Gettin' my dairy goat on Saturday - any last minute advice?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by ohiofarmgirl, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    I'm taking the plunge and getting my first dairy goat - currently in milk - on Saturday! I'm very excited as I've been researching this for a while but I'm a little nervous. Any last minute tips that aren't in the books? What will I be surprised at? What do I need to look out for?

    I'm getting a 4 year old Saanen that just freshened. I'm not taking her kid but I have two mini-manchas for her to pal around with.

    I've read all the sites and all the books - but what don't I know?

    thanks!
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Congrats on your new doe! I'm guessing you haven't milked before. Do you have a milk stand? It isn't essential as some people just tie their doe to a fence or whatever but it is usually far easier to use a milk stand.

    Do you have stainless steel equipment? (pail, strainer) You will want to make sure your milk doe is getting either grain or goat feed while she is on the milk stand. She will need a good quality hay (I like a grass alfalfa mix; some people go straight grass and some go straight alfalfa - find out what she's on now.)

    Make sure you have a loose mineral and baking soda available 24/7 for all your goats.

    Have you already milked her to get some experience? I would suggest you milk where she is now and have that owner give you tips to help you get started. Before I brought my milk does home I went to the breeders house five times and milked with her so she could give me pointers. Plus, the does got used to me in their own surroundings.

    Have you verified she is CAE, Brucello, Johnes and anything else important in your area negative?

    Have lots of fun (you will) and enjoy that fresh goats milk.

    Remember that getting the best tasting milk is directly related to how clean your equipment is; how quickly you get the milk really cold; what the doe eats and if there is a buck close by.
     
  3. Chatychick

    Chatychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I agreew ith Chirpy...good luck
     
  4. rocktheflock

    rocktheflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SW Ohio
    keep everything really clean. especially HER, so that she doesn't get mastitis. have some kind of wipes or something to clean her teats and your hands before and after milking. i use Germ-X. teat-spray is good to use after milking to prevent bacteria form getting in the orifice.
    have fun with her!
     
  5. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    Thanks everyone! great overview, Chirpy, and nope have not milked before.... yikes!

    Great thought about going to the breeder to milk a couple times. He's a bit of a distance from here but it reminded me that a friend of a friend has milkers and I can use them as a resource.

    And yes clean clean clean. And stainless. And excellent hay.

    The only thing I'm worried about is hurting her because of my inexperience?

    I have a stand but my little mini-manchas have claimed it in the barnyard. So I'll probably build a new one in the 'official' milkstation closest to the house.

    I've heard that you can make your own teat spray with a diluted mix of bleach? I'll head into tractor supply to see what they have for now.

    thanks everyone!!
     
  6. mekasmom

    mekasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 9, 2008
    Feel her all over, especially behind the jaws for lumps. Look at her feet for sores between the toes. Feel her knees for puffiness. And milk her a bit before you buy her. Make sure she milks easily without a hard udder on either side. Make sure the milk is clear no blood, and taste it to make sure it isn't bitter at all.

    Then fall in love with her. Milk goats are wonderful. They are friendly and easy to love.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  7. mekasmom

    mekasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 9, 2008
    And don't pull or twist when you milk. It is bad for the teats. Just keep the top of your hand next to the udder and squeeze finger by finger. Be sure to keep a tight ring around the base so the milk comes out instead of going back up.
     
  8. jBlaze

    jBlaze Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 25, 2008
    Oregon
    Have them SHOW you how to trim feet and how to milk. Milk her there, milk some of their other goats. Milk all the way out.
    Be aware that she may jump around a little until she gets used to you, just be patient with her.
    I like the novalsan teat dip, made with the anit germ stuff chlorhexadine or something likt htat, I am not sure how to spell it, lol. It makea a nice seal, fights the germs, and is softening, not harsh and drying like bleach.
    Congratulations.
     
  9. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Colorado
    I've heard that you can make your own teat spray with a diluted mix of bleach?

    People have different opinions on what to clean teats/udders with. You'll need to research and make your decisions. But, after researching a lot and actually trying several different options I've decided that using bleach (in any amount) is too hard on their teats. I came to the same conclusion about using Iodine also.

    I now use plain babywipes that have no scent but do have aloe added to them. After I'm done milking I spray the bottom of each teat with "Fight Bac" disinfectant.

    If you are hurting her when milking her she will most certainly let you know - she'll kick and/or jump around. The biggest thing is to remember not to pull down when milking the teat. Just hold your hand steady and firm up against her udder and then squeeze with your fingers. You'll do fine but do get some practice in before bringing her home if possible.

    One of the interesting things I learned by milking many different goats before buying mine... teats are all different sizes. I have actually not purchased a really nice doe because her teats were too small for my hands to milk. I've also milked a doe whose teats were so large I had a hard time getting my hand around it!

    Can't wait to see pictures.​
     
  10. jBlaze

    jBlaze Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, a well as teat size, there are differneces in the size of the openings.
    I have a doe with larger teats and small openings, and her daughter with smaller teats and larger openings.
     

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