Goat milking disaster

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by lcountry, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. lcountry

    lcountry In the Brooder

    May 11, 2007
    Ok, I need help and probably not a small amount of hand holding...

    Last week, I got my first goats. I'm a newbie at milking and the lady I got the goats from gave me a lesson to make sure I was doing it right. I don't "think" I'm using a wrong technique, but results are proving otherwise.

    Last week... The goat I got was used to being milked. I saw her milked on two occassions and she was a doll. Jumped right up onto the stand, stood like a statue while chowing down on grain.

    Now... First night, jumped on stand, but got wiggly before I was done. I didn't think too much of it as I know I was slow. I thought she just got bored before I was finished. Now I'm faster, but the ending is getting worse.

    When we first start, it goes fine. But, then after a few minutes tapers off into misery for me and her. She swings her rear around. Steps in the bowl. Picks up her foot like she'd love to kick. Just totally presents a moving target. Tried to pull back out of the stand, etc. I'm sorry to say that I got really, really frustrated today and swatted her on the leg after she stepped into the bowl (the third or fourth time) then kicked at me. After that and some unlady like language (mine) I decided to throw in the towel.

    I've tried moving the stanchion to where she can see the other goats. I thought maybe she felt separated too long. I thought maybe she didn't like being milked one handed - one side at a time. Now I can milk with both hands like she was used to - still bad or worse. We've even turned milking into a two people job with one person there to pet/feed treats to entertain her - again, it's worse.

    Any ideas what I'm doing wrong? Could she just not like my way of milking? Could she just not like me? This morning was awful and I'm sure we'll have ground for both of us to make up on that. But, even before then it was going downhill.

    Most importantly, I want what's best for her. I don't want to cause her to not be able to be milked anymore due to bad experience/behavior. But, I'm really bummed for me too as I was really excited about having fresh milk, cheese, etc. And, I really just love the goats, but as it is milking is another story.

    ANY ideas?
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    How far away is the person you got 'em from, and would they be willing to come and observe/supervise/correct you some day in exchange for, say, a nice dinner [​IMG]

  3. lcountry

    lcountry In the Brooder

    May 11, 2007
    She's not too far away - about 45 minutes. I've sent her an email to see what she thinks. Maybe she could for a remedial milking lesson... Dinner might be a good bribe ... *ahem* payment.

    Such a bummer...
  4. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    Are you pulling down on her teats? If so, you don't need to do this. Just squeeze from the top and roll your fingers down. I hope that helps. Maybe something you are doing is making her sore and that is why she is being honory.
  5. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    ok the 1st thing for you todo is relax.from reading your post id say your doing things right.an you being new to goat milking your not fast at milking her.an being fast will take time.the reason she wiggles an moves messing with you on the stand is because your slow milking her.dump the milk in another pail after milking so long.so she wont step in it when she gets antsy.
  6. lcountry

    lcountry In the Brooder

    May 11, 2007
    Do they all get antsy after a bit? Do goats "test" people when they are new? I have a horse that will be a saint for me, but when someone else is riding she'll test them out to see if they're REALLY going to make her work or if she can get away with being lazy.

    I don't think that I'm pulling down. If it am, it's unconsciously - I'll make a definite effort to watch. I'd read that's a no-no. I usually try to keep my arms propped on the stand. (She's a nigerian so she's short enough I can do that.)

    Thank you for any and all suggestions.
  7. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    Check to make shore your not pulling any hairs.
  8. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    I'm thinking back on my childhood goat milking days...I don't like goats milk so none for me now. But we always had a small amount of feed in the milking stand, it helped keep them occupied during milking. Each goat got a scoop as her turn came around. Leaning into the goat seems to help too, yeah you smell goaty afterward, but no big. Milking two handed should help speed it up too. I think the remedial milking lesson would be a good idea. If you arms and hands aren't tired from this new activity you are probably doing something wrong. Good luck with the goats. I love the personalities, and kinda miss them.
  9. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    the reason your mare wont try crapp with you is because she knows you wont put up with it.you being new to goats.that nanny is pushing you to see what youll put up with.as for horses they love getting the best of other people.an i know this for a fact.i had an old saddle horse that would bite my brother an take a chunk out of him.an he would also chase my brother an rear up at him.well 1 day he was complaining to my dad because of what buck did to him.so me an dad walked out to the pasture.an i walked all around buck.stood there with him.an he did nothing.so my dad told my brother to stay away from buck.that buck knew he was scared of him.an that he would do that to him from now own.
  10. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    In my limited experience, it takes about a week to train a goat who has never been milked to stand nicely in the stanchion. Sounds like, though, that you have a doe who was being milked already - so I'm betting that it's A) the environment change and B) your milking technique.

    I never attempt to milk without food in front of the doe. That's the primary reason my does look forward to milking time - the food! DH mounted a feeder on my stanchion for me so this wouldn't be a two man job. Sounds like you don't have a feeder - mount one and see if that helps. I mix their ration with additional alfalfa pellets so it will take them longer to eat.

    Make sure you're calm. If you're tense (predicting she'll kick, move around, stick a foot in the bowl) than you will project that onto the doe. If you need to, walk away for a minute and then go try again.

    I also milk with a smaller vessel (I also have Nigerians) - actually a 16 oz plastic cup - which is easy to get out from under a kicker without spilling or contamination.

    My stanchion is in my basement. Out of sight and sound of other goats. My girls are nervous about being there at first (like I said, about a week) but eventually the food and pleasure of milking overcome that nervousness.

    Give it time and most important be patient. Try not to resort to hitting, yelling or loosing your cool like that as it will only make things worse.

    The repeat lesson is a great idea, too - I hope the previous owner is willing to come help you out.

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