Unruly New Mama Doesn't Want to be Milked

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Rainbeau777, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. Rainbeau777

    Rainbeau777 Active Member

    May 21, 2003
    Please help! I am a novice with a first time mama goat who doesn't want to be milked. It is a battle every night to get her on the stand, and then she just kicks continuously. I have been patient with her, but it is still not going well. Any advice is appreciated. Are there any good books out there on goat training?


  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 21, 2004
    deep south texas
    Have you thought about hobbling her??

  3. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2002
    A first freshener has to be trained to the milk stand.
    Keep cool.
    get her on the stand and lock her in ( be sure her grain is there for her)
    hobble her.
    I have the hobbles I got from hoager now but last year I used a soft lead rope.
    I tied the buckle end to the back of the stand to the brace bar and then tied one ankle,pulling the leg far enough back so she could not kick forward.
    There was still lots of rope left so I tied the other one close to the other leg and then tied them together. Sort of like a calf rope at a rodeo.
    She could not kick forward and she was not really well balanced so she stood very still for me. After a few weeks I did not have to use the hobble at all unless she was having a bad day and was cranky.
    This year I had to start training her all over again. Stuborn goat!!!
    anyway, I bought a goat hobble that goes up above the hocks and it is much better. I have left those off a time or two also and she has been good but there has been too many disturbances in the barn at milking time lately.
    They are quick and easy to put on and I usually do use them.
    She is finally comming to the stand on her own again. Whew! I got really tired of chasing her down! She did not mind being milked. She just never has been very tame and it is just instinct to run from me. She is a touch-me-not goat.
  4. mailman

    mailman Miniature Cattle

    May 8, 2004
    Upstate Vermont
    These are actual bulletin board posts regarding tips for making milking easier

    It's only been 5 days since I started milking, and it's new to both of us. But it is really aggrivating when she starts kicking and stepping in the milk. I've got the hang of milking if she'll just stand still. I've tried tying her back legs down, and that settled her down enough so that day three I could untie her again. I really had tying her because I worry it will hurt her legs. By day 4 she figured out she could move those legs again and boy has she! So I had to tie her again half way through milking because she made me spill some.

    I want to get one of those goat hobbles, but I don't understand how it will keep their legs down. I mean I can see by the design that it will be difficult to kick, but can they still kick some? I can't get a hobble right now because we don't have any money, and I'm thinking we may have the hang of things by the time we get it anyway.

    Any tips for training a goat to the stand? How long should I expect before things are better? This is a gentle and sweet goat too! So I'm really wondering what it will be like to milk my spunky minimancha. I'm careful to not pinch her or pull hair. My hands are a little cold when I first get started, and I know she doesn't like that. I do give her grain, but she finishes before I do because half the time I can't milk with both hands because I have to have one hand on the pail ready to move it out of the way of her kicking feet. I have my daughter stand there and dole it out to her more gradually to stretch the grain, but it still takes me 45 minutes. I know it wouldn't take that long if she'd stand still and let me use two hands.
    Shae in Arkansas

    howdy...it might be that she is fighting the milking...has she even been milked before?...it may just be this is all new to her also and she will get use to it after awhile...the hobbles do work as i have a set and have used them on maddie my nubian...she can not kick while these are on...but before i used them i found another way to still her...i had my hubby hold up a back leg to keep her off balance a lil while i milked her...with one leg up she couldnt kick with the other...she is doing much better now...she had kicked over the milk pail the other day on me...i wnt to pick up the pail and noticed a lil bit of red stuff on my hand well after i checked her out i found she had a lil chapped area that had open up from me milking her so i tended to it and had to dump the milk cause i wasnt sure if any blood got into it...i didnt see the chapped area was very very small like a tiny papercut and couldnt feel it cause i have calloused hands and fingers....check to see if this may also be the case for you..chapping a small cut or abbrasion...it took maddie about a week after taking off the hobbles to be dead calm for me...i reckon she figured i wasnt going to give up and that i was more of a stubborn goats then she is lol....hope this helps dale anne

    dale anne
    Yes, she's new too. So it's the both of us learning together I guess. I'll try having someone hold one leg up tomorrow and see if that helps. She really hates having her legs tied down, and I do too because I think it hurts her when she fights and kicks. I tie it so that if she didn't kick, it wont be tight....but, of course, she doesn't know that. :sigh: Will it be this hard with each first freshener? I do enjoy milking when she's calm. It's very enjoyable, though shortlived. I really thought our sweet Snow Snow would behave for us because she's so gentle, but I guess not when it comes to touching her there! lol
    Shae in Arkansas

    Get about 8-10 1 inch rocks to put in her grain dish to slow down her eating.

