Another question about GOAT MILK FLAVOR.......... : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Okay, I need advice!!!! When I first asked about the flavor of goat's milk, my milk tasted very good, just slightly different than my wonderful Jersey milk. Now, however, I am having a problem with it. I have some specific questions for you goat experts out there:

1. Can a 2 1/2 month old buck taint the flavor of the milk, even though he is not in the same pasture and/or the same stall at night with my milking does? However, he is in the stall right next to them, but there is a solid wooden wall between them.

2. I have wormed them with a natural herbal wormer that has worm wood, gentian, fennel, psyllium and quassia in it. You administer this, initially, morning and night for 3 consecutive days, and then you reduce it to 1 portion per week after that. This stuff smells pretty strong and I am thinking this is my problem, but not sure. Also, have any of you had any experience with this natural wormer? I bought it from Hoegger's Supply. Does it work or not? After doing it as said, the inside of the goat's lower lids still look pale, etc. Does this mean they still have worms and, if so, can that cause my milk to also taste bad? The people I purchased them from never wormed them....can you imagine?!

3. I am currently milking a Saanen and a Saanen/Alpine. Do Saanen's and Alpine's have different tasting milk? I know Nubian's are supposed to have the nicest milk. As I stated in my other question several days back, I have a Nubian/Saanen buck and doe, both of which are more Nubian than Saanen. I plan to breed the buck to my Nubian/Saanen doe and keep a doe from her (hopefully), and I also plan to breed him to my does that I am currently milking and keep one of those does. I then plan to sell the remaining babies and also find another buck so as not to have any inbreeding going on here. Do you think crossing the Nubian/Saanen buck as stated will help to improve the flavor of the milk? I have heard that a Nubian/Saanen cross is really nice because you get the high production from the Saanen side and the sweet tasting milk from the Nubian side. My Nubian/Saanen buck and doe (unrelated), are really nice animals. The buck comes from a Nubian/Saanen doe that gives 2 gallons of milk a day at her peak and then levels off to 1 1/2 gallons per day after that......I know this for a fact because I know the people personally! Also, the Nubian/Saanen doe comes from a really good milker, too. Any thoughts?

This is how I do things around here, and I am not new to milking since I have been milking a cow for several years. I leave my goats on nice pasture during the day with access to shelter and plenty of fresh water, and then bring them into the barn at night. They have hay and plenty of water in the evening. I milk them twice a day, at which time they are fed their grain. Before milking, I wash their udders and squeeze out the first several streams of milk as waste and then I start milking. When I am done milking, I strip them out. I then immediately bring the milk inside and strain it through a stainless steel strainer with the appropriate straining pads purchased for this purpose. I then submerge the canning jars (about half way) into some very cold water and top that off with lots of ice and put it in the refrigerator. I end up with very cold milk. I have also pasteurized my milk and then chill it in the same way. I have been doing this for years with my Jersey milk and it is wonderful stuff. The goat milk, however, tastes nasty. It has an awful aftertaste to it and it does not taste sweet like my Jersey.

I am quite frustrated with this and am about to sell the goats and just keep milking my Jersey. My intent was to just do goats and sell my cow because it is cheaper to keep goats, easier to milk them, and my 7 year old daughter can help milk them (which she loves to do). However, if I don't solve this problem, I may not keep them. It gets very frustrating milking the goats, straining and chilling the milk, just to end up dumping it down the drain because we can't stand the taste of it right now. So, I am holding off selling my cow until I can solve this problem.

Please help, and thank you in advance!

-- Tammy (, July 06, 2000


If you would like your goat`s milk to be sweet, you really need to only feed them Alfalfa with a little grain. Do NOT let them eat any thing else!! And goats, if you let them, will always find a way to eat something they should not. And a good worming with ivermecten paste,, would do wonders. If the goats had never been wormed by their pervious owners,, alot of the organic wormers will not even touch the worms. My son and I drink goats milk,, and it is really mellow and sweet, with no bad taste. Good luck

-- Bergere (, July 06, 2000.

