In order for the goat to realize its dairy potential, they need to create comfortable living conditions. The second condition of high milk yield is a balanced diet. In the climate characteristic of most regions of the Russian Federation, the best option for maintenance is a stall-pasture.
Where and how are goats kept?
Dairy goats are kept separate from the herd so that during lactation the remaining animals do not interfere with milking. Dividing the herd into goats, goats, repair goats and culled animals also allows you to control the consistency of goats in the dry period.
Special goat houses are being built for goats. Characteristics of the premises for keeping goats:
- Location. A well-lit area on a hill - so that it is not flooded when snow melts and during rains.
- Norm of the area. For one adult animal - 1.5 square meters. m
- Stall. The width of the stall is 2 m. Milk goats should not be crowded - otherwise the milk yield will fall. Each animal must have its own living space. In front of the stall, they put a door 1 m high. A manger can be hung on it, then the animal is fed without entering the stall.
- Floor. Concrete sheathed with boards - for heat. If the floor is not concrete, make warm floors from clay, lifting them 20 cm above the ground. The floors are made with a slope - so that they remain dry and clean. Litter is placed on the floor - sawdust, shavings, leaves will fit. Norm - 5 kg per 1 square. m. The litter is changed as it becomes soiled, preventing its decay. You can build shelves in the goathouse so that the goats sleep on them. They are placed at a height of 50-70 cm from the floor.
- Walls. As a building material, brick, stone, wood are suitable, the main thing is that there are no cracks. The best option is a beam. If you build walls from boards, they are made double, filling the space with any material - peat or sawdust will do.
- Feeder. A manger is placed at a height of half a meter from the floor. Below put a container in which food will fall that the goat did not like. Near the day nursery they hang a drinking bowl and a feeder with salt.
- Walking paddock. Indoors, goats are found in the cold season, when it is warm, animals prefer to be outdoors. Therefore, they will organize a corral enclosed by a fence. One goat should have at least 3 square meters. m. The fence is made of boards, and so that the goats do not chew on them, they make a protection from wire. The netting does not fit - goats, trying to escape, can be injured.
After winter, the goat is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected - this will prevent the propagation of parasites and infectious diseases.
Conditions of detention
In the goat house, all indicators should be balanced. Cold, damp, draft, lack of fresh air, stuffiness, heat - any of these factors can negatively affect both the health of goats and their milk yield.
- Lighting. The corral and windows of the shed lead to the south side - so that there is more light. Windows are made at a height of at least 1.5 m from the floor - so that the animals do not break the glass. The light bulb is hung high under the ceiling. There is enough natural light from mid-spring to mid-autumn. Then you have to use artificial light.
- Temperature. The optimum temperature for the goat house is + 13-21 ° С. Goats do not like heat, it is undesirable that the temperature does not rise above 27 ° C.
Hypothermia of dairy goats can lead to the loss of milk and reduce the ability to reproduce. To prevent this from happening, goats are kept in stalls with thick litter in winter. In the summer, goats are transferred to pasture. Here canopies are built for them - so that they can hide from the scorching sun.
- Humidity. The optimum humidity level is 60-70%. If the humidity reaches 80%, goats are comfortable at + 4-6 ° C. If heating is organized, it is necessary to ensure that the humidity level does not fall below 75%.
- Ventilation. There is enough natural air circulation for ventilation. Install two pipes, one - supply, the second - exhaust. The first is lowered almost to the floor, the second is raised to the ceiling. On the roof, the level of the pipes is distributed as follows - the supply pipe is placed right next to the roof surface, the exhaust pipe rises higher.
What else is useful to know about the content of dairy goats:
- It is not necessary to keep goats in some special "goat house"; any room suitable for the conditions of keeping these animals is suitable.
- You can not keep a goat in the same room as the goat - its smell will be transmitted to milk.
- You cannot keep chickens in the same room with goats - from them animals can become infected with chicken lice.
