Since our last doe has been dried up and we are getting ready for kidding season, I closed out the milk records for last season. If you are not familiar with the dairy industry, milk production is actually tracked and discussed by weight (pounds of milk), not volume. While it was obvious on a day-to-day basis what the production of the goats was, we decided last June to start tracking it for analysis (I am an engineer after all). So, after each milking, we would weigh the milk for the doe and record it on a sheet in the milking area. Then, at the end of the month, I entered the data into a spreadsheet.
This year, we had 4 goats in milk. We chose to only milk 1 time a day because it provided enough milk for us and reduced the chore load in the evenings. When we dropped to 1 time a day, we saw the daily total for each goat drop by about 30%. Lilly was sold shortly after starting the records, so she is excluded from the totals. Here is how the others did.
Saffron – Lamancha, first freshener. 283 days in milk. 840 lbs produced. 3.0lbs avg per day over entire cycle.
Tang – Lamancha, first freshener. 266 days in milk. 656 lbs produced. 2.5lbs avg per day over entire cycle.
Betty – Oberhasli, second freshener. 303 days in milk. 565 lbs produced. 1.9lbs avg per day over entire cycle.
Total for the 3 goats: 2061 lbs, or about 257 gallons. If we were purchasing raw cow milk, it would have a value of $2570. If we were purchasing raw goat milk, it would have a value of $5140. If we were purchasing the milk, we probably wouldn’t use as much as we do.
We had already observed that our Oberhasli’s don’t produce nearly as much as the Lamanchas. Therefore, if we decided to change to a single breed, it would be Lamanchas. Of course, we are not in this from a maximum production standpoint.
Conclusions. We use a lot of milk. It is cheaper to raise your own goats for milk than to buy milk.