Uneven Udder

Discussion in 'Goats' started by No Regrets Farm, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. No Regrets Farm

    No Regrets Farm Well-Known Member

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    About 3 weeks ago I aquired a doe that had two kids (about 3-4 months old) I did not take the kids, but brought mama home and began to milk her. For the first week, I fed the milk to the chickens because I was concerned about what she might have been eating..and the fact that they had a buck with her and I know that it can flavor the milk.

    I have been milking her out completely once a day in the evenings. At first, she was producing milk evenly on both sides, although, her teat on one side was larger. Now, she is quite a bit larger on one side of her udder. The smaller udder is still producing the same quanity of milk as before, the larger side is producing more than before.

    She doesnt seem uncomfortable. Should I be concerned?

    Thanks,
    Cindy
     
  2. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

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    I hope not. Our pygmy doe is almost done weaning her kids, and she appears to have dried up on one side but not fully on the other. She seems fine. I will be looking at the other responses to this with interest.

    And congrats on your new acquisition!
     

  3. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Lactation is all supply and demand. Having both kids nurse one side of her udder early on, is going to demand more milk from that side. Usually the other side, gets engorged with colostrum, will swell the teat more from pressure, so one side is larger the teat is larger although the side milkes way less than the smaller side. The smaller side is where the kids nursed from the most, it never got engorged with milk because it never expanded, they kept it empty. The teat is smaller because it did not engorge with milk, it also milks more and gets fuller between milkings. The lopsided udder you see in goats who are nursing kids without being relieved is usually caused by this, another cause is staph mastitis of course, which causes poor production, milk that has no keeping quality and uneven udders.

    The other problem with aquiring does like this is that if this is not just the first set of kids she has nursed and was allowed to nurse without being milked at her previous home for pervious years, and then allowed to dry up after only 3 months in milk, is that she has no will to milk. She will milk well for you for 3 or 4 months (she is used to having this long of a lactation because she at least nursed kids this long) than have a sharp decline over the next several months, while a doe who is nursing kids and being milked for 10 months doesn't decline until month 8 when she is bred, then starts her slow decline.

    Buying your milkers from pet folks, meat folks, or folks who don't milk, is rarely a good purchase if you really want a good milker. Or...purchase them young, purchase them just freshened and milk them and let the kids nurse if you want. Just don't buy pets that have only nursed kids for 3 months and then expect them to supply you with milk for the whole year, come the heat of summer they give so little it's not really worth putting them on the milkstand. Vicki
     
  4. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    What about a doe that has never nursed her kids?? I have one now. Never nursed kids. One side I get about 4 times more than the other side. Nothing unusual about her udder other than it being uneven. Milk is fine, just does not give much on the one side. I know my brother milks cows & said some of them they don't even hook the milker to cretain quarters. What would cause them to only produce a lot in one side??
     
  5. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Previous scar tissue in the half or quarter from mastitis is likely, and when you use raw milk on your kids either with bottles or kids nursing, a doeling getting raw milk that has subclinical staph will freshen with subclinical staph.

    Although we talk about CAE and CL and all the other disease of goats, one thing I do not want in my herd is subclinical staph. Although you do not find anything in the milk itself, no hot hard udder, lopsided udders, does who do not milk down to nothing with a thickened feeling to their udder skin, should be tested specifically for subclinical staph, and likely culled. We pass staph on our hands from one to the other, especially in hands that are chapped or broken skin. Unsanitary milking procedures, which means not washing your hands thoroughly before milking.

    At a recent show I saw a gal milk one goat after the other without ever washig her hands between the two, which included filling up the grain feeder on the milkstand with a dirty feed scoop in a dirty feed bag, and dumping milk into the grass behind the barn, rinsing the milk bucket out with a waterhose, 20 other people had also used that was laying in oldmilk water. Nope, when you talk about disease, staph is one of the worst.

    And yes culled cows with good quarters are routinely milked by homesteaders and those with a family milk cow. A virulant mastitis that ruins the quarter is one thing, it can be treated, and the other quarters uninfected, or treated are fine to milk. But subclinical staph does not work that way.

    Milk does with udder problems including lopsided udders last, do not use their milk raw in your goatlings, or in folks with weakened immune systems, certainly not young children or the very old. Vicki
     
  6. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    I do not drink the milk raw or give it to the kids raw. All milk is pastuerized. She has never had mastitis. Milk lets down fine & that side milks as easy as the other. It just doesn't have as much in it. I do plan on culling her, but was curious about why her udder would be so uneven. This is actually only her second freshening as far as I know. Now that I sold most of the bottle kids I am going to dry her up.