Tammy, a young buck with no odor will not taint the milk, so I don't think that is your problem. Even the adult bucks wouldn't bee too much of a problem except in breeding season, which doesn't start for most breeds until September. I suspect that the wormer you used may be the culprit -- first of all, take the milkers off it. Give their systems a week or two to clear it out, then try the milk again. Have a vet do a fecal of the goats and see if there are still worms in them, then see what he/she recommends for a wormer -- no point giving your does a 'natural' wormer that leaves the milk unusable!! You will have to dump the milk for a few days after the other wormer is used, unless you want to worm your family!! I doubt that breed has anything to do with the flavor of the milk. The reason Nubian milk is said to be 'better' than other goat milk is because it is higher in butterfat, like the milk of your Jersey cow. So it might taste richer, but not necessarily 'better'. The flavor of the milk can vary widely from one animal to another, even within cows -- some just have bad-flavored milk. But since you said that your goats milk tasted fine at first I wouldn't think that you have an animal with off-flavored milk. Another possibility is that the equipment and jars for goats milk must be kept scrupulously clean. When we had goats and started having a flavor problem, I got some dairy cleaner (which I should have done right from the beginning) and that solved the problem. (It also makes great toilet bowl cleaner, as I found out when I had some left over after we sold the last of our goats!!) If you are already using dairy cleaner, then the wormer is almost certainly the problem. Let us know how you make out.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, July 06, 2000.

I agree with Kathleen about the "scrupulously" clean thing. I don't use dairy soap though. I use super hot water baking soda and white vinegar to clean my supplies with.

Do a fecal for worms, also are you feeding grain that has ANY animal by products at all? That can be really detrimental to both the health of the goat and the milk.

Also, just a thought, can you or are you keeping the milk from each goat seperate so you can determine if one is the culprit? Are they drinking plenty of water? If they don't care for the taste of your water they may not drink enough or that itself could off set the flavor of the milk. Are they getting any molasses in their feed? This keeps their chemical balance in order.

Good luck, I hope you get this worked out. My goats milk is great now that I have the feed thing all sussed out.

-- Doreen (, July 06, 2000.

Same as the others:) You have no idea if they have worms and no idea if this herbal wormer is even working. I have serious missgivings about them. In a very small herd that lives on a dry lot up north, may be able to use a natural dewormer. My girls live on pasture and bowse all day, they have grass hay in the barn all the time, they get grain twice a day in the barn and then replacement grain for the amount of milk they produce on the milkstand twice a day. Most of my largest milkers both in weight of body and weight of milk get 5 pounds of grain (with no animal products except whey, which is in the calf manna pellet they receive) I feed chopped alfalfa morning and night after milking only. Lots of cool clean water, that is refreshed at least once sometimes twice a day. I keep my udders and bellies shaved, use wet ones from Wallmart to clean each does udder before milking, after milking I teat spray with clorox and water, about a 12 ounce spray bottle filled with water and 3 tablespoons of bleach. The girls are allowed to finish their grain after milking which also allows them to further have time to close the orifice at the end of the teat. We simply do not have bad tasting milk and our milk has great keeping qualities, we have sold frozen milk to a gal who makes candy in Houston for years. Try a chemical wormer if you aren't going to fecal. Valbazen at 8cc per 100 pounds, Safeguard or Panacur at 3 times the weight, if your doe weighs 100 pounds treat her with 300 pounds worth of medicine. 36 hour milk withdrawl, don't use Ivermectin, Cydectin, Dectomax they don't have milk withdrawl times and Ivermectin in Goat Medicine had residue still after 30 days. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, July 06, 2000.

Any milk will pick up taints from the feed the producer eats - say like garlic or chili for a nursing mother, or weeds like wild turnip or wild radish for a cow. Wormwood and quassia are BITTER - the most there is, with an aftertaste that lingers forever. The others have given good advice - MAYBE this organic worm treatment could keep worms under control, but I doubt it could GET them under control, and it would certainly taint the milk.

-- Don Armstrong (, July 07, 2000.

