trouble milking

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Carol in Mich, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. Carol in Mich

    Carol in Mich Active Member

    Aug 21, 2002
    My doe gave birth for the first time about six weeks ago. I have allowed the twins to nurse and, at first, I didn't try to milk her. For the last couple of weeks, I have been trying almost every morning without success. She kicks a lot, but even when I settle her down, I can't seem to get the milk out (I HAVE milked other people's goats in the past and I'm pretty sure I know how to do it) Do you suppose she's too stressed?
    Now I'm getting worried that she might dry up before I figure this out! The kids still nurse, but they also are beginning to nibble hay and grass, as well as drink water out of mom's bucket. How soon before they wean, do you suppose?
    She and I both are newbies -- any advice???
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2003
    Southeast Iowa
    Do you separate the babies out at night? If not, then I would suspect that they are getting Mom's milk first before you go out there - which means there won't be anything left for *you* to get!

    At 6 weeks they aren't quite old enough to be weaned, though I know people who do (I'd recommend 8 - 10 weeks or longer if you can, but Moms have other ideas - my ewe is still allowing her 7 month old lambs to nurse!). But if you want some of that milk, you'll have to separate Mom and babies overnight and then get the first milking of the morning. Let them have her the rest of the day - they'll get enough, I'm sure! Especially if they're grazing with her, they'll get enough. They just won't get it first thing in the morning!

    The kicking thing will settle down as she gets used to it. Had a heck of a problem with my Nubian and I was sure she was going to end up in my freezer before I was done, but she pulled through, started settling down (used to take my Dh all his strength to haul her *onto* the stand!) and eventually quit kicking. I think it took between 3 - 4 weeks total for that.

    But try separating out the little ones at night so they can't "steal" your milk. Maybe just put a couple of sheep panels up against a corner to form a "V" pen for them at night?

    Good luck!


  3. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

    Jun 22, 2004
    Lexington Texas area
    Whenever I have a "newbie" kickin' milk goat, I use a milk pail with a handle on one side and milk with one hand at first. That way I can yank the milk out of the way every time the doe tries to kick or stomp around on the milk stand. That way I won't cry over spilt milk! Be patient if you like this goat. I had one that took two seasons of being milked before she quit being a frantic beast. Then she settled down real nice. I think the key is taming them down real nice as baby doelings and never letting them get wild to touch and your hand on their udder. Good luck! Oh, also, I have found it worth the money to pay a little extra for already tame milk goats that just stand there and essentially offer you their milk. But I think everyone here knows what you are going through. Goats can be real stinkers!
  4. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    We sold our doe's 2 buck kids at 8 weeks old. She was wild at first and kicked over the milk many times. Patience is the key; she will come around eventually. If you need the milk, after 8 weeks wean the kids. It gets easier every day.