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Your Goat not producing milk after kidding?
It can be a serious problem.
But don’t worry. It can be treated by understanding the reality behind all of this.
Actually, there are many reasons that overcome the kidding and lactation normality. The real thing is that all of these problems occur majorly by your own negligence or less knowledge on maintaining the diet plan of goats in the pregnancy days.
This guide contains all the possible reasons that actually hurt the normal milk production in goats after kidding or in the succeeded months.
Let’s get started.
Milk production in goats
Female goats are known as “does” or “nannies”. Milk production by goats is majorly influenced by the food she receives.
During the pregnancy days, the diet of the goat, cleaning of her quarters, treatment of any infections or parasites, and her care during the dry period are the major factors that impact the milk production after kidding.
Make sure to watch that goat is eating well and active, normal, and healthy? Are you sure that she has passed her placenta? Does her milk color look normal? Does her udder seem normal, swollen, or painful? Because it can probably be mastitis.
Understanding and managing all of the above factors led to the successful and enormous quantity of milk production in goats after kidding.
The most common reasons for less milk production of goats after giving birth are discussed further below.
Causes of goat not producing milk after kidding:
1. Less time since freshening (kidding)
It is a common fact that goats come to milking when she gives birth to a kid. But here is another fact that the production of milk increases gradually with time as the demand for milk increases by baby.
So, this reason can be the primary reason for less or no milk just after birth.
Moreover, this milk production increases over the first few weeks until the kid reaches the weaning age. At the weaning age, milk production in goats tends to decrease with time. It is a natural decrease in milk production that occurs about 4-5 months after kidding.
2. Less demand for milk
A standard economic theory “there will be less supply if there is less demand” actually fits the milk production of goats after kidding.
At the kidding stage, the kid is much younger and there will be less demand for milk, therefore there will be a decrease in milk production. It will increase gradually when the demand for milk increases from the kid side.
3. Nutritional deficiencies
According to the journal of applied animal research, Nutritional deficiencies are one of the major reasons for the goats not producing milk after giving birth.
Lactating goats need a high-quality diet. But it is commonly observed that most of the farm owners don’t put great attention to the diet plan of the pregnant goats. They just enjoy the upcoming kids and put less attention to the health of nannies.
A pregnant goat needs much more fibre and nutrients to fulfil her own needs and of a kid. She needs much more minerals and nutrients than usual as a new body growing inside her.
You could be feeding her the meal and hay but if they are of low quality i.e low in proteins and energy, then the mother will start losing weight. As result, the body reserves of the mother goat start declining in time to fulfill the kid’s demand.
Then ultimately, the mother’s body starts leaning and all the nutrients reserves start draining that was needed for milk production at the time of birth.
4. Low mineral feeds
Milk production directly relates to what you are feeding your goat or animal. In addition to salt, there are many minerals like zinc, selenium, copper, iodine, etc., that are the primary demand of the animal body.
An optimal supplementation of these minerals is crucial for milking animals especially. Dairy animals also need supplements of calcium and phosphorus. In case of absence, goats could go away and get milk fever.
Low minerals feed or no supplementation of these minerals could be the reason for no milk production of your goat after kidding.
Hypocalcemia is also known as “Milk Fever”. It is not actually a fever but a calcium imbalance in the doe’s body.
This imbalance of calcium occurs mostly near kidding time. Under its attack, the doe will go off-feed, have a cold dry mouth with difficulty in walking, cold rear legs, and may have weak labor contractions.
The most common symptom is hind-leg dragging.
Milk Fever occurs by the hormonal imbalance in the body and the body mobilizes the calcium in the production of milk. Rich calcium feeds like alfalfa and peanut hay are observed to the main culprits. They have excess calcium and this calcium needs at kidding time, moving instead into a chain reaction that causes the calcium deposition in doe’s bones.
This way the calcium needed in milk production deposits in bones and causes the failure of the body system to mobilize calcium in milk. That’s why Hypocalcemia can be a reason for no milk production in freshened goats.
6. Parasitic/Worms attack
Milk production is literally hard work for goats. If the goats are not well or under the attack of high parasite load then there is a chance that you’ll experience less or no milk production after kidding.
Parasites make the goat very uncomfortable and it can be observed in her poor health. Worms make her less rest and she will go off feed and her body starts leaning.
If she kidded in poor condition or heavy loads of parasites, then she would be fragile after kidding and unable to produce milk.
Make sure to deworm your goats from time to time.
Now you have learned all the possible causes of decreased or no milk production in goats after kidding. Let’s take a look at common practices to increase milk production in goats.
How to increase milk production in freshened goats?
Quality feed – rich in proteins
Alfalfa (pellets or hay) is high priority food for milking goats. It is a highly nutritious feed and rich in proteins and calcium. Both these ingredients the pillars of milk production.
To increase the milk production of nannies, update their feed to quality hay from legumes. Good hay having 15-20 percent proteins will boost the milk production with many folds in goats.
Include the fiber in the doe’s diet. Fiber encourages the goats to chew that ultimately stimulates the rumination. Sunflower and cotton seeds are the two good sources for increasing milk production in goats.
The importance of minerals in the doe’s diet is explained above and you might get an idea of the reality of minerals in the health of goats.
Mineral supplements provide all the essential trace minerals to the goat’s body and relatively it improves their health. Optimal supplementation with calcium and phosphorus minerals improves the body’s health as well as milk production in goats.
High loads of parasites in the goat’s body put her in extreme difficulty and disturbs her health. That’s why deworming of goats to relieve them from all such worms is crucial.
To assess worm load, do a Famacha check or fecal test to know that worm loads cause less milk production.
If heavy loads are observed, deworm them before putting them in a pasture in spring. Keep deworming them for several weeks.
The other practice to control worms is to stop grazing them too close to the ground as many worms are close to the ground.
The most necessary practice to improve the health of nannies is by providing them with a clean environment including clean water in waterer, proper feed, and clean stalls. It will definitely improve their health and ultimately milk production.
- Journal of applied animal research
- ”Recent research of feeding practices and the nutrition of lactating dairy goats”
- Journal of Dairy Science
- ”Milk Production in Goats Compared to Buffalo and Cattle in Humid Tropics”