Milking a first freshener

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Pairaka, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Pairaka

    Pairaka New Member

    87
    0
    0
    I have a doe that just kidded and I want to start milking her (obviously). She's a two-year-old first freshener and is extremely sensitive about her hind quarters and her udder being touched. She's been up on my milk stand a few times. I do not have a barn and bring my milkers into my basement to milk them using a single stand and if there is more than one doe that is being milked they each get a bucket of feed to keep them busy until it's their turn to milk. This is how I make sure my milkers are getting their share of the feed and can control what they eat.

    Well, I tried to get my new doe up on the stand today and at least go through the motions of milking her. Not milk her out (I don't take the kids away; I just put them up at night and milk once a day in the morning and I haven't started doing that with her yet) but maybe get her used to being dipped and wiped and perhaps get a few squirts of milk.

    Needless to say, it did not go well at all. She was quite uncooperative and jumped and kicked quite aggressively. I have a hobble that I put on her, but that just meant that she kicked both legs at once instead of one. I mean, I couldn't even wipe her without her freaking out. Which is strange because usually this doe is extremely gentle and friendly. She is hardly "wild."

    Having had only one FF previously (and she had been milked previously before I bought her--this doe's mother), I have experienced some of this behavior but not to this degree. Is it just a matter of getting her into a routine: Getting her onto the stand every morning, going through the routine, trying to get a little more done each day? Will she eventually calm down? Is there anything I can do to keep the experience from getting too stressful for her? I really need to be able to milk her because my last doe is only giving us about a quart of milk a day--that doesn't sound like much, but one of my daughters is allergic to cow's milk and she's the reason we have goats.

    Thanks,

    Wendy
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    9,442
    0
    0
    Wendy is she in milk now?? if so then tie those shakles down to the stand so she can't kick. and milk her. If not then wait until she come into milk just putting her on the stand to eat for the routine.
     

  3. Pairaka

    Pairaka New Member

    87
    0
    0
    Yes, she's in milk now. She's formed a nice udder and has lots of milk.

    I guess I'm going to have to do that and grin and bear it.

    Thanks for the reply. :)

    -- Wendy
     
  4. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    9,442
    0
    0
    Yep and sometimes they just won't cooperate my very first one would stand with her head locked in and in the feed bucket and all fours off the stand I finally got rid of her. Was such a chore to get her milked.
     
  5. Beverrlly

    Beverrlly New Member

    168
    0
    0
    I'm not sure if this is feasible for you but a milking machine might just be the answer. Once it's on, she can kick but she won't be able to stop the milking and she can't put her foot in the milk bucket!
     
  6. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

    1,278
    0
    0
    Maybe if you just feed her on the milkstand first and then let her eat the rest of her portion after being milked. Also, sometimes it can take a week or longer before a FF catches on. it can also be a breed thing, some are more flighty than others.

    For instance, I just put three pregnant does on the milkstand for shots, they had not ever even been in the milkroom before. They hopped on the stand, ate their feed, didn't flinch during the injection, let me look at their feet, and allowed me to rub their udder to accustom them to it. Each one of these newbies squatted over the imaginary pail with the reflex as if they were being milked. I attribute this to the LaMancha breed, well 2 were MiniManchas. I have never had a LaMancha kick on the stand, even a FF. When I had Nubians and 2 Alpines, they always kicked and fought and bucked around until they got used to it. So it could be the breed.
     
  7. Melissa

    Melissa New Member

    180
    0
    0
    and this is a very good reason I pull kids at birth. let the dam see *you* as her kid. well, too late for that now. but next year...

    -Melissa
     
  8. Good Goats

    Good Goats New Member

    240
    0
    0
    We've had our share of crazy milkers. . . one we had for several years and every time she needed to be milked someone would site behind her and hold both her back legs while someone else milked. She got WAY better than she was when we first got her and at times my brother would be able to milk her by himself. She was also a huge grain piglet... sometimes my brothers would put medium-sized rocks in her grain to make her pick around them so that it took her longer to eat :D.

    I freshened 4 first fresheners last year. All of them kicked a small bit at first but then after a few days they were used to it and are totally great milkers/stand there now (still milking 3 of them)

    The first time is always the worst ;). . . . have fun Wendy :D!!

    Suriyah
     
  9. Truly

    Truly New Member

    344
    0
    0
    Now someone was saying, I think it was Patty, to stand behind her, put her rear legs up on your shoulder and milk away. :rofl

    I hope she calms down for you. I agree about tieing her feet down to the stand. I have a cleet on my stand for that, although I don't have anyone I have to use them for right now.
     
  10. Pairaka

    Pairaka New Member

    87
    0
    0
    Thanks for all the responses, everyone. I'll see what I can do.

    Right now I don't have a milking machine and it's really not that cost effective, either. We're hoping to get into milking more in the future but that's a different story.

    I've read that it is easier to milk them if you take the kids away and make them see you as their kids, but I tried milking twice a day the first year we had goats. I'm doing this all by my lonesome and with three does milking twice a day, I was exhausted. I just can't manage having to be around in the evening to milk when I've got three girls who need to be driven all over the place for different activities, etc. Plus it was just really rough on me. And this upcoming year, after my eldest daughter has gone off to college, I'll be back to having to take my youngest to rifle practice three times a week after school.

    Last year I decided to let the kids stay with the dams and just milk once a day and it was much, much easier on us all. Besides the fact that I'm not throwing as much milk out because we just can't keep up with drinking it.

    I'm sure I'll be able to get this doe to calm down. At least to the point where I can milk her with a lot less effort.

