milking dairy goats

Goat milk is the main source of human milk in large parts of the developing globe. It’s a highly sought-after commodity owing to its alleged health advantages and distinctive flavor. But do you know that goat’s milk production depends on their diet and how much they consume?

Goats are browsers, and this feature enables them to consume plants that contain aromatic or taste compounds that can give milk or cheese the aroma or flavor. However, the most crucial goat milk quality requirement is taste and smell.

In my experience, as much as it’s best to maintain a certain quality standard for your goat milk production, it’s crucial to understand how to increase milk production. This knowledge enables farmers to get a substantial return on their goat farm investment and provide as much for the daily consumption of people.

However, how do you increase goat milk production? But first, let’s discuss what breeds of goats produce this milk.

Goat Breeds for Milk Production

There are several breeds of goats; however, the milk-producing breeds are in charge of delivering milk to the farmers. Farmers employ a wide variety of species of goats to produce milk, and the most common breeds of dairy goats in the US include The Saanen, Sable, and Nubian.

Others include Toggenburg, LaMancha, Oberhasli, Nigerian Dwarf, and Alpine. Dairy goats lactate for 284 days, reaching their peak production four to six weeks after kidding.

Although the nutrition consumed significantly impacts the goat’s genetics, it determines the volume and type of milk produced. The most typical goat production breeds are:


french alpine goat

These are medium-sized to giant goat breeds from Switzerland. They have a lengthy lactation, are great milk producers, and do well in hot temperatures. Furthermore, they can survive in any climate since they are rugged and versatile.

La Mancha

The size and shape of their ears are the most distinctive features of the Mancha. They resemble gophers in size and appearance. Additionally, they are a tiny breed of goat with good milk and butterfat production.


The Saanen is a Swiss breed of dairy goat usually referred to as the Holstein of dairy goats. Research shows they are the largest dairy breeds and the most prominent milk production. Usually, they are white or creamy.


The tiniest dairy goats are the Toggenburgs, also known as dwarf goats. They come in a variety of brown hues with recognizable white markings. Furthermore, they are peculiar for producing a lot of butter with little butterfat and having high, attached udders.


nubian goats

The Nubian is a rather sizable dairy goat with Oriental ancestry. This goat gets bred for two distinct uses: milk production and meat production.

Compared to other goat breeds, they have a more incredible milk fat percentage yet still produce a respectable amount of milk. Nubians are peculiar for having long, drooping ears.

How to Increase Goat Milk Production

There are several ways to increase goat milk production. It’s important to understand these ways as they are necessary if you want to maximize the milk production of your goats. Some of the ways to increase goat milk production include the following:

Good Nutrition

Good feeding techniques lead to optimal growth, health, and high milk production. Dairy goats’ requirements are not special as they readily respond to a healthy diet.

In the diets of dairy goats, digestible fiber is particularly critical. A costly feeding strategy or feeding ruminants too much grain compared to grass does not promote excellent ruminant behavior.

So, it’s essential to feed your nanny goat premium legume-based hay. Furthermore, 15–20 percent of good hay is protein. Alfalfa is the best legume hay because it has more protein than other hays. Alyce clover and perennial peanut are two extra beneficial legumes. So, to maximize its milk production, you should give your goat two to three pounds of grain daily.

goats calmly eating grain

For every 1 quart of milk, the doe produces, some farmers supply 1/2 a pound of grain. Your mix’s ingredients can vary, but they may include vitamins and minerals and corn, oats, and soybean meal.

A dairy goat’s meal must contain about 14–20% protein, so it must contain fiber. Good fiber facilitates chewing and promotes rumination in goats. Goats that don’t chew enough have less fat in their milk.

Furthermore, cotton and sunflower seeds are excellent sources of fiber for dairy goats. You should keep minerals and trace mineral salt apart while feeding. Feed them at all times and place the hay in a rack that prevents wastage.

Lastly, don’t undervalue forage testing as a practical method of providing your herd with the appropriate nutrition. You can inquire about this program from a local MU Extension professional.

Herd Health

Generally speaking, goats are a sturdy species that need the bare minimum to thrive and provide high-quality milk. While a few diseases are of concern, most herd issues are connected to nutrition and reproduction. Even humans can contract several goat diseases, so handlers must exercise caution.

The biggest threat to goat productivity and health is internal and external parasites. Common symptoms of parasitism include diarrhea, weight loss, and a rough covering on the hair. Additionally, pale mucous membranes, a sign of anemia, may also state the presence of internal parasites.

Before placing your nanny goats onto the pasture in the spring, deworm them a few days beforehand. Several weeks later, deworm them once more. Furthermore, it would help if you dewormed them again after an intense frost in the fall.

You could use veterinarians to undertake a fecal investigation to detect parasites. Then, you can treat them with medication according to that parasite’s needs. You may manage worms and other parasites by switching your nanny goats’ pastures.

However, do not let them graze too much, as more parasites are near the ground. So, depending on the crop, goats can feed on them from 2 to 10 inches. The county extension agent in your area knows particular beneficial crops so that you can reach out to them for proper understanding.

Keep the stall for your nanny goat tidy. Don’t let her stand in the waste. Furthermore, examining a fresh fecal sample by a veterinarian or skilled herdsman can reveal the presence of internal parasites.

Parasite resistance to dewormers is becoming a growing issue with parasite control in goats. This resistance is due to the frequent use of dewormers without other parasite-control management. Basic methods for controlling parasites include:

  • Only treating sick animals
  • Observing good hygiene, such as avoiding overcrowding.
  • Utilizing rotation and proper pasture management
  • Keeping sick animals apart
  • Excluding new animals from the herd for 30 days before reintroducing them

Longer Dry Phase

Every year, give your nanny goat a “dry period.” The two-month dry period should last for the same time as her ovulation period. Longer dry periods are necessary for high-milk producers to replace nutrients lost during milk production.

Reduce or completely stop feeding her grains during the dry season. Furthermore, replace the legume hay she has with high-quality grass hay.

You should also give her a mineral mix with salt, calcium, phosphorus, other trace minerals, and vitamins. Additionally, resume feeding her high-quality hay in the final month of your doe’s pregnancy.

Treating The Milk

Rapid cooling is necessary for milk to have excellent flavor and high quality. Keep the milk safely stored in the milk container against foreign objects. After the milking, place the container in a sizable pan of cold water for 15 to 20 minutes while stirring to hurry the cooling process.

More than putting a container of warm milk in the refrigerator for the same amount of time, water cooling eliminates heat from the milk. You can put the milk in the fridge after the cooling process in water is over. Six to eight weeks before their next expected childbearing, stop milking the goats and let them “dry up.”


Now that you know this, it’s best to implement the ways to improve milk production in your goats.

Strictly follow good nutrition, have them bask in a long dry phase, and properly guard them against internal and external parasites. When does are in good condition, it’s easy to increase and monitor milk production.

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