than humans is still there, though what part of cows milk is not so good for us i don't know. Anyway in England goats milk was adviced for people with asthma and other complaints. It was said to be healthier than cows milk. I suppose homeopaths would know the homeopath reaction to cows milk. I don't know any. I know that the queen mother used a homeopathic doctor and look how long she lived, if i had more money i woudl probably go to one. rose macaskie
 
Leah Sattler
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here is a table comparing goat, cow and human milk (their basic componants). http://adga.org/compare.htm both cows and goats milk are higher in protein than human milk. you are most certainly correct in the idea that it is not suitable to replace mothers milk for infants. so using a year old baby and year old calf comaprison isn't really useful and if the pamphlet was doing that I suspect that it was more propaganda then anything unless it was simply trying to discourage people from attempting to raise infants on the milk of another species. a baby almost always suffers from irreversable side affects when fed anything other than what nature intended for their delicate digestive systems.....mothers milk. most formulas are based on whey from cows milk, and babies develop higher rates of general allergies, excema, asthma, colic, ulcers, severe reflux etc...when fed something other than human milk and especially with anything that has cows milk, especially protein, in it.

as far as its general consumption being healthier than that of cows milk... goats  milk is easier to digest because of the smaller size of the fat globules, the fact that it isnt' mechanically homogenized. it also is lacking in the protein b-lactoglobulin which is thought to be the protein that stimulates allergic response. some people think they are lactose intolerant when the culprit is actually this protein found in cows milk, hence the oft found ablity of these people to tolerate goats milk and for young children to at least tolerate it alot better than cows milk if it is neccesary to replace it.

in cases where infants were attempted to be raised on cows milk before the advent of formula (not much better) it often resulted in cases of failure to thrive and they most certainly didn't respond with too much growth. they often died. the basic premise of the article you read is correct. cows milk is formulated to be the best for calves, to help them grow and develop as calves should. and human milk is of course best for infants to help them grow and develop as they should. I'm sure that is what the pamphlet was getting at. its just a bit more complicated than growing bones or big bodies quickly. and of course the mature human digestive tract is able to make use of a huge variety of foods. nuts grow squirrels but nuts are also suitable human food and birds eat berries but that doesn't mean if we eat them we will sprout feathers  . and milk grows calves with big bones and bodies but if we drink it (as adults) it doesn't mean we will become bovine bohemoths

 
rose macaskie
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No crazy i don't think the pamphlet suggested we should become bovine frankesteins whatevers if we drink milk,  It suggested that in some way it was  hard for us to cope with all that substance we don't need because we just aren't growing that much. Hard for grown up uses as wel as children.
  Homopatic people get lots of people to try different substances and note all their reactions to it for the next few weeks in very exhaustive set of questions that the guinea pigs have to tick off. In the case of milk i suppose they have to take them off it first and then give it to them again. THis  makes them interesting, they don't just study the ill they study the reaction of the well to different substances
   
Cows milk is meant to have something  to do with asthma and exma and cieroisis in don't know how to spell tose two, which is like exma, the Chinese doctors are always suggesting people stop drinking cows milk for all sorts of illnesses but then the Chinese didn't used to drink cows milk so it just may seem terrible to them and those groups of people who historically don't drink it find it indigestible, they stop producing rennet.
 
Alison Thomas
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Wow what REALLY interesting info.  My sister has just been diagnosed as lactose intolerant so I'll pass all this info on to her.

Oh and hello, I'm new here.

