Am I going crazy?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by dcdalton, May 15, 2006.

  1. dcdalton

    dcdalton Active Member

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    First off I am disappointed in all of you. I posted a message about a week ago saying that we had some new goats. Not a single one of you warned me about how entertaining and fun the little critters can be :) . They are the greatest little creatures.

    Now for my actual serious (kind of) question. Our goat has been avoiding us when we try to milk her. Today she ran away from my wife, out the gate, around the yard, back into the gate and around her pen. It finally took both of us to catch her. Once I had a hold of her collar though she trotted right along beside me without any problems. She jumped right up on the milk stand and was fine. She fights a little bit when we are milking her but since we have only been doing it a week I don't think it is to bad. She is normally fine until her grain is gone.

    Here is my question, is she actually fighting us or is she just playing games with the clumsy two legged humans?
     
  2. nduetime

    nduetime I am a Christian American Supporter

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    Just like our kids, they like to test us. At least that is what it seems like to me. She probably knows the routine by now and knows when you come for her, she is going to get milked. If she is new at it, it may be a bit uncomfortable at first. So...maybe she is trying to avoid you.

    Isn't it hard to get chores done when all the babies are out leaping and playing? I could watch them for hours and have to drag myself away to get everything done. I love animals that make me laugh right out loud.
     

  3. cowgirlracer

    cowgirlracer Well-Known Member

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    Testing is it exactly. She is trying to assert her will, and defy you. In humans we call it the "terrible two's". Just make sure that milking is an enjoyable experience for her and she will come around - it might be the next freshening, but she'll come around.

    Anne
    Cowgirlracer
     
  4. dcdalton

    dcdalton Active Member

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    Thanks for the responses. She is very cooperative and does very well once we get her by the collar. They are very fun to watch and to play with.
     
  5. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    Is the milking stanchion the only place you feed her grain? If not, it needs to be. My girls will fight to get to that stanchion, because they know it is where they get grain. I have one doe that is sometimes a little difficult, but mostly if my son is out there. She seems to have a special dislike for him.
     
  6. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    We wanted it to be a surprise. :rolleyes:

    I second the suggestion - feed her grain only on the milkstand. I've got two that have never been milked, but if they get the chance, up they go. One of them was due to kid Sunday (nothing yet - sigh), so that's been very handy for "training" her, and inspecting her when necessary. None of mine wear a collar, I've never had a problem catching the "big" girls. The Nigerians are much wilder, but they are also horned, so I don't dare leave collars on them.

    We don't watch TV - if I want entertaining, I go out to the barn and watch the Goat Channel. :baby04:
     
  7. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Hi David! You know, it might just be that she figures you have no right to the milk. I was there when she kidded, and let her lick birth fluid off my hands, which makes me a kind of surrogate kid. I imagine she's still not so sure she wants to "adopt" you, too! All I can suggest is to try to make milking as "special" for her as you can. That pretty much involves food. Before and after, if not during as well. Her grain should be ready for her to dive into the moment she gets on the stand. Instant gratification! And a handful and a pet afterward wouldn't be a bad idea. Or maybe keep some special treats (salted peanuts in the shell are nice) that she gets for coming in. Her dam was EXTREMELY motivated by food, so I suspect there's a hidden glutton in there somewhere just waiting for that extra treat!

    Also, if she looks like she's getting ready to sprint instead of coming in to get milked, get the grain pan, put some grain in it, and shake it a bit. Walk toward her until you figure you're close enough that she's about to run off, then stop and let her come to you. Give her a bite and take her collar. Don't grab for it, just reach over kind of slowly. Then lead her to the stand, giving her a bite or two on the way.

    Another thing you might try, although I've never done it, is this. When finished milking, get some milk on your hands and offer a handful of grain, making sure she can smell the milk. That might convince her to adopt you more quickly. Usually does are reluctant to adopt until after they smell their own milk leftovers on the kid's rear end, if you know what I mean. I don't think that will work for you, so this is the next best thing I can think of! I have no idea if it will help, but if you try it and it does, let us know, OK?

    I'm glad you're enjoying them!
     
  8. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    You have gotten good advice.

    Grain on the milkstand only. Make her WANT to go to it. Remember: Milking is Fun! Just convince her of that!

    We have a strict routine we never break and the goats love it. We do everything exactly the same each time and they thrive. Go out the gate the same way, in the same order, with the same rope, to the same side of the milkstand, etc. After milking, always an apple slice when they hop off, one at the half-way mark back to the pen and two when they get in the pen, Always.

    My milkers are so into their routine, I open the gate and they run and hop onto the milkstand and put their head through the hole, then I catch up and close the 'headholder' and start my milking routine. When they finish their feed, they wait for me to finish milking. Yours will be better after a while, don't give up. Sometimes it takes them a while to adapt.
     
  9. dcdalton

    dcdalton Active Member

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    Thanks for the advise guys. We have only been feeding her on the milk stand. This morning we had no difficulties at all. She came over to the gae and waited for us to open it and take her over.

    The next thing that we need to do is figure out how to wean her kid. I think he is about eight weeks old but if he is still in the pen with her he tries to nurse. By the way, he is a wether (did I spell that right?) so them being in the same pen is not an issue.
     
  10. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Yes, "wether" is the correct spelling for a castrated goat. What is the purpose for the wether? Meat, pet, companion to a buck? i have two wethers still nursing my milker at 9 weeks old, 24 hours a day. We are going to butcher them if someone does not buy them for meat this weekend. They are not separated right now because of my pen situation. We are a bit behind on fence building. So they are still with momma full time. My doelings are being bottle fed and will get milk far longer than 8 weeks, perhaps 14-16 weeks, so they will grow out nicely. 8 weeks is too early to wean if you want really large kids. But wethers are another thing. So determine their purpose. they are money losers if you are not careful.

    I am glad your doe is doing so well with her training. Good for you. She should get better and better, they are very intelligent animals and thrive on routine. Do it the same everytime.
     
  11. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    I did not answer your question on how to wean the kid. Separate him for the night and let him nurse during the day so he doesn't keep his momma up all night trying to nurse, it will exhaust her. keep alfalfa pellets/hay out for him, or what ever you are weaning him on. he needs the calcium, that is what is in milk. I use alfalfa pellets and nothing else as far as feed goes, no grain for bucks or wethers, causes urinary calculi. . Also, clean water, goat minerals and grass hay...browse if possible. if he is far away he will holler as goats need company. He will try to nurse through the fence if he is too close. he can stop nursing cold turkey, but gradual is better. folks have different opinions on this.