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Leaving dairy goat for a week

 
Jess Ryan
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Hiya folks,

I've got a dairy goat with a nursing kid (the kid is currently almost 4 months old and will be 5 months old when I need to leave for a week for work). Currently, if I don't tape a teat at night, mamma goat gives me less than 2 cups of milk per day (I milk her twice a day and the kid has 24/7 access). If I tape one teat at night, I get about 1 quart of milk per day.

Do you think she's matching her kid's consumption well enough that I could leave her without being milked by my house-sitter for the week? My two biggest concerns are 1) causing her discomfort and mastitis and 2) permanently lowering her production. Would not milking her that long be uncomfortable for mamma goat or permanently affect her production? Alternatively, what if I had someone milk her once or twice during the week until I get back? Do you think that would be ok for her and also not affect her production? Or do you think I need to get a sitter that can do it right and milk her twice a day as I do?

Thanks for your input! Leaving my critters is stressful.. as is finding a sitter I trust to do the job right...
-Jess
 
Deborah Niemann
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It totally depends on the kid, and since your kid is unique, you need to get an idea of how much it'll consume. You could just leave the kid with her for 24 hours and milk her to see what you get around 5:00 in the afternoon one day and 1:00 in the afternoon another day. If it's a cup or less, I wouldn't worry about it. The kid is keeping up with the production pretty well. If it's more than a couple of cups both times, you might ask a friend to come over and milk her once a day whenever it's convenient for him or her. I don't think you'll have any trouble with her being uncomfortable or getting mastitis. A 4-month-old kid will nurse often enough to keep the pipes cleaned out, so to speak, so that bacteria is always being flushed out -- much better than having her teat taped for 12 hours.
 
Jess Ryan
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Ok, that sounds like a plan. I'll do that a week before I leave so I can have an accurate feel of the situation. Thank you for your input!
 
Judi Anne
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I would suggest not taping for a few days and let her production level settle out to match her kids needs while you are there to monitor.


You might lose some production. It's the way of things, but if she has strong will to produce genetically you can get it back after the taper and the week trip is over by milking three times daily simultaneously flushing her with a little bit better foodstuffs offered in controlled amounts. (best alfalfa you can get??)
 
Jess Ryan
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Ok. Hopefully she recovers her production. I need her milk for my son and I don't want to breed her again. I'm still looking for good help for when I'm gone, so hopefully we can just keep up our usual routine. Thanks!
 
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