- At temperatures up to minus 12 ° С, goats are necessarily released into the street and fed right there - this is useful for health and productivity. Indoors animals are fed only in bad weather.
- Goats begin to graze in the spring, avoiding damp and swampy pastures - here animals can become infected with helminths. To avoid digestive upsets, goats are taught to grazing gradually - they start at 1 o’clock, then 2 hours and so on.
How and what to feed dairy goats?
A common opinion about the undemanding of goats to feed is a misconception, the price of which is low milk yield. The composition of the feed and the nutrition system are especially important when keeping dairy goats. To achieve high milk yield, animals are provided with high-quality feed - in the right amount and composition, and with clean water.
From this video you can learn how to feed dairy goats:
Rational feeding is the key to high milk productivity. Rules for feeding highly productive dairy goats:
- Feed should provide young animals with growth energy, adults - maintaining a constant body weight.
- To maintain the health of the animal, it is given a sufficient amount of protein, vitamins and minerals.
- During pregnancy and lactation, the animal receives additional nutrition.
- There should not be too much grain in the ration of goats.
- Minerals and trace elements of mineral salts are fed separately.
- There should always be hay in the feeder.
- The amount of feed depends on the size of the goat - large ones require more food than small ones.
In order not to disturb the digestion of goats, they are given from 1 to 2.5-3 kg of roughage. Most likely goats eat hay - meadow and forest. 50% of the daily allowance is allowed to be replaced by branches. For nutrition, 2 kg of dry branches with leaves correspond to 1 kg of hay.
For goats, the best succulent food is grass. During stall maintenance, green grass has to be replaced with other succulent feeds - silage, root crops, potatoes.
Juicy foods are important for their vitamins, without which the normal development of the body is impossible. They not only improve their digestion, but are also an effective milk product. Goats are given 2-4 kg of succulent feed, raw and pre-chopped:
- beet fodder;
Potatoes are given in boiled or baked form - 1-2 kg per individual. Silo - up to 3 kg. As juicy feed, goats are also given 3-4 kg per day:
- beet tops and carrots;
- cabbage leaves.
Food leftovers and potato peelings are fed to goats, sprinkled with bran.
The nutritional value of concentrated feed is two to three times higher than that of hay. An adult animal receives up to 1 kg of barley, oats, corn, or bran. Oilcake is given at 800 g per day.
Before delivery, the grain feed is crushed, the cake is given in finely divided form. Bran is soaked with water - this prevents the spraying of feed and coughing in goats. Any concentrated feed is given in the form of mixtures.
Vitamins affect many aspects of physiology and health, including lactation. Vitamin supplements contribute to high milk yield. The easiest way to buy them in veterinary clinics. Vitamins are sold as dragees and injections. Injections are preferred, since vitamins fed with food are less absorbed.
It is useful for goats to walk in sunny weather - to produce vitamin D, which normalizes metabolic functions. Vitamin A is also essential for dairy goats - it supports the reproductive system, digestion and urination. That and another vitamin is necessary for 15-20 g daily.
Having bought a premix, you can provide the goat with all the necessary substances. So, for example, the Zink premix increases milk productivity. It has vitamins A, D, E. Premix increases milk yield and improves the general condition of goats. Give the premix together with wheat flour, mixing 1: 1. Milking goats are given 20 g of the mixture.
Milk production constantly requires the goat to give back mineral substances. If the animal does not receive any micro and macro elements, this will inevitably affect health. The problem of their shortage is solved with the help of special mineral additives for goats.
Year-round, goats are given the main mineral supplement - salt. Single - 6-8 g, coarse - 10 g. Goats are also given bone meal and crushed chalk. Salt licks are very popular with goats growers - in addition to salt, they contain all the trace elements necessary for a milk goat.
The benefits of salt licks:
- milk production increases;
- many goat diseases are prevented;
- live weight is growing;
- abundant wool is growing.
