Dairy Goat question

Discussion in 'Goats' started by 6e, May 4, 2006.

  1. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    OK, this is the situation....I'm due to have a baby this month and my midwife wants to start labor on the 15th. That is the only day she has available. The problem? We have two LaMancha's that are due to freshen on the 15th. But no one will be here to take the baby's away and start them on bottles and to start milking the does. I've heard of the once a day milking letting the baby goats also nurse off the doe, if we do this do the baby goats still have to be given a bottle and exactly how does this work? Would we let the babies nurse during the day and then pen them away at night and then milk the doe in the morning before turning the babies back in with them? I'd hate to just give this opportunity up and wait till next year to get the milk, but I know I'm not going to feel like going out and milking for at least a week. Does anyone have any ideas about how we might be able to work this? :shrug:
     
  2. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people seem to be doing this -- I've tried it once (this year) and it didn't work for me, but it may just be my goat.

    What you do is leave the babies on momma for the first two to three weeks. Then you start taking them away at night, and milk momma in the morning, then put the babies back with her for the day. If momma is willing to let you milk her, it is a great idea. I wouldn't try it with a first freshener, though. I think they get really confused as to what's going on. My doe (first freshener) took three weeks to even *sometimes* stand to be milked. Her kids are now ten weeks old, and have been removed to be weaned, and she will STILL fight being milked sometimes. Like I said, it may just be her -- this is the only time I've ever done this -- but if you are going to do it, I suggest doing it with does that already know about being hand milked!

    Kathleen
     

  3. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    Well, that does create a problem as one is a first time freshner and the other one has been milked before, but still kicks when you mess with her udder. I figured it was going to be a fight with them anyway. The middle of this month just couldn't be any more complicated than it is!
     
  4. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I do it all the time. Don't milk for the first week or so, leaving kids with mom so they can get to know each other and she can get over the udder congestion, etc. Milk her out a bit if she's over full. After a week or so, separate kids at night and milk in the morning, then leave kids with mom during the day. Some first fresheners are buttheads on the milkstand, some are a little confused, and some are just fine. I've had it all ways, but mostly just fine. People who bottle feed seem to have the same type of experiences with first fresheners. I think it's much more a question of the individual goat than anything else.

    It helps a lot if you've already trained them to get on the milkstand and have their udder area handled before they kid, but if you haven't, you'll probably still be OK, just need a bit more patience. I plan to throw away the milk from the first week or two milking a first freshener, because I know she's likely to do something dumb like put her foot in it. Planning on not getting anything useable just makes it easier on both of us.
     
  5. JR05

    JR05 Well-Known Member

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    I also have been doing the once a day milking for about 5 years now. Everybody seems to adjust to the change ok. I have 4 1st fresheners this year and I put them in the stanchion with one of the older girls to "show them the ropes" per say. after about a week of fighting ,screaming and jumping (them!) they have settled down nicely. With the older ones acting up usually a thump on the rump usually settle them down to business. I also wait after the 1st or 2nd week so the kids bond and get all the colostum they need. About that time you should also have your schedule in place with your new little one so good luck!

    P.S. When we put the kids up we give them calf or foal feed and some in the morning.Its easier to put them away at night if they know they are going to get fed.

    JR05
     
  6. goatmarm

    goatmarm Well-Known Member

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    Whether or not you leave kids with the dam for the first two weeks will not determine the reaction of your first freshening doe to being milked. Train her to the get up in the stand to get her meals NOW, before kids, and handle her udder while she is eating. She will learn that despite her bouncing around, you WILL touch her udder, and she only gets her grain when in the stand.
    Be sure to offer the kids their warm water and grain before letting everybody back together. You do not have to offer any bottles to the kids at any time. If you are concerned about them getting enough milk, especially in the morning, you can start by having the kids nurse off the doe while she is in the stand. Allowing the kids to nurse a bit gets the doe to "let down her milk" if that seems to be an issue. If you do not let the kids have first dibs in the morning, don't milk the doe out completely, leave some for the kids as they will pounce mom when they all go out together. I will check the doe again in the evening when the kids are being seperated for the night to make sure both halves of the udder are even, and milked out for the night. Sometimes the kids will prefer one side, leaving a lopsided udder. Kids get their warm water and grain again at night. Also, if they kids and doe can see/touch each other through the stalls fencing, they will settle down much faster at night and accept the routine. You will have a lot of hoarse goats(from calling for each other) if they are so seperated that they can't see each other. They will panic, wouldn't you.
     
