Extended Lactation

LaurieLovesLearning
LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

I will be cross posting this to both goats & cattle.

No Milk Without Meat? - Modern Farmer

https://modernfarmer.com/2021/02/no-milk-without-meat/

Female mammals only produce milk to feed their young. It’s as true for a woman as it is for a cow, a nanny…

We do an extended lactation with our cows & then give the one milking a break (& get her bred) & milk the other for a couple of years, then get her bred. That is why we have more than one cow.

A cow will give the most milk after calf #3. Yet this article says with their goats, they only breed them once. I wonder how that compares.

You would never get to leave home without a relief milker and I wonder if he has to milk twice a day. We usually milk once a day. For our present cow, we are doing twice/day.

One thing to note is that udder care is important. He does not use a machine, he milks by hand. A machine is always going to be harder on an udder.

I am sure quality of feed comes into play too.

Someone is trying this with their dairy sheep too.

It would be interesting to learn more of his actual routine & practices with his goats.

Comments

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    He MUST milk twice a day. Plus he’s running a dairy so that makes sense. Very interesting. It makes me wonder if I had kept milking my goats through the winter what would have happened in the spring. But for me, the decision to milk only once a day and end it in late fall was what allowed me to keep goats and prevent it from becoming burdensome.

    When I start milking the cow in March, my plan was to ultimately hand milk only once a day. I was told this was fine, but it would result in a 7 month lactation. From a purely greedy standpoint, I’d love more milk, but at least in the past I found that come November it didn’t feel worth it anymore.

    Still, just knowing this can be done makes me want to try!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @Megan Venturella You will have to milk twice a day at the start, then cut back to one after a time...but I think that you know that!

    I think that with the cross that you've said you have, you will have way more milk than you think even only milking once/day.

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What an awesome article! We always loved it when kids were born because they were our pets. The females were raised, then sold as dairy goats, but it broke my heart knowing the fate of most of the bucks.

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning That’s right! The switch back and forth from goats to cows gets me a little confused sometimes. I’ll feel so relieved once I’ve been through the cycle and have a better idea of what to expect next year. In fact, I bred my alpine goat with a Nigerian buck, and I’m pretty certain that between having smaller babies and this being her second lactation that I may be milking her twice a day as well! 😬

    My life here is different, and since my kids aren’t in so many activities anymore, I wonder if milking twice a day would be a pleasure now instead of a burden. Only one way to find out! 😊

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    If milking has no kicking, and if your kids are old enough, teach them to milk. We have taught 7 year olds to milk a little if the cow is calm enough, but generally by 12 or so, they should be capable of doing a full milking.

  • When I had the dairy goats I would breed half in Spring and the other half in Fall. This allowed me plenty of milk year round. The first few weeks I would have to milk twice a day because some of those does produced a gallon a day (not counting what the kids ate). I left the kids with them 24/7 for about 3 weeks if all was well then I started penning the kids separate overnight. I would milk only in the mornings then let the kids out. By that point the kids could eat enough that evening milking wasn't necessary. That did cut down on the amount of milk but by that point I was ready for it to drop lol. This was just for our use so it was a lot lol. I usually had 4-6 in milk at any time. I would get the occasional calls needing to buy a doe in milk so that kept my numbers down. They can get up there quickly, even with selling off the bucklings lol.

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very true, my parents taught me how to milk when I was about 10. Chores help children learn responsibility and self-worth, and it lightens some of the load on a farm.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @Tave It is an excellent skill to have. It builds good muscle strength and grip strength (handy in judo!).