newbie question about milking

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by ldyhazer, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. ldyhazer

    ldyhazer Guest

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    Hey, just got my first dairy goat, a Nubian and a true love but.... She has never been milked, which wasn't quite what I expected. Needless to say we are both green and frustrated. She has had a set of twins but since bringing her home, and only one of her babies, she has decided to wean her immediately. I am trying to milk her morning and night to keep her in milk but again, frustration. She is extremely skinny and I am giving her all she wants in grass, hay and goat chow. She is missing her baby and still getting over a new move. My question is two fold, first does it make more sense to dry her off and work with her until next go around or should I keep this up and second, are goat hobbles going to remedy the kicking, bucking and complete unpleasantness of learning to milk or are there any secrets. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

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    Was she tested for CAE? Have you dewormed her since you got her home? She looks at you as if you are stealing her baby's milk. You are a stranger to her and she probably doesn't trust you completely yet. How old is the Doe? Has she always dam raised her kids? I've never used hobbles so no help there. How old is the baby? If it is a really young baby I would put the Doe in a milk stand and make her let the baby nurse one side and I would milk the other side. Part of the problem could be that she may not have enough milk considering her body condition.

    In order for her to make milk she needs to have plenty calcium in her diet. She needs Alfalfa hay or alfalfa pellets and a grain of some sort. She also needs loose minerals in front of her all the time and a big tub of fresh water daily.

    When one is looking to purchase a doe in milk, ask if you can put her on a milk stand and milk her before you take her home. If you have a rodeo on your hands, it might be the whole reason the owner is selling her.
     

  3. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

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    I have not used hobbles before but I have tied the hind feet to the milk stand so a goat could not kick. Also, make sure she only gets grain on the milk stand. Food is a big incentive to get on the stand and behave.
    Theresa
     
  4. Rose

    Rose New Member

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    I am milking my first freshener Nubian in the mornings, after penning her two month old babies at night. YES, I had to hobble her. She's starting to settle down now, but it has been, as they say, a rodeo.

    I made my own hobbles out of canvas and wide velcro. I'll get a pic tomorrow and post it.

    At first, I also had to bungee her left leg down to the milk stand. :/ We've moved past that, thank goodness.

    Having a good solid milk stand is very important. Doing exactly same routine every time is important.

    All the things said by previous posters is important, too!

    Alice, a rookie after a year and a half of learning about milk goats!
     
  5. rg1950

    rg1950 New Member

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    The more you milk them, the more use to it they will get. If it were my goat, I would continue to milk her twice a day, morning and night. If she kicks give her a firm smack on the flank and say "no". Nothing else, just no. It can sometimes take a week or so to get them into the routine. We milk 9 goats 2 times a day. We have 2 milk stands and our goats are trained for which stand to get on and what order to come in the door. They are really smart. Ours has different personalites. One will not eat the feed in the pan until she sees us dump fresh feed on top. Another one sloshes the feed to get to the little bit of sweet feed in the pan, so we give her a little extra on top of her oats. Keep working with her and don't give up, even if she just milks a little bit. If you get her use to it this year, she will do better next year. I have hobbed ours with leashes before. It works and is cheap and easy to do. Good luck!
    Tara
     
  6. Tim Pruitt

    Tim Pruitt New Member

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    Not to dispute Tara's advice but I would not smack this goat. Instead secure her head perferably in a stanchion head lock and tie the back foot nearest to you. Hitting the doe is not going to earn your trust or even get her to settle down. Keeping her foot tied while milking will keep your temper calmed.

    A doe who is nursing twins will sometimes kick the other away when one is sold because she is "saving" milk for the other kid. If the kid is under 3 months or is underweight, bring it in and let it nurse. Feeding this doe twice a day on the milk stand will help her gain body condition and also equate food with milking time. Try to make the milking experience as pleasant as possible. Keep noise and dogs away from the milking area.

    Due to the stress of the move, it would be a good idea to worm her at this time to make sure that parasites didn't take over casusing the weight loss.
     
  7. Chaty

    Chaty New Member

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    Yep I agree with Tim as she is probably nervous and still wondering where she is and where her other baby is. Take time and give her time she will come around with lone and patience. You will see. Kathy
     
  8. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Yeah I only smack or scream no at my tame girls who are being witches for no other reason than they think I will stop milking them. New commers, or like this wild doe, you will never get her out of the barn again if you are mean to her.

    I know it's hard to find milkers this time of year, but giving your good money to someone selling milkers you can't even milk, I just wouldn't. Course I have no patience and she would be gone or in the freezer. Vicki
     
  9. mill-valley

    mill-valley New Member

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    I do the same as Vicki on the smacking issue. Only on the older girls who know better and are just acting up because they don't feel like behaving today. The younger/scared ones I sweet talk, pet them, etc until they settle down. Do your best to ignore her hopping around and keep your hands on her teats so she learns she can't get away from you. Push your head into her flank, a lot of times it pushes them a little off balance so they lean into you and makes it hard for them to kick. And ditto the above on noise and dogs. Some of mine got scared of my dog rushing in and wouldn't come out for the next 2 days.
     
  10. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    yep this doe need TLC tie the foot give alfalfal pellets or alfalfa hay free choice and grain only on the stand when milking
     
  11. Merry Beth

    Merry Beth New Member

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    I realize I don't know much but, I thought the first goats we got were skinny because they had that nice "dairy character". :) After all, I could see their ribs and they have that indentation near their backend. They weren't really skinny after all they were supposed to look that way.

    I believe the problems we were having with our goat was the stress of the move and she was maybe testing us as well. She came from an experienced goat breeder/milker to US and she has tried us. She also seemed to want to save some milk and tried to kick us off after a bit--maybe when she thought we had enough?

    Thank you for being patient with my ignorant ramblings. :)