Questions for Nubian owners

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by backyard_farm, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. backyard_farm

    backyard_farm New Member

    52
    0
    0
    :help
    I have had my two does for five months now and they still have terrible behavior. In order to milk either of these does I have to hold one leg with one hand and milk with the other( I don't have hobbles and can't remember to order any) or if they are really being difficult I have to hold both legs and get someone else to milk. They are both also terrible mothers; they rarely let their kids nurse and often kick the kids away or head butt them. So I take the kids a couple of times a day and hook the doe up to the milk stand and hold the legs so the kids can nurse. I know they were not getting enough to eat before I started this as they were not very energetic and acted half starved and were not gaining weight well. I tried bottle feeding but gave up after not being able to get any of them to take a bottle all day.
    The does are a total pain when I put them back in the pen after being milked or feeding the kids. The refuse to budge when I try to lead them back. So I tug on the collar and sometimes they will move a little and sometimes they wont move an inch. I have not let these does have their way about anything, I am always firm with them and they don't get away with anything. I do get them back to the pen but it takes forever. They are mean also. When on the milking stand with legs held, they give me evil :twisted looks and snort and make lots of other angry sounds and if they could reach me I know they would take a chunk of skin; they have acted like they wanted to head butt me and today one was trying to knock me down as I was trying to put her up. Before I had collars one of them tried to head butt me and also tried to head butt my 6 year old son( he is not allowed anywhere near her now!) She took an instant dislike to my son and he never did anything to provoke her. These goats also have the personality of rocks; not the least bit friendly . We have tried and tried to win their affection with petting and treats and being patient and calm even with the rotten behavior(we don't yell or anything like that, most of the time)
    I know there is more that I can't remember right now.
    So, is this all typical nubian behavior or do I have really rotten goats? I expected them to behave and act like good dairy goats by now. Am I expecting too much? I am thinking I will try to sell them if this doesn't change soon(if anyone will buy such goats) and if this is how all nubians are I don't want more nubians. I look at pictures of nubians some of you on here have and they look intelligent and friendly. And I hear so many of you saying how great nubians are. So I find it hard to believe that all nubians are like mine. I don't mind a strong willed goat but I also expect them to learn the proper behavior and I want a goat with personality.
    Sorry if I am going on too much, I am just at the end of the rope with these goats.
    Or am I still doing something wrong? I have only had goats since Oct. 07 and have so much to learn, so maybe I am just doing everything wrong still.
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Belinda
     
  2. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels New Member

    291
    0
    0
    How were these does raised?? To be people friendly or were they not handled much??

    Also, some does will always behave terribly if your letting them feed kids *and* trying to milk them. Some does just want it one way or the other and throw a fit when its time for you to steal your milk. :?
     

  3. goatmom

    goatmom New Member

    178
    0
    0
    Ditto what Emily said -how old are the does and do you know their background?

    This is not Nubian behaviour -any breed of goat can act up.

    Do you have them on a routine? Goats really thrive on routines although it does take time -5 months isn't that long if they had learned bad habits elsewhere or weren't handled.

    Are you sure there isn't anything going on with the udders -like mastitis? If they are uncomfortable they won't stand to milk.

    If you are serious about milking these does, don't forget to get a hobble or tie their back legs with rope - personally I like the hobble -much easier and time efficient than a rope. As long as you are fighting those back legs you are upset and this just makes the doe worse - don't leave them unsupervised on the milkstand with their legs tied. It may take a whole milking season to break them -I know that's not what you wanted to hear.

    There are lots of things you just can't control in a goats personality -that's the reason we love them so much - they are all different. Some are just rotten and usually the most rotten ones have some exceptional trait that saves them!

    Good luck - hope your patience pays off.
     
  4. Pairaka

    Pairaka New Member

    87
    0
    0
    I have a couple of yearlings that I know will act just like this if I try to milk them this year. Which I don't think I will do. I'll probably try to get them used to the milk stand, but they've been bred to our Boer for slaughter kids/%does and we don't need the milk from them. They're not really the most affectionate goats in the world, either.

    I would suggest being very patient with them. Go sit on a rock or a chair in their pen quietly maybe with some raisins or something else tasty (I buy the Dumor brand (from TSC) horse treats and cut them up into smaller pieces; the goats think their cookies) and just kind of ignore the goats. They'll start coming up to you to check you out. Maybe? Or have you tried this. Or maybe do this with their feed so they have to come interact with you to get their food. Once they realize that you're where the food comes from, they might start changing their tune.