Table 1 summarizes the effects of a lack of minerals.
Consequences of deficiency
|Magnesium||Staggering gait, convulsions, death.|
|Potassium||Drowsiness, weakness, death.|
|Sulfur||Loss of coat, constant salivation.|
|Iron||Oxygen starvation and the development of many diseases.|
|Common salt||Decreased milk yield, anemia, lethargy.|
|Manganese||Deformation of the extremities, cessation of lactation.|
|Iodine||Diseases of the genitourinary system. Problems with the coat, eye diseases.|
Diet and feeding schedule
- First feeding (morning) - 7 hours
- The second feeding (at lunch) - 13-14 hours.
- Third feeding (evening) - 19 hours
Between feedings and milking do the same intervals. Milking goats is best after feeding or right during meals - when animals eat roughage.
In the pasture period, in addition to water, the goats are given top dressing in the morning and evening. In a pasture, a goat eats up to 8 kg of grass per day.
Feed delivery sequence:
- Swill with compound feed.
- Juicy feed.
Silage is given in the morning - in the morning or afternoon. In the evenings, animals are fed digestible food.
When feeding goats with dry compound feeds, they are given 2 times a day with plenty of water - 3-4 liters at a time. Water temperature - 8-10 ° С. Cold water goats do not drink - so as not to get sick.
An example of a ration of dairy highly productive goats is in table 2.
|brooms with leaves|
In the production of milk, feed should contain a lot of protein, vitamins and minerals. With an increase in the proportion of legumes, the amount of protein in the grain mixture is reduced. The ration of hay and grain for dairy goats with the addition of a mineral mixture is shown in table 3.
|The protein level in the grain,%|
The mineral mixture that is given with fodder
|Legumes or mixed (more legumes)|
|Grass or mixture (more grass)|
|two parts calcium per part phosphorus|
Milking goats, in optimal condition - in the middle of lactation, should have as much hay as they can eat, as well as 450 g of grain for every 1.36 liters of milk produced by them. Goats, including dairy, do not give whole grains. Instead, the goats are given crushed or flattened grain. Examples of diets when using grain with different protein content are in table 4.
Ingredients in 11 kg of the mixture, g
|protein content 14%||protein content 16%||protein content 18%|
protein content 20%
|crushed or crushed corn|
|soybean meal (44%)|
|beet and pulp of citrus|
For goat health and high milk yield, you need constant access to clean water. If the water is heated, then in the cold goats will drink more.
During the winter period (lasts about 7 months), one goat eats about 530 kg of roughage. Of these, hay - 260 kg, the rest - brooms.
More information on feeding goats in winter is available here .
Winter feeding schedule:
- In the morning - swill with compound feed and root crops. Then milking and delivery of roughage.
- At lunch - silage or root crops, swill with food waste. Then milking and issuing hay or brooms.
- In the evening - moistened concentrated food and a pair of brooms.
In the first half of succosis, the diet of goats almost does not change. Only feed intake is slightly reduced. During this period, animals consume little energy, and the usual norm will provoke obesity and postpartum complications.
The maximum quality of the diet of coot goats reaches the 4th month. It takes a lot of calcium, vitamins and minerals. Lack of calcium leads to tooth loss. To prevent this, pregnant goats are given chalk and meat and bone meal - they are added directly to the feed.
The basis of the diet of oily goats is high-quality hay. Pregnant goats are not fed with straw. But they can be fed with dry brooms - no more than 300 g per day. 2 weeks before lambing, the intake of succulent feed is limited, and grain is not produced at all.
After giving birth, the goat is given a bran talker or watered with a decoction of flax seeds. After 1.5-2 hours, a woman in labor is extradited so that the udder does not swell. The first milk is poured out - goats should not be given.
Rules for feeding after lambing:
- For a week after lambing, goats are given mixed grass hay and root crops.
