Nina Jay wrote:Does anyone know of any consciuos efforts to breed virgin milker goats? I'm assuming that this wonderful quality is hereditary.
My old (Finnish landrace) doe is a virgin milker. We have had her for about seven years now (I think) and she was 4 when we bought her. I've got to know many goat owners but none of them had virgin milkers so I realized this quality might not be overly common in the Finnish goat. That's when we decided we wanted our doe to have kids so she would pass this quality on. After a few attempts she gave birth to two female kids and it looks like they might be virgin milkers too! They're only 1.5 years old now so I can't say for sure but their udders did swell slightly last spring. Of course we didn't try to milk them then as they weren't fully grown then. The owner of the buck said she's never had any virgin milkers in her herd and she's kept goats for a long time. So if our girls really are virgin milkers this quality probably comes from the mother's side only.
My doe starts giving milk when the grass greens in May and the yield quickly goes up to about one litre per day. It was more when she was younger. She gives milk all summer but in about October the yield goes down to half a litre per day. As the pasture season turns to hay season she gives less and less milk. In the dead of the winter it is maybe 0.1 liters but it is impossible to get her to go completely dry. In the winter I only milk her once every two to three days.
What's great about virgin milkers is of course that there's no need to think about what to do with all those kids. Also, I like the fact that she gives 1-2 liters per day, because that's just about the right amount for us and we only have to milk her once a day. I cannot think of a more ideal animal for a vegetarian backyard farmer than a virgin milker goat!