• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

cutting out the evening milking

 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1539
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
78
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I need to know what's the best way to go from twice a day to once a day milking.

I was milking in the morning, letting the kids with the moms for the day separating them for the night. It was working well, but I began to worry about weaning. A friend said get them on the bottle, separate them from the mothers. So that's what I did.

I was worried about not having enough milk for the kids' bottles and the shareholders' cheese, so I started milking in the evening. The kids only take a bottle morning and night, and I have tons of milk. tons and tons.

Before I sell more shares, and lock myself into the twice a day milking, I thought I would go back to once a day milking only. Then find out how many more shareholders I could carry.

Now, I am wondering, do I milk a little earlier every evening, lengthening the time between the evening and morning milking, until I get to about 3 or 4 hours, then just quit the second milking. Or, do I cold turkey the evneing milking, or do I milk just half the amount I've been getting in the evening? Do I decrease their feed so they won't make as much milk while I am making the switch?

One of the does is a first freshener, gives about one quart per milking. Another is a second freshener, gives about half a gallon or a little more per milking. The last is an Alpine in about her 5th or 6th cycle. She gives 3/4 gallon per milking. Seems like she would be back to the engorged state she was in before she kidded. I was getting more from each of them in the mornings when only milking once a day, and they spent the day with their kids.


I want the does comfortable, content and healthy. I'd prefer that my learning process not create problems for them. I wonder if anyone has any insight on this?

Thanks so much

Thekla
 
Kris schulenburg
Posts: 112
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I only have experience with 3 sheep but it may apply. I milked in the mornings after the lambs were separated in the evening. One ewe decided not to let her lamb continue to nurse and she dried up in a few days. The other two stayed fresh with the lambs nursing during the day. Makes me think there is a chance they could dry up if no kids are nursing? Good luck
 
Adam Klaus
author
gardener
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
65
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I didn't catch how long it has been since they had their babies, but as long as it has been 2-3 months, then I would say you are good to go to stop cold turkey and milk once a day. If after 3-4 days, one of the girls has a really engorged udder, then milk her our part way, just to relieve the pressure. Should be good to go.

I know that herbs like sage (not sagebrush) are known to help dry up a milker. I have never used this, and doubt you would either, but thought I would mention it.

The mommas will balance out their milk production with how much milk is being taken. They may be engorged for a couple days, but it will sort itself out. It's a lot scarier than the reality!

good luck!
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1539
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
78
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Kris and Adam,
Thanks for your perspectives,

OK, at 3 months, I'll just quit the evening milking and keep an eye out for engorged udders. Other than the morning, I'll milk only to relieve the pressure. And keep my fingers crossed, and be very kind.

Thekla
 
kadence blevins
Posts: 595
Location: SE Ohio
32
books goat hugelkultur rabbit tiny house wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
you could do the evening milking earlier and earlier by an hour. once you are milking about noon you should be fine to cold turkey it to just morning milking.

I have not tried myself but I imagine if you kept the evening milking for a while and just didn't fully milk em out in the evening they would back off the production. the theory stands but I haven't tested it myself.

also note that once you cut them back to the once a day milking and theres no kids on them their production wont go back up if you start milking twice a day. their production has a natural curve it follows according to the kids milk needs but other than that their production can be cut down to your needs but once you cut em down you will only slowly go down through the milk season.
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1539
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
78
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Kadence.

 
Katy Whitby-last
Posts: 280
Location: North East Scotland
1
forest garden goat trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have transitioned from twice and day to once a day milking but only once they were producing less than 3 litres. I gradually moved my milking time by a hour as suggested by previous posters.
 
Matt Vader
Posts: 10
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Milking once per day is acceptable and done by many. It just uses the animal in a much less efficient state considering the inputs will be about the same. Production will drop off in reaction to the decrease in demand. Be careful to keep the transition as stress free as possible. Increased stress will cause a greater decrease in production that may not recover and increases the possibility of completely drying off. Also remember to milk out completely so there is less risk of mastitis.

An alternate that we prefer, is to get a couple kids from the local goat dairy and graft them on. You will have to put them on the udder afew times a day for a week or two until they are strong and used to each other. After they are strong, separate the babies at night then milk in the morning and let them nurse during the day. This will keep production at it's peak and give a nice meat yield in a few months then you can get a couple more kids.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic