Milking a Moving Target

Discussion in 'Goats' started by oldpaths, May 4, 2006.

  1. oldpaths

    oldpaths Well-Known Member

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    Hello All,

    I am still having trouble with milking. I have finally began to get milk out her, with much coaxing, but she is a moving target. We have begun to play soft music, we tried putting her kid in with her, we talk nice to her, we put up her feed at night so she'd be hungry and want to eat in the stanchion, we talk nice to her and love on her…. Her response…..

    She moves all over to try to keep me from milking by dancing all over, she tries to push me off the stanchion, she kicks and jumps each time I try to milk. We just don’t know what to do. I am trying to be a gentle as possible when milking so I’m not hurting her. I just don’t understand what I’m doing wrong.

    Suggestions Please!!! :help:

    Thank you!

    Lynne
     
  2. moosemaniac

    moosemaniac Well-Known Member

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    First Freshener? Give her time...she'll come around.

    Ruth
     

  3. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    i have read where if you tie up one of her back legs up to beside her body where she cant move it this will help her learn to stand still on the stantion, doesnt hurt her but gets the point accrost
     
  4. rainedaze

    rainedaze Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a platform or milking stand that she can be raised up when you milk her? We had a goat like that a couple of years ago. The only way we could milk her was if she was raised up and could not dance all around. She would dance but then realize that her feet could easily go off the edge. It did not take long for her to stop the act.
    We only give grain on the milking stand. Once they figure out that they are only going to get their grain there they become much more willing to get on the milking stand. That is where we do everything on our goats. Our other goats that have not freshened yet see the milkers getting grain on the stand have even willing gotten up on it.
    I am fairly new to this also. These are just some of our experiences and what has worked for us the last couple of years. Good luck with her and don't give up. There is always a little trick with each one of the girls. Even our worst have come around.
    Heather
     
  5. oldpaths

    oldpaths Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for all the responses.

    I am milking her on the stanchion and that stinker stands with all four hooves of the very edge of the opposite side I am nursing on. When she gets off-balance she leaps up as far as she can on the stanchion, usually into my milk bucket, and then starts the dance all over again.

    Is there some way to train them??? Can I be doing something different to help? I know one of us is in charge at this point and I am pretty sure it isn't me!!!

    I think she is giving pretty good milk and we all love it. I just hope I can live through this. Could this be a breed issue? I have read some posts that maybe Alpines were a little hyper in that way but I really don't know.

    Thanks,
    Lynne
     
  6. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    I have had to train several in the last couple of years. I will say that it takes time. I can usually get them settled down within 2 weeks. My technique is to have someone help if they are available, and they hold the foot on the side I am trying to milk. As she kicks, they just pull it back. That way she cannot kick me or the jar I am holding. Even my wildest girl tamed down on the stanchion after a couple of weeks of doing this. It is very nerve wracking, but I remind myself that 2 weeks is only a small amount of time compared to the years of milking I will get from her. If I do not have someone to help me, I just hold the foot with one hand, and work on the udder with the other. After they quit the major dancing, I also will lean in on them to put them off balance, which makes it harder to kick.
     
  7. Doeseatoats

    Doeseatoats Active Member

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    I have a collar (the cloth type so it doesn't cut into the foot) secured at the corner closest to the rear foot near me I give them plenty of room to kick but not enough room to kick forward and hit the bucket. It is the same principle as some one holding the foot. In time they either quit or know not to kick and allow you to take the strap off with out kicking. Saved many a bucket of milk and lots of frustration with this.
    I run the strap of the coller through the buckle so it is like a slip knot. I have also used a curb chain. (the kind that hold horse bits steady) buckled one to the stantion and one to the foot. Works for me :eek:) L
     
  8. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    move the stand up to a wall that you can put a screw into. Lift the leg that is closest to the wall up so it is vertical. measure about 6+ inches above the hock joint, insert a screw into the wall. Hang a peice of hay twine from the nail/screw, and put the leg through the loop of bailing twine, so the goat is standing on 3 feet. she won't be able to move away from you because of the wall, but won't be able to dance around because of only having 3 legs to stand on.

    Good luck!!
     
  9. Gailann Schrader

    Gailann Schrader Green Woman

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    Nobody likes to hear this, but I give a smack on the butt and say "NO!" just like you would a dog. Then positive reinforcement when she's 'good.'

