Proverbs 27:27 And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

To Milk or Not To Milk

To milk or not to milk them?  That is the question. 

I have my four Nigerian Dwarfs ready to kid any time.  When I bred them I had planned on hand milking them from the start. I have always felt it is really best to do that with any dairy goat. Milk them from the start to train them and then keep their lactation going as long as possible their first year.  If they had shortish teats they will lengthen out really well thru that first milking year and be even better by the next lactation.

But I had also wanted to see what I would get when crossing my two big wonderful milkers with our Nigerian Dwarf buck Major Coco.  So I bred them as well. Yes, I know, what was I thinking????!!

Well, as of right now I am covered up with milk.  I thought I would have the energy to keep it all up but can see with us starting back into foster care I don’t want to be stressed or have too much on me at any one time.  Nothing to put to much pressure on me.

I realized my error and I saw this coming.  I have worked diligently to get Twinkie down to once a day milking.  She is still giving ¾ of a gallon once a day.  But I think that will slowly drop to ½ a gallon over time.  Bluebell is just 7 weeks into milking so her production is to high to try to get her comfortably down to once a day milking right now and she is giving over a gallon a day.  Everything that can possibly drink milk on the property is right now!!! Ha ha!

Anyways, back to the Nigerians.  I really don’t need the milk.  I really am not looking forward to hand milking such small first fresheners.  Especially four of them plus my two large milkers daily.  Whew.

I have milked pretty much all sizes of teats over the years but have been spoiled over the last many years with all of my goats having something like this.  After all that is what part of my goal always was.  Long easy to hand milk teats.  I can milk this gal out really quickly.
So I am thinking.....if I leave the babies they have on all the Nigerian Dwarf does, the babies will naturally lengthen out the teats for me for next year.  Also, if I choose to milk any of them during this lactation cycle.  When their babies are two weeks old I can pull them off at night and just milk once a day from the build up of milk thru the night and put the babies on during the day.  Right now I am leaning toward doing that. I normally don't, but this time it would make my life so much easier. 

Here is an udder shot as of today of one of the Nigerian Dwarfs.  First freshener, not uddered up or kidded yet and never milked.  So not to shabby in length so far.  But still not looking forward to it. :)
I also have a back up plan for milking if I am struggling on those smallish teats.  I did buy and receive a Henry Milker.   I have not tried it yet.  But after researching out and reading reviews I thought this one the best. 

Now, I did take my time and do my research before buying these Nigerian Dwarf does and bucks I now have.  They are all from moms that were easy to hand milk.  As that is my goal.  So we shall see how they freshen and  how it all goes. 

I am excited and can't wait to see how this all turns out.  God is so very good always.  If I end up using the Henry milkier at all.  I will do a review and post it on here for anyone interested. 

Blessings and happy farming,

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