    If your milk stand is against a wall, tack a nail about 1 foot above her rump, then get a piece of bailing twine and figure how much you need to elevate one of her back legs about mid udder high at her "knee" joint is where you want the rope to pass. tie her leg so it goes up and behind her and hook the other end onto the nail.

    Hard to explain....the twine is tied in a circle and hooked to pull her leg up and back. On three legs she will quickly learn to be still or she will fall. I have found this most effective on my wild child....

    The first few minutes she may fidget so wait until she realizes not to move before you sit down to milk.

    Best of luck to both of you!

    The hormones that cause milk letdown only last a few minutes. Once those are absorbed, she's done being milked and that's when it turns into a struggle. Her udder is no longer cooperating, and the doe is thinking you've had plenty and she should cut you off before you get sick on all that milk. (Remember, you're her baby). It's natural and normal that a doe should struggle after 10 minutes of milking.
    You might want to try distracting her with some peanut butter in her mouth and on her nose. You can also milk her on a narrow, short platform so she's afraid to move a foot and fall off. There are small pet toys that will drop treats when rolled around, one of these filled with Calf Manna or other tasty bits, put in her feed pan, might also distract her.
    A "sneeze" sound will make a goat freeze. Making a sneeze sound when she lifts a foot might train her not to move.
    The end cure is milking her out before her hormones quit, which you WILL be able to do eventually! It takes a couple of weeks to get the hands trained- but you will get there........AnnaS

    I have a goat that is a first time milker, and have the same problem. I gave up right away on the hobbles. First, I milk one handed into a quart mason jar that I hold in the other hand. This keeps me in control of the jar so I can keep it out of her way. I found that if I lean kind of hard into her rear quarter, just in front of the hind leg, and reach from behind to milk, that I have pretty good luck. After 2 weeks, she is getting to where I can now milk her fairly easy. She strats out with a little kicking, but settles down once I get going. Had the same experience earlier in the winter with anotehr first timer. After about 2 weeks, she settled down, and now is one of my best milkers. I really thinik that patience and time helps a lot. Not sure why leaning into her helps, but seems to make it difficult for her to kick. Good luck, and don't give up....gccrook

    Leaning into her just keeps her a little off balance. She needs both legs to brace herself against you.

    Aren't first-fresheners a delight? I milk from behind, sitting behind the goat. It's a lot easier to block mild antics that way. For determined antics, you have to get more insistent. Milking one-handed is a good idea. I also tied mine down for a couple weeks, every time. Eventually they quit, except for one Nigerian that kicked through three milking seasons! For letdown, it helps to make sure she's really full. Also, with your doe only five days fresh, she could easily be experiencing some udder congestion, which should clear up in a couple of weeks. That makes it feel like they still have lots of milk, but they really don't.

    Laura Workman in Lynnwood, Washington

    Try working with your girls while still youngsters.I feed mine on the stand and handle them all over.If they object they get down without finishing their feed.
    If while milking one might step in the milk iv'e been known to dump it over their heads. It humiliates them I believe and makes me laugh at them blinking thru the milk It seems to work .Don't remember having to do it more than one time each for a couple bad actors.
    And it does help to put your head against their side to stimulate them into letting down the milk.Just like baby pushing and butting to let down more milk!
    Good luck
  5. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    we have a milk stand but no head lock for our goats. My dd (13 yo) had 2 new milkers she had to train this year. We used a halter and a hook and hooked the halter where the mom couldn't do anything but get to her grain.
    We have never used hobbles (as of yet) and we have met several Kickers...
    We find that 2 of us in the milk room helps in the beginning, one to milk and the other to hold the milk bucket, lol. we milk for just a minute of so and dump off the milk into a seperate container "just in case" and milk some more. It does go away and it only takes a week or two before they want to jump up on the milk stand for you. We offer extra "treats" like raisens, apples, carrots and such so that they will want to get up on the stand...and later do less treats. Have the grain ready and waiting and keep on trying...it will work. Good luck and dont get descouraged, it will get better.