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Alright, now what? Went down to the barn to find Lightning's milk appears to be coming in. She was waaaaaay lopsided and we thought it was time to try out the milkstand. We've been milking her twice a day just in her pen.

She is NOT interested. She let us lead her over...she wanted the bucket full of food. But she would not get "up" for it. She would eat it if I set the bucket on the stand. Then I tried to lift the bucket a bit so she'd get the idea. No go. I tried to gently pull her collar the direction I wanted her to go. Nope. I tried to lift her front end to help her front two feet up. NO WAY!!!

I just gave up and milked her in the pen again. I knew you guys would have some good advice. What's the best way to train a FF on the milkstand?

Dee
 

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I will try to describe how I do this .I get them to the stand and all ready have the grain in the feed pan on the stand.I place the front feet on the stand and swoop my right arm up between the back legs to lift the rear end up in one quick motion. once up there I push head through the head gate and lock in .It will be scary for some but once they are up ther they find the feed, It will take their mind off of the rest.Unless they run out in the meantime.
whem Iam done I unlock the head and have hold of the collar and say down over and over tugging the collar untill they jump down and put back through the gate and say go, after a few times they get the hang of it and they are trained. I call each goat by name and the goat I call comes to the gate to be milked.I do the same thing every time and in the same order they like repitition.
 

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Dee the best tool in your arsenal is food. Realizing you have tried the food method, well in my opinion you need to keep trying. Milk her beside the milk stand if necessary, just to get her used to seeing the stand and the surroundings. Goats are very routine oriented and habits are hard to break. I personally would force her on the stand, granted you may need help depending on her strength and size, plus your strength and size. The routine must be broken or the goat wins, they are very intelligent. Find help or whatever it takes to persuade her forcefully into a daily milking routine.
Quick story relating to your post. I always milk one of my Nubian does in the morning. Well yesterday she looked full and I decided to get what I could from her in the evening too. Well she screamed bloody murder not understanding why her routine was broken. No problem milking her but each time I left the milking room she went bonkers, she never even touch her grain. Routines are what goats live for….end of story.
 

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Yep, what she said. I don't give them a choice.

If you need to, use a leash to keep her head stretched up toward the stand (you can tie it to a wall, fence, or to the stand so that you can use both hands), pick up her front end and haul it up there, tighten the leash so she can't back down.

Give her a little grain in your hand and talk nicely to her. Put a full dish of grain in the milking stand where she would be eating it, it will probably be just out of her reach. Rifle through it with your hands and give her a tiny nibble of it so she'll know it's there. Now she's tempted.

Then heave her back end up onto the stand and tighten the leash so she can't hop down. Now she'll want to reach around the stanchion and take the grain- don't let her.

Reach your hand through the part you want her to stick her head into, with a handful of grain and get her eating it. Then move the hand slightly away from her and towards the bowl until her head is through. Latch the head gate and tell her how good she is.

It's really important, because she is a first freshener, to be very nice to her even if she acts like a moron. I don't mean you have to be a pushover, but try really hard not to yell at her or shout or hit her or anything. The goal is to make the experience as positive as it can be.

And once you pick a battle- milking her, trying to get her onto the stand, etc, don't ever back down. If you let them laern that they have a choice when they act bad, they will walk all over you, just like kids!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow. O.K., so I guess we'll try harder in the morning. I wasn't sure if I should force her up or entice her with food and hope she'd do it on her own. I know I can't lift her up myself. She probably weighs almost as much as I do, but I can be strong if I need to. LOL! I don't know how much a newly freshened nubian weighs...I'm about 125-130 or so. But if my 11 year old holds her leash tight I might be able to get her front feet up and then tighten it more to get her back end up. I was afraid to do that b/c we were trying that in a way just holding her collar. She was acting like she was choking. She was trying to pull backward so hard. We'll keep trying. Milking her next the the milkstand is better than what we did. She won tonight. We'll have to not repeat that. They are clever little buggers in that way!

Thanks for the advice. We'll see how it goes in the morning.

Dee
 

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Keep us in the loop, get her on the stand. Keep her there even after you finish milking, she needs to feel confortable. But stay with her if you have the time, brush her and show her it's cool to be on the milking stage.....talk again tomorrow.
 

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Lastly, put all your goats on the stand at early ages, for hoof trimming, brushing, touching, rubbing or whatever. Later this practice will pay big dividends during daily milkings.
 

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Be powerful. No other option exists.
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One thing we found to help is to have the goat approach from the end of the stand, not the side.
 

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Lastly, put all your goats on the stand at early ages, for hoof trimming, brushing, touching, rubbing or whatever. Later this practice will pay big dividends during daily milkings.
I have never done any of those on the stand. I don't want mine to associate the milk stand with something bad like hoof trimming. I have never taken longer than 3 days to break a FF to the stand. Once you have her front feet up, grab her tail & they will usually jump right up with that. It will take a day or 2 for her to realize that the stand means food & relief from a full udder.
 

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why hide it?
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First fresheners can be goofy.

It usually takes mine a week to get it together on the stand. I push, pull, carry, force them up there, whatever it takes, twice a day til they know what to do. They get no feed anywhere else. I brush and love on them. The milking is strange to them til they realize it feels good to have that pressure relieved. Just stick with it, don't give up whatever it takes. If you do give up, they win. Once the habit of the milkstand sinks in their brain, they will just hop up there for their meal.

