Need tips for training to the milk stand

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

  1. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    It's only been 5 days since I started milking, and it's new to both of us. But it is really aggrivating when she starts kicking and stepping in the milk. I've got the hang of milking if she'll just stand still. I've tried tying her back legs down, and that settled her down enough so that day three I could untie her again. I really had tying her because I worry it will hurt her legs. By day 4 she figured out she could move those legs again and boy has she! So I had to tie her again half way through milking because she made me spill some.

    I want to get one of those goat hobbles, but I don't understand how it will keep their legs down. I mean I can see by the design that it will be difficult to kick, but can they still kick some? I can't get a hobble right now because we don't have any money, and I'm thinking we may have the hang of things by the time we get it anyway.

    Any tips for training a goat to the stand? How long should I expect before things are better? This is a gentle and sweet goat too! So I'm really wondering what it will be like to milk my spunky minimancha. I'm careful to not pinch her or pull hair. My hands are a little cold when I first get started, and I know she doesn't like that. I do give her grain, but she finishes before I do because half the time I can't milk with both hands because I have to have one hand on the pail ready to move it out of the way of her kicking feet. I have my daughter stand there and dole it out to her more gradually to stretch the grain, but it still takes me 45 minutes. I know it wouldn't take that long if she'd stand still and let me use two hands.
     
  2. dale anne

    dale anne Well-Known Member

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    howdy...it might be that she is fighting the milking...has she even been milked before?...it may just be this is all new to her also and she will get use to it after awhile...the hobbles do work as i have a set and have used them on maddie my nubian...she can not kick while these are on...but before i used them i found another way to still her...i had my hubby hold up a back leg to keep her off balance a lil while i milked her...with one leg up she couldnt kick with the other...she is doing much better now...she had kicked over the milk pail the other day on me...i wnt to pick up the pail and noticed a lil bit of red stuff on my hand well after i checked her out i found she had a lil chapped area that had open up from me milking her so i tended to it and had to dump the milk cause i wasnt sure if any blood got into it...i didnt see the chapped area was very very small like a tiny papercut and couldnt feel it cause i have calloused hands and fingers....check to see if this may also be the case for you..chapping a small cut or abbrasion...it took maddie about a week after taking off the hobbles to be dead calm for me...i reckon she figured i wasnt going to give up and that i was more of a stubborn goats then she is lol....hope this helps dale anne
     

  3. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    Yes, she's new too. So it's the both of us learning together I guess. I'll try having someone hold one leg up tomorrow and see if that helps. She really hates having her legs tied down, and I do too because I think it hurts her when she fights and kicks. I tie it so that if she didn't kick, it wont be tight....but, of course, she doesn't know that. :sigh: Will it be this hard with each first freshener? I do enjoy milking when she's calm. It's very enjoyable, though shortlived. I really thought our sweet Snow Snow would behave for us because she's so gentle, but I guess not when it comes to touching her there! lol
     
  4. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Get about 8-10 1 inch rocks to put in her grain dish to slow down her eating.

    If your milk stand is against a wall, tack a nail about 1 foot above her rump, then get a piece of bailing twine and figure how much you need to elevate one of her back legs about mid udder high at her "knee" joint is where you want the rope to pass. tie her leg so it goes up and behind her and hook the other end onto the nail.

    Hard to explain....the twine is tied in a circle and hooked to pull her leg up and back. On three legs she will quickly learn to be still or she will fall. I have found this most effective on my wild child....

    The first few minutes she may fidget so wait until she realizes not to move before you sit down to milk.

    Best of luck to both of you!
     
  5. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

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    I milk 1 handed...don't really have much problem with kicking..it's more stomping that my girls do on occasion. I find that if I keep my left hand on her hind leg I can catch her before she has a chance to spill or step in the bucket.
    It's rare that they get so antsy but it only takes once to ruin the bucket of milk and we're all familiar with the old saying "an once of prevention is better than a pound of cure"
    How much grain are you giving at milking time? Perhaps you could give more..or at the very least a bit of alfalfa pellets or somesuch. It takes me maybe 20 minutes to milk both of my girls..one is on the downside of her lactation so she doesn't give much...but I'm counting time to go back and forth to the pen to get them as well.
    It sometimes takes a while to get things comfortable for both of you...perhaps try milking from another side even...they can be rather particular when they want.

    Suzyhomemaker
     
  6. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    okay, so does the twine tie around the knee joint or do you just loop it under her leg? The object is for the leg to be raised up behind her to about the level of her udder?

    Sounds like it will work like a charm if I can just figure out how to do it.

    The rock idea is good!

    Thanks
     
  7. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    Well, SuzyHomemaker, the other problem I've having is she doesn't let down all the milk. About half way through she freezes up on me. I have to do a lot of bumping and massaging, but it's slow as Christmas getting the rest. She's antsy the whole time though, so it doesn't seem to be just because it takes so long.
     
  8. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if this is why you always see those pictures of women milking goats by bending over the back of the goat and milking upside down from behind. Seems like it would be easier to control the goat that way, though not as comfy. That's how I trim my goat's hooves.
     
  9. citygoatwoman

    citygoatwoman Member

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    i don't have a lot of help to offer here, mostly just sympathy... i've been milking my doe for a little over a month now and she pretty much refuses to get accustomed to the milking stand. not to say that she is jumping/kicking the whole time, but she gives me about 15-20 minutes (i'm a slow milker), then starts her antics- stepping in the milk, wiggling around, grunting, basically making it impossible for me to milk her. suggestions? i did end up tying her back legs to a rod at the rear of the stand, each with a piece of bailing twine. it sounds and may look torturous, but it doesn't hurt her, just kind of ticks her off. unfortunately, she can even wriggle out of that occasionally, or move her hoof up and down just enough to throw a little goat turd into the pail and ruin the milk. sigh. she really is a sweet, affectionate goat, though this is the first time she's been milked by anything but her offspring, and she's 8 years old. i hope i haven't discouraged you, i'm feeling a bit discouraged myself. :)
     
  10. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    right at the crook, where the long skinny bone meets the thigh portion....the long bone will point down toward the milk stand when raised to the right level.

