Posted by Jess A on February 01, 2001 at 09:15:11:
In Reply to: Off Taste In Milk posted by Jean on February 01, 2001 at 03:48:48:
Being very picky on the taste of my milk I know how fustrating tracking down a cause can be. Once or twice during the peak milk months I will take a quart jar marked for each doe to the barn and take a full one from each doe. Then I chill and do taste tests to be sure who has exceptional milk and whose is ok but not quite as creamy. The does milk not as creamy will be pasturized for the baby goats.
Alfalfa will from time to time cause off flavors as will new grass in a field. One way to remedy this is to feed Alfalfa only right after milking and a mix the rest of the day. We fed Alfalfa for years while on milk test. When we went off test the girls went on a first crop Alfalfa/Grass mix. And they are milking just as well now as they were on test. Moral of the story they dont have to have straight Alfalfa. And the stray doe that aways had a bit off in flavor has not been a problem.
Saanens are a great milking breed but their downfall from time to time is butterfat levels. Butterfat is what gives you the rich creamy tasting milk. Your does may just need a butterfat booster like, Sunflower Seeds, Clover Hay, and Roasted Whole Soybeans. Or introducing few does from a high butterfat breed may do the trick. I have a doe that is half Saanen and half LaMancha. Being half Saanen I expected her to have a lower butterfat then my other LaManchas but low and behold she not only milked over 3000lbs(putting her in the top ten) but also held a butterfat average of 4%!!!
A buck not in the area of the milking does is a good thing. Goat milk tends to pick up smells so the buck being around would most certainly be a smell:-)
By the way other things will influence milk taste as well. Mold in the hay or grain(even when it does not look it), milk stone on your equipment, High somatic cells from an underlying problem, and even washing with soap water.
I use a Iodine based dip for pre-dip and a aerosol teat spray called Fight-Bac for post-spray. Using this combination has really helped cut down on the number of mastitis and high somatic cell cases.
Hope this helps.
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