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Hi - My son is planning on showing his three year old milker in the fair in July. She kidded in February and has the kids on her. My son milks her once a day and is getting about a quart and a half out of her. He wants to go on a weekend trip which would mean she would miss two milkings. Our neighbors love to feed and check the goats, but milking is out of the question. As I understand it, "bagging up" will stop her milk production. My son thinks the kids will take care of her milk. Do you think missing those two milkings is wise?
-- Kristine Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2002
well, first of all for a "show udder" , she shouldnt be havign the kids nurse her, since they always pick one side more often than the other, and it will distort the shape and structure of her bag.
if he goes on the weekend trip , and he is in 4 h , ask another 4 h child to come help out, for a trade of a few days off milking for the other child. or ask around, most folks will milk your goat for you, for free, if they get to keep the milk,if not, for pay then , if he really wants to go ...
i take it this is a family trip , and thats why you wont be able to milk for him?
my son and i switch off milking, he is 12 1/2 and can milk out all 6 does without any trouble. and has been doing this occasionally for some time, usually i milk the does, he feeds, we listen to NPR and talk ...
so i would think with a little crativity , you should be able to find someone to milk your doe for him
-- Beth Van Stiphout (email@example.com), April 23, 2002.
I show my goats, and they dam raise their kids. The key is to still milk the goat, twice a day. If she is giving 3 lbs once a day, she needs to be milked every day, and twice a day would be better. Owning a dairy goat ties a person down, it's quite a responsibility. If you cannot milk, and a backup milker cannot be found (and to be honest, I have had mixed results with other people helping with the goats), he will have to either stay home from the trip or give up on the fair, or resign himself to the fact that the doe will have less milk and place lower than she should.
-- Rebekah (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2002.
If the kids are each nursing off their own side than the missing of the two milkings isn't near as problamatic as, if they are nursing off one side and he is getting the whole quart and a half our of just one side, then yes it isn't wise. The problem comes from the half the kids nurse stays small, never stretching out from the milk, the side that gets engorged with milk stretches out more. Also kids do a number on the teats, there is a huge difference in teat from a nursed to a hand milked teat.
Another thought is to give the kid a break and let him go on the trip. We want to keep him interested in the stock, course my kids would have had to line up someone to milk "ME" a trade for perhaps scrubbing the bathroom etc.. If the goats become to much of a chore/drudge :) the kid will not be in 4H long! Any damage done to the production will realistically be long gone by July! Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh TX (email@example.com), April 23, 2002.