What You Need To Know About Female Pygmy Goat Care When Milking
Pygmy goats are very popular pets and now many people are also using them as milk animals. There are a number of things you should know about female pygmy goat care when it comes to keeping them as milkers. Pygmy goats can live as long as twelve years, so it is easy to see that you must be dedicated to good care and feeding in the long term. In this article we will discuss how to care for a pygmy goat doe being used as a milk animal. Read on to learn more.
Feeding Female Pygmy Goats For Good Milk Production
A goat that is producing milk must have ample food all year round. Roughage is essential so good pasture, shrubs, trees and bushes and/or good quality hay is essential. Your pygmy goats may be fine with just pasture and browsing most of the year; however, you should definitely add some hay in the winter time.
Pygmy goats that are being used for breeding and milking need some good legume hay every day. Alfalfa is a good and popular choice. Additionally, female pygmy goats that are producing milk should be fed a grain mix that is especially prepared for dairy goats.
Does that are producing milk will also have kids to care for. The kids should nurse until they are two or three months old. They will start grazing, browsing and sharing the mother’s food when they are about two to four weeks old. Be sure to adjust amounts accordingly so that the doe will not be hungry. Naturally, you must be sure that all of your goats have a salt block and plenty of clean water to drink at all times. You can provide a mineral block for extra nutrition.
Cleanliness is an important part of female pygmy goat care for milk production.
Be sure that all food is of a high quality and kept clean and free of infestations, mold and other contaminants. All of your milking equipment must also be kept clean, and you must wash the udder and your hands before and after each milking.
Good Pasture Is Important For Milk Producing Goats
Pygmy goats enjoy grass and will graze; however, like all goats they prefer variety and like to have bushes and various plants to eat. You can tether your pygmy goats so that they can help you keep various areas of your property mowed. This gives them variety and something interesting to look forward to each day. This is a good idea if you have limited space to keep them.
If you are able to tie them out daily to graze and browse, you can keep them in a dry lot with feed and roughage a great deal of the time. Pygmy goats, like all goats, like to play and are agile and curious. Be sure your fences are strong and tight to keep your goats in and varmints out. Provide your goats with platforms and other items of interest for climbing and exercise.
You should be careful not to have too many pygmy goats for the amount of space you have. In areas that get good rainfall and have abundant vegetation, you will need about half an acre per goat to supply the amount of food necessary for milk production. If you have less land or live in a very dry climate that does not have much vegetation, you will need to feed more to compensate. Food availability is not the only reason to avoid having too many animals for your land, though. Animals that are overcrowded are not as happy. Additionally, they tend to have problems with parasites.
Female Pygmy Goat Care For Milk Purposes Includes Excellent Housing
You can keep pygmy goats in all sorts of climates; however, you must be sure to have good shelter that is suited to your weather. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it must be free from drafts, properly ventilated and clean. It is better to have a frequently raked dirt floor rather than a cement floor. Each of your goats should have about fifteen square feet of bedding for comfort.
Each should also have approximately twenty five or more square feet of outdoor exercise space. Naturally, all areas where your goats stay must have good drainage to avoid hoof problems. To get good, consistent milk production you should have at least two female goats and breed them alternately. Because goats are herd animals, it is important to always have more than one so that the animals will not become lonely and anxious. This interferes with milk production.
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