training to milk

Discussion in 'Goats' started by allenslabs, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. allenslabs

    allenslabs Saanen & Boer Breeder

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    I just got a new goat! Actually this is my first one since I've been married. Anyway how do I get her to hold her legs still so I can milk her? I just brought her home tonight but when I bought her and her 6 week old buck I also got 2 little 6 week old does (ZSSSSOOOOOOOOO cute!) so I wanted to get some out for tomorrow morning. Any ideas?? I know this is her first night and things may be great tomorrow but I do'nt know.
     
  2. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    try to milk her from behind so she cant step in the milk pail. take the little buck away from her at night. milk her in the morning and than bring him back. what kind of goats you got? and how old is she? has she been milked before? if not it can be very hard to start her know. i got one doe last year and when she kidded i thought i could train her. she is about eight and has never been milked or handled.
    susanne
     

  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hobbles. She'll still bounce around and try to get away for the first several days, but as she gets used to you and you get used to her, things will settle down. Keep one hand on the milk bucket or jar to yank it away until she starts to settle down.

    I have a set of the nylon and velcro hobbles from Hoegger's. They works really well, but take a bit of practice to put on without getting kicked in the meantime! The doe that I swiped from my mother-in-law last week had never been milked. I have to force her onto the milk stand where she decided on the second day that the grain was really for HER. She still bounced with her back legs together and kind of pranced a bit with her front hooves. By day four she was fine and stood perfectly still gobbling up her grain.

    On the other hand, Ellie Mae, my Nubian herd queen, took almost a month of hauling to the stand. It took two days before she'd stand still, but it took a full month before she would be cooperative enough to not require physical *hauling* to get her on the stand.

    Every goat is different! I think the biggest key is trust. She has to trust you.

    Good luck!

    Sarah
     
  4. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    You won't be able to do this with this doe, but for future use . . . the best way to train a goat to let you milk is to be present when she kids. Get birth fluids on you, let her smell you and hear you, and I take the kids away to bottle feed so the doe is never 'nursed' by anyone but me. She thinks you are her kid this way, and is much more cooperative about letting you milk. The only downside is that because she thinks you are her kid, she'll cry when you leave her. She should get over this in a few days, though.

    Kathleen
     
  5. NewlandNubians

    NewlandNubians Well-Known Member

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    I am afraid Kathleen may be right. It's aweful hard to get a doe that has not been milked before (assuming this is the case) that has a kid on her to let you milk her. You can try, but don't be surprised if you have to "force" her every time. And milk let down will be very, very difficult if it is a forced occurance.

    If you go to wean the kid when he is ready, you may be able to start milking her then. Again, you may or may not succeed. As Kathleen stated, you pretty much have to start with them young and teach them that you milking them is "normal". I have dam raised and milked does, but I usually don't start doing this with a first freshener. I will sometimes do it with older does and even then it can be a pain to do. It does something to them mentally when they raise their own kid which is very hard to change. Instincts and all, you know.

    For a doe that is just jumpy, I like to take some bailing twine and tie her rear legs to the legs of the milk stand. Right leg to right milk stand leg and left leg to left milk stand leg. I've never had them get hurt like this and the baling twine is free. Thankfully I very, very rarely have jumpy does. Just another plus of buying goats from me <smile>. A riding crop is a good tool to use also. Sometimes they just have an attitude problem. Be aware if they are in heat that they will kick sometimes and should not be disciplined IMHO.

    Some bloodlines are worse about being jumpy than others. I try to avoid those lines, no matter how wonderful everyone thinks they are.