Milking goats will of course be on your list of farm chores if you are breeding dairy goats. In addition to knowing what goat milking supplies are needed and how to milk your goat, you will also need to know what to watch for in case your goats experience decreased milk production. There are several reasons that your goats might have decreased milk production – some are normal and inevitable while others could mean that your goats need some change or attention. So, let’s review, shall we?
Causes of Decreased Milk Production in Milking Goats:
- Time since freshening. When a goat first kids (has babies), they will come into milk. Their milk production will slowly increase over the first few weeks as the babies grow and have a higher milk supply demand. However, once the kids are of weaning age, eventually, the goats milk production will decrease naturally. This natural decrease in milk production usually occurs a few months (around 4 – 5) after kidding.
- Demand. This, in sort, goes hand in hand with the reason above. There will be less supply if there is less demand — standard economic theory which also applies to goat milk. If you are milking goats only one time a day, for example, there will be less demand for them to produce and therefore a decrease in milk production. If you increase to milking your goats twice or even three times a day, this increase in demand should increase their milk production.
- Feed & Nutrition. Producing milk is a heavy chore for your goats. It takes a lot of nutrients and a lot of their energy. Therefore, if you see a decrease in milk production, you may want to take a look at their feed intake. Make sure they are getting enough feed and also make sure that feed is high quality. Alfalfa (either pellets, hay or both) is highly suggested for milking goats. Alfalfa is highly nutritious having high protein as well as high calcium (making all that milk takes a lot of calcium!).
- Parasites or other health issues. As we have mentioned, producing milk is hard work. So, if your goat ends up with a high parasite load or other health issue, there is a good chance that you will experience decreased milk production. It is recommended that you keep a check on parasites especially to be sure that your milking goats don’t get an overload. If they do, you will need to deworm them. Do note, that if you are drinking your goat milk, some dewormers have a withdrawl period where you will need to toss the milk.
Now that you know some of the causes of decreased milk production in milking goats, you can be sure to keep your girls in tip, top producing states! Drop us a comment below if you have any questions.