    I bought a FF from a woman who let her does dam raise the first year and didn't even bother to milk them until their second kidding. She would get them acclimated to jumping on the milk stand for food and would start milking them a little to get them used to being handled, but other than that, she didn't milk them regularly or handle them until their second kidding. When I brought this doe home and tried to milk her on a regular routine, she turned wild on me. We had to haul her onto the milk stand and she never stood still for me to milk her. I ended up drying her up early (whole different story involving two $3000 bills from Roto Rooter to fix our well pump when it went out and facing more and we were swamped with milk) and the next year she was steady as a rock. Remembered the whole routine and was much friendlier, too.

    All in all, she is one of our favorite goats to milk now, one of the easiest. Needless to say, it took a lot of those "goat cookies" and a lot of love and patience. She loves those cookies so much she has the nickname "Cookie Monster." :)

    Good luck. :D

    -- Wendy
     
  5. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    9,442
    0
    0
    I had one Nigerian Dwarf that was like your girls, except she was lovable off the stand. Never was able to get her to settle on the stand even with hobbles it was a one handed chore. She no longer is here. The new owners had no trouble with her what so ever. I also have two goats now that their previous owners had trouble with but they are angles here. If I were you I would give your girls at least until the kids are weaned for a few weeks and away from the moms.
     
  6. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

    983
    0
    0
    I have had some act like tis on the milk stand but they are very loving when off. My 6 year old daughter goes in and out of the pens with my nubian does and they do not but her. Well, they might knock her a little as they fight for who is going to get petted first. :biggrin But my #1 rule here is you have to be kid friendly or you will have to find another home. My daughter also leads them to and from the milkstand.
    Also remember no goodies (grain) unless you are on the milkstand. Food is a good training tool. And then if they don't calm down, well, then maybe they need to find another home. And if any of their kids are doelings, if you bottle raise them then next year you will see a big difference from what you are dealing with right now.
    Good luck!
    Theresa
     
  7. backyard_farm

    backyard_farm New Member

    52
    0
    0
    Thanks for all of the advice.
    The does were dam raised I think. They are also second or third fresheners, are almost three years old and were milked by their previous owner last year I know. She didn't mentions having any problems milking, and I didn't think to ask.
    We also already give treats; apples and carrots are their favorite. Sometimes a peanut butter cracker. They will always come up and take the treat. They are not shy or afraid. They are just not friendly at all. I had planned to give theses does until after the kids are weaned and if they don't improve they are gone. I have tried patience and being friendly and we have a good routine. They just won't go for it. I don't think the udders are congested, but I could be wrong. They don't seem to have any pain or discomfort when I milk them. It seems to me that they just don't want to be bothered. They do the same thing to their kids. They will let the kids nurse sometimes and other times not. Then sometimes they will let the kids nurse for a while and other times only a few seconds.
    Well, I am glad to hear this isn't nubian behavior. I will continue to work with these does and hope they will change their behavior. But since we have had the goats I haven't found one thing I like about either one of them. They have done nothing but give me a hard time.
    So for now I will get hobbles and keep trying.
    We are also keeping the one doeling out of these does and I guess I need to find a way to separate them so the doeling won't pick up any bad habits from her dam. The doeling is being dam raised but we play with her and keep her with us a lot and she is very friendly. She seems to look to my daughter as her mother and follows her everywhere; but she won't take a bottle.
    Thanks again,
    Belinda
     
  8. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    9,442
    0
    0
    You know this may sound strange but personality conflicks really do happen. The LaMancha I have is the most loving docil , great on the stand goat, but her previous owner hated that goat cause she was white and the two of them just couldn't get along. The goat was terrible on the milk stand too. and I got a Nubian "Princess" from Vicki who ran from Vicki every time she was supposed to milk in to the woods. Vicki sold her to me because they had a personality conflick. Princess is great here , and never has ran, But now Divinity who was great with Vicki won't lead for me here. But does get on the milk stand great so she stays. I do expect to have some problems here in a couple of weeks when I change all the milkers to a new paddock and milk room. Nobody likes change that is for sure, so will take them all to settle into a new routine.
     