    Its hard to explain and I dont have a camera anymore (it broke!)
     
  11. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    I think I understand. I'm gonna give it a try. Thanks!
     
  12. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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  13. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    The hormones that cause milk letdown only last a few minutes. Once those are absorbed, she's done being milked and that's when it turns into a struggle. Her udder is no longer cooperating, and the doe is thinking you've had plenty and she should cut you off before you get sick on all that milk. (Remember, you're her baby). It's natural and normal that a doe should struggle after 10 minutes of milking.
    You might want to try distracting her with some peanut butter in her mouth and on her nose. You can also milk her on a narrow, short platform so she's afraid to move a foot and fall off. There are small pet toys that will drop treats when rolled around, one of these filled with Calf Manna or other tasty bits, put in her feed pan, might also distract her.
    A "sneeze" sound will make a goat freeze. Making a sneeze sound when she lifts a foot might train her not to move.
    The end cure is milking her out before her hormones quit, which you WILL be able to do eventually! It takes a couple of weeks to get the hands trained- but you will get there.
     
  14. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    I have a goat that is a first time milker, and have the same problem. I gave up right away on the hobbles. First, I milk one handed into a quart mason jar that I hold in the other hand. This keeps me in control of the jar so I can keep it out of her way. I found that if I lean kind of hard into her rear quarter, just in front of the hind leg, and reach from behind to milk, that I have pretty good luck. After 2 weeks, she is getting to where I can now milk her fairly easy. She strats out with a little kicking, but settles down once I get going. Had the same experience earlier in the winter with anotehr first timer. After about 2 weeks, she settled down, and now is one of my best milkers. I really thinik that patience and time helps a lot. Not sure why leaning into her helps, but seems to make it difficult for her to kick. Good luck, and don't give up.
     
  15. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Leaning into her just keeps her a little off balance. She needs both legs to brace herself against you.

    Aren't first-fresheners a delight? I milk from behind, sitting behind the goat. It's a lot easier to block mild antics that way. For determined antics, you have to get more insistent. Milking one-handed is a good idea. I also tied mine down for a couple weeks, every time. Eventually they quit, except for one Nigerian that kicked through three milking seasons! For letdown, it helps to make sure she's really full. Also, with your doe only five days fresh, she could easily be experiencing some udder congestion, which should clear up in a couple of weeks. That makes it feel like they still have lots of milk, but they really don't.
     
  16. chas

    chas Well-Known Member

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    Try working with your girls while still youngsters.I feed mine on the stand and handle them all over.If they object they get down without finishing their feed.
    If while milking one might step in the milk iv'e been known to dump it over their heads. It humiliates them I believe and makes me laugh at them blinking thru the milk :haha: It seems to work .Don't remember having to do it more than one time each for a couple bad actors.
    And it does help to put your head against their side to stimulate them into letting down the milk.Just like baby pushing and butting to let down more milk!
    Good luck
    Chas
     
  17. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    That is all really great advice everyone! Since I don't have a wall next too my milk stand to use to facilitate tying up one leg, I decided to milk on the ground next to a wooden fence. Then I tied her collar to the fence leaving enough slack for her to eat. I tied up the leg like advised. It was a cinch! Tying up the leg was the magic, I tell ya.

    After posting last I did an Internet search and looked up all the pictures of people milking goats that I could find. I was especially curious how they do it in other countries. It seemed the people (usually women) milked with one hand into a tin cup or maybe it was a tin can. Also, most milked from the side the way gccrook in the above post described. They milked with the left hand from the back of the udder and held the cup under the teat from the side. Does that make sense?

    So I also decided to milk one handed into a jar like in the photos I saw. That made it a lot easier to get the milk out of the way quickly if she started moving too much. I'm still slow, but I'm getting it done in about 15-20 minutes now. Hopefully eventually I can get it done quick enough before her let down hormones poot out on me.

    Thanks Laura for saying it could be congestion I was feeling. Maybe it was because I'm getting her to milk down a lot better now. However, no matter how good I milk her, she always seems to have more because her kids manage to get some after I reunite them.

    This is all getting better! Thanks for the advise. Now how come you can never find really good info like this in the goat books? :rolleyes:
     
  18. citygoatwoman

    citygoatwoman Member

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  19. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Really had a hard time with first freshner last year. She hated her legs tied. Don't do that. Everytime Sandy jumped around I hit her on the shin bone with the edge of my stainless steel bowl. After a few times of that she settled down. At first though make sure her grain bowl or whatever she likes to eat is always full. Also put your stanchion up against the wall and lean into her. I used to yell "No" really loud so that helped too. But do not tie her legs; think that is what she is fighting the most. Also try to milk in your own rythum a lot faster to get it over with faster. When you dry her up next time practice the milking routine and it will get easier, I promise.
     
  20. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Glad it worked for you!

    I do milk my wild child with one hand as well but if you can get to using two hands milk out takes about 7-8 minutes for a goat with decent handles and flow. I sing "milk, milk, milk, your goat gently get a stream..." to keep my rythm

    This is Miss Cleo's(aka wild child) second freshening and only had to rope her leg the first time I milked this season. They are very smart little beasties.

    BTW .... Practical advice and common sense are hard to find in books IMHO. ;) Experience is the best teacher.