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Author Topic: Struggling with milking  (Read 3347 times)

Lesley Silvester

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Struggling with milking
« on: July 28, 2016, 12:04:01 am »
After a few abortive attempts at milking Caldi, who is still feeding her kids, we reassembled the head restraint on the milking bench which was built for her mother. Unfortunately, the first time I put her in it, she managed to pull her head back through with an effort. Her mother must have had a bigger head. The next attempt involved tying a rope from the front of the bench round her back end and fastening it to the front again. This successfully stops her from getting her head out as she can't reverse. The big problem is catching her and getting her in it in the first place.  I have mobility problems and a poor grip so, even if I manage to grab her collar I can't keep hold of her when she pulls. My OH (he who does not want the goats anyway) tries to help but he is blind so it's difficult for him to get hold of her in the first place.


We've managed to get her inside twice now and I've forced her head down so I can fix her in. That would be fine if she would then stand but, even with her front leg held up, she kicks and wriggles. Although I've had goats resist before until they get used to it, none have been this bad. I should say that normally she leads beautifully. She just knows where I'm trying to take her and she does not want to go.


I manage to get a small amount of milk from her, talking to her the whole time and always stopping when she is standing still ( a thirty second slot). I'm prepared to keep trying if I can persuade OH to help but can anyone suggest any other ways? There isn't room at the end of the bench for OH to get in and hold her back leg up or we'd go for that.

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Struggling with milking
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2016, 07:24:24 am »
I have been known to use a dog collar fastened in a figure of 8 above the hocks to tie the back legs together to reduce the ability to kick.  Worth a try.

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: Struggling with milking
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2016, 08:37:46 am »
Is she a first timer?
Could you only feed her while on the stand, not touching her to start just to get her used to being there and not minding being caught.  She'd have to go to the stand for dinner or go hungry, she'd soon learn.   Might be a slow progress to actually handling her udder and milking.

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Struggling with milking
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2016, 10:08:26 am »
I would just get her up there a few times a day just for food and cuddles. Don't put the head restraint on just feed and cuddle her. Maybe give her some dried fruit treats too. Once she is happy with that groom her whilst she is eating. Then move onto her needing her head through the restraint to eat but not with it done up. Then after a few times of that do it up while she is eating. Once she is okay with that just stroke her all over and massage her udder but don't milk her. Once she is happy with all of this she should be fine to start milking on there.
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Struggling with milking
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2016, 10:19:25 am »
I would just get her up there a few times a day just for food and cuddles. Don't put the head restraint on just feed and cuddle her. Maybe give her some dried fruit treats too. Once she is happy with that groom her whilst she is eating. Then move onto her needing her head through the restraint to eat but not with it done up. Then after a few times of that do it up while she is eating. Once she is okay with that just stroke her all over and massage her udder but don't milk her. Once she is happy with all of this she should be fine to start milking on there.

As Clydesdaleclopper says, but all done while they are still goatlings/in-kid. (even though sometimes completely reluctant to jump on in the last few weeks of pregnancy).

Lesley Silvester

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Struggling with milking
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2016, 11:43:16 am »
I tried to get her up while she was still in kid but she wasn't having any of it. She wouldn't let me anywhere near her udder until after the kids were born. I'll try the dog collar idea,Buttermilk.

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Struggling with milking
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2016, 05:53:57 pm »
Firmness, persistence and patience and she'll come right.

Beeducked

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: Struggling with milking
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2016, 08:51:31 pm »
Can't add anything over what has already been said for Caldi but for Storm, might be worth starting now. With my younger goats and the kids I started handling their udders immediately so they get used to it. It certainly worked with Eira and Huelwen and only time will tell with the rest!

Lesley Silvester

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Struggling with milking
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2016, 03:48:02 am »
Believe me, I tried everything to get her to allow me to touch but, apart from her head end, I wasn't allowed near, not even to brush her. I always have used this method to get them used to it but no joy this time.


However, despite not finding a dog collar for her back legs, she was much better tonigh and, once she was firmly fixed in position with front leg held up, she stood very well and I was able to get a bit more from her. I think that a few more days and OH can stop  having to help me. (Which means he'll stop moaning about not wanting goats in the first place).

Beeducked

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: Struggling with milking
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2016, 10:58:23 pm »
Men! They moan but it keeps them happy! They need to feel needed, if they thought we didn't need them to help out on occasion they would go even more funny on us.




Lesley Silvester

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Struggling with milking
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2016, 12:02:57 am »
Men! They moan but it keeps them happy! They need to feel needed, if they thought we didn't need them to help out on occasion they would go even more funny on us.



So true. I only ask him to help so he feels needed.  ;)


Last night she let me milk her and today, after a bit of a struggle because Korma, her son, managed to get in and kept crawling under her, she stood (head clamped and back end tied) with her head in the bucket and let me get on with it. OH just had to stand there in case and glower.


maybe I should be feeding him treats as well as Caldi.

 

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