- Every 3-4 hours, the goat is fed with a warm swill of bran or flour.
- Concentrates and succulent feeds are gradually introduced into the feed.
- The diet must include chalk, salt and bone meal.
Features of milking and milk during pregnancy and lambing
Getting milk from dairy goats is closely related to their physiological condition. In order to get large milk yield from dairy goats, it is necessary to start and distribute the goat in time.
Goats are recommended to be started 2.5 months before lambing. There is a myth that the milk of pregnant goats becomes bitter. This is a fallacy, goats stop milking not because of some peculiarities of milk, but to ensure future high milk yields. If you miss the launch time, you can’t wait for good milk yield - the goat will be exhausted.
Before starting, the goat is transferred to hay, water and brooms to reduce lactation. It is clear that milk at the same time loses its nutritional value and fat content, all the goat’s internal resources are used to develop the fetus and maintain its health.
Goat launch pattern:
- The first week of launch, a pregnant female is milked only once a day.
- In the second week of launch, milking every other day.
- If by the second week the female gives no more than 250 ml of milk, she is milked a couple more times - every other day, then they take a break for three days and milk again.
- A few days after the last milking, the udder should fall, become soft. If there is at least a little milk in it, they are removed so that there is no mastitis. Now the goat is at the start - she has no milk.
- A week after the launch, the goat is kept on a diet - so as not to provoke lactation, and then transferred to a normal diet.
Milk goats have been bred for milking for centuries, so there are cases when they continue to give milk, refusing to rest. Experts advise - if the lamb is 1.5-2 months old, and the goat gives 1.5-2 liters of milk per day, do not persist, trying to send her to rest. If you rarely milk a goat, its udder will sag. In such a situation, it is better to give out a goat and feed it well. If everything is done correctly, neither the fetus nor the lactation will suffer.
It is important not to miss the moment when the composition of milk changes. This happens after lambing. For two days, it can not be drunk by people, and kids can. But this milk is considered colostrum only if the goat had a rest before lambing - at least 3-4 weeks. Goats that are milked without stopping do not give colostrum - they have to take it from other goats or harvest them for the future.
Goat milking and udder care
Milk of a goat depends on the correctness of milking and caring for the udder. Experienced goat growers and specialists advise:
- Milking a goat in the machine - here she stands calmly, without interfering with the milking process.
- If the goats graze, they are milked in the mills in the mornings and evenings, and in the afternoon on the pasture.
- Milking is carried out at one time.
- If the kids are weaned from the uterus, in the first days after lambing, the goat is milked 4 times a day, then 3 times, and with a decrease in milk yield - 2 times.
- If the milking is 3-fold, the first time the goat is milked at 4-5 in the morning, the second at 12:00, the third at 7-8 in the evening. If milking is 2 times, goats are milked at 5 a.m. and at 7 p.m.
Rules for milking and udder care:
- Before starting milking, wash the udder with warm water and wipe it dry with a towel.
- Before milking, the udder is massaged - to increase milk yield. Half the udder massaged in turn.
- Milking is best fist.
- The first jets are contaminated, and they are not dumped into the crib.
- Milk is dispensed carefully, the last servings are the fattest.
- Goats are milked quickly without taking breaks.
- After milking, the udder is wiped with a clean, dry towel, and the nipples are smeared with petroleum jelly.
What problems do dairy goats face for the farmer?
Goat milking depends on many factors, the main of which are breed, feed and period of operation. It happens that a goat gives little milk at the most milked time - at 3-4 months of lactation. There are many reasons for reducing milk yield, in order to determine the true one, an entire investigation will have to be conducted.
Reasons for the fall (or complete loss) of milk yield:
- Mastitis. This disease is often caused by delayed placenta and uterine inflammation. If purulent mastitis, milk disappears altogether. If the animal has a fever, there are discharge, diarrhea, cough, call a veterinarian.