I do all my hoof trimming and shots and goat care on the stand. Mine are used to it. But not til they are old and wise. FF are just loved on til they learn the ropes and then later they get their goat care on the stand.
 

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with my FF I would have to literally haul her up on the stand. I would put a short leash on her and walk up onto the stand, from the end, and drag her up there. She weighs nearly as much as I do, so it was tough. A couple of times my 13 year old DS had to push while I pulled. Then I had to start tyeing her legs down so she didnt kick me to pieces bucking (decided to do that after a couple of nasty bruises. After about a month she hops up there no problem, but we still have to tie the back legs. All a routine I guess. But she only tries kicking one leg now, so I know we have made progress. I actually started working with her about a month before her due date. I would get her after I milked the other girls and tell her it was time for her "milk stand lessons" and let her eat while I tried to touch the udder etc.. (she HATED it very much!!)
Now things are going so much better, I pet and praise her and scratch her in her favorite places while she finishes up her grain at milking time.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, we got her up on the stand twice today. Whew! It took me and both older boys (ages 11 and 8), but we did it. I think I finally have it figured out.

The 8 year old held the grain up on the stand. But, as it turns out she was not enticed at ALL. Not until she was locked in did she show interest in the food. Anyway.....I got her front legs up pretty easily. But then I reached under her belly to lift up her back end.......she splayed her back legs out and layed down on the stand. I thought she was going to damage her udder--it was right on the end edge of the stand. She did this three times until I figured out not to grab under her belly, but to left her legs. I grabbed ahold right where both legs meet the body and lifted and she went up much easier.

The only thing I can't figure out is how to initially get her close enough to lift her front legs and move her up farther without choking her. She pulls back so hard she is gagging. Like I said, she doesn't go for the grain bucket at all. I hate pulling her so hard by the leash. I'm afraid I'll hurt her or really choke her.

She'll get it, though. Once she's up there she's a doll. Not one kick. Well, one...but more of a step. And she didn't get it in the milk. Not that we can drink it yet, anyway. Yuck! It's the sixth day and still yucky. Anyway......she's already better behaved up there than my 7 year old cranky Kinder!

Dee
 

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I hope I don't have problems getting Jill to go back to the milking stand. I've been milking her on the front porch since my foot has been swollen. She has learned the routine and when DS lets her out of the pen she comes to the front door at milking time. When my foot heals and I can go to the barn again, I may have to come back to the front porch and lead her back to the barn and the milking stand. Normally she jumps right up on it, ready to chow down and get milked, but now I've changed her routine. :(
 

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I had to smile at your title, even before I read your post.

I have had many back aches, "helping" those FF's that did not want to get up on the stand.

I always made sure they had feed in the bucket before attempting to get them on the stand. I have wood stands that my husband built. I find the best approach is for me to put their front legs on the stand and then stand on the stand myself. I gently pull them by the collar onto the stand, then guide their head to the feed. Or, if they are small enough, I lift up their back legs and make them stand on the stand, however, I find that dangerous. If they fall on that concrete floor they really could get seriously injured.

It took 3 weeks for one of my FF's to get comfortable on the milkstand, 2 weeks for another. Normally it takes just a few days.

It is best to start them out as early as possible, just feed them on the stand whether they are in milk or not. But those young ones, at least from what I have experienced, are normally terrified!

Once they get used to eating and being milked on the stand, even if you stop putting them on the stand for a while, they tend to hop right up there when they know they are going to get fed.
 

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LOL...I physically pick them up, push them, etc so they are standing on the milk stand.
Once on the stand they see the bucket of food...oooo apples, carrots etc....once I start to milk them, usually really really full, they have a wonderful sense of relief and think ok this aint that bad. They usually muck up when I am getting the last little bit out and I have learnt to get the full bucket out the way and get the last bit out just anywhere....lost too many a bucket full cos of feet in buckets....we are about to start kidding down here in Oz and I have 2 Goatlings I will be doing this with in a months time. grrrrr fun fun fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks, for your help everyone. It really helps.

Lightning actually got up on the stand without me having to lift her today. :) She is still a bit scared and I had to block her and pull at her a bit...but she did it. And yes, I have also learned to start holding the bucket up about 3/4 of the way done with her. I have to do that on occasion with my tempermental old mama Kinder, too.

But she's doing good.....now if I can't get the last yuckiness taste out of the milk we'll be set to go.

Dee
 

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Just found this thread. MamaDee - how is your FF doing now?

I'll tell you a story of my favorite junior does (I picked her out as a 2-week-old kid and loved her from that moment on but she had already been reserved by a friend). This little sweetie has "fake milking" time. Her owner has been doing it basically since she as weaned and brought home. At the fair, she had the then 6-month-old go up on the milkstand for a bit of grain and then the owner acted like she was milking, by gently handling the teats in a rhythmic motion. This little girl RUNS for the milkstand! She BARGES to the front of the stall to be the first one on it! When I have kids, this is EXACTLY what I'm going to do with all of them.

By the way, this little girl took Reserve Junior Champion at back-to-back shows at the Fair this year.

Wendy - what's bad (to the goat) about hoof trimming???
 

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All my young 'uns get treated to the milkstand for grain, skritches and lovin' well before they'll ever be milked. And, yes, I do hoof trimming, innoculations and worming there as well. They seem to remember the grain and the skritches & lovin' the most.

Starting milking, however, is a whole 'nother story - 'til they get used to it :)

Nowadays, every single one of my goats wants to jump up on the milkstand whenever they see it - LOL!

NeHi
 
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