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Today I was using a pastry bag filled with spackling to fill in some grooves on some wood paneling in my new house (long story). After about 30 seconds, my hands really started hurting!

I've noticed that about my hands over the last few months, they hurt a lot more than they used to, even compared to just last year (before I got milk goats). I used to take cake decorating classes, just a couple years ago, and my hands wouldn't start hurting until I'd been working for a couple hours.

One of my goats had large teats (I had to squeeze to get my hands all the way around them) with small orifices... could milking her have contributed to the problem with my hands?

I barely turned 30 a week ago, and I have no history of arthritis or anything in my family... :confused:
 

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Today I was using a pastry bag filled with spackling to fill in some grooves on some wood paneling in my new house (long story). After about 30 seconds, my hands really started hurting!

I've noticed that about my hands over the last few months, they hurt a lot more than they used to, even compared to just last year (before I got milk goats). I used to take cake decorating classes, just a couple years ago, and my hands wouldn't start hurting until I'd been working for a couple hours.

One of my goats had large teats (I had to squeeze to get my hands all the way around them) with small orifices... could milking her have contributed to the problem with my hands?

I barely turned 30 a week ago, and I have no history of arthritis or anything in my family... :confused:
I take gylconutrients. If I don't my hands cramp and hurt so bad. Also helps with my knee pain.

I had been taking Ambrotose but switched to this company

www.evenbetternow.com
 

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I'm 31. The first year I milked goats I had no problem, but last year it became a real problem. Very painful. I'm thinking of investing in a milking machine this year.
 

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wow I can wait to start milking again it actually helps my hands. I have very little grip ( I am 34) the doctor thinks it may be arthritis which I also have in my lower back. But when I was milking twice a day I had better grip then when I do not and my hands do not hurt as bad, in the begining they hurt like normal then after a while I realized I could do a lot more with my hands and they did not hurt.
 

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I'll be 50 in a couple of days. Over the years we've culled the tough milkers with small orifices and have stuck with a single doe line that fills the bucket easily (we call them fire hose teats). However, even with only two does fresh this past year, I started to get carpal tunnel syndrome with milking twice a day. So I've cut back to helping milk just once a day and I've taken on the other chores that aren't a 'pain in the arm' for me.
 

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Google Carpel Tunnel Stretching and follow the stretching exercises. You're having poor circulation from tight muscles and ligaments. This tightness rubs nerves irritating them. Keep the stretching up and see if it helps. Stretch each finger back, each separately. Unfortunately even tight shoulder muscles can irritate nerves going down the arm affecting the muscles all the way down to the wrist and hand. Tenderness in the upper outside of the arm is a sign of this and also the forearm muscle. It's all connected. All of that milking without the stretching is keeping the muscles and ligaments in a state of tightness and progressively worsening. Hope it helps.
 

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Depending on the pain, you could have something going on there. Exercise is helpful for many ailments.

If it's joint/bone pain, it's possible it's arthritis, even if you never had it before and even if you are young like many of us. If it's muscle pain, could be that you are still developing the muscles used to milk vs. other activities. Depending on how badly it's bothering you, you may want to talk to a doctor to head-off some of the more progressive illnesses like RA. Although I suspect that if you had one of those issues, you would notice it more overall, rather than just in your hands during certain activities.

It took me a while to build up my milking muscles and when the girls were nursing or dry, I had to start over again when I started milking. It was faster the second time, but it was still noticeable. I have other health issues, though, so you can't go by me. ;)
 

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I have trouble in my left hand where I broke three fingers a long time ago. I never really noticed there wasn't the proper amount of strength there until I started milking. Goats are hard for me because of the small size of the teats. I have big "man hands" and can't properly grip them.

Drink more water and more fresh goat's milk. The best cure I've found for aching hands when milking is ... more milking.
 

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It's the repeptive movement, and milking has nothing to do with strength in your hands...but do it for a couple of years and you will have forearms like me :)

My hands were fine for several years and then I had to start taking glucosomine, chondroiton and MSM....now with a milking machine I don't have to take it anymore, at 51, other than asthma I am healthy as a horse.

I can honestly say now though if I didn't have my machine I would not keep goats, I hate hand milking now and don't even hand milk out colostrum. I hand milk out at shows....ok.... I find a 4H kid I know and pay them :) Vicki
 

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It's not actually carpal tunnel, it's repetitive stress syndrome. It's really amazing how many folks have this when they hand milk. Wearing a brace might help, so does going to a good chiropractor. Ligament and muscles working will sometimes pull my wrist bones out of place. Or massage, grip excersises and being careful when you lift things. The stress can make your joints weaker than what they normally are. (This is what happens with me.)

Ultimately, I decided that I needed the milk machine to be able to keep my milk goats.
 

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This is why I invested in a milk machine. I have broken a few fingers, one of which required bone pins. They really start hurting when I hand milk. (I'm 34)
 

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Now why don't y'all tell her the downsides of a milk machine. The increased risk of contamination, the additional time spent cleaning parts, the increased cost of those parts, and the dependence upon (yet another) machine in my so-called "self-sufficient lifestyle" was why I chose to continue hand milking.

