flecks of blood in milk/milking technique

Discussion in 'Goats' started by citygoatwoman, May 3, 2005.

  1. citygoatwoman

    citygoatwoman Member

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    i realize this question has been asked before, i am still a bit confused though. i have been hand milking my pygmy doe for a month now, after she lost both of her kids at birth (very sad). this is my first time ever milking a goat, and it has been a learn-as-i-go experience. the milk is pure white, though this morning when i filtered it i noticed 3 tiny flecks of red left in the filter. when i scratched the flecks, a little trail of red indicated to me that it was indeed blood. she has no signs of mastitis, no lumps, no hot spots. i wasn't expecting this now, after a month of milking. i wonder if my milking technique is all wrong. i've read that you're not supposed to pull on the teat or slide down the teat, only squeeze with thumb, forefinger and middle finger. well that, for me, has been downright impossible. i have to slide down the teat a bit, other wise it would take me two hours to milk her! i was, up until about a week ago, using milk to lubricate my fingers a bit to keep from tugging on her teat uncomfortably- then i finally stumbled upon some info that said that was a big NO NO, so i'm using a pure lanolin salve (actually designed for nursing humans) to provide a bit of lubrication.
    any advice much appreciated, i'm getting pretty frustrated here...
    erin in oregon
     
  2. eggladyj

    eggladyj Well-Known Member

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    I wish I could give you some advice on the flecks of blood but I haven't had much experience with that so I'll leave that to others in the know.

    What I do have experience with is milking a Pygmy! Boy, they sure have tiny teats and it takes some work to get them going without hurting the poor girl. They way I have found to work rather well without having to pull on the teat is to only use the thumb and index fingers when milking. What you do is tuck the part of the teat closest to the udder in the natural crease of your thumb and hand, then wrap the index finger around the teat going under the thumb then just squeeze and release. If you feel the need to use the middle finger as well only use the tip and press the teat against the meaty part of your thumb/hand. What I have found to work well with mine is to alternate between teats every 5-10 squeezes so they don't get so sore while milking and also some massaging durring the process wont hurt a bit. Hope this helps your milking out some!
    Jeannine
     

  3. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    yep , two fingers in a pinching motion works best,
    on occasion you might find some blood in the milk, its
    not nessecaarily mastitis, has her volume changed recently, or has she been particualry vigorous???
    it can happen without anything negative beign the cause
    even change in volume .
    that being said, watch her milk ,is it lumpy poor keeping , etc ?
    then suspect mastitis ,
    i wouldnt use the lanolin , thats not good on her udder either, it remains there encouraging bacteria honestly in this case i would say if you feel you need to use something i would use the milk, it is possible to milk like you have been without using any kind of luberication, just be gentle , and dont go too fast (think rug burn)
    you can use the slip finger technique without harming her, is thats how you have been doing it so far, chances are her nipples have toughened up and are accustomed to it .
    never milked pygmys, but i assume it cant be much worse than some first fresheners
    Beth
     
  4. citygoatwoman

    citygoatwoman Member

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    thank you for the advice jeannine and beth. i'm going to try milking with thumb and index and see how that goes... and if that doesn't work for me i might just go back to using the milk to provide a bit of lubrication. the problem with slip finger milking her with dry fingers was that inevitably i'd get just a tiny drop of milk on my finger, just enough to make it really tug, then i'd need more milk to make it more slippery. do you not use bag balm or udderly smooth after milking- don't they both contain lanolin? i'll stop using if it's going to encourage bacteria to hang around. thanks so much for your help. by the way, the flecks of blood have not returned since that one milking.
    erin
     
  5. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If she is increasing the amount of milk she's giving per milking, she may have ruptured a small blood vessel or two. Not uncommon. You may see flecks in the filter, notice a bit of blood in the bottom of the jar, or even see pink milk while milking. The first time it happened to us, I thought for sure that my goat had mastitis. Luckily, more experienced friends were able to put my fears to rest. If the udder is not hot, lumpy or tender to the touch, and the goat's temp is normal, chances are good that it is a ruptured capillary and will heal up in a day or 2. You probably won't want to drink this milk (your 4 legged kids, chickens, etc can have it), but the upside is that this is usually associated with the stretching of the udder to make more capacity. More capacity usually equals more milk in the pail!