How do you change a doe or cow’s milking schedule?
We recently bought Pansy, our newest milk goat. She was being milked twice a day. We wanted to be able to just do morning milkings since our evenings are not as routine as our mornings and we can’t always be guaranteed to be able to milk at the same time each evening. This has happened to us several times before, when buying dairy cows or dairy goats that were not on the milking schedule that we needed for our lifestyle. It is pretty simple to change, but it takes some patience and time to do it without hurting your gal’s milk supply.
We were milking Pansy at 7:30 am and pm. We want to switch it to just 7:30 am. To do this we will slowly move the evening milking later by 30 minutes each day until we get to midnight. Yep, those late night milkings were not very fun, but we really want to maintain a good milk supply through the switch, so it is worth it. Once we reach midnight, we do one more night where we milk at 2am, and then we are done and only do the 7:30am milkings.
Depending on your specific animal, and what you hope to attain, you could speed this schedule up and move it by an hour each time.
With Pansy, her milk production was already lower than we hoped because of the stress of moving to the farm and not having other goat friends, so we are very careful with the transition because we want to keep every ounce of production that we can.
When switching to once-a-day from twice-a-day milkings, production will be a little less for the whole day, but it shouldn’t be a full half the previous amount as long as you are careful to transition her properly.