uneven udder

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by hsmomof4, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

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    One of my does kidded yesterday. For a number of reasons, I'm leaving the kids on their mom for a little bit. Her udder seemed even when she first freshened, but since the kids have started nursing, she has been uneven. I first noticed it this am when I went out to check on them, and I thought that perhaps the kids had been favoring one side over the other and so I milked her on the one side that was very full. But it was that way again this evening, and it was the same side that was very full and the other side seemed rather empty. In fact, I was not even able to get any milk from the one side. Now, that may be me, as I am very new at this and my technique probably leaves a lot to be desired, but it still has me concerned. :help2
     
  2. homeacremom

    homeacremom New Member

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    Sounds like the kids are not touching one side. Are you going to leave the kids on her long term? Keep emptying the full side 2x a day in the meantime. If you plan to leave the kids on her indefinitely you need to take the kids away until they are hungry (or at least one) and then get it started nursing on the fuller side.
     

  3. Ashley

    Ashley Active Member

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    Yes, most likely they are favoring one side. You'll need to milk once or twice per day even with babies on her to keep the udder even. As they start to eat more, they will discover the other side :)
     
  4. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

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    I was only going to leave them on for about the first week. At least, that was the plan. I had definitely planned to milk her some even though the kids were on her...mostly for practice for me and also to get her used to it, as when she freshened the first time, the previous owners did not milk her. It's going ok, all things considered. Except when she stuck her foot in the bucket of milk tonight. Ugh. But considering that she wasn't even sure that she wanted me milking her at all, I figured it was all part of the learning process. :crazy
     
  5. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    And the problem with this is that the side you aren't milking enough and allowing to get big? It will be the side that will always have the larger teat and more size to the udder from this tightening and stretching. You have to milk does who are dairy goats, they milk more colostrum and milk than little kids need. So is it less work? Vicki
     
  6. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    When I leave kids on a doe I milk the doe out regardless both sides, twice a day she will make enough for both you and the kids.
    I used to pull the kids away at two week olds, at night and just milk in the am but found that just milking twice a day was better.
    Also by a week old your going to have problems getting those kids on a bottle. It can be done but is hard.
    Tape up the other teat so they only can nurse off the full one. is another idea.
     
  7. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

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    So if I wanted to switch the kids over to a bottle, earlier would be better? Like after just a couple of days? Or sooner? OTOH, it sounds like that might not be necessary. Though these does being kinders, they don't produce nearly the milk of a standard dairy breed....

    Vicki,
    I thought it was getting big because the kids weren't nursing off that side (and having observed them, that seems to be the case) and since they nurse nearly continuously, unless I milk her very frequently, wouldn't it be difficult to keep that side from getting big compared to the other one? Not saying that it wouldn't cause an imbalance in any case, just trying to figure out the best way to remedy it.
     
  8. Ashley

    Ashley Active Member

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    You could try taping the teat they are nursing from and encouraging them to use the other.
     
  9. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

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    The best way to keep a doe's udder from being uneven and keep the teats the same size is to pull the babies and milk her twice a day. Besides CAE prevention, this is the reason breeders pull the kids off their show goats at birth. If you plan to pull the kids anyway, it's best to pull them now. It will make the transition easier for both them and the doe. The longer you leave the kids on their dam, the more resistant they will be to taking the bottle and the more resistant she will be to being milked.
    A few years ago, I had a FF Nubian yearling who had one baby. She seemed fuller on one side, so I milked that side, assuming the kid was nursing the other. After the kid was a week old, I pulled her and put her on the bottle. It turns out the kid must have been drinking the full side and the other side was drying up. I never could get that side to go back up in production that lactation. She did not have mastitis on the low side. Next freshening, she came in to milk on both sides. What I've gleaned from all this is that if I want to be sure my does have even udders, I need to pull the kids by at least two days old. Kathie
     
  10. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

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    :yeahthat What goatkid said about the kids being resistant to the bottle. I had a kid that was dam raised and would never take a bottle. So if you are going to leave them on her but might make them bottle babies, you might want to start feeding them one bottle a day. Maybe separate them for a short time from mom so that they are hungry and then feed them the bottle and return them to mom. Also, was there a reason that you were going to leave them for a week with the mom? If you want them to be bottle babies, it is easier to start from the beganing rather then try to change them later.
    Theresa
     
  11. Ashley

    Ashley Active Member

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    Udders can be even with dam raising. Just milk twice per day. After 2 weeks I keep them from mom overnight so I can know what she is producing, and actually get a decent amount of milk. It doesn't take long and they will be eating a lot, and even being little piggies, eat all she is making!

    I wouldn't have them on mom for a week and then bottle, as it will be much harder on mom than if you just take them at birth before they bond.
     
  12. mamatomany

    mamatomany New Member

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    I'm struggling with that whole concept of taking their kids before they bond...I don't know why, maybe cuz' I'm a mom? It just seems un-natural or something. Poor mama...
     