    That and tie the back legs to non-movable items. Comfortable for her to stand? But not enough for her to jump around. You'll take a milk bath the first time or two? But they get the idea VERY VERY VERY quickly.

    She views you as a 'foreign' kid trying to nurse off of her. She's just doing what she would do to a kid that wasn't hers...

    Quiet milking, compliance = feed, petting, positive attention

    Erratic, wild jumping around = butt smack, leg ties, negative attention

    I've got a doe that I need to stand train right now that BITES! Should be worthy of a video...
     
  10. TerriA

    TerriA Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a milking stand at all. My dh made a hayfeeder with a box at the bottom that I put the grain in and the feeder is set up next to a wall (the corner). The hay feeder part is a heavy duty cattle panel cut to fit. I have a collar on her and use a double ended clip tie to clip her to the cattle panel. When we first got her and she didn't know us (or trust us much) she used to sidle away a bit but with her collar attached, she couldn't go too far. I learned to lean my head next to her side while I sat on a 5 gallon bucket. After the first few (futile) attempts to get me out of her way she settled down. She still likes to move forward a bit though so I need to hold the wide mouth quart jar up close to her udder while milking with the other hand so she doesn't knock it over (learned a neat tip since my shoulder has been hurt and that is to put the jar inside a coffee can and set it down, just holding the edge of the coffee can with my bum hand.. I found I can move it out of the way pretty quickly as needed but now she is used to it being there and she has settled down pretty good).


    Now if I can only figure out a way to trim her hooves one handed I'd be set! LOL!!

    Terri
     
  11. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    I built my stand from www.fiascofarm.com plans... They are excellent and can be made out of wood you have laying around. I highly reccomend it, I don't know what I did without it!
     
  12. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    For hoof trimming, unless they are very pregnant, I turn them upside down (by grabbing two legs on the same side and flipping them), then sit on them (only hard enough to make them stay still) and trim away while they are upside down.

    With the antsy milkers, were you there when the doe kidded? If you are there when the doe kids, and milk her the first time with birthing fluids on you (taking the babies away to be bottle-fed) then she will think you are her baby, and she won't put up a fuss about being milked, at least not usually. Gailann is right that the reason the doe is fussing is because she views you as an alien kid trying to steal milk from her. Does usually protect the milk supply for their own kids. But if she thinks you ARE her kid, you'll have a much easier time of it.

    With the one doe that I left the kids on this year, and who has been a total brat about being milked (she WON'T raise her own kids again!!), I've been holding the near hind leg up by a firm grip on the tendon above the hock. Someone said above that if you are holding one leg, or have it tied up, they can't hop around on only three legs -- I wish that were true! But it does help to immobilize at least one leg. All four would be ideal! :p I do also smack her on the rump when she starts hopping all over the place, but with this particular goat, that doesn't seem to have much effect, sigh. She is slowly getting better, though (her kids are now ten weeks old!).

    Kathleen
     
  13. oberhaslikid

    oberhaslikid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I start training my yearlings to the milk stand by bringing them out, get them to jump on the milk stand some are easier then others.Then I give them grain and teach them to put thier head in and lock them in then I will brush them or rub them to get them accustom to me touching them then move on to fondling the utter area also then when they do kid they dont freak out when they are on the milk stand.Most are very willing due to they know thats where the goodies are.I have alsio had some that kicked like a mule.I hold one leg while milking the other after a while they give in.I also use the firm NO.I have also milked from behind cant kick the bucket then.
     
  14. oldpaths

    oldpaths Well-Known Member

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    Thank you everyone for your great advice.

    We used the holding of the back leg and that made a real difference. We also learned, but accident, that a greens make her much happier when milking so we threw in a few with her feed on the stanchion. She spends the first half picking through her feed to find the greens and then eats the grain the remainer of the milking time.

    Between the two, she is doing much better. I am sure this being my first time to milk, I'm not helping things. She is giving me between 1 1/2 to 2 quarts a day now and she still has her kid on as well. From what I understand, that is pretty good for a yearling.

    We really appreciate all your help. It has made it much more enjoyable to milk!

    Thank you all!!! :goodjob:

    Lynne
     
  15. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Lynne, that IS very good for a yearling! Sounds like you have a good doe!

    Kathleen