We either are, or aren't as tough and strong as our ancestors, who got by just fine without all these things. I keep hoping that I'll prove as tough and strong as they did. Further reliance on machines doesn't help me reach that goal.

I appreciate that some don't have that goal and would rather just have easy milk, but I can only address questions from my own point of view.
 

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Ernie, I defy you to milk goats by hand and get as clean of milk as you can from a machine. A machine only sucks the milk out of the teat, no udder hair, no flies or bugs, no skin cells from your hands, no sweat dripping down during the summer :) nothing.

Cleaning, no way does it take me as long to clean my milking machine than it does to clean milk buckets, washing your hands between each goat etc...

At some point your time/labor does come into play, machines aren't the expensive units they used to be, inflations are under $60 total for replacements...I replace tubing each year but that is more about appearing cleaner rather than needing to be replaced because of customers, add a quart of vacume pump oil and that was my costs last year. While you are sitting and only milking your goats, I am filling hay feeders, playing with the babies, feeding babies etc....

Sure I can hand milk, I did it full time for 8 years...but who would want to with milking machines under $500? Mine runs off of 110, or my generator, or an inverter on my diesel truck.

I don't have to work harder, I prefer to work smarter. Vicki
 

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I'm getting close to 60, have beginning arthritis, and honestly believe that milking has eased the pain in my hands. That said, I only milk two does, and only once a day. I have to agree with Vicki about a machine being cleaner. I mickey moused a little hand milker for a first freshener cause she would dance, shimmy and shake on the stand, and envariably plop her foot into the pail. With a mechanical milker, none of her silliness caused any contaminated milk. Once she settled down I went back to hand milking, both methods have their merits.
 

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I do not have a milking machine, having opted out of (as much as possible) a machine-driven life. So I cannot speak directly to whether or not it is cleaner. However all of the goat books I've read, and the majority of the old goatherders I've talked to agreed with me. Hand-milking allows a better inspection of the milk and a cleaner process. If you've got fidgety goats, then that's a problem with the milker, not the process.

If you really preferred to work smarter, Vicki, you'd buy your milk from a store and not keep goats at all and look at all the time/labor you'd save. Instead, like myself, you prefer to do some things yourself. I take it just one step further than you do.

I also enjoy the quiet time. You will never catch me intentionally "saving labor". I believe that work is sacred and leisure is secular. The labor IS the point to our existence. The quiet time I share milking with an animal that is providing food for my family is some of the most special and intimate time I have on the farm. A milking machine would deprive me of that.
 

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I agree with everything Vicki said. I do understand the philosophy, Ernie and respect it. It's just way more complicated than that for us here. My milk is cleaner with a machine than without. We follow raw milk standards here, to keep our milk clean and healthy and that also makes a machine necessary. (We have customers, so we have to consider it from their point of view, too.) For years we milked by hand and had to strain the milk, then we got a machine a few years ago and I can say it does make the milk cleaner.

I like technology and I like having the means to milk more of my Nigerian Dwarf's and thus make them useful to us.

Ernie, ahem, I like to save my "intimate and special time" for some one else-:rotfl: (Just teasing!)
 

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If you really preferred to work smarter, Vicki, you'd buy your milk from a store and not keep goats at all and look at all the time/labor you'd save. Instead, like myself, you prefer to do some things yourself. I take it just one step further than you do.
.................

I would loose half my income. Goats here provide nearly all my cash in the form of breeding stock sales, all their care in the sale of their milk. Yes eventually I do think Nubian soaps is going to be my nest egg when I am old :) but even then I will have a few goats to milk and as long as there is electricty, yep I will milk them with a machine :)

Books and old breeders rarely have milking machines. Most info on the internet actually comes from those who don't have them....telling new folks it causes mastitis, or causes ruined udders or or or or....a machine actually milks not just the first udder more effiecently with less pressure than you or I can milk it but the 10th and the 20th exactly the same also.


I have done the off the grid, no computer, no electricity thing before...I know I can do it when I have to, but not by choice. Vicki
 

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i enjoy milking by hand a lot. before i had my goats, my hands would be stiff and swollen in the morning. since i'm milking, i have much more movement and strength in my hands and they are not swollen in the morning.
if the udder (shaved anyways) and teats are cleaned before milking and the doe has good milk stand manners, the milk will be as clean as if it is from milking with the machine. i have never had sweat dripping in the milk bucket. if that would be the case, i would put on some gloves. i do not have milky hands when milking my does. i don't understand how some people can make such a mess when milking.:rolleyes:
i saw how some people handling machine milking at shows and i'm not surprised about the mastitis some goats get.
i do have a milking machine and use it if i have more then ten does in milk or a doe with itty bitty teats. just sold a doe for that reason and will cull for such.
i don't like to be dependent on electricity and will keep numbers down to be able to milk all by hand if the power goes out. ;)
 

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Ah, you see I milk ONE goat. I might have a change of heart if I had to milk say, a dozen. :)

I guess there's where the cutoff is. How many goats do you want to milk and how much of your income does it provide?

There's virtually no market for goat milk where I'm at, so I have never tried to expand the dairy herd out past just family needs. There's two people I know nearby who try to sell milk, and they have a very hard time of it.

Remember Ernie's #1 rule of technology: For every 1 minute it saves you, it robs 5 somewhere else.
 
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