We live in France and are considering gettings some goats but I have a question.  Are goats like humans in that stimulation produces milk and will continue to do so even if they haven't had a kid recently?  Or are they 'seasonal' and have to have had a kid recently to give milk?  The thought of having to separate the mums from the babies in order to get the milk is a sad one for me (I am currently a breastfeeding mum with baby number 3)
 
Leah Sattler
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yes and no on the stimulation. Dairy goats are (supposed to be) bred for long lactations and some can even be milked for years without being freshened. this is called milking through. some goats, particularly meat breeds or carelessly bred dairy goatsm, will often dry up after a few months even if kids are nursing or they are being milked. few goats will continue to  make milk without that milk being taken althought here are some reported that are difficult to dry up. does that make sense? some goats begin a lactation with out having had kids, they are called virgin milkers. a few will come into milk in the spring kids or not kids. in a few breeds and lines, unbeleivably even the bucks will sometimes start making milk!!! that is a fun little bizarre tidbit   

I don't like seperating the kids either and so far have chosen to take the kids away at night and milk one time in the morning. that way the kids get to be with mum all day. both parties get used to it pretty quickly. when the kids start to nurse less you do need to start milking twice a day or risk the doe drying up although not all will. this does have some disadvantages. you don't really know how much the doe is making (if you are a very serious breeder you have to keep exact records of such things) the biggest advantage for me is not having to bottle feed those kids! that is a time consuming proposal and I dont' like the personality of bottle kids.
 
Leah Sattler
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the dam raised or lambar raised ones (the two latest I purchased were on a lambar for most of their life) are very different.

problem #1. example I have three bottle kids locked up in a cattle panel pen because they are not bonded to the herd they are bonded to me. they will go through hell, highwater, biting dogs and electric fence to get to me. I can't keep them in. even went and bought an electric fence this week with a continious charge (pardon the pun...the current one is intermitent) I smelled burned hair adn could hear the zap as the hollered as they went through it time and again. grrrrrrrr.

problem #2. related to #1 but slightly different. I HATE getting bitten on my hands whenever I try to do something. as I lift a heavy bucket of fresh water over the fence they climb in the bucket and bite my hands fouling the water in the process. as I open the latch to their pen they bite my hands as I am fumbling with the goat proof clip. when I go to pick up a peice of wire or bit of trash from their pen they bite my hands. and it doesn't matter how much you smack them for it they come right back for more. sorta like the rumored monkey experiments where the harder the baby monkey was poked by its fake momma the harder it tried to hold on to it. 

quite frankly. they are simply obnoxious to deal with. all three have been off the bottle for over a month and they still retain this behaviour. I know from experience that eventually the biting at least will get better. I'm afraid though that they will never respect the electric fence now. I am hoping that once they are big enough that they can't go through it at such a quick pace that they will begin think twice. if not. I guess they will have to move on. I don't see being able to afford a large enough area to fence them long term in quite some time. I just can't justify bringing them all their food forever when I have acres of browse for them. I'm having trouble justifying keeping them this far and pouring as much feed into them as I have!

with just a tiny bit of purposeful handling dam raised kids are tame and loving. I purposely don't handle the wethers any more than neccesary because they are bound to be someones food. that brings its own set of problems of course.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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I prefer bottle-raising my kids for several reasons.  I don't have any problem with them not bonding to the rest of the herd, though, because I only keep them separated for a few days --- just long enough for them to get the idea that milk comes from me, and not from mom, and to get them big enough to be able to get out of the way of the adults.  Sometimes you have to double-fence in order to keep small kids in their pens -- I often use a combination of cattle panels and woven wire field fencing with holes small enough to keep the kids in.  I very seldom have one that bites -- I wonder if your's aren't getting something they need in their diet?

Human infants being fed goat's milk need added folic acid, or they can end up having seizures -- I wonder if cow milk is also lacking in folic acid? 

Kathleen
 
Leah Sattler
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the ones in previous years raised on goats milk bite too. they just make this automatic assumption that my hands contain something for them to eat. not unlike spoiled horses that are always  getting treats from the hand. I like the lamanchas I bought that were primarily raised on the lambar. I just don't like being a primary goat mommy i guess! I couldn't leave mine out with the herd here because they went through the fence from the beginning and had to stay in panel pens. the dam raised and lambar doelings come to visit me and ask for scratches they just don't maul me like the bottle goats that I avoid going in with at all cost!!! they just have a different view of humans that I don't like. 
 