Vicki told me to give an answer even if I totally agreed with her, and I do. I understand why you want to use the herbal wormer, but it really sounds like it is giving your milk the bad taste. Esp. since the milk was alright before the worming. You know the old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" well that applies to worming the goats. If their droppings are nice and round firm "nanny berries" and their coats are smooth and shinny, their eyes bright and clear, and they are happy bouncy goats then they are all right! Take some droppings to the vet for analysis if you suspect worms and then worm with what the vet reccommends. Oh and that little buckling is not tainting the milk. Don't tell anyone, but my buck is with the does most of the time even when he stinks to high heaven, and the milk is fine. I just keep all my equipment clean and wash the does udders and no problems. My girls like Doughboy with them and he is a very nice boy. Hope your milk is sweet and your kids are all does! karen

-- Karen Mauk (, July 07, 2000.

Hi Tammy, You have all my sympathy! I've been following this thread with interest but wanted to see what Vicky and Bernice thought since they are far more experienced than I am. However; I have used the same herbal wormer that you have and here's my story. (Though a bit long)

I saw an article in United Caprine News last year. Someone (a 4h'r I think with the assistance of a vet)had done a study comparing chemical wormers and herbal wormers. Over all the herbal wormer came out a little ahead. So I decided to go for it and not have to worry about residues and dumping milk. I bought the wormer and the herbal tonic they recomend you use along with it. I followed the instructions to the letter. I have to say the milk was delicious! Friends came to visit for a month and they were amazed that they couldn't tell the difference between the goat's milk and the cow milk they were used to. They had it every day on cereal and the kids were always asking for "Persefoni milk" Then in September Persefoni started to scour. I was covinced that it was because the herbal wormer hadn't been doing it's job. I took a fecal sample to the vet and they said it was Coccidia and gave me Albon.( she's a little stinker for eating dropped hay off the ground) (NO worms to treat for though!!)She has had tape worms in the past. Even so, it un-nerved me a bit and I decided to go back to chemical wormers. Now, this year Persefoni gave us a little buck and a beautiful little doe. I couldn't wait to have all that delicious milk again! Oh boy, what a time I've had. One day it's good the next day it's awfull. She's in a new house with a new pen. She has all the hay she can eat. No browse. About 5lbs of pelleted goat feed in three seperate feedings. Water changed three times a day. I wash her udder with nice warm water with a bit of dish wash detergent in it and use a teat spray after milking. I clean with dairy soap and sanitize everything. The milk's strained into a glass container and set in ice water right away so it's real cold before it goes into the refrigerator. Like you I'm getting very frustrated. I love my goats and I'm tying myself in knots trying to do everything "right" but can't get to the bottom of the milk taste problem. And it was SO good last year.

So as I said Tammy you have all my sympathy. It's very discouraging to have to throw milk away after all that time and effort. I have great respect for Vicky, Bernice and the other more experienced goat owners. I love to read their posts and always learn something. I don't wish to offend them but since I used the herbal wormer most of last year with no milk taste problems, I'm not entirely convinced that it is the culprit. I do hope you will keep us posted. Especially if you find a solution! Best wishes, Pauline in NC.

-- Pauline Adderley (, July 08, 2000.

I want to thank all of you for your wonderful advice. I had to write back to let you know that my milk is starting to taste good again. I knew the problem wasn't caused by bad pasture or my cleaning and/or chilling methods. I really was thinking it was the wormer. I called Hoegger Supply about the problem and asked them if the wormer and tonic stuff could taint the milk. They said absolutely not and, as a matter or fact, they were getting comments from people that their milk was tasting sweeter than it ever did. So, the only thing I can think of is that, perhaps, the wormer was the culprit for the first three days since you have to give kind of a heavy dose, but now that I have stopped it and will only use it once a week, I think it will be okay. I will take a fecal sample to the vets to be checked for worms, just to make sure all is well.

I will keep you posted on things. Thank you again for all of your help.

-- Tammy (, July 08, 2000.

