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Thread: Dairy Goats

  1. #11
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    Kiko and spanish are also considered meat breeds, I think fainters as well but the boers are kind of the main ones, at least around here.

    There really isn't an average amount an average goat will milk. I've seen full size dairy goats milk as little as a pint at peak (per milking) to as much as 15 lbs per milking. It seems depend on a combination of genetics and feeding, disease concerns aside.

    A gallon a day is considered fairly good. I shoot for a gallon a milking with mine. I think much more than that puts too much stress on the goat and her udder and it seems to be what I can have my girls easily produce on my pasture. If I want that much more milk, I'll get a cow.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost View Post
    Kiko and spanish are also considered meat breeds, I think fainters as well but the boers are kind of the main ones, at least around here.

    There really isn't an average amount an average goat will milk. I've seen full size dairy goats milk as little as a pint at peak (per milking) to as much as 15 lbs per milking. It seems depend on a combination of genetics and feeding, disease concerns aside.

    A gallon a day is considered fairly good. I shoot for a gallon a milking with mine. I think much more than that puts too much stress on the goat and her udder and it seems to be what I can have my girls easily produce on my pasture. If I want that much more milk, I'll get a cow.
    Thank you. That is actually a lot more than I had thought.
    I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. Barry Goldwater.

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  3. #13
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    The type of goat that everyone around here is raising are those tiny little pygmy goats. Are they, too, used for milking?

  4. #14
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    Pretty much ANY goat (or cow) *can* be used for milking. But the tiny little pygmy goats, and the smallest Dexter cows are such a PITA to milk, most people don't bother.

    There is a reason the various breeds were developed. And you can't discount the literal centuries of selective breeding behind the dairy breeds of both species, in terms of everything from production, ease of milking to disposition.

    When our Dexter/Jersey heifer calved, she stood well for milking (by hand and then machine) from the first day. She kicked a couple of times in the second week, when her teats were getting a little chapped and sore, but she was extremely easy to train to milk. The Dexter cow who had Miracle, OTOH, would stand to be milked for a couple days, and then one milking would suddenly throw a fit and kick the heck out of whoever was milking.

    In the breeds which have been used for dairying extensively, the animals and lines which aren't cooperative have generally been culled out. These animals have also been bred for extended lactations (still producing lots of milk through 8 months or longer, if necessary) where most meat breeds produce enough for their offspring and then quit.

    But essentially, you can milk or eat any breed of cow or goat.

    Summerthyme

  5. #15
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    Thanks again, Summerthyme. I'm ignorant where goats are concerned. I guess all the pygmy goats here are being raised for meat rather than milk. There are more and more people getting into it. Must be good money involved as well.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherree View Post
    Thanks again, Summerthyme. I'm ignorant where goats are concerned. I guess all the pygmy goats here are being raised for meat rather than milk. There are more and more people getting into it. Must be good money involved as well.
    Pgymys, Nigerian dwarfs, and the crosses they produce with the the larger breeds (mini lamanchas, mini nubians, etc) are a current fad. I personally have large hands and don't like to deal with anything mini.

    But If you wanted to, i recommend kinders. Which is what happens when a pgymy buck is put in with a Nubian doe. Before I went Alpine, some of my original does were Kinder and I could milk them easily because of their good Nubian genes.

  7. #17
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    Oh, naturallysweet, I wasn't wanting to start raising them. There are several farms here around the area that raise the pygmy goats. I just couldn't figure what they were being raised for. They are so tiny. Even the grown ones are no bigger than a grown Boxer! I say Boxer, cause I raised them. It sure seems that it would be hard to milk something so tiny, and because of their size, I couldn't see raising them for meat. I was thinking that they're sure are a lot of them being raised just for toys! LOL.....

  8. #18
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    Pygmies are not dairy goats, and I hazard to say they would not have that much meat on them. IMO, people raise pygmies as pets or just to eat the brush in their field. I'm not much into the "mini-" this or that, either, because you lose a lot of the benefits of a purebred milk goat -- high production and ease of milking.

    The big problem with the small goats is it KILLS me to milk them! Even a first-freshener from the bigger breeds will often have teeny-tiny teats that first lactation. You don't realize how much your hands can ache milking such tiny teats until you've tried it! It's like a 2-finger exercise. I considered big, hand-sized teats a selling point when I'm looking to buy a goat. So much easier to milk!

    My goats have generally given 2-5 quarts of milk a day, so my production has not been as high as Lost, but then I've usually not stayed in one place long enough to develop a serious breeding program.
    IF you are willing & obedient , you shall eat the good of the land: But if you refuse & rebel, You shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Isaiah 1:19, 20

  9. #19
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    Actually, in a survival setting, pygmy goats might be the perfect meat goat. They can breed year round and have 2-3 kids multiple times a year. They butcher out 35-40%, and are supposed to be tasty.

    Remember, in a survival setting, you may not have electricity for a deep freeze. So getting smaller amounts of meat on a regular basis will come in handy.

    Goat isn't in the traditional American menu, but there are plenty of Hispanics, Arabs, and other ethnicities that will happily buy a pygmy wether for dinner. Of course, the pet market brings more money. But that's a fad that I'm positive is going to bust soon. There is only so much room for breeders, in a breed that can quadruple its number in one year.

  10. #20
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    Now, I will say I have zero knowledge about Pygmy goats, but I have heard that they frequently have trouble kidding. I have a plan to do some cross-breeding of dairy (LaMancha) buck with some Kiko does. The reason is Kikos have a fast weight gain, good udders, and they are extremely hardy -- no trouble kidding or mothering, and resistance to internal parasites and hoof rot. I'm trying to get as self-reliant in the livestock as I can. Not only is it more economical in the long run not to have to resort to medications and vet assistance, it might be a survival skill before too long.
    IF you are willing & obedient , you shall eat the good of the land: But if you refuse & rebel, You shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Isaiah 1:19, 20

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