Training a first freshener to milk

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Meg Z, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

    Jun 8, 2004
    Since all the critters I have ever milked in my life had prior experience :p , this will be a first for me. I've two does due to freshen end of May/first of June.

    Let me tell you my plan, then you can shoot holes in it!

    Currently, all (5!) of my goats get their feed in separate feed boxes. The younger girls go into a pen, where their boxes are mounted, and just get a 'taste' of grain. The pregnant girls get fed away from the younger, so no competition for feed. There are minerals, baking soda and hay all the time, for everyone. Shots/worming stuff UTD.

    Now, the milking stand will get set up first of the month. When I first brought the stand home from Dad's, I left it out to clean up, and they all thought it was a climbing toy for their benifit, so I don't think they'll be afraid of it! I'm also planning on splitting the girls feed into two feedings then, and starting to feed them one at a time on the stand. I'll start slowly increasing feed, too.

    One of the two does is very handleable, and likes to be brushed, so I'll do that the entire time she's eating, so she's used to being handled during feeding.

    The other doe is a bit skittish, and does not like being handled, although if she's eating I could probably pick her up by her back hoof and she wouldn't blink until the food ran out. I'm going to try the same handling with her, if I can, but watch for any problems.

    Both girls will abandon their grain if I give them alfalfa pellets, so I can use those to increase feeding time on the stand if necessary, without overloading them with grain.

    Okay...what am I overlooking on this? I don't want to take a chance on ruining a pair of potentially good milking Nubians by being inept, so all thoughts are welcome!

  2. shelbynteg

    shelbynteg Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    Beasley, Tx
    I doubt you'll have any problems, you could just start feeding them on the stand before they freshen and perhaps handling their udders, on my more nervous does that insist on kicking, I've tied a back foot to the back of the stand, so they can't get the bucket, but that never lasts more than two milkings. Generally, goats love milking, and they learn that quickly.

  3. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2003
    I agree with Shelby but instead of tying a foot back I went to a sporting goods shop and bought 2 velcro ankle attachments (used to do ankle exercises with cable machines) then put a clip between them with an adjustable chain attached to the end of the stand. No one kicks now but in the day it was easy to put on/off and made kicking impossible.
  4. windyhollowfarm

    windyhollowfarm Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    It helps to feel their undersides (where an udder is or will be forming). Get them used to being handled. I do this from when they are kids to milkers as it helps them. Especially in shows when the judges sometimes feel the udder area of dry kids/yearlings.

    If you still have a jump doe on the milkstand hobble her.

    I had a doe that was horrible about milking even after working with her. She made me dread milking. I hobbled her, and kept it there for pretty much the whole milking season until she would quit. At the end she was milking fine without it. We will see if she behaves this year.

    If you have a doe who wants to lay down on the stand place an upside down bucket underneath her stomach.

    Placing a hobble or any other type of instrument on the back legs to prevent kicking must be attached correctly as to not harm the doe.
    You do not put it around the goat's ankles. A goat cannot kick if you squeeze tight on the upper rear leg. When you squeeze the ligament on the back of their leg it makes it almost impossible to lift their leg. You can view the picture at the above link for the correct placement.
  5. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    May 26, 2004
    get them on the stand, rub thier udders handle them trim hair , brush them , whatever, just spend time with them on the stand, this is the best way to do so , since youre not milking now, youll have p lenty of time, 10 minutes a day will do it, 5 for each doe, butplease do it, youll regret if you dont, dont let them go too long, milk stand trining is so important, i just sold a decent volume milker cause she bloodied my nose twice and various other bad things she had on the stand....
    it was hard to lose the milk , but im glad i did the rest of my herd is happier, i dont dread milking.... and im still getting enough for my milk buyers and my family, now since ihad a doe kid today , i know my family supply is fine ( see thread twin troubles)