Alison Thomas
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Three of our French Alpine goats are pregnant and are now all within the 145 - 155 days after being impregnated.

One has had a small whitish discharge for about a week now, the other two have nothing. I've been checking the tail/pinbone ligaments but this is my first time with kidding so I'm not entirely sure what to be looking for. This morning there was a small amount of blood on the straw in their shelter but I couldn't see any cuts on any of them (we have 5 in total) nor any sign from which goat it came from. Is this something to worry about or is it just like a human 'bloody show' just before birth (I'm an experienced human producer!)?
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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It's probably bloody show.  Just like humans, not all goats show the same signs of impending labor and delivery.  I've had goats that showed all the classic signs, and I was able to be there when they delivered.  All three of the ones I have now showed few signs (they were, of course, very wide, and had the sunken ligaments, and one of them had some discharge prior, but not much).  The last two, I really wasn't expecting them to kid for another couple of weeks -- my little great nephew came running in all wide-eyed and said there were two new babies out in the goat shelter!  (He's seven, and had never been around any livestock before his visit here.)  I went out to check, and found FOUR new babies -- the two does had kidded within minutes of one another!  That was one busy buck!  Neither doe had shown any sign of imminent kidding, other than the sunken ligaments.  It's well if you know exactly when they were bred.  Pasture breeding leaves you uncertain as to due dates, although so far, the bucks have gotten the job done. 

Let us know how things go!

Kathleen
 
Brice Moss
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if you are spending a lot of time and energy trying to be there for the does they will probably wait for you to go to town for something and quietly drop the kids while you are gone then look all innocent at you when you get back like they didn't do it on purpose.
 
Alison Thomas
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I'm laughing Brice, I'm getting this feeling.  I try to just observe them from a distance but I'm sure they know the sound of the car leaving the farm!
 
Brice Moss
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just personal experience as mine refuse to birth while I'm home this spring I had to take the very long way home because hwy 30 was closed and Demi dropped about 15 minutes before I got home
 
Alison Thomas
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Two little kids born yesterday to two different mums - both first-timers. All went well and is going well with baby and mum number one, but mum number 2 rejected her baby and ran off straight after giving birth  . We tried really hard to get her to take an interest but she was having none of it. She didn't mind me milking some colostrum (first time ever milking for me!) and baby was happy to suck it off my fingers (we had no bottles). We have now separated the two of them in a pen on the other side of the farm so hopefully she'll accept her wee girl now.

Still one more doe to go but she's not a first-timer so fingers crossed.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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Alison Freeth-Thomas wrote:
Two little kids born yesterday to two different mums - both first-timers. All went well and is going well with baby and mum number one, but mum number 2 rejected her baby and ran off straight after giving birth  . We tried really hard to get her to take an interest but she was having none of it. She didn't mind me milking some colostrum (first time ever milking for me!) and baby was happy to suck it off my fingers (we had no bottles). We have now separated the two of them in a pen on the other side of the farm so hopefully she'll accept her wee girl now.

Still one more doe to go but she's not a first-timer so fingers crossed.


Alison, how much colostrum did the baby get?  She needs more than just a few drops off your fingers!  You can put the mother into a milking stanchion, or tie her up short, and hold her still to let the baby nurse (you may think you are riding a bucking bronco!).  Or milk the doe and bottle feed the baby -- if you plan to leave the kids on their mothers, I'd try holding the doe still for up to two or three weeks, several times a day, and hopefully at some point it will click that she's supposed to feed that baby!  You can't count on her accepting the baby just because they are separated from the other goats -- it sounds like her maternal hormones haven't quite kicked in.  Once in a while you'll have a doe whose hormones never do kick in, but it's not uncommon for it to take a while with first fresheners.

