Compare Dairy Goats Lactation


The table below represent the lactation trend curve for goat  milk yield in total kg, over time, represents actual records in the database for selected  animals that had a record of 230-305 days in goat milk.


Lactation length and milk yield and composition for selected breeds of goats.


Breed,Length,d  Total milk,kg  Milk yield%, Milk fat%, Milk protein%, Lactose% Total%Energy


Alpine    248    106  2.66   3.33   3.10   4.53   11.05    679
Anglo-Nubian 270–305     592  0.90   3.71   3.29   4.23   12.10    716
Boer      –       –  1.72   5.88   4.02   4.95   14.73    907
Canaria (Canary)   251     183  0.79   3.96   3.72   4.66   12.77    754
Damascus   270     378  1.88   4.46   3.82   3.60   12.94    795
La Mancha 270–305 720-800  2,63   4.95   3.34      –   13.67    807
Maltese   250     283  2.23   3.77   3.14   4.60       –    713
Murciana-Granadina   231     368  1.70   4.59   3.48   4.84   13.01    788
Nordic 250–300 600-700  1.92   4.28   2.87   4.29   11.25    736
Saanen   250     615  2.55   3.28   2.94   4.28   11.52    667
Toggenburg   245     424  1.82   3.37   2.96   4,26   13.14    675


The six major dairy goat breeds are the Saanen, Nubian, Toggenburg, LaMancha, Oberhasli, and Alpine.


Volume and composition of milk produced is controlled by the goat’s genetics but greatly influenced by the diet consumed. To maintain milk production and good health, goats should be fed a diet balanced for energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins based on requirements. To reduce costs, forages such as hay, silage, and pasture should constitute a majority of the daily diet. Goats are efficient browsers and can select a high-quality diet from lower-quality forages, especially when consuming nontraditional pasture plants.


Supplementing the diet with grain mixes to provide additional energy and protein is important, especially during lactation. Grain mixes may also contain supplemental minerals and vitamins. Feeding grain should be limited because a high-grain diet with low fiber intake can lead to rumen health problems (e.g., indigestion, acidosis) and lower milk fat content. Availability of dietary energy is important for high milk yield, while protein and fiber affect milk quality. High-producing does require quality forages and supplemental grain at a rate of 1 pound per 2.5 to 3 pounds of milk. Forages generally do not contain sufficient minerals to meet dietary requirements, so supplements are usually required.


To ensure efficiency and productivity of a dairy goat enterprise, the three most important recommendations are as follows:


  • Manage young does to have them ready for breeding at 7 months of age. This increases the total lifetime herd production of milk and meat and reduces the number of non-producing animals in the herd at any one time.
  • Encourage freshening of the does over as wide a time span as possible. This provides the customers with a year-round source of milk.
  • Cull animals to eliminate low producers. This can increase the herd productivity if animals are culled for genetic reasons.


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