what does a normal udder feel like?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by livestockmom, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

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    A silly question, but I have no idea...
    I bought a registered nubian a week ago. She just turned two, this is her first freshening, she had triplet bucklings 10 days ago. I was told she had a bit of mastitis as a dry yearling which has left a small bit of scar tissue in one side.
    I asked if I could watch her be milked the day I brought her home so I could watch. They barely got a few ounces of milk and said it would increase over the days.... She is such a lovely doe, very cooperative and walkes right into the barn and onto her milking stand, but morning and night she gives me a pound and a half, each milking... when she is done, her udder feels like it is made out of muscle, very...I don't know how to describe it... the skin is loose but under the skin the udder feels like it is made up of muscle in there...how should it feel?
    is it normal for her to only give this much milk? if not, what do I do?
     
  2. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Give her a few more days. Her udder may start to soften up as the congestion from pre-kidding is relieved, and she starts actually producing. Their udders should feel rather soft, with more solid tissue inside -- in other words, it isn't just an empty bag hanging there! :p But it shouldn't be all solid and meaty, either. I think your does production is rather low, but again, give her a little more time. Nubians aren't always as high producing as other breeds, and she is a first freshener, but even a first freshener ought to be giving you six pounds or more a day by the time she's four to six weeks fresh.

    Kathleen
     

  3. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Kathleen. So don't worry yet huh? Would I know if she had mastitis?
    tahnk you for telling me its not supposed to fell like an empty baloon...thats what I thought it might feel like, and it doesnt. Not hard as a rock but not soft either. Its like touching your arm, firm under neath like that after milking...this is okay for now? not hot to the touch, and milk is nice and white.
     
  4. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    The udder sounds OK, but as though it might have a bit of congestion. If she's bright and active, if her milk is white and keeps well (although at this point, it might not be all that tasty), if her udder is the same on both sides, and not hot or tender, she's probably just fine. Keep milking her on a regular schedule and give her a little time, like another week or two. She's just a first freshener, and some of them can start very slowly. I mean, if she's only going to peak at 6 pounds or so, and I don't think that is so unusual for a Nubian, then I don't think three pounds at ten days with congestion is a problem.
     
  5. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Laura, I will just do watchful waiting. Anything I can do to felp her along?
     
  6. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    What are you feeding her? Is she getting alfalfa free-feed and grain on the stand? Minerals? Plenty of water, etc?

    I noticed that the easiest/fastest way to lower milk production was to switch from alfalfa to grass hay (necessary at one time - I ran out and that was all that was available for a week!) or to either not give, or lower the amount given of the grain on the milk stand... So be sure that she's getting all the proper nutrition she needs.

    Just thinking out loud...

    Sarah
     
  7. nappy

    nappy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Prior to milking apply a wrung out towel from a bucket of very warm water containing a few drops of peppermint oil. I have a couple of first fresheners and a "many timer" who have had congested udders following their kiddings. That congestion can last a few days to a week or two. Try gentle massage after applying the warm towel and a few times while milking. One of my does lets down more milk when I do this and the udder definitely becomes softer after milking out.

    Nappy
     
  8. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

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    Sarah, thank you for your reply...
    Elizabeth has free choice alfalfa and Sweetlix loose minerals and free choice baking soda, and fresh water. gets a mix of Calf Manna, Meat Goat, Beet Pulp and sweet cob on the stand as well as it available in her day area....because we feed the pygmys free choice of this grain mix. I thought maybe she wasnt eating enough as well but she sems to.

    Nappy, thank you, I will give this a try tonight at milking, sounds like that would help, and feel good too. I will let you know!
     
  9. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

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    okay, now I think this is really a problem. Lat night at milking I thought the milk looked a little pink, if only slightly. At this mornings milking, it was pink, and streaks of blood settled to the bottom when I tilted the pail, it was obvious... what do I do now? she freshened 12 days ago, I have had her 10 days. 2 years old, first freshener....I am cluless what to do....
     
  10. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Most likely this is simply burst capilaries. If you aren't feeling any strange lumps, if she isn't running a fever, and a mastitis test (if you do one) is negative, do not worry about it. It should go away in a few days. This tends to happen as the udder stretches when the milk *really* starts coming in - at about day 10 or so. Right on schedule. :rolleyes:

    If it gets worse, do a mastitis check. If she runs a fever, do a mastitis check and start in on treatments. If she has lumps or bumps or hardness that shouldn't be there, do a check and start treatments. But more than likely it is nothing to worry about. Keep an eye on her. My Saanen's was pinkish for two days and abruptly turned white again. :)

    Sarah
     
  11. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

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    Sarah, thank you for your help, I have been having a hrd time with this congestion in her udder so I feel like something may be brewing in there, I wish I had more experience to know... can you tell me what the treatment would be?
    I put warm compresses on her udder at tonights milking, milked some more, and applied the heat again, she liked that, and it seemed to bring a little relief to the overall firmness of her udder ( its like a muscle in there, thats what prompted my original post) thanks for your help!
     
  12. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    You can get a California Mastitis test from Jeffers Livestock...that's to test to see if mastitis is present or not. Today and Tomorrow are are for the treatments - goes right into the teat. Today is for goats actually in milk, Tomorrow is for dry goats, I believe...someone correct me if I'm wrong...

    -Sarah