Kathleen
 
Brice Moss
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
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also be aware that suckling in short bursts is very normal for goats, my doe gives her babies about ten seconds each time they hit her before she walks off, they is fat little kids so apparently they hit her up a lot. I just mention this because a guest at my place saw her kicking them off and expressed concerns, which reminded me that this normal behavior may not look so normal to everyone.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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That's true, Brice, once the kids are a little older, but the doe shouldn't do that with a newborn that is just learning to find the teats and isn't steady on it's feet yet.

Kathleen
 
Alison Thomas
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Brice, I read your post and was comforted - she only gets about 30 secs even when I hold the doe "still".  Then I read yours Kathleen and got to worrying again.  My doe keeps sitting down on the job.  As soon as baby arrives at the teat she walks off and sits down.  It is indeed "bucking bronco" time when we have to get baby on so baby doesn't get to hang on for long before mum has kicked out and she's off again.  It now takes 2 of us to hold mum still AND standing and I've worried all day that baby isn't getting enough milk. At what point do I have to step in and bottle feed?

BUT she is peeing a lot and has done 3 poops today, mustard in colour (which having breastfed my children means a good sign to me - is it the same for goats?).  She's still a bit wobbly on her legs but is doing that sort of jumpy thing that the other kid is doing.  She's clear of eye and doesn't seem overly sleepy.

The mum is not just bleating out for the others, she's screaming.  And she screams out when baby latches on.  But she doesn't if I milk her.

Gosh I wish I knew what was going on!
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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You've just got a ditzy new mom who doesn't understand what is going on, I think.  If you can manage four feedings a day for a week or so, then gradually cut back until the baby is nursing twice a day, she'll be fine.  That's what I do with my bottle babies (and have, in fact, put a few on twice-a-day feedings from birth just because my schedule wouldn't allow any more than that at the time, and they did just as well as any of the others ever have). 

If this doe turns out to be a good milker and you like her otherwise, keep her and see how she does with her second kidding.  If she doesn't do any better then, and you definitely want your does to raise their own offspring, I would cull her and her doe kids from your herd.  You have to breed for what you want in your herd, or you won't have it.

Kathleen
 
Alison Thomas
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Oh yikes, I haven't started bottle feeding yet.  I have milked some from her mum in case I needed to bottle feed, and have tried a couple of times but baby has to have the bottle forced into her mouth and she spits it out immediately.  So basically she has had no bottled milk as supplement so far.  The poops have come from the four or five times a day that I have managed to get her 'on the boob' for a few seconds OR what she's getting from mum when I'm not there!!!  I'm beginning to wonder if it's more than I think as this morning she did a great big poop and wee and we hadn't managed to get her latched on since 8pm last night - so 10 hours with no milk that I have knowledge of.  Surely nothing can come out that hasn't gone in?

And her and baby cuddling up - that's a good sign yes?

What sort of 'evidence' am I looking for before I can think of letting them out of their 6ft x 4ft pen?

It's odd that she's ditzy because her own mother is just wonderful and always by her side.  I haven't had them from birth so I don't know if her own birth was traumatic.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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It almost does sound like the baby may be nursing when you aren't watching.  Dam-raised babies won't take a bottle unless forced to it by starvation; even if they've never nursed the dam, it can take up to three days of opening their mouths and stuffing the bottle in before they start to latch on to it by themselves.  The kids I had this year mostly caught on after a couple of tries, except for one that I'm sure had nursed his mother before I found him -- it took several days before he caught on that that bottle was ALL he was going to get! 

If you aren't too busy with other things, or if you have a young child around who can be assigned the task, you might watch this doe and kid for several hours and see if she actually is letting the baby nurse.  As long as the baby is pooping and peeing, and seems to have a full belly, it's getting enough to eat.

Kathleen
 
Brice Moss
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Location: rainier OR
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also take a feel of the babies belly, if it feels full da baby is doin fine getting milk. mom might be not feeding in front of you cause you're making her nervous with all the extra attention.
 
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