  9. We may be odd man out here.. but we give NO treats by hand..ever. The girls (heck even the stinky bucks LOL) run up for just simple love, hugs & kisses. They have no clue that hands are for anything but petting. When we start a new milker on the stand (be it a scared ff or a seasoned old pro...who I've but never milked) My adult daughter & I *tag-team* we have ramps so no one has to jump up on the stand. We'll both help the doe up the ramp, (one on each side of the stand) Get her head in, close the head catch. Jessica's job in head/back and any odd part that might jump, hop or kick on her side. I'm the milker and the foot placer. I have certain places I want feet and will not stand them lifting and shuffling of feet. I milk a young ff with just one hand at a time (holding a small bowl up to her for the first few milkings. Don't want the sound of the milk hitting the bucket to freak her out) Jessica strokes, talks, reassures them. (the whole time holding them in a strong but gentle body lock... one arm around the chest the other around the butt... at least until we see how the doe is going to act) as she relaxes so do we. (oh, we also sing to them while we milk LOL.. just cause we are weird) I make sure there is a calmness (even if it's fake!) and a routine. Every doe is always let in to milk in the same order. I tell them the same things each time. I'm sure to spend a moment or two THANKING them when we are done. Head out of the head catch, just a hug and a couple kisses. I use tell them they are "a good mama's milker" LOL. Most does don't need even the head catch (and certainly NO holding on the stand) after 4 or so days of twice a day on the stand. I always enjoy hearing back from buyers (when they buy one of the broke to milk does in kid) they all have called or written to tell me what ladies they are on the stand and want to know how we TAUGHT them to be so good (I don't have the heart to tell them the girls NEVER get the chance to be anything but GOOD LOL)...oh, breed wise.. all I have is nubians...spoiled rotten ones.
    susie, mo ozarks
     
  10. backyard_farm

    backyard_farm New Member

    52
    0
    0
    Thanks Theresa for telling me about your does with your 6 year old daughter. It is good to know that my goats behavior around my son is not normal for nubians. Just the fact that I can't trust the does around my son makes me want to sell them. I really don't even trust them around anyone.
    Thanks Sondra for letting me know about the personality conflicts; I had wondered if the does just don't like us. They had only had one home before they came here. And we did like them when we first got them and we were nice, friendly and all.
    And thanks ozarkwoodwyfe for the helpful advice on training for the milkstand. We are keeping a doeling from these does and this advice will be great for when we are training her to the milkstand.
    I think I will sell these goats as soon as the kids are weaned and try another doe. I really want does I don't have to worry about letting my 6 year old around and I want some that we like and they like us.
    Will anyone have nubians in milk for sell maybe in April or May?
    Thanks again to all who gave advice :D
    Belinda
     
  11. stacy adams

    stacy adams New Member

    993
    0
    0
    A few years ago, when I first got into goats, my sister, niece and I went to go visit a farm that had some Nubians from what I understood was wonderful bloodlines.. All their goats were mean. :really They would butt us in the legs, and I mean hard! they knocked my niece down once so we had to carry her and they ended up locking them up in a stall, so that we could "finish' our visit... When we left, empty-handed mind you, I told my sister that I would never buy a goat from them, not even for breeding.. My niece can go into my paddock with the goats anytime, and I would never worry about her getting hurt by them.. And while on occasion one will act up on the milkstand (we all have those days) they are generally well behaved.
    I don't really know what to tell you, but if you have the patience.. keep at it! Lots of love! and never let the milking session end with them winning..
     
  12. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

    2,730
    0
    0
    My Nubians are some of the sweetest goats. I've never had a doe that is mean, but I sold a buck last year that tried to butt me when I got in the pen with him. My friend had a doe that was mean and would butt and bite, but she was a La Mancha/Boer cross. I don't think that behavior is breed specific. One thought about the doe and your 6 year old- she may think the child is a threat to her babies. I had a doe who would atack my small dog when she had kids on her. We have human kids visit our farm and I never allow them in the goat pens without adult supervision. You don't say how old the kids are, but my goats don't let their kids nurse constantly once they are a bit older. Goats with kids on them can be harder to work with than when they aren't feeding babies. If you decide to get rid of your adult does, you might want to keep the doeling and get her a companion. When they freshen, take the kids from them at birth and botle fed them. When you milk your does, they will think you are their baby and will be much easier to work with. Kathie
     
