I have a doe (kidded this past Friday) that is very reluctant to have her udder touched (she's in pain... probably congested udder from what I've been told here... we handled her udder regularly before she kidded and she'd been milked before, so this is a new thing). Whenever I try to get anywhere near that side of her udder, she kicks at me. I've read that I need to milk her out completely... but so far the only way we've been able to milk her is by having 2 adults hold her down on the ground, and a 3rd one milking. (This won't work for us because my DH is gone most the time, and having a 3rd adult available to help was a one-time thing).
So, it's just me that can work on her most the time. I'm 7 months pregnant so I'm not particularly agile or able to wrestle a 130-lb goat right now (I know, I know... great timing, huh?)
Is there anything that 1 person can do to get a goat to hold still while being milked? We do not even have a milking stand right now- these kids were a total surprise!- but I am going to nag DH to get me one built A.S.A.P. (Tomorrow, if I can convince him that it's more urgent than the milking shed he just started working on). Do they make squeeze chutes in a goat size?
Obviously on the milkstand is out of the question for now...so I will tell you what I had to do with a first lactater last year. Tie the does head as high as you can, which restricts her movement....stick your hip into her hip and lean down, difficult when pregnant, maybe someone else can do it....and milk her, probably one teat at a time.
With her head tied high she will not have the moveability so when you pin her against a wall in the stall it will make it easier....at least for two people anyway. Good luck....once you have milked for a week or so she will realize what a relief she feels and will be more co-operative.
Rose's info is good. I used to tie down both back legs of uncooperative milkers. If you could perhaps position the goat between a fence and an upright post, you could tie each hind leg (one to the fence and one to the post). You could use some sort of wide webbing strap or soft rope; some have even used baling twine! You don't want the ropes/band tied tight enough to cut off circulation, but securely enough to HOLD her. Of course, her head will have to be restrained as well.
I can understand how difficult this is for you in your condition, and hope you find the solution that works for you. Believe me, the doe SHOULD come around in time - hopefully a short time.
Sending you positive energy and good thoughts for you and your doe. Good luck! Wish I had more help for you.
It took my goat a while...I tried to have lots of goodies in her bucket, once we progressed to the milkstand...lots of cut up apple and carrot and carrot tops. I sold her once she was milking well....I am really fussy with my milkers and dont keep anyone that I think will pass their bad behaviour down the line. I was milking 7 at the time and it either ruined the start of of the milking or the end...grrrr.
I have a doe that is a very persistand kicker and a heavy milker. I friend told me about her method and I find it to work quite nicely. Your DH must build a stand, I don't care if he has to stay up all night to do it either! (grin)
Make a slip knot in a soft rope, and attach it to the rear legs of the stand so the doe is slightly spread. (standing like for show is good.) she still kicks, but can no longer get me or the bucket. My kicker is milking at least a gallon a day. I put the slit knot just above her hoof, that pastern / ankle area. The ropes we are using are actually llama / alpaca lead ropes. The horse ones are harder to make work, and a typical dog leash is flat and may be dificult. I am sure you could find something suitable to use, but you need a stand.
Oh, before I learned the rope thing, I milked her from behind with my right hand and I would hold her left foot bent at the pastern and sort of twisted towards the other leg. It sounds worse than it was, I did not torture her! It made it uncomfortable for her to kick though. It was a pain in the butt. You need a stand.
In the many goats I (and before that, my my parents) have had, I have come across a darn few who did not settle down to be milked in a short amount of time. Even this darn one is getting better.
Once you get the stand built and are able to get her up on it. That might just be another tug of war for the both of you and being expecting youself..be very careful please. I would milk her 3 to 4 x's a day. If you are not able to milk her out completely in the Am and Pm..Or..where are her kids. Can you still let them nurse on her and then she wouldn't be so full when you maybe milk her at night. I would check and see if she has any cuts on her udder from the kids milking or anything bothering her physically during milking. But..yes..I have also milked a goat while she was laying on the ground. I wish I had some vidoes of some of the "fun" I have had in the barn over the past 30 years...Ah...Country Life !!
Helena, she absolutely will not allow her kids to nurse on that side, which is why I have to milk her out. I could try to hold the kids up to her to feed, but it would still require me to have her legs restrained so she doesn't kick them. She has an extra teat (I know, I know) about 2" away from her "real" teat, and the kids keep trying to nurse on that... we've tried to get them to feed on the real teat and they won't do it. And she's engorged or congested or something which is causing so much pain that she doesn't want to be touched at all.
I couldn't get DH to work on a milkstand today... he spent his day building a feed storage room. Where are that man's priorities? He has a large rip in his favorite shirt, and scratches and bruises all over his back (from her horns) from trying to hold her down last night so I could milk her!
Have you tried holding the leg firmly (tight ) just above the hock while you milk with one hand the side that is sore. If you grip above the hock she can't actually move that much but you ARE in a position to gradually relax it as she behaves, and then tighten again if she acts up?
Last night I tried holding her ankle but that didn't help, maybe tonight I can try holding the leg above the hock. Had to lay her down again last night... at least she isn't struggling as much now as she was before!
Whinny, this situation SHOULD get better as the two of you cobble a routine together. Hang in there, be careful, and don't give up. Good Luck! (I'm working on a new "rodeo milker" myself right now . . . )
Last edited by nehimama; 05/15/08 at 10:44 AM.
Reason: too many exclamation points!
Hold her leg above the knee. YOu will feel the tendon on the back of the leg. If you hold this tight she can't kick forward because she can't bend. I have done this with many kickers. Milk with the other hand.