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milk production dropping because of no kids sucking

 
Annie Hope
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Hi,

I am writing from New Zealand - so the start of summer.

I have two goats that have 3 1/2 month old kids. I put bras on them at about 2 months, and restricted access gradually from a few hours till the last week keeping them on permanently, although they often break or slip off. I had one goat that will always be sucked dry if her bra slips off. One the other hand, I have another goat that would usually produce up to two litres/quarts in a miking in addition to feeding the kids without a bra on, which is now down to less than a quart with the bra on permanently. (am milking twice a day).

I was wondering it total lack of sucking form the kids can actually cause a drop in milk production due to a lack of stimulation. is it better to give the kids access for some time each day?

Annie
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I am not familiar with goats, and their lactation patterns, but do know that borage (Borago officinalis) is a well known fodder that will greatly increase milk flow in many species (including goats).

 
Melba Corbett
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Location: North Carolina
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It's not just about the kids sucking. They need to be milked out dry twice daily to keep production up and it also depends on the available nutrients, so they get all the minerals they need plus protein and carbs will help them live up to their potential. Then there is the genetic factor. Some goats just dry up soon after kidding and some of the better bred dairy goats will go 10 months or sometimes years without the need for rebreeding so they "freshen" again. There are many herbs that increase lactation, and some that dry up an animal. Also good protein hay in addition to regular hay as it is sometimes too rich alone, such as alfalfa, really good pastures with lots of minerals on the soil, things like chicory or mulberry leaves and probably a hundred other things, will help.

Weather conditions play variable roles too. If you are in North Island, the weather, of course will be milder than South Island and you will have more year round pasture, and if you can keep those rotated so they never graze them down too much, that is a bonus. Fresh forage is always better than just hay and grain. In NZ you should have great soils anyway, so may not need to do much in the way of mineralization because they are so mineralized already from volcanic dust. Good luck in your endeavors!

Melba
 
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