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Author Topic: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound  (Read 11297 times)

GreatWyrmGold

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2012, 09:34:00 pm »

An animal that creates more milk than needed to feed its own offspring would need to be artificially bred--otherwise it's a waste of resources. Thus, only domestic animals should be milkable for any amount of milk worth noting. Non-milk products using the same system as milking (e.g. "milking" poison from snakes or giant spiders) would be a different story, however.
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Niyazov

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2012, 09:14:34 pm »

An animal that creates more milk than needed to feed its own offspring would need to be artificially bred--otherwise it's a waste of resources. Thus, only domestic animals should be milkable for any amount of milk worth noting. Non-milk products using the same system as milking (e.g. "milking" poison from snakes or giant spiders) would be a different story, however.

Not true. Any mammal can produce surplus milk given adequate nutrition. A selectively bred animal can have higher yield, but historically there was little differentiation between meat and dairy animals and some dairies using totally wild-strain animals have been successful (e.g. moose dairies). Remember also that historically most dairy cow calves were removed and not permitted to nurse to weaning.
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Sadrice

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2012, 10:30:34 pm »

Yeah, many (all? most?) mammals will continue to lactate if milk continues to be taken, and their mammary glands try to keep up with demand to a certain extent.  In nature, the child matures and gets weaned, and the mother stops producing milk in response, but in a dairy farm, you can remove the nursing young, and so long as you keep milking consistently, they will keep producing milk.  There have been odd cases of this in humans, where for whatever reason the mother keeps nursing the child way past the normal weaning age without having trouble with running out of milk.  A while back 4chan was trolling and harassing some woman who breastfed her son, who was in his mid teens.
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LordBaal

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2015, 02:49:57 pm »

A while back 4chan was trolling and harassing some woman who breastfed her son, who was in his mid teens.
As they should be.
Ewww....

What about small mammal milks? Like hamster, guinea pig, and rat milk? There are giant versions of each, so why not?



In all seriousness, livestock and animal products in general need a readjusting. Just as milk, skins and other stuff needs to be adjusted to size and other factors.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 02:52:07 pm by LordBaal »
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Shazbot

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2015, 08:08:29 am »

I modded pigs to be unmilkable some months ago, not only due to the biological reasons already mentioned, but also because their milk is almost impossible to make into cheese. Fiddling with quantities is definitely needed; buckets should be made seven gallons and each cheese should be made from one gallon. One cow, six gallons, milked twenty times, 120 cheese a year. Features like automatic milking (and shearing!) need to be added at the same time.

Basically, in line with my urge for a UI and performance pass, I'd rather see systems like milking improved and polished before seeing a few dozen more animals made milkable and further cluttering my trade screen with unappealing cheese varieties. It is very easy to mod these suggestions in, but very hard to mod the workshops and so forth.
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AceSV

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2015, 08:55:08 am »

Melting metals can produce 1/10 of a bar right?  Maybe food should be treated similarly.  A chicken egg might be 3/10 of an "egg" while an ostrich is 20/10.  That could also give more of a reason to use the Kitchen, compile your various resources into meal size servings. 

And HECK YEAH automatic milking and shearing!  There's already an automatic gather plants/fruit zone, just make add an option to pastures to automatically shear/milk the animals in them. 
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Deboche

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2015, 08:13:57 pm »

I really like the idea of milk from sentients. It's probably too dark for vanilla but hopefully moddable. Let us milk caged creatures, please, Armok!
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Rolan7

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #37 on: July 28, 2015, 03:37:40 pm »

Not enough body mass. A hamster weighs like what, 4 ounces? As previously established a cow weighs 3/4 of a ton. You would have to milk a hell of a lot of hamsters to equal the output of a cow.

Except not - a pig gives as much milk as a cow.  All creatures give the same amount of milk at the same rate.

In fact, pigs are the only non-grazers of the bunch, so pigs are by far the best milkable animal.

I'm talking about in real life. Despite what the Simpsons and Heather Mills might tell you, rats and pigs will never be effective dairy animals for reasons that are not directly related to their size and which are most easily explained with a somewhat outdated biological theory called r/K selection.

in essence, an animal is considered "r-selected" if if produces relatively large numbers of small, high-mortality offspring compared to another animal, and "K-selected" if it produces relatively small numbers of resource-intensive offspring that are more likely to survive to adulthood. Compared to a cow, pigs and rats are r-selected- they have big litters of small babies and in most cases most of them will die (or get eaten by mom- it happens a lot in pigs!)

