Not making an udder after kidding : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread

Can a doe just have really no udder or milk to speak of after she kids? Or can it take a few days for the milk to come in. My friend has a doe who kidded Sat. night and really has hardly any udder and very little milk. She is a first time freshener. Her other 2 does, sisters of the first one, also have very little udder developement and are close due to kid. Another friend has 2 does same sire with the same problem and haven't kidded yet. Boy is she bummed! Could it be that the lines just didn't cross well and thats all the udder these grils are going to get? Or should she quit yelling "CULL" and wait a few days to see if the milk comes in?

-- Pamela Smith (, March 12, 2002


Geeze that is a tough one. On one hand you have the related animals all with little milk and small udders, if we had large udders with little milk than perhaps you have some hormone problems going on and it could be nutritionally linked. Or large udders that are hard with no milk, CAE or masitis caught by nursing mom with mastitis. Is she feeding anything strange? Can she say "I am feeding the same grain and hay as so and so down the road and they are having no problems."?? Does she know anything about these does mom or anything about the buck they were bred to? Just to illustrate how much a buck can influence the udder, our oldest doe milked poorly as a first freshener, like 2 quarts a day :( Bred to Mace her daughter is milking over 8 pounds as a first freshener. So perhaps the opposite can be true and you have found a buck who takes away all the milk? I would at least try some oxytocin injections on one of the does to see if you can kick start their lactation homonaly.

O.K. Bernice, Rebakah, Patty and Diane, you all have to guess also :) Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, March 12, 2002.

Hmmmmmmm.... I have to think for a minute. Need more caffine this AM, like a coffee infusion! I agree with Vicki, there can be many factors involved, so before culling that doe look at the other variables involved as well. It sometimes happens that first freshners don't milk gang busters or even develop good udders on their first lactations, and too, sometimes older does. Its quite possible this little gal is a "Gem" in disguise, meaning she may do much better down the road. I have had first freshners kid, some bred too young, that don't ahve a nice udder but alot of milk. Its also possible the buck may have not crossed well and therefore the result is what you are seeing. Genetics are funny things sometimes. I'd give this some time and keep a close watch.

-- Bernice (, March 13, 2002.

It can ake a few days for milk to really pick up. My first imers held their stuff up very high and small, but they are beginning to develope after a week or so. If she has any kids to put on them on the stand it may be a help for her. One of my does is just very hard to get flowing right now. I expect that to change as she elongates and the demand for milk is put upon her. Course, I don't know too much, but that's just my opinion.;).

-- Doreen (, March 13, 2002.

Just curious, What breed of goat are these and how many kids did they have? Also what did you breed to? think I saw on here that the buck the doe is bred to the first time has a big influence on her lifetime milk production.

-- VickiP. (, March 13, 2002.

Pedigrees with milk stars are no coincidence. Just like breeding for certain traits, milk production is one of them. I'd say it was very possible that poor udder development could be a genetic thing in your case.

-- Lynn (, March 13, 2002.

Without seeing them, the first thing I wouuld check for is their body condition. Especially with yearlings, if they don't get plenty of feed while pregnant, it isn't really their fault if they freshen with tiny babies and little milk. They just wouldn't be able to afford to produce much milk. By plenty of feed, I mean grain from he time the doe is bred until she freshens this is for doelings who will kid as yearlings- and good hay, like alfaflfa grass mix or first cutting alfalfa.

Assuming that all these does are well fed- I'll ask another rather elementary question. How much water are they drinking, and is it in clean buckets, changed every day? They need lots of water to make lots of milk. They are very picky about the water.

