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Goats - Milking and Pregnancy

 
Alison Thomas
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Location: France
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We're still milking one of our goats but I think she got 'done' by the buck last time as she's not come on heat this week as expected. I'm guessing that I should tail off the milking? Or can they 'milk through'? And if I need to stop then would a week of slowly reducing the amounts (twice a day currently) be ok?
 
Nicholas Mason
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Location: Colton Or
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you only need to freshen them off for three weeks before they kid. And it should take about a week to freshen her off.
 
c cagle
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I think the previous poster meant to dry them off rather than freshen.

You need to milk till production falls to 3 lbs/day or less. During the process of reducing production to 3 lbs you should eliminate 1 milking a day (cut back to only milking once a day). Once you totally quit milking do not touch the doe's teats at all - no stimulation - if possible. Chances are good that her udder will swell tremendously - don't 'help' her out by milking some out as you'll just stimulate more production. If you notice that the udder looks bright red or if the doe goes off her feed or water then you do need to check for mastitis. Chances of getting mastitis are much lower if you slowly decrease milk production. Don't milk her fully out during the once a day milking waiting at least a week after first eliminating the second milking. Stop giving all grain - fewer calories during this time means less milk.

gl!

I dry mine off when production falls below a qt/day. Not worth the effort!
 
Alison Thomas
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c cagle wrote:

I dry mine off when production falls below a qt/day. Not worth the effort!


Haha - I did the conversion and a quart (US liquid) is just under 1 litre (946mls) - my lovely girl (who had a stillborn) has only ever given a max of 900mls a day!!! But our goats are more as pets than serious milk producers - lucky that!

Well I went down to one milking a day a week ago and now we're down to just 300mls in the morning so I'll continue to the end of this week taking less and less and then finish up. Being a La Leche League leader I know all about mastitis!! The symptoms are horribly painful in all species so it's one I'm very aware to try to avoid. I helped a friend with a goat who had terrible mastitis and we did exactly the same things as I'd guide a human Mum to do if she got it!
 
c cagle
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Allison, nodding head over here, I am a lactation consultant and yes, mastitis is awful!

Sounds like you and your lovely goat are doing the right things to end this lactation on a good note. I never asked if she is a full size or mini or smaller goat - first lactation or later lactation. Most goats increase lactation amounts after the first time 'round.

Enjoy the break from milking! Always strange the first time you go out and 'nothing' to do.
Cathy
 
Alison Thomas
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c cagle wrote:Most goats increase lactation amounts after the first time 'round.


I'm laughing again, Cathy. It's her second lactation - the first one we got about 100mls once a day but then she had a lil baby to look after that time round (I was just practising). She's not had an easy time really with this childbirth thing. The first she gave birth just fine but walked off the minute the kid popped out just leaving her in the grass. Thank goodness I knew that she was birthing as I was able to step in immediately and 'do my bit'. A long story cut short - after two weeks of penning them up together and having to hold Mummy still whilst the baby drank, she finally accepted that she'd become a Mum and did a wonderful job after that. This second one was again a single kid but stillborn after a very long and arduous birth where we actually had to 'go in' and pull the baby out. Maybe you can see why I'm so close to her - we've worked together a lot! That's why I'm scaling it down right now on milking as she didn't come on heat last week and they're running with the bucks so I'm guessing she's fallen - I appreciate Nicholas's advice but all things considered I think she needs time to be strong again without me sapping some of her energy.

Good to know that there are other lactation folk out there who go on to use their knowledge to help animals

Oh and she's a full-size French Alpine.
 
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