Gals, I did not say the wormer was making your milk taste bad, I said it was because the wormer was not working. And once again, if you read the article in UC, she did not test the does before to see what worms she was dealing with, and when she did use the wormer she used it at the cattle dosage not the goat and she injected it instead of giving it orally! A fair comparison? No! I would love for stuff like this to work, really I would. I do believe that it would help keep worms at bay, if the doe was relatively high in immunity anyway. We have a F line of does here that rarely are wormed. But even having said that I always worm the day a doe kids, you are just taking to big of a chance by not. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, July 08, 2000.

For some reason i missed this post. I have experienced problems with awful and i mean AWFUL tasting milk in the past. I found the culprit to be near proximity to bucks. Believe it or not a buck can start to stink at 4 months old. that may be part of the problem depending on the buck. Now it sounds like you are using the right methods to milk, cleaning the udder, stripping, clean milking practice, etc. the only other factor that I can figure here may be whats in the feed or hay. I have not experienced any significant taste differences in other breed type milk, I'v had Nubians, Sanaans & alpines in the past. I currently have alpines. Quickly cooling the milk is important so if you milk, then strain and put it on ice or in the freezer to cool it then in the fridge that should help. As for wormers, we use ivomec, valbazen and pancor. I usually rotate wormers and i also don't worm all the girls at once, we space them out so we don't loose the supply. It may be the wormer. I have not tried any herbal wormers, but what exactly is in the herbal wormers? It may be something in that. Our girls are giving great tasting milk this yr and we use a speciality feed, minerals, orchard grass hay and they browse on their pasture as we have a lot of cut over for them to eat. I'd recheck what you are doing and go by process of elimanation. Keep us posted.


-- Bernice (, July 08, 2000.

WOW.....what a difference in my milk now!!! It is absolutely wonderful and, as a matter of fact, it doesn't taste any different than my Jersey's milk. I am so tickled about this. I have had several people taste it and they can't tell the difference from any other after taste, no bitterness, etc. I just can't tell you how thrilled I am about this.

I thought you would like to know that my immediate problem seems to have solved itself. Thanks again for all of your advice.


-- Tammy (, July 09, 2000.

Glad to hear it Tammy. You're welcome for the help and just yell if you need anything. Good Luck:)


-- Bernice (, July 09, 2000.

Apologies Vicki, no, it wasn't you that thought the wormer was affecting the taste and I do get your point. Anyway, I'm glad the problem seems to have resolved itself Tammy. I'd keep taking fecal samples though just to be sure that you're on top of the worms.

Has anyone any experience with the Epronex pour on? A local breeder recomended it to me as there is no milk or meat residue. I used it at the dosage for cattle and wonder if I should have doubled or trippled it? Will be taking a fecal in to the vet tomorrow. Since the milk hasn't been tasting as good maybe she still has worms.

Bernice, I was looking at some old threads and you mentioned Ferny Register. Didn't know he had a web site. Will have to check it out. He lives close by and bought a couple of brush goats from me when I switched to milkers. He was just starting his supply business then. Nice person.

It's great to be able to talk goats with you guys! I only know the breeder I bought my nubians from and she's real busy. I hate to bug her. The other friends are beginers like me and we all tend to rely on this one lady. Best Wishes, Pauline

-- Pauline Adderley (, July 10, 2000.

Pauline, most of the folks and the testing at A&M showed that the pourons Eprinex and Cydectin were used at twice the dosage at least and then given orally. Remember that when you use the drug extra label it changes the meat and milk withdrawl time. So I prefer to use wormers that I know have had tests ran on them for milk withdrawl. If Cydectin says to use it at so much dose and we double it, give it to a goat instead of a cow, and then use it orally instead of pouring it on (and the reason you do this is because the goat metabolizes drugs differnetly than other livestock) we really don't know what the milk or meat withdrawal time is, same goes for antibiotics. A real catch 22 we got going on here :) Keep us posted on what your fecal sample said, really is the only way you can know what is happening in your own herd! Vicki McGaugh

-- Vicki McGaugh (, July 10, 2000.

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