Udder Trouble

Discussion in 'Goats' started by huntingnappanee, May 16, 2005.

  1. huntingnappanee

    huntingnappanee Active Member

    Mar 23, 2005

    First thanks for all the advise I get on this forum. I have learned a lot just by reading all the threads. We are new at goats and this is our first kidding.
    Our 6 year old Toggenburg just had twins on Friday. One doe and one buckiling. They seem to be doing great. Our problem is that the mothers udders got so hugh during the last few weeks of pregnancy that one teat really swelled up and is more like an upside down pyramid than a little finger. The kids won't nurse on that side. I have forced them to several times, but they won't on their own. I have been told that I will have big trouble with that udder if they don't nurse on it. I have milked it some a couple of times to relieve the pressure and see if would get smaller like the other side (it did not get much smaller). We are not set up for milking as we got goats only as a 4-H project for my daughter. Any suggestions or help would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. eggladyj

    eggladyj Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    Unfortunatly, set up for milking or not you will have to milk her out on that side for a short time at least. As the kids get bigger they will want more milk and should start looking at the other side to get it, until then though you will need to milk her so she doesn't get mastitis on the side they aren't nursing on.

    You don't really need alot to milk, when I started I had nothing as I intented for my girls to nurse their babies through weening, then one of the girls had this huge udder (like what you are describing, except on a Pygmy!) and only a single buck! Her teats were so big the day after kidding he could barly get his mouth on them, so I started milking. How I started out; I got a collar with a clip on it and clipped her to the fence. Then I made up a teat dip from Fiasco Farms recipe, got some paper towels, an old large peanut butter jar, and one of the kids folding chairs. I just followed what it said at Fiasco Farm and started in milking! It only took about a week for the buckling to start drinking off the 'offending' side and didn't milk her again until I sold him. At the time I didn't really know what to do with the milk I got off her so the dogs and cats were pretty thrilled with me for that week! Later I started saving it up and when I had a rejected kid I had milk in storage for her after I had milked her mom for the colostrum.

    The link for Fiasco Farm is: http://fiascofarm.com/

    Good luck and enjoy your new experience!

  3. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 12, 2005
    SW WA
    If you have a collar and someplace to clip the collar to keep her standing in one place, and a stainless steel bowl (or glass, but steel is better-no worries about broken glass), you have what you need to start milking. Add a brush and a warm, wet washcloth to get her clean before you milk, and hold onto your patience if she's never been milked.

    It takes a little patience and practice to learn how to milk, but for the doe's sake, you or your dd are going to need to do it. A Toggenberg can easily produce more than her kids can drink - she's been bred to make milk! If your dd is going to show in 4-H, she can take 3 goats to the fair as easily (or more so) as 2, and she'll earn more premium points and ribbons by taking mom goat, too. That doe can only be shown if she's in milk, and a larger udder producing more milk is going to show better than a small udder, not producing much.

    Also, as long as you have the goats, you might as well drink the milk. It's darn good stuff! It won't taste just like store cow milk, but it isn't supposed to. It's richer, being naturally homogenized, and raw milk does taste a little different than pasteurized. If that bothers you, you can pasteurize it at home.

    Anyway, back to the milking. Most people tend to start milking by putting their thumb and forefinger on either side of the teat and sliding them down the teat to press the milk out. Please don't do that! It's not good for the suspension of the udder, and it makes the teats sore very quickly. A sore goat is not a happy goat. Cup your hand around the top of the teat where it meets the udder, and form a circle with the thumb overlapping the forefinger to fit around the teat. Squeeze with the thumb and forefinger, WITHOUT PULLING DOWN! Then add the 2nd, 3rd and so-on fingers in order. This pushes the milk down the teat and out, while keeping the milk from going back up into the udder. Your first squirts are likely to go anywhere but into the pail, but keep practicing, and it'll get easier.

    You probably have some goat books, at least the 4-H books, which have tons of info in them, including pictures of milking and a better description than I gave (if you already know how to milk, I apologize...I'm going from the standpoint that if it's your first kidding, you may not have milked before). Even if you decide not to keep milking and to let the babies regulate how much she produces, you'll need to keep her udder milked out to to point where the kids can latch on and nurse easily.