  7. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    Thank you so much for all the advice! I was really worrying over this as the timing was pretty much out of my hands. That puts my mind at ease. I'm going to go ahead and start working with the doe's now, although I suspect they'll still be a bit of a pain for awhile. This should work out well.
    Thanks again.
     
  8. April Rain

    April Rain Well-Known Member

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    A midwife with only one day available to attend your birth??? How disturbing. I'd rather go into labor naturally than be induced on someone's schedule, even if they aren't available. Aren't midwives supposed to do better than doctor/hospital care?
    I wish you the best of labors and hope all goes well for you. Maybe you're a pro at this and are undaunted!
    Good luck!
     
  9. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    Actually, this is the first time I've had a midwife and the first time I'll attempt "natural childbirth". (and I'm scared to death, but I HATE hospitals!) The reason she does not want to wait until labor comes naturally is because by my due date, which is the 18th, the baby will be approaching 10 pounds and I'm always late, which will make the baby even bigger and I think my being a first time with no pain killers, a large baby is just going to make it that much harder on me. She's going to induce naturally using prostoglandins. I've never had one and I am nervous that it will make labor harder, but she says they use the smallest dose and that other women that have had it say that it is just like regular labor. I'm already dialated to 3 and I have contractions all the time, they just can't get going. I'm praying the baby comes on it's own before then. I'll probably die of stress long before next Sunday anyway! LOL I'm a real nervous norvous and anticipating next weekend is making me a nervous wreck. She is an excellent midwife and she's very calm, that should help.
     
  10. April Rain

    April Rain Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you'll do great. With the big baby and it being right near your due date there's no harm done if you take it easy with the type of induction. Midwives are usually great. I've had 5 homebirth kids, 2 with midwives and 3 with just my husband and maybe my friend. The midwife was with another woman during my last birth! It is completely natural and usually works out just following your intuition. Be at peace, you're going to love a homebirth!
     
  11. Raftercat5

    Raftercat5 Kathy in S. Carolina

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    6e: Best of luck to your delivery on the 15th, and on your goat's delivery also! You'll be busy thinking up names for all the babies, 2-footed and 4-footed too! Let us know after it's all over!
    - Kathy
     
  12. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    Thank you very much! The two footed variety is already named: Her name will be Autumn Rose. That brings our count to 3 girls and 2 boys and our 3rd May birthday. We now have a birthday May 13th, this one maybe May 15th and May 26th.
    We'll try to post pictures of all babies after they're born. The 4 legged variety are LaMancha/Nubian cross. Hope they're all girls.
    Thanks again.
     
  13. toomb68

    toomb68 Well-Known Member

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    just curious....why are midwivwes supposed to do better than doctors or hospitals?
     
  14. April Rain

    April Rain Well-Known Member

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    In reply to the midwife questions, there are many reasons why midwifery care is supposed to be better than doctor/hospital care. Many studies have demonstrated this and I won't trouble y'all to list them here. There is available research easily found on the internet if you need more info.
    My specific point in that comment was that when you have a doctor and go to a hospital in labor, you really don't know who will be attending you because "your doctor" might not happen to be on call when you are! Also, many doctors induce women and/or perform C-sections based on the doctor's personal schedule, among other poor reasons, and regardless of the effect this has on women, their births, and the infants.
    There are legitimate reasons for each of those medical interventions (or interferences), but these reasons are not the primary use by today's medical community.
    Just think to the goats, birth is a completely natural process designed by God and usually goes off without a hitch if done in a peaceful, nonintervention atmospere.
     
  15. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    April:
    Do you know anyone who has their labor started with prostaglandins? Do you know if they make labor harder like Pitocin does? I'm just curious as I've had the Pitocin deal done but I've never even heard of using a prostaglandin gel.
     
  16. April Rain

    April Rain Well-Known Member

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    I'll pm you since some of the info I can share might be a little personal for this board!
     
  17. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    good luck on the baby (2 legged)

    also, it doesn't matter if you separate at night or during the day-it is easier for me to leave the babies w/mama at nite, separate in the am, and milk in the pm-less to do before work. they grow just fine. supplemented the first couple weeks w/a noon bottle, that's it. i had one first freshener that jumped and danced on the stand for months. 6 of them. but i needed the milk, so i dealt with it-i got good at milking a moving udder-she stopped out of the blue one day-just finally gave up. enjoy and don't stress over the situation.
     
  18. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Just FYI, I like to milk the doe out completely in the morning. That way when the kids jump on her, there's nothing there for them. They have to wait and take little sips throughout the day. They learn this quickly and don't hit her so desperately in the mornings.