All dairy animals are K-selected compared to pigs and even in some cases to meat animals of the same species; for example, dairy goats have fewer offspring than meat goats and only have two teats on their udders, compared to the 4-6 on many meat goat breeds. Fewer teats means easier to milk, period. Dairy goats have 2 teats, dairy cows have 4, and both produce milk continuously over periods of several minutes. Pigs and rats have anywhere from 12 to 18 teats, which only produce milk in brief spurts, which means more frequent and labor-intensive milkings would be necessary.

In theory you could breed a milk pig with fewer teats, but it would be tough. The immediate wild ancestors of domestic goats and cattle were K-strategists and it wasn't a big leap to make them into milk animals; for pigs it would take longer and might end up impossible. Tapirs would actually be better choices once domesticated, since they are strong K-strategists (tapir- 1 baby every two years, which is less than cows.)

Kangaroos are K-strategists, with 1 baby every 1.5 years and even better they are naturally permanently pregnant and lactating. Unfortunately as a marsupial they have evolved to suckle continuously and thus would be unsuitable for session milking, so I doubt that a kangaroos dairy could work unless you invented a pouch-portable, continuous milker.

And yes, humans are K-strategists compared to most animals, but there are a few creatures that still have us beat- whales, elephants, albatross (who might have 1 baby every 10 years), tuatara, and a number of other long-lived species.

Most fish are r-strategists- think caviar- but some sharks present an interesting and bizarre exception. Live-birthing marine animals are usually K-selected compared to egg layers; few marine species produce large eggs. Some species of sharks create many embryos in their wombs but then only give birth to a couple of live young. What happened? The fetal sharks eat each other! Natural selection in utero! Who needs a placenta when you can eat your siblings? They might be though of as r-strategists in the womb and K-strategists to the world as a whole.

Almost all invertebrates are r-selected compared to vertebrates, and most plants are r-selected compared to animals, as they produce enormous numbers of low-energy seeds. Monocots like grasses and palm trees are the most K-selected of plants; a strongly K-selected plant is the Coco de Mer, each seed of which takes 7 years to grow and another 2 to germinate. Fungi and non-vascular plants are the consummate r-strategists, since they will produce millions or billions of spores of which only a few need to survive.
I learned something today!  And/or was reminded of cool things from high school.

Kinda crazy that pigs are milkable.  As for sentients, I agree it should be an mod option, but I don't think normal creatures like humans or goblins would produce an amount comparable to a cow.
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Boatsniper

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2015, 04:24:17 pm »

Dragon Milk.

Congratulations. Your Dwarves can now breathe fire.
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Neonivek

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2015, 03:39:45 am »

Dragon Milk.

Congratulations. Your Dwarves can now breathe fire.

Somehow... this makes sense to me...

Mind you in real life a reptile's milk would be... ohh gawd! GONNA PUKE!!!
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GoblinCookie

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2015, 01:20:31 pm »

I learned something today!  And/or was reminded of cool things from high school.

Kinda crazy that pigs are milkable.  As for sentients, I agree it should be an mod option, but I don't think normal creatures like humans or goblins would produce an amount comparable to a cow.

I do not think that giving sentiants milk would actually effect anything unless those sentiants were without an entity of their own. 

I learned something today!  And/or was reminded of cool things from high school.

Kinda crazy that pigs are milkable.  As for sentients, I agree it should be an mod option, but I don't think normal creatures like humans or goblins would produce an amount comparable to a cow.

No it is not.  Pigs probably produce plenty of milk (for their size), it is just distributed more evenly than in cows along a whole load of teats.  It would take somewhat longer to milk a pig than a cow for that reason, but pig milk is very much a possibility; although harder work to extract.  I do not think there is any difference in evolutionary strategy that means that pigs are inherantly less productive for their size, the reason that pigs have so many babies is partly because we bred them to have lots of babies (wild boars generally have 4-6 piglets while domestic pigs have about 8-10 piglets).  Equally the reason why cows produce so much milk is partly because we bred them to produce a lot of milk. 

There is (kind of) no such thing as R-Strategists and K-Strategists.  Creatures have the number of babies that they have based upon the external mortality rate that can be expected and that is very much beyond the control of the creature (so it is not really a stategy).  Pigs are fairly small creatures and a large number of predators can eat pigs with no real problem, piglets are even more edible; cattle on the other hand are pretty massive and not much can feasibly eat them. 