    Thanks everyone! :)

    -- Wendy
     
  11. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

    1,278
    0
    0
    Not to be a smart alleck, but seriously, are these all Nubians? None of my LM EVER do this and the only goats I have ever had a problem with in the past were Nubains. And not all of my girls are bottle-fed either. You can't tell bottle-fed from dam-raised, they are exactly the same temperment. It is the major thing that keeps me in lamanchas, I am too old to fight...goats.
     
  12. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

    1,918
    1
    0
    That is the problem. She don't want you taking her baby's milk. She will probably settle down somewhat in a week or so, once she figures out that her feed is on the milk stand. I have a boer doe that I've been milking and she is raising a doeling. She jumped and kicked at first, but now she doesn't and it has been 2 weeks since she kidded... and that is a boer doe that has never been milked. This is her second freshening. So there is hope, though it is aggravating.
     
  13. Corky

    Corky New Member

    356
    0
    0
    I am by no means an expert as we all know and FF"s can be a real pain till they learn but,
    I had one that did that last year and both of us had to milk her. DH held he legs down and I milked but it turned out that she had mastitis. NOT the kind that makes a hard udder so I had no idea, but she would not even let her kid touch the bad side.
    She fought so hard because it HURT for me to touch it.
    Once we got her treated she settled right down but her milk never was good.
    She also suffered with a blown teet on that side. Poor thing has NOT had a good life so far.
    She will go bye bye this Summer. If I can find a good home for her she will go there or she will become hamburger because I will NOT take her to the sale barn.
     
  14. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

    2,730
    0
    0
    One of the most difficult first fresheners I've ever had was a La Mancha. Blossom had Boer cross doelings her first freshening so I let her raise them. She has a wonderful udder and folks wondered why I didn't show her that first year. It was because she was a real PITA on the milk stand. I eventually got her trained and she is now easy to milk, but I had to repeat the whole training process with her daughter. My Nubies vary from goat to goat as to ease of training, but none were as stubborn as Blossom.
     
  15. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    I'm gonna drop a note in here from Tim Pruitt. Tim is a member of this forum and is a pretty smart old cookie when it comes to this kinda stuff. This may be a little off from the question that you need answered, but it is close and might help at some point in time.

    """"Whim,
    There's something that "kicks in" when a doe kids. The day before they kid it is "don't touch my udder". After giving birth the same doe that would kick or squirm will allow her udder to be touched. The transformation is amazing!

    It is best to train the first fresheners to jump on the stand, get their treat (raisins or hand full of grain). Always let it be a pleasant experience. I suggest you lock them in each time BUT don't leave them. Goats become afraid they will be stuck forever and will develop a phobia. My goats don't like for me to walk out of the room while they are on the stand. The moment I walk out - they will start screaming, "Don't forget me!" Some are worse than others about this but most of them do have a fear of being left on the stand.
    Once they kid, you probably should tie the back leg nearest you. This will keep that footout of the bucket and your temper in check. : Some does will automatically lift the leg nearest you and hold it up, even if they are not kicking, especially when the udder is full. Many does do this even when their kids nurse until they get used to being milked. Tying the foot ususally becomes less important after a few weeks, although some will take up to a month to get used to you milking her. Be aware that on some does you may have to tie both feet and keep in mind that a newly developing udder is tender and can be somewhat painful.

    Since you are milking Nigerians, I will make an assumption that the teats on these first fresheners are going to be small. Big hands and small teats just don't go together. Even my Nubians take a couple of weeks sometimes for the teats to grow to decent size. Milking too high on the udder can cause blood in the milk. Pink milk will be an indication that you are being too rough when milking or reaching too high on the udder trying to get milk.

    Does that are nursing kids are more prone to hold up their milk for their kids. They will also get antsy when milking out that last bit for the same reason. """"


    Tim Pruitt
    187 J.O. Pruitt Rd
    Haynesville, LA 71038
    timpruitt@starband.net
     
  16. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

    1,278
    0
    0
    From the time our doelings are born, we rub their little udders, manipulating them and as they "squat" in reflex, we say "be a milkgoat be a milkgoat". So their entire lives they are trained to do the milkgoat squat when their udder is touched. They can just feel the breeze our hands make coming toward their belly hair and they will squat as if there is a milk pail under them. It is conditioning since young that helps.
     
  17. coso

    coso Guest

    It really is. I always start feeding FF on the milk stand a couple of weeks before they freshen to get them used to it and they will stomp around when you try to touch the udder. Once they kid they act like it is nothing. I do believe they are easier break to milk if they never see the kids though. They need relief and you are giving it to them by milking.
     
  18. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

    1,278
    0
    0
    Yes, if you remove the kids at birth, you become their kid. So if the doe was bottle-fed herself too, then you are their momma as well as their kid and are double-bonded to them. My does lick and kiss and talk to us during labor practically rubbing skin off, like a rough tongued cat. When they have never ever nursed a kid, they think that humans are their kids prior to kidding forever after the first time.
     
  19. Melissa

    Melissa New Member

    180
    0
    0
    I'm also a fan of the udder rub/scratch. doing this from kid or even calf, it showes them that when their udder is touched it's a good thing. but, I don't touch it once the udder starts developing as it may be REALLY sensitive and make them jumpy.

    -Melissa
     
  20. Agape Oaks

    Agape Oaks New Member

    343
    0
    0
    Wendy
    I had one last year who's such a sweet & gentle doe, but who lifted the entire milk stand off the ground when hobbled ! I found that using a horse curb strap as a hobble, hooking the buckles to each leg with a double sided clip in the middle to the stand worked well. I was determined & this doe got her AR on 305 day test ( Irish Whisper Charm Bracelet on my web page)....now she's easy to milk....as long as she has her hobbles :)