Nigerian Dwarf Milk Production Records… and some observations

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(To learn more about our little farm, including Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Katahdin Sheep and Ameraucana, Dorking and Penedesenca chickens, click HERE.)

Check me out – two blog posts in one day!  (Actually, I wrote this about a week ago and am just now getting around to publishing it.)

To anyone NOT interested in milking goats, I’ll warn you that what follows will be incredibly boring and not worth your time.  … Kind of like a lot of what I write.  🙂

I’ve decided to start posting our monthly milk production records, for two reasons.  First, so that anyone interested in one of our future goats has an idea of how much they might be expected to produce and second, because when I first started with Nigerians I had tons of questions that I couldn’t find answers to.  For instance, I knew how much I could expect them to produce, on average (two pounds, which is about a quart of milk,) but I couldn’t find anything telling me how much to expect in the first few weeks, as opposed to during peak production at 2 months, so I thought that listing our monthly lactation records might be helpful to others.

First, here are my observations, so far….

1. Nigerian goat milk tastes BETTER than cows milk, in my family’s opinion.  It’s creamier, though, so if you’re used to skim milk you might not like it.  It also makes the best tasting butter we’ve ever had, and supposedly it will produce far more cheese per pound than other types of goat milk.

2. Everyone says that if you keep goats with a buck, the milk will have a “goaty” taste.  Well, one of our milking girls (D’Clair) has been in with the buck for two weeks now and by the looks of things, we’re pretty sure she’s been adequately “serviced” by now.  😉  I have not noticed ANY change in the milk, whatsoever, and neither has anyone in my family.  I don’t know if that’s a Nigerian Dwarf thing or what, but I thought I’d mention it as another potential advantage of Nigerian goats over standard goats.

3.  It seems that I can increase milk production slightly by milking the goats out faster.  This has something to do with the let down of the milk and I don’t completely understand it, but that’s been my experience.

I think that’s it for now.  I’ll update again in a month.  In the meantime, here are our milk production records for March and April.  Keep in mind that our goats were not bred for dairy production, this is something we’ll be working on for the future, and these records may not be an accurate predictor for “average.”  But hopefully they’ll at least serve to give an idea – of what to expect from below average Nigerians, if nothing else.  Also keep in mind that both of my goats gave birth to singles (they’ll produce more milk if they are nursing more goats), and these records were kept WHILE they were nursing their kids.

From the first of D’Clair’s records, her doe was brought in each night and she was milked in the morning, before I put them together.  From the first of Pearl’s records, I was milking her three times a day, in addition to leaving her buckling with her, in hopes of increasing her milk supply.  I eventually decided it wasn’t worth it, but in April I began mob grazing the adults for a few hours separate from the kids, so I started milking in the late afternoons before I put them all together again.

The first number is the date, followed by D’Clair’s morning weight in ounces (added for a total in parenthesis starting in April) and then Mini Pearls morning/afternoon/night weight in ounces (added for total in parenthesis), then notes.

March, 2013

DATE

14 – 5.5 …
15 – 3.5 … 5/1  (6)
16 – 6 …6.5/.5/1  (8)
17 – 5.5 … 4.5/1/2 (7.5)
18 – 7.5 … ?/2/1 (3?)
19 – 6.5 … 5.5/1/2.5 (9)… milked D 1 hour early
20 – 5.5 … 6.5/.5/1.5 (8.5)… milked D 1 hour early
21 – 5.5 … 5.5/2/1 (8.5)… milked D 1 hour early
22 – 7.5 … 4/1.5/1.5 (7)
23 – 8 … 5/1/2 (8)
24 – 9 … 2.5/1.5/.5 (4.5)
25 – 7 … 4
26 – 7 … 1
27 – 8 … 2/.5 (2.5) … first day of rotational grazing with the adult goats
28 – 7  … 7 … brought M.Pearls buckling in last night for the first time
29 – 7.5 … 8.5
30 – 8.5 … 8
31 – 7.5 … 9

April, 2013

1 – 7 … 7
2 – 8 … 7.5
3 – 7.5 …9
4 – 8 … 7.5
5 – ? … 9
6 – 7.5 …8.5
7 – 9 … 9
8 – 9 … 9
9 – 7 … 7.5
10 – 6.5 … 9
11 – 8.5 … 11
12 –
13 –
14 –
15 –
16 – 8 … 9.5
17 – 7.5 … 10.5
18 – 6.5/4 (10.5) … 8/4 (12) … started keeping kids out of the rotational pen
19 -9.5/3.5 (13) … 12/3.5 (15.5)
20 – 10/3.5 (13.5) … 9.5/3 (12.5)
21 – 8/4 (12) … 8/3.5 (11.5)
22 – 7.5/3.5 (11) … 9.5/5 (14.5)
23 – 8/3 (11) … 11/4 (15)
24 – 8/4 (12) … 11/4.5 (15.5)
25 – 9.5/4 (13.5) … 10.5/3.5 (14)
26 – 10/2.5 (12.5) … 11/3 (14)
27 – 10 … 10
28 – 10.5/4 (14.5) … 11/3 (13)
29 – 10.5/3.5 (14) … 11/3.5 (14.5)
30 – 10/4 (14) … 11.5/4 (15.5)

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One Response to Nigerian Dwarf Milk Production Records… and some observations

  1. Pingback: NDGA/AGS Blessed Assurance Kidz D’Clair | Faithful With Little Farm

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