How much does an average goat produce per day?
Unfortunately, not all farmers and summer residents can afford to keep a cow. But many people want to drink aromatic and healthy milk daily. To solve this problem, livestock breeders resort to breeding goats, which are unpretentious, take up little space, while their milk is no less valuable than cow's. However, when acquiring such an animal, novice farmers are not always able to independently provide him with a correct and long lactation. We will examine in detail what lactation in goats depends on, and also share the main ways to increase milk yield.
When does a goat start giving milk?
Having settled a young goat on the site, the farmer expects large milk yields from the animal in the near future, but in practice this is not the case. In order for it to enter the active phase of lactation, it will take time.
The main task of milk in the animal’s body is to fill the need for offspring for nutrients and vitamins and minerals important for development. Therefore, lactation occurs only after the birth of the first offspring, for which the animal must necessarily grow, mature and prepare. Consider the age at which the replenishment on the farm of the farmer will give the first milk.Often, puberty in domestic goats occurs at the age of 6-8 months, but at this time they are not yet ready to give offspring. During this period, their body is weakened and not fully formed. Therefore, for successful productivity, it will be necessary to wait for the phase of full maturity.
Depending on the breed, time for mating goats occurs no earlier than 9-12 months after birth, as evidenced by behavioral and physiological changes. Upon successful mating, new offspring arise after 250 days, after which the animal is ready to give milk. Thus, the acquired goat will please its owner with its first production no earlier than in 8-12 months.
Did you know? Domestic goat is considered one of the first animals domesticated by humans. It happened about 9 thousand years ago in the Middle East.
After lambing, the goat is able to give the first milk within a few hours after the appearance of the offspring. However, at this time colostrum is produced in her body - a secret vital for the immunity of newborns. Full-fledged milk is produced a few days after lambing and only if you have acquired a highly productive dairy breed.
In the majority, for several months after lambing, milk is produced so little that it is hardly enough to provide the kids.
After the first lambing, it will take a sufficiently long time to crush the animal. This is due not only to the characteristics of the body, but also to the lack of a habit of milking. In addition, in some cases, full lactation occurs only after the second lambing, regardless of breed productivity. Often this occurs in immature animals, or after pregnancy, accompanied by pathologies.
The average daily yield
Productivity depends not only on the characteristics of the body and breed, but also on the conditions of detention. In addition, the activity of lactation often depends on the composition of the diet, its balance, therefore, the total milk yield of a healthy and productive individual varies. Often common breeds produce 5-6 liters of milk per day.In recent decades, several highly productive breeds (Alpine, Saanen, Toggenburg) have been bred, capable of producing up to 8-10 liters of milk per day. Such hybrids are expensive, which reduces the profitability and feasibility of their maintenance.
Important! These figures are given as an average during the most productive period. At the beginning and end of lactation, milk yield will be lower.
How many times a day to milk a goat?
When breeding meat and dairy animals, adherence to a milking schedule is an important measure to maintain prolonged lactation. Otherwise, the amount of milk can be drastically reduced. This is due to the high energy consumption in the production of milk. Therefore, the goat is milked 2 times a day: morning and evening.This mode is optimal for most breeds. But if you want to extract the maximum amount of milk in a minimum period, increase the number of milkings per day to 3. This is an acceptable norm, in which there is no harm to the body.
What determines the amount of milk yield?
Productivity depends on breed, age, state of health, number of lambing. Therefore, when keeping a goat, pay attention not only to its general condition, but also to the periodic stimulation of lactation.
In addition, consider the features that cause a decrease in milk in productive individuals:
- lack of motor activity;
- lack of lighting in the crib;
- high humidity in places of keeping animals (especially during the off-season);
- sudden changes in temperature;
- non-observance of hygiene.
Breed - a factor affecting the amount of milk yield. Genetically incorporated productivity becomes the condition that ensures long-term lactation. Not many existing breeds are highly productive. This is due to the fact that low-quality hybrids of natural or unprofessional animal husbandry predominate on the market.
Therefore, in order not to make a mistake in the choice, pay attention to the following highly productive breeds of factory breeding:The breed does not always play a dominant role in productivity. Often, hybrids are born with vices that inhibit lactation and affect its duration.
