First Week Milking Questions

Discussion in 'Goats' started by oldpaths, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. oldpaths

    oldpaths Well-Known Member

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    Jun 27, 2004
    Location:
    NJ
    Hello to Everyone,

    After waiting a year for our kids to grow up and have their own, we got our first baby this week. Unfortunately, we had a buck and are not going to be able to keep him, but we are excited nonetheless.

    All this excitement has been somewhat subdued with all my milking problems. Maybe they aren’t problems at all, but I just don’t realize that yet.

    We have American Alpines and our girl’s teats are so small it’s a job just to get a hold of them. It was suggested that we allow the kid to milk one side while we milk out the other since he will only be with us for 4 weeks. So, I know I won’t be getting all the milk but it just seems so little right now.

    It took me 45 minutes to extract about ¾ of a quart. Would that be about right or am I not getting enough out? I am concerned she will dry up if I’m not getting enough out. She had the kid on Wednesday afternoon so I think this was our first real milk. I only got small amounts of Colostrum up until now, which I froze for the future if needed.

    Any advice in milking would be greatly appreciated. We are holding the kid in front of her in the stanchion and have taken to playing classical music in hopes of calming her down. Right now this is a family affair… we are probably the laughing stock of the neighborhood!
     
  2. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Maryland
    We are getting about 3 pounds, two days after freshening from our Lamancha. But she doesn't have a kid on her. By about a week, we should be getting about 1/2 gallon at each milking. Your doe's milk will increase over the next few weeks, but having the kid on her will effect that.

    If you're only keeping him 4 weeks and he's going somewhere else to be bottlefed, you might do better by bottlefeeding him now. It will give you a better idea of how her milking will be. She won't be holding milk back from you for her kid. I dunno. Just a thought.
     

  3. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Location:
    NC
    I'm milking two first freshener American Alpines this year, too, although they're both 2 year-olds.

    Truly has small teats that are hard to grab, and less capacity. Tish has amazing capacity, and much bigger and easier to grab teats. Truly has trouble letting her milk down. Tish hands it to me. You'd have trouble believing these two does are twins.

    Both girls had twins last week, which I'm leaving on the moms. So, I am only taking 'extra' milk, and only in the mornings. Normally, I'd be shutting the kids away from the does at night, starting at about two weeks old, so I could take the morning milk, and leave them the rest. But this year, it's just me using the milk, so I'm thinking I'm not going to.

    Taking the 'extra' like this means I'm getting about a quart a day from Tish, and a couple spoonsful from Truly. Still, I put Truly on the stand, and work with her on letting down that little bit of milk. She's better already. So, as the kids need less, I'll be able to take more, and keep production up. Even if I'm not using it this year, I will be next year, so don't want them to have too short a lactation.

    On the small teated does, I've found it easier to hold my index finger up out of the way, and use the other three fingers to milk. It seems to give me a bit better grip on the teat. You do have to be careful not to squeeze udder like that, though.

    Good luck with your doe, and have fun.

    Meg
     
  4. oldpaths

    oldpaths Well-Known Member

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    Jun 27, 2004
    Location:
    NJ
    Thank you for the information on what is happening with Truly. You described my problems with Mirabelle to a tee. That is exactly what I am dealing with in milking her.

    I will keep working with her twice a day and see if she won't improve a little. I noticed tonight after I milked, massaged, milked, massaged…etc and got, what I thought was everything possible out of her, she went back to the pen and ‘the little buck’ managed to get a whole lot more out.

    Could it be that she is just not letting down for me and waiting for him? If so, what can I do to fix that? Will I just have to wait until 4 weeks when he goes to his new home?

    Also, I understand you are suppose to get the temperature down on the milk as quickly as possible. I've just been sticking in the door of my freezer until it cools down then moving it to the refrigerator. Is that okay to do?