Milk Testing/Herd Recording

Photo credit – Rocky Ways Farm

Milk production monitoring, assessment and awards

Photo credit – Old Mountain Farm, Cheryle Moore Smith & Wyl Smith

The Nigerian Dwarf is a dairy goat breed. It has been developed to yield plentiful, high quality milk.

To assess and record an individual goat’s production a formal regime (commonly known as ‘Herd Recording”) has been developed whereby the milk given in a 24 hour period is collected, weighed and samples sent off for quality testing (butterfat and protein) . Data from this testing is collated and given a score for both quantity and quality. Goats exceeding predetermined standards can apply for ‘Milk Awards’, which, if granted serve as a permanent record of that goats exceptional milk production.

If the goat’s owner wishes they can carry out these tests 24 hour tests on a regular basis – usually monthly – through the goats lactation. These results are subsequently used to estimate a total lactation yield. Additional awards are available for lactation yields that meet or exceed predetermined benchmark – standard yields for Nigerian Dwarf does kidding at different ages.

Milk awards are published and kept as permanent records for future reference. Examining these milk awards can be a very valuable tool to indicate productivity of a goat (or goat family bloodline) and can give an indication of potential production of offspring.

Keep an eye on this page for more detailed information on Milk production monitoring, assesment and awards.