Goat milks less and less 5 days in from kidding

Asked May 6, 2015, 6:40 AM EDT

Hi

My Goat has had a kid 5 days ago. She's mostly inside now because of the bad weather we are having at the moment. But we are feeding her well, meal and hay, and has fresh water all the time.
We have been milking her twice a day and are noticing she's milking less and less as time goes on.
Were able to get 8oz from her then went down to 5oz. This morning I couldn't even get 1oz.
I'm worried. She seems to have the scares even more so now.

What am I doing wrong?? Is my goat ok??

I'm only starting of with goats.

Thanks
Daisy

Outside United States

3 Responses

Hi -- I don't know what "the scares" are. Is the goat eating well and active normal and healthy otherwise? Is the kid still with her and nursing? If so, the kid could be taking all her milk. The doe could also be ill. Do you know if she passed her placenta (afterbirth)? Does her milk look normal or did you notice any odd color or odor or clumps in it? Does her udder seem normal or is it red, swollen, hot and painful? If this is the case, she probably has mastitis.

Lactating goats need a very high quality diet. You could be feeding her all the meal and hay you want, but if they are low quality (high fiber, low protein and energy content) she will lose weight and stop producing milk. What are you giving her for minerals? In addition to salt, she need trace minerals such as zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, etc. In the U.S. we have trace mineral salts available for livestock commercially; I'm not sure what options you have. Dairy animals also need supplemental calcium and phosphorus-- if your goat doesn't have enough of these in her diet, her production could go way down and/or she could get milk fever.

What is her body condition like? If she kidded in poor condition (too thin), she could now be VERY thin and out of fat stores and unable to make milk. Heavily parasitized goats can get very thin, as can pregnant animals just left to browse mature, low-quality forage for their diet.

I've asked more questions than I've answered because it is impossible to tell what is wrong from afar; you really need to consult a nearby animal health specialist. I hope you have access to a veteriniarian who can help you. Best wishes,

Hi, her droppings are more like that from a dog rather than the little rabbit like droppings. She does seem quite skinny. The milk has a very strange smell. It's getting a bit better now but still not good. She doesn't seem in great condition no more, going to see about getting mineral lick. The kid is still on her but there is only one of them so I should really get plenty out of her. And the kid is doing absolutely great. She did have her afterbirth yes.

Hi -- If she is as skinny as you say, I bet the kid is taking all the milk she is able to produce. If the milk smells like nail polish remover (acetone), she may be expending more energy in milk and recovery from kidding than she is taking in. She also sounds parasitized, given the nature of her manure. She should be assessed for parasite load and if indicated, dewormed with an effective dewormer. This will make her milk unavailable for human consumption for some period of time; a veterinarian could assist you with more information on deworming. Gradually increase the calories in her diet by adding a source of energy (a grain of some sort). Do this gradually (1/4 cup twice a day, then gradually increase) or you will make her very sick. Also, goats do better with loose minerals than mineral blocks. Give her the best hay you can find-- high protein level, lots of leaves, fine (vs. coarse) stems. She may be so thin that she will stop making milk, so watch the kid carefully to be sure it is eating and growing. If it is hungry it will cry and pace a lot and will not sleep much. It will need milk from another source if this happens.