MILK RECORDING – EXPLAINED SIMPLY

You can, of course record your goat’s milk yield for your own interest.  Some people record their goats daily, others may do it weekly, keeping a record of the total yields.  However those who record “officially”, do so monthly, through a Club/Group which is affiliated to the British Goat Society, under conditions set out in the BGS Milk Recording Manual.  To give official recording legitimacy, 3 “unexpected” check weigh/sample visits a year are carried out.  (See Below).

Why milk record officially?  For your own interest; to help you plan your breeding programme by looking for stud goats out of dams with proven milk backgrounds; to help predict the milking potential of your young stock.  Recording shows if your goat has the ability to milk during the winter as well as the summer.  An officially recorded goat which has reached the required standard, is awarded an affix which indicates the highest recorded lactation of that goat, e.g. A goat called R120 Mygoat Rosie, would have produced 1200Kg milk in up to 365 days with a minimum average butterfat of 3%.  If you do not take your goat to shows where there are milking competitions, milk recording allows others to see her milking capabilities.

Getting started; Join a Club or Group and the secretary will help you.  You will be given a recording number for each goat to be recorded, a BGS Milk Recording Manual, sample pots, a “dipper”, with which to take the samples and some paperwork to complete.  Your club will tell you which day to record each month, but you chose the times you milk.  The secretary will ask you to provide the names of three people who are prepared to act as your checkers. The complete milking span is 24 hours and the interval between milkings can be between 10 and 14 hours.  However most people milk at 12 hour intervals.  You will need a set of “milk scales” on which to hang the milk bucket.  The scales are calibrated to zero, so that only the milk is weighed (in kilos).  Milk is not measured in pints or litres as it can be difficult to read, especially if it has a head of froth.  Recording can cover 3 days:-

Day 1 AM Milk at agreed time No need to weigh milk
Day 1 PM Milk at agreed time Milk weighed and sampled
Day 2 AM Milk at agreed time Milk weighed and sampled
Day 2 PM Be prepared to have check at agreed time, milk Checker weighs and samples milk
Day3 AM Checker returns at agreed time, milk Checker weighs and samples milk

 Use a separate pot for each goat’s sample.  The following morning you do the same, adding the milk sample to the previous evening’s pot.  In the evening you need to be prepared to have a check visit.  (See above)

Having completed the paperwork, you send it with the samples to the secretary.  If you received a check weigh visit, then the paperwork and check samples are also sent to the secretary.  She/he will collate the information from all the club members, then sends it with the samples to the laboratory for analysis of butterfat and protein.  You will receive you results in due course.

The method of calculation of yield, average butterfat and protein is set out in the BGS Manual.  The secretary is responsible for carrying them out and sending the results to you.  A  lactation commences at kidding and is completed either at 365 days or earlier if the goat is dry.  There must be at least 6, monthly tests.  Yields over 1000Kg  will be published in the British Goat Society Herd Book.  If the average butterfat is a minimum of 3.0%, the goat is awarded an affix. (See above, R120 Mygoat Rosie).  If a subsequent lactation is greater, then the R figure is increased, however it is never lowered. The above is intended to give you a simple introductory explanation of how to milk record.    As with all things, if you are interested, there is more.  To find an affiliated club which runs a milk recording section, go to the British Goat Society website www.allgoats.com .

 

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