OK, got the two basic factors out of the way. YOu know, the size of an udder does not always indicate the amount of milk being produced. There are does with high, socked up uddders that produce more milk than would seem possible for the size of the udder, and there are does with great big beefy udders who produce only moderately. This is especially true with yearlings. I was going through some goat pictures yesterday, and found a picture of my doe Cricket as a two year old. Her udder wasn't very big, and she herself needed more width, she was kind of leggy. Then found the three year old pic. My, what a difference. Big, full, lush udder, beautiful shape from the rear, and lots of width and body capacity. Cricket is four now and even better, she is very deep bodied and wide chested, and really puts out the milk. As a yearling, a friend came over and said,'my, her udder is quite small', in a very disappointed tone of voice. She thought Cricket would never amount to much and I should think about getting rid of her. I'm so glad I didn't!! They take time to mature and come to their full production.

Also, don't speculate too much on udders that have not even freshened yet. Even my senior does that peak at 12+ pounds don't look like much a few days before they kid, so be fair to these little gals! I'd wait more than a few days, I'd give them a year, if their bodies are strong and the udder is well attached. See how they do next year as they mature. Cricket produced just enough for her kids the first year, but she is sure putting the milk out now.

-- Rebekah (, March 13, 2002.

Well Ladies, I really like all your opinions on this question. I would like to see if a shot of oxytocin would help. I did suggest that to them. The answer of what breed they are full Nubians, bred to a Nubian buck. I do know all of the does dams have nice udders and have heard that the buck's dam was a champion milker. I do wish they would keep them and give the udders abit of time to see if things are going to fill out. But then I am the eternal optimist and these are not my does. Might feel differant if they were in my barn. There is no fore udder and just hardly any developement any where else. And the first one to freshen won't have anything to do with feeding her single doeling. She will mother it but will not let it feed. The people are bottling it with milk from another doe who lost 2 of her triples. They are trying to milk her and get so very little. The others are due in about a week so we shall see with the rest. This is their first kidding season so I feel for them. Thanks again for your respones.

-- Pamela Smith (, March 13, 2002.

Th yearling who will not let her kid feed- I have had this happen too. They just do not 'get it' yet, that the kids are supposed to nurse. If she is put on the milking stand and her legs held while the kid nurses, and this is done 3-4 times a day, for several days, some does will catch right on and figure it out.

-- Rebekah (, March 13, 2002.

Pam trying to find a whole picture here. Why did they loose two of the tiplets? With just one small doe kid, she has no reason to milk. Do you know what bloodlines they have? A CH milker only means she has won in the show and you can udder them for hours or days to fill up that udder :) So it really doesn't tell us anything except about her conformation and her udder structure, course we also don't know the competition she won against ;) Do they live in a selenium defficient area, not by the map, but by the other breeders in their area? Do they supplement with a good loose mineral mix with adequate copper? Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, March 13, 2002.

it takes 3 -5 days before "true milk" comes in , is the doe tame??? a half wild doe will not settle and relax enough to let down for milking is also a possibility, i guess we are all asking for more information from you :)

-- Beth Van Stiphout (, March 13, 2002.

Just one more question. How old are these does, are they all first fresheners? Oops, that was two questions.

-- VickiP. (, March 14, 2002.

Let's see if I can answer all the questions. The kids that died were from a differant doe and I am sure it was a selenium deficiency. We got all the rest shot with BoSe and the kids that came after that were fine. There are 5 two yr old does, all same sire (2 differant owners) that are 1st time fresheners. They all had very little udder developement as they got closer to kidding. The first to kid is a wild little thing and I think the people pulled the kid to quick to put in on a bottle. Maybe working harder to get the kid to nurse would have brought the milk down and then a bigger udder would have come in. Doe #2 just had her kids (buck & a doe) last night. She did, the night before start developing just a little more of an udder. More experiance owner got the kids on and nursing. Still very small udder, but we shall see how it goes. 3 does are still due and I am really interseted to see how the small udder saga plays out. Being fairly new into the breeding of goats I guess my original thoughts were, Can a doe sometimes not make enough milk to feed her own babies? Has anyone had that problem before? Or does the milk eventually come in enough to feed the kids if you keep at it in trying to get them to nurse. Thanks again for the great discussion!

-- Pamela (, March 14, 2002.

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