Experienced farmers recommend a thorough inspection of the animal before buying and pay attention to:
- Body shape. The animal should be proportionate and not have external defects. The bone system of healthy animals looks full, while the legs should be flat and directed one opposite the other. A healthy body is dense, rounded, with a small layer of fat under the skin.
- Udder. It should have an elastic structure to the touch and a voluminous spherical shape. Nipples should be expressed, their size depends on the palm of the milkmaid, therefore, individuals with small and uncomfortable nipples should be discarded. The healthy skin of the udder is thin, uniform in structure and exceptionally smooth.
- Mood. A good goat is always playful, active and curious, has an excellent appetite. Depressed, passive animals must be abandoned, since such animals are often sick with any ailments.
Individuals aged 2-5 years are considered productive. At this time, under optimal conditions, they give enough milk to meet all the needs of the owner. But, this does not mean that young growth is not worth it. When buying a goat, you should definitely remember that she needs to get used to the new owner. It is more difficult for an adult animal to do this than for a young animal, it often experiences stress, and this affects productivity.
Did you know? The ancestor of modern domestic goats is the bezoar goat. The animal is still widespread in the wild in the territory of Asia Minor, Western and Central Asia, as well as in the vicinity of the Aegean Sea and the Armenian Highlands.
Often the lack of substances necessary for lactation causes its decrease.
Therefore, a balanced diet of a productive animal should be based on:
- fresh grass;
- young branches of bushes and fruit trees;
- hay and straw;
- concentrates (barley, silo).
When feeding, foods with a high content of harmful and specific toxins are avoided.
- lupine hay;
- fern, bristle, cirsium, feather grass, trailer, helper;
- cake of flax, mustard, rapeseed, camelina, colza, hemp;
- potato tubers green in the sun;
- grain affected by any insects or their waste products;
- rotten hay, fruits and vegetables;
- sour silo.
Important! The number of milkings also depends on the amount of water consumed by the goats, so they should be provided with an unlimited amount. Water should be fresh and clean.
Number of births
Productive time for goats comes after the second mating, as in the first year of lactation, the young animal is crushed. The exception is narrowly targeted dairy breeds, which are capable of producing a sufficient amount of milk within a few weeks after lambing. Productivity sharply decreases after 5-6 lambing. The reason for this is the natural wear of the reproductive and other systems of the animal’s body.
The impact of disease
Disease reduction is also caused by diseases, pathologies that affect the udder and associated systems.
- Infectious Agalactia. Bacterial damage to the udder caused by a microorganism Mycoplasma agalactiae. The bacterium enters the body through wounds on the damaged udder.
- Mastitis. Inflammation of the mammary gland caused by a variety of irritants (mechanical, chemical or biological in nature). Occur in the period of stagnation and in the productive period.
- Injuries. Mechanical damage to the organ. Their cause is a blow to objects and barriers, improper milking. Accompanied by local swelling and bruising.
- Edema. Occur due to circulatory disorders in the udder during pregnancy or childbirth. The organ grows in size and acquires a dense structure.
Why did the goat stop giving milk?
Lactation deficiency is a hazard to farm productivity and livestock health. This is a symptom of processes as a result of which blood circulation is disturbed in the udder. A goat can completely lose its ability to give milk, and in advanced cases even die.There are many reasons for worsening lactation.
But if the pathological process is not accompanied by pronounced symptoms, it is associated with a violation:
- conditions of keeping animals - temperature, humidity and ventilation;
- nutrition - excessively poor diet and the use of low-quality foods or the use of too high-calorie foods;
- milking regimen - non-compliance with the frequency of milking per day and the number of milks per day;
- hygiene of the content - neglect of the rules of cleaning and disinfection of the crib.
Did you know? Among domestic goats, there is a “swooning goat,” which, with a strong fright, loses consciousness and falls. This is due to hereditary neuromuscular pathology, which is characteristic only of this breed.
How to increase milk yield?
Domestic goats provide milk for a limited period of time, so every farmer must take care of increasing the productivity of his farm.
To do this:
- provide a high-quality and balanced diet, as well as at least 5 liters of fresh water per day;
- to walk wards on pastures in the summer, and in the winter - on a personal plot;
- base a diet on fresh grass from field or meadow forbs;
- periodically inspect goats at the veterinarian;
- observe the norms of keeping and hygiene of farm animals.