  13. Tim Pruitt

    Tim Pruitt New Member

    1,275
    0
    0
    I raise Nubians exclusively and have had them for years. I have never seen goats that act or behave like this. The worst that I have ever had are goats who ran from you instead of coming in to milk. I had a pair of doe kids that were born late in the summer, I was building a house and was very busy at the time. I let these dam raise and they were wild because they were never fooled with because I was too busy. During that time of house building, I got rid of chickens, and dried as many of my goats up as possible because of the time I was spending on the house. I was forced during that time to keep chores to a minimum.
    If does are not used to children, they may view them as a threat. I have seen does who raised their hair on their backs like hackles when children came around. These does would not normally hurt anyone but were afraid of the children as if they were some kind of a dog.
    However, my goats are petted daily by my grandchildren. They go freely out into the goat yard without ever being threatened.
    I did have a first freshener that I leased out a number of years ago that was obnoxious on the milk stand. She would constantly kick and move her feet up and down even when tied. I found out they had lost their temper and had beat her. When I got the doe back, I just butchered her as she was ruined. They never got another goat from me.
    Otherwise, I find out if you will just romance the first freshener, she will soon settle down into the milking routine and become a perfect lady on the stand. So far, I have not had a doe that clashed with my personality.
    Now some bucks can get a bit rowdy. I feed mine from the outside of the pen though and seldom go in with a buck. This solves a lot of problems especially during rut.
    I don't think this is a "Nubian" problem that you are having. I am not sure as to what is the cause though of their behavior.
    Are you sure they don't have rabies? :crazy
     
  14. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

    983
    0
    0
    How old is the doeling? If she is not very old then you might be able to get her to take a bottle but you will have to take her away from the mother all together. But if she is several weeks old then you might not be able to do this and will have to leave her with the mom. In that case just keep messing with her daily and as soon as she is old enough to wean then separat her from the mom. That way she will bond more with you then the mom.
    Theresa
     
  15. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    9,442
    0
    0
    I do find a difference in my Nubian's and LaMancha's in that the Nubians are more skiddish of children and for that matter any one strange. But they are not mean by anymeans.
     
  16. buckrun

    buckrun New Member

    4,246
    0
    0
    We start our little Nubs as kids on the stanchion for grain and foot exams and other care processes. They can't wait to get up there for grain by the time they are fresh. Not a Nubian problem- they just know they have won the first round.
    My herd gets milked AND raises kids because we travel with our business so I know they can adapt to that.

    Lee @ New Rocky Comfort Nubians
     
  17. backyard_farm

    backyard_farm New Member

    52
    0
    0
    I have been working with this doe,Jasmine, and she is improving somewhat. She doesn't give me as much of a hard time going to the milking stand or letting her kids nurse. I haven't let her have her way at all and have been nice and calm and when she is finished on the milkstand I give her a small treat and pet her a little. So maybe she will be ok. As far as her not liking my 6 year old, she was like this before she had kids on her. The first time he came into her pen with me she lightly butted him. Then another time he was across the room from her and she started walking toward him with her head down like she wanted to butt him. So I am still not comfortable with her even if she stops being difficult. I tried bottle feeding her doeling about a week and a half ago and gave up after she wouldn't take a bottle all day. So we are leaving her with her mom but keeping her with us as much as possible. She is my daughter's pet now and quite tame. Her buckling is my pet wether and also very loving and tame. We have been playing with them and handling since they were born.
    Now that this doe is improving, her sister Josie(my other doe) has decided to beat her sister at giving me a hard time. She is ten times worse than the Jasmine. But I am not letting her have her way at all. Last night and tonight I actually had to pick her up, first the front half of her then the back half. It took me 3 times as long to get her on the stand tonight as last night. She was determined that she wasn't going on the stand! Well it took about 30 minutes but she was on the stand. When we first got these does, Josie was the more difficult. Now she is again. I still can't figure out why these does are like this. We have never beat them or been mean, I've been consistent and all also.We were only milking for a month before they dried up so maybe that wasn't enough time . So maybe after a few more days of wrestling her on to the milkstand she will be ok. I see no signs of mastitis in either of these does either. No congestion or anything. They are holding back milk from me also. I will milk and they are not empty. So I put the kids on until they don't want to nurse anymore and each of these does feel empty.
    Thanks again for all of the helpful advice :D
    Belinda
     
  18. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

    2,730
    0
    0
    It's pretty normal for does with kids on them to hold back some of their milk for the kids. Some goats can just be difficult at times and it's good that you are being consistant with their training. My friend had a two year old FF, Arwen. She was a bottle baby, but usually a very stubborn goat. She was hard to get trained to the milk stand and even when she would stand nicely to be milked, she still balked at being led. We took her to the goat shows last summer. I cared for her at the show and when she balked at another person trying to lead her back to her pen, I took hold of her collar and she came really nicely for me. You can probably guess whose goat she is now. I've never had any problem milking her, but she sometimes gives my hubby a hard time. I guess she just picked me for her person. I'm actually looking forward to her kidding next month. Kathie
     
  19. they sound like most dam raised goats I have seen :crazy