Creatures must never reproduce too much or else they drive all their food sources to extinction and thus go extinct themselves.  It does matter how good at being a cow you are, if you and all the other cows collectively eat all the grass then everyone dies, with no exceptions.  That means the 'K-Stategy' is essentially forced for cattle, it is not viable for cattle to reproduce at the rate of pigs because the moment they start doing that they all end up dead.  Equally for things like pigs the 'R-Strategy' is equally forced in the sense that they literally have no choice but to have lots of piglets because the species losses must be replaced.  This 'forced' birth control is set up as 'hard-coded' so no individual creature can easily increase the number of offspring they produce at a low cost, because those population that allowed the individual organisms to reproduce substantially more than the others died out pretty fast. 
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Shazbot

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #41 on: July 31, 2015, 08:52:22 am »

Oh, mountain lions love them some beef. There's a reason Texas cattle are called longhorns; they chose an unpolled breed able to defend itself.

And of course the r/K strategy is only a framework, not an empirical thing we can measure. Even the example of rabbits is flawed; they're actually rather territorial and defend their young in burrows. Its all a mixed bag in a sense.

Honestly I don't care to have more animals be milkable. The big question is 'why'. If we could milk any mammal in the fortress, great, fantastic. We'd have dozens upon dozens of barrels of milk filled with singular drops of cavy milk / rat milk / spotted kangaroo rat donation reward milk. What a waste of time, CPU power and in-game resources. There's a reason I only take sheep to my embarks.

So really, if you want this? Mod it and share the mod. All that interests me is automating the milking and cheesemaking processes.
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Zammer990

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #42 on: July 31, 2015, 01:20:53 pm »

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If your animals aren't expendable, you could always station a dwarf or two out there?

JesterHell696

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2015, 03:42:07 am »

A dairy cow produced 6 gallons of milk a day. A dairy cow weighs 3/4 ton and a female blue whale weighs 190 tons. A dairy cow is seemingly about 15x more efficient at producing milk. However, blue whale milk is 10x as concentrated as cow milk, so the advantage is really only about 50% to the cow. However, dairy cows have been bred over the course of thousands of years to not undergo separation anxiety when their young are taken away, which is definitely not true for whales and would probably have a major impact on any prospective whale dairy. Also a whale dairy would need to follow the whales around since there's no way you could pasture them, and they migrate all over the globe.

In 1957 Arthur C. Clarke wrote a novel about whale farming called The Deep Range in which whales were domesticated for meat and milk. Killer whales were also trained as herding animals, similar to sheepdogs. IIRC the milk needed some sort of treatment before it was edible.


I think that the part of your comment I underlined is wrong, their is evidence that cows experience separation anxiety and here are a couple videos of it.


A Separation - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWM5jYORSDg

Another separation  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYJPbrxdn8w

An ex-dairy cow and her new calf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDq4F4plSMQ

A reunion of calf and mother https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMEPlAyNsik

Finally here an article about a study http://www.wired.com/2014/06/the-emotional-lives-of-dairy-cows/ by Daniel Weary http://www.landfood.ubc.ca/person/daniel-weary/

We breed cows for submission and I think those links I posted show its not that they don't undergo separation anxiety but that they get conditioned to it.

-

Anyway on to the topic at hand I agree with those saying the underlying system for husbandry needs adjustments done to it before we add more exotic animals types for milking.
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illiousintahl

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Re: More milkable creatures- let gross suggestions abound
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2016, 05:54:00 am »

what the fuck dude.
what the fuck, dude?  This is bay 12, nerdy derails are our specialty.

As I recall, whales and other very large aquatic animals take a surprisingly long time to airdrown.  If a dwarf taking an animal to the workshop is counted as hauling, rather than the animal following the dwarf, you might be able to drain the whale tank, milk them, and refill the tank before they airdrown.  It would be awkward, and the dwarf would probably move a tile per 30 seconds, but if you build the workshop close enough to the whale, and would require you to mod in whale milk, but it might be doable.  Or just build the farmers workshop in the 3x3 whale tank, assuming the 1/7 water doesn't have to evaporate before the workshop becomes useable.

If you give whale milk a melting point above room temperature, will everything still work, or is it like lye, where it must be in liquid state to be useable in reactions?
What you need is a whale dry dock system
CCC===== C=Workshop
CCC[]~~~X ==Wall
CCC=~W~X X=Floodgate
vO<=~~~X v=tunnel to aquifer layer
  L  ===== O<=Pump and direction of it's flow
                  L=lever for floodgates
                  []=Door
                   ~=Water from ocean on other side of floodgates
                  W=The Wale
And so as can be seen with my patented wale milking system the dwarf milker can easily pump out the docks fluid after capturing the wale, allowing easy access to the creature for milking.
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