- Pathology of the internal organs. The cause of painful conditions is the lack of vaccination and anthelmintic therapy. It is necessary to undergo veterinary checks and treatments on time.
- Poor nutrition. 50-60% of the milk yield provides feeding. Improper diet, malnutrition, poor-quality feed lead to a sharp decrease in milk yield. Goats are sensitive to the slightest change in nutrition. Accustomed to one food, they hardly adapt to others. Sharp transitions threaten with diarrhea and enteritis. Feed is not absorbed - there will be no milk. Reasons for reducing milk yield:
- A sharp change in diet is a change in feed or a switch from summer to winter, or vice versa.
- Malnutrition, poor nutrition.
- Low protein content. The higher the milk yield of the goat, the more protein it needs.
- Lack of minerals and vitamins.
- Poor quality food. Poisonous plants.
- Violation of the conditions of detention and care. Milk can "milk" the kids. If there is no milk left, it is better to remove the kids from the queens. Damp and cold in the goathouse reduces milk yield.
- Problems with milking. The pain caused by a goat during milking causes the animal to resist the procedure and the milk disappears reflexively. To prevent this from happening, you must:
- Milking not with tweaks and twisting, but with a fist.
- Check the condition of the milking machine.
- Cure injuries of the udder or nipples - if any.
- Age. Milking yields grow to 4-5 lambing, then productivity drops. If the goat is well fed and properly maintained, it is milked up to 12 years.
- Temper. Calm temperament is the key to stable milk yield. Active and aggressive animals produce less milk.
Do dairy goats need to be combed and sheared?
Milk goats need to be combed out as often as possible with a stiff brush. This procedure removes dirt and sweat from the coat, the animal improves breathing and blood circulation, which positively affects milk productivity. If you do not comb out and wash the milk goats, their milk will smell bad.
In the spring, dairy goats are sheared. The main thing is to wait for warm weather - so that the trimmed animals do not catch a cold. All breeds are sheared, with the exception of goats with a short skeleton - as, for example, in Saanen. In the fall, dairy goats are not sheared, this procedure is carried out with breeds bred for wool.
Weekly, goats are washed with warm water and soda to prevent lice from appearing. If these parasites still start, take measures:
- sprinkle wool with pyrethrum powder - about 30 g per individual;
- wash with a special soap for lice.
When keeping goats in the stable, their hooves often wear off more slowly than they grow. To prevent massive foot disease in the herd, goat hooves are regularly trimmed with a knife to normal sizes.
How to save milk?
Skim milk is immediately cooled - placed in the refrigerator or put in cold water. Moreover, the latter method is considered more effective. If the herd produces more than 20 liters of milk per day, it is necessary to have a volumetric container for cooling or a water cooler for immersing containers with milk yield.
Cooling helps maintain the quality and taste of milk. Any milk contains bacteria, many of which enter it from the air or containers. In warm milk, bacteria immediately begin to multiply, worsening its quality. Having cooled milk after milking to 4-5 ° C, it retains its high consumer characteristics.
Criteria for choosing a healthy dairy goat
When buying a dairy goat, pay attention to the key signs of milk production and health:
- Breed. Not only the amount of milk yield depends on it, but also the well-being of the goat in a specific climate. Some breeds are not able to tolerate severe frosts, others feel bad in a hot climate.
- Behavior. Healthy goats are motile, curious, energetic.
- Udder. Voluminous, not saggy, pear-shaped. Without hair, elastic, his skin is thin, elastic. There should be no hardening. Venous vessels should be visible on the udder. Nipples - medium length, with a slight slope forward, sticking to the sides.
- Body type. The chest is wide and deep, the ribs are convex and long. Croup without sharp overhang. Bulky belly. The legs are straight, set wide, the hooves are strong. The skeleton is well developed, the body is elongated, slightly barrel-shaped.