  13. Daniel Babcock

    Daniel Babcock Member

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    I have a doe that I purchased earlier this year with two of her doeling kids. The mom had quads and the breeder left two doelings on the mom to nurse and bottled a buck and another doeling.

    One of the doelings is now 10 months old, bred and in a separate pen, I have dried mom off, and yet this doeling will still try and nurse everytime she gets out in the same pasture with her mom. To this day! :crazy

    It was so frustrating for me because the doeling would bawl all day long (for months) climb fences, and scramble through gates to get to her mom And would rob me ;) of milk every chance she could. This same doe is the least social of all of my goats. She does not come when called, does not appreciate being petted or loved by the children and runs away from people rather than coming and greeting them.

    As a mother (my wife just had our sixth Dec 4th) that bonding is wonderful. As one who raises, milks and shows goats. I want those kids bonded to me and my family! Not fighting what I am trying to do.
     
  14. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I am a mom and will raise you, I am a grand mom :)

    Either way you look at it to keep udder health consistant you have to milk, if the kids nurse or not. By milking the udder dry, both sides once or twice a day the kids are forced to drink from both sides early on. My goats don't see their kids, even then a few of mine know who their kids are...Shoofly has never picked on Tater, she would put her head through the fence and lick her even though she didn't lick her when she was born. But other than young does who do the screaming something is going on, or noise before milking time, my goats don't pine for their kids. I would have a problem with letting the kids nurse for a few days or week and then take them away, you would have one peeved mom and kids balking at drinking. I used to purchase kids in bulk and I know how hard it is to get nursing kids on bottles, you have to starve them, they won't die, they will eventually take the bottle.

    If I ever dam raised I would let the kids nurse mom for about 24 hours, then she would go on the milkstand 3 times a day and be nursed by her kids and milked out, then twice a day when the kids were big enough. This way I could glean milk off the does for soap, the kids would nurse what is left...a friend of mine did it this way, his kids were tame and his udders stayed beauiful. Course CAE was rampant back then, so tested does, with several years of tests behind them is of course a given. Vicki
     
  15. homeacremom

    homeacremom New Member

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    Well, I typed out something, but it is just what the others said. Second their opinions whole heartedly. My kids never touch the ground, and the doe doesn't sniff or lick them. I let the doe clean birth fluids of my arms and I hand bottle feed the kids for the first 48 hrs or so. The level of bonding I get with my does is wonderful for dairying. If you take good care of your doe and milk her out she will be contented.
    I've done the leave the kids on for 3 days- 2 weeks and it was hellish for the does, kids and me. If I were to leave them on the dam at all I'd leave them on until weaning. Even then those big ole doelings are hard to keep off the dam later on. Separating them is stressful. Crying does and kids. Kids that are snobbish and won't take a nipple well. Does that fight and have to be forced to cooperate with milking. Lower production because milking becomes stressful. :nooo Won't be doing that anymore!
     
  16. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice and suggestions. We got a two-fer. 1) When I went out to milk/grain her this evening, her udder was even and 2) After I milked her out, I put her in a stall separate from the babies. They'll be getting bottles from here on out.

    And my other doe had her babies today as well...two does! So that makes two does and a buck for me this season. Not too bad!
     
  17. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    I left kids on a doe last year...my first kids. I tried to wean them a week or so later. Much too stressful and I gave it up after a day. Forget it. Once the doe bonds with her kids, it's much more stressful to take them away. Taking them at birth, not letting her see them, is much more humane. She will think YOU are her kid. One of my wildish does did this. I became her kid right after their birth, while they were in the house under a heat lamp being taken care of by my son. She has been my good friend ever since and she still licks me once in awhile and takes care of me. If these goats are already on the dam, and they have bonded, I would not try and take them away....maybe seperate them at night so you can milk in the morning, but stress levels in both the goats AND you will be high if you try and take them away for good and bottle them now.
    Anita
     
  18. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

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    After a nearly 24 hour hunger strike with the babies, we decided it would just be easier to leave them on her until weaning. I was afraid with them being only 2 days old and getting no fluids at all, that we could be in for trouble. Probably they would eventually have gotten hungry enough to take a bottle, and maybe it was stressing ME out more than them, but there it is. There wasn't as much crying as I expected (some from mom, hardly any from the babies) they just absolutely refused to take a bottle, and I tried both a caprine nipple and a pritchard nipple. Next time, I will just take the babies right away and be done with it. Lesson learned.

    But I am milking the doe twice a day, and we are handling the babies a lot. The milking is going pretty well, I think, considering that these does (another kidded two days after the first) were not really milked before and I am new to milking. I've just got to figure out how not to squirt milk up my sleeve! :O
     
  19. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Lesson number 1 in goats is: you can't let them win. You failed your first test, you let them win :) No they would not have starved themselves, they were just testing to see if you would cave :) Think of it like not raising goats, but raising 3 year olds! They are alot smarter than you think they are. Vicki
     
  20. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    yep I have squirted milk in thier mouth, syringed milk in their mouth ever hr for 2 or 3 days until they finally grabbed on and started sucking. It isn't easy but they will eventuallly take hold.