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We are getting our first does this weekend<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I know typically you are supposed to milk every 12 hours, but I also know that some people only milk once a day. We definately won't need a gallon of milk a day (that's how much our doe is currently giving) so we are thinking about weaning her down to once a day. Any advice on weaning her down to once a day? Thanks so much
 

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I know a lot of people do it, but I wouldn't unless the kids were still nursing. We tried it last year, it was terribly uncomfortable for the doe, and the milk tasted funky to me from being in the udder for so long.<br><br>
Also, even though your does are producing a gallon a day now, their production will steadily decrease until they are dried off, in a few months you might only be able to count on half that amount, and be getting nothing in the winter.<br>
If they are FF, it could also set them up for low-supply problems next year.<br><br>
We milk at 4am (DH) and 7pm (me). An exact 12 hour schedule is not crucial.
 

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Do give twice a day milking a chance before you cut back, you will not be able to call yourself a true goat owner until you have delt with 2xs a day milking, everyday, rain, shine, snow or sleet, kidding in the dead of winter during the worst snow storm when all you have is a stub of a candle because the power is out, the flashlight batteries are zoinked and you are all by yourself because everyone else in the family was able to take a vacation because you had to stay home to tend the goats!<br><br>
Seriously, do 2xs/day and see how it goes, you really might enjoy those early morning milking sessions when the dew is still on the ground and the birds are starting to chirp or those late moonlit starry nights when you have to take a walk out to the barn. If a gal a day is too much to use, are you only planning on drinking it? there are recipes for all kinds of cheeses, some are pretty easy (or should I say easy for my husband, cheese was his chore and I took care of the goats themselves) or soap or you can feed it to other animals, cats, dogs, pigs...<br><br>
something to note, when the goats get to their new home, their milk production will probably change slightly, just from the move or because there are slight differences in your milking technique, or the time/hour you milk, their feed, both browse and grain, the direction you have their milk stand/tie down facing (really I do think this matters, I had one goat who refused to be milked anyway by looking east, why? who knows but we almost had mastitis because I wanted to move things around one time) so until they feel comfortable in their new home do the 2xs a day and see what amount you are getting and whether it's really that hard for you to do before making a descion.
 

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I agree with pp's. Your goat is likely to be stressed from the move and will probably cut way back. Its super important with goats to limit stress as much as possible. Please continue to milk on her regular schedule. Get used to it for awhile and let her settle in. You can use milk to cook pasta and oats, feed extra to pets and other livestock, make ricotta and mozzerella and feta, and it takes alot of milk to make butter. We turn alot into yogurt and make smoothies with frozen fruit every night.<br><br>
After she gets settled in, and you adapt to the new routine and responsibility, and the quantities of milk, then start thinking about once-a-day milkings if you must. I'll be happy to give how-to's then.<br>
Lisa
 
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