Monday, February 9, 2009

U is for UDDER

U is For UDDER - one of the most important aspects of a dairy goat. the plan is to make this a sort of a do and don't of udders. Obviously we all want the perfect udder - I have yet to achieve such a thing - and really there are sooooo many aspects to a good udder. Let's start with attachment - this doe - Joie isn't completely full but you can see the not so great side attachment. Though her attachment is GREAT - she has other factors that make her udder desireable - These teats aren't huge but they are milkable with her butter soft udder texture and huge orifices (the place where the milk squirts out). Joie has gotten bigger with her udder but I still think her attachement is lacking and am breeding in hopes to improve that attachment but keep that buttersoft texture, easy milking teats/orifices. Also, it is fairly easy to see the MSL (medial suspensory ligament) the indent that divides the udder in half.
Shalom (now residing at PrairieWood Ranch) had a small FF udder but her attachment - especially in the front was good. She is the dam of last year's herdsire CBF Entei who gave us CBF Ent's Twinkle lil Star and CBF Ent's Whistling Dixie - we hope he passed his mother's nice attachement - Udders are beginning on the young does so it won't be long to see the improvement or lack of.

Ah, isn't this a nice big beautiful Udder - this belongs to Patience who is Nizhoni's DW Tirzah's dam. Her udder was great on attachment and this udder is big and fairly easy to milk (udder was - she was a pill!!!!) if you could get past her bucking, head butting and biting. I wish I had a side shot so you could see how big this udder was as a FF doe. AMAZING. WE hope Tirzah has her mom's big capacious udder with easy to milk teats etc. but her older half sister's butter soft udder texture (Joie de Vivre). You can even see her teats here - much nicer teat placement than the Oberhasli below - and her MSL was fairly decent as well. THIS is an udder worth keeping......

This is what NOT to do - the is the worst udder attachment in the world. This is the Oberhasli - who has no good attachment ANYWHERE!!!! Oh yes, she milks fine and a lot but whoa - baaaaaaaad udder attachment - I don't even breed her to sell show does because yeah - not happening. I want to breed her for meat babies because I don't see the point of passing this on!!!!!I would love to sell her to someone who just wants a backyard milker but she doesn't seem to want to leave us - last time she left for 4 days she wouldn't eat or drink. If I sell a doe I hope that the doe inherits Dad's dam's udder attachment and tell folks that well, she just isn't perfect but if you want milk and lots of it - this small goat does the job!

See how Narrow this escutcheon (the space where the udder fits) is? NOT good. Also - for milking hygiene - this and the above shot of the hairy udder is another what not to do. Shave those udders and bellies to keep hair and debris out of your milk!!!! it is worth the effort. Also notice how on this back shot you can't see the teats? Yeah because they really point forward and out a bit which makes her a bit hard to milk. Trust me when I say this is a definite NO NO!!!!
When you get your first doe where much of the good falls into place - wow it is a joy to milk. I remember milking a few Nubians for a gal when she went out of town and one of her does had the most delightful to milk udder - I'm striving for that with my Nigerians and trying to improve those attachments on the top milkers in my herd. HERE - we taking milking seriously and therefor good Udders are a must but I'm not willing to pass on a doe who is a terrific milker but may lack a little here or there unless I have something really outstanding to taker her place.
Hope you have some lovely udders on your girls and lots of good milk.

1 comment:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Very interesting post about udders, D. Very helpful seeing the photos along with your explanations, too.

I'm going to plan on breeding my mini-mancha for a next Spring kidding. I wish I could do this year, but it's just not gonna happen. She's not even a year old yet, so it should be ok to wait longer anyway, right?