- Teeth. They determine the age of the animal. By the age of 5, all incisors are erased in goats - they become oval. By the age of 6, the incisors become rounded, cracks appear between them. By the age of 7, the teeth are loose, begin to fall out, by 8 - only stumps remain. Goats 7-8 years old are not suitable for receiving milk - they chew poorly on food, milk productivity decreases.
- Parasites. A healthy goat should not have fleas or other insects. Stroking the animal, the fur is spread apart - parasites are especially clearly visible in white and light hair.
- Life story. The size of milk production and the duration of subsequent lactation depends on the age of the goat, the number of lambing and other details of the goat's life. The goat gives the highest milk yield after 2-3 lambing. After 6-7 years of life, milk yield gradually decreases.
Recommended Dairy Breeds
The best breeds of dairy goats:
- Saanen . This hornless breed is from France. Goats are large, growing at the withers to 90 cm. The weight of the goat is up to 80 kg, the goat is up to 110 kg. Milk 11 months a year. If you provide good care, the annual milk yield is up to 1200 liters of milk. Daily milk yield - 4-8 liters of milk. Fat content - 4%. 1-3 lamb are brought for lambing. There is no specific “goat” smell in milk. The breed is highly adaptive, but specific animals can poorly acclimatize. The breed is bred from the southern to central regions of the Russian Federation.
- Nubian . The breed is of English origin. Ancestors - from Namibia. Goat growth - up to 1 m, weight - 80 kg. Distinctive features - a small head with a Roman profile and long, drooping ears. Long and thin legs. Daily milk yield - 4-5 liters. Fat content - 4.5% and higher. Milk is used to make cheeses. In Russia, even a cross between Nubian women is appreciated - kinship with this breed increases the quality of milk among Aboriginal goats. Flavourless milk. Females bring 1-3 kid for lambing.
- Toggenburg. The breed is large, height - 70 cm. Goat weighs - up to 45 kg. The legs are short. Milk - 1000 liters of milk per year. A day - about 3 liters. Milked 260 days a year. Fat content up to 4.5%. The protein content is 3%. It is a breed with long, dense hair, which is why it is bred in the northern regions, in Siberia, and in the Far East.
- Russians. There are several groups in the breed that were obtained by crossing local goats with imported from Europe. The names of the groups come from the area of breeding - Valdai, Yaroslavl, Gorky, Ryazan goats. These are large animals, up to 70 cm tall, weighing up to 50 kg. Goats are larger - up to 70 kg. The main color is white. There are long sickle-shaped horns. The average daily milk yield is 2 liters. Lactation - 8-9 months. Fat content - 4%. The breed is unpretentious in content.
- Alpine . Goat growth is up to 85 cm, weight is 60-80 kg. Often are hornless. Hard and short coat. Average milk production is 3 liters per day. Fat content - 3.7%. To taste, milk cannot be distinguished from cow's milk - there is no smell. Fertile - bring 4 kids. They tolerate cold well, can be bred in the northern regions.
- Cameroon. This miniature breed produces odorless milk. She comes from Africa. Height - 50 cm, goat weight - up to 15 kg, goat - up to 23 kg. A distinctive feature - the horns are directed back. Milk yield per day - 0.5-1 liters. Fat content 4.5-5%. But it happens, it reaches 10%. In one glass of milk, 2 tablespoons of cream are formed. Lactation - 5 months. Reproduction - all year round, get two offspring per year. Breeding in the north is limited to the Moscow region, in the east - to Novosibirsk.
- Czech brown. The growth of goats is 75 cm. Weight is 50-60 kg. Milk - 4 liters per day. Fat content - 3.5%. Milk has a delicate creamy taste. The breed is sold only in breeding centers. They tolerate frosts well, adapts to harsh climates.
To have a highly dairy herd, goat breeders choose the best dairy goats - they are distinguished by great milk yield, good health and calm behavior. In order for dairy goats to please their owners with milk yield, it is necessary to take care of the proper maintenance and nutrition of the dairy herd.