milking "training" and weaning

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Caprice Acres, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    how do you train a goat to accept being milked? I heard that pygmy goat milk is good so i was going to try daisy's milk when the babies are taken away for weaning time. she absolutely hates human hands even near her udder. i use my goatfencing as a restraint when i worm her, so it holds her head. I was thinking hobbles or maybe two cinder blocks to tie her back legs to while i milk? will she get used to this? should i offer treats of some sort? hehe she's gonna be soooo mad at me when she realizes what im trying to do!! hehe.
    when do i start weaning? the last two goats i brought home at 4 weeks of age, and did fine. i think im going to do the same. boston, the last one brought home at 4 weeks, is a total lapgoat, and my breeder said that he has never had a problem weaning at 4 weeks as long as they get grain and attention. if they dont eat i suppose i could always return them to mommy for another week or so.
     
  2. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The earliest we wean is 8 or 9 weeks. I'd leave the kids on at least that long.
    The easiest way to milk is with a milkstand, so that the doe has her head in a head-lock, preferably with something to eat in front of her. Otherwise, you might tie her to a fence and lean against her. A friend to hold those back legs would be good. Most goats, btw, even milkers, are not apt to let you touch their udders for no good reason. lol. Mine will only let me do it if they are on the milk stand ready to be milked. Otherwise, forget it.
    mary
     

  3. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Forgot to mention, you could, at the four weeks, start separating the kids from the dam at night, and milking in the mornings before putting them back together.
    Also, I have discovered that when I get ready to daytime-wean, I can put a bandaid over each teat and leave them together. Saves a lot on consternation.
    mary
     
  4. Ryou-Sama2

    Ryou-Sama2 Ryou-Sama

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    All experience that I have in milking has been with the doe on a stand with her head locked in and a bucket of grain in front of her. Since they enjoyed the grain so much they actually seemed to look forward to the milking.
     
  5. tinetine'sgoat

    tinetine'sgoat Luvin' my family in MO

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    Hope I spelled that right. We have plans for a stanchon that we got off of the internet and you can make one yourself. Put a nice big feeder of grain for them to eat and they will stick thier head right in there. The goats we milk we pat the stanchon and say "here Nanny" and they hop right on. This works for us. Of course it will take a little work to get them to the point of hopping on there, but they are creatures of habit. If one of them gets goofy with kicking I will either hang on to the bucket with one hand and milk with the other so as not to get a foot in the milk or I hang on to the leg and milk with the other. I try to avoid tying thier legs, but that is my preference. :nerd:
     
  6. sheep tamer

    sheep tamer former HT member

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    We just started milking a first time momma.
    Her nature is pretty sweet, so I didn't expect
    any real problems, but DH & I made it a habit
    during the last two months or so prior to her
    kidding to pet her and run our hands down to
    her udder and belly each day.

    It is amazing how quickly they learn that at a
    certain time of day a nice bowl of grains awaits
    them on the stand...we open the stall door, say
    to the milk-ee, "get up" and she bolts for the
    stand. As I do the milking, I discourage anyone
    from *visiting* me or the milk-ee until I've finished.
    A quiet, relaxed atmosphere helps, and with a new
    momma, I just try to be extra gentle and talk/sing
    while milking. Hope it goes well for you, too.
     
  7. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    could you give me an adress for the milking stand plans please?
     
  8. Reptyle

    Reptyle Well-Known Member

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    I have been thinking of asking for the same thing. Either a Web address for plans or a Web site that sells the stands. I appreciate the help. :goodjob:
     
  9. tinetine'sgoat

    tinetine'sgoat Luvin' my family in MO

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  10. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    First, when you start giving grain, give no more than one-quarter cup to start. Her system needs time to adjust to the richness.

    Second, plan on not milking for another week or so.

    Decide where you're going to put the milking stand and install an eye-bolt there today. Put a collar on your goat. Put a pan of feed on the ground under the eye-bolt. Clip the collar to the eye-bolt with a short length of chain, rope, or whatever. Do this twice a day. While she's eating, there should be no kids, other goats or other disturbances nearby. Sit next to her and run your hands under her belly and onto her udder. Keep the kids on her for at least the next few weeks. This way, she'll be stimulated to keep producing even if she decides she hates being milked. Otherwise, she can dry off in the blink of an eye (or a few days).

    Once you get the milking stand made, you can start feeding her on the stand. Put the stand where you were putting her before, put the grain in the stand feeder and let her eat. I wouldn't lock her head at this point, but still stroke and handle her udder while she's eating.

    After a couple of days, lock her head in, but just let her eat. Stroke and handle her udder while she's eating, and for a little while after she stops eating.

    Note: you still have not started trying to milk your goat. All this should only take a week or so, and will pay off well in the end.

    After she's OK with having her head locked in, start separating her kids from her overnight. During the morning milking stand session, you can start milking. Don't count on keeping any milk for a week or two. Just milk into any old container that's about the right size and shape. That way, if she spills it, you won't get too annoyed. Remember, she's just learning and be patient. Once you can get through a milking with no kicking, then bring out your very clean, nice milking equipment.

    If she squats, bump her udder gently upward and to the rear, just like the kids do. You don't have to remove your hands from her teats to do this. If she kicks, block her leg from the inside with your arm and wait until she puts her leg back down outside your arm. (I find this to be easier milking from behind rather than from the side, but that's a personal preference.) Keep milking if you can. If she's insistent about resisting, then we get into another whole subject, and you should post back or pm me. Otherwise this post is going to be way too long. Good luck!
     
  11. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    i think i can handle all that!! lol. now i just have to build a pygmy stand.
     
  12. sheep tamer

    sheep tamer former HT member

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    We routinely trim hooves while our goats on on the stand,
    so it helps when the time comes to milk them, as they
    learn to associate the stand with treats and the need
    to stay put a bit. We found plans for ours in the book,
    HomeMade; 101 easy-to-make things for your garden,
    home, or farm
    by Brown & Griffith.