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Building a routine

Discussion in 'Milking' started by DustyBoot, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Jan 13, 2018
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Loving the herd life

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    We bought our first dairy doe, a 3-year-old LaMancha, this week. She's supposed to be due in March/April. She's been milked before. I've... uh... read a lot about milking? Let's just say she's a lot more qualified than I am. So it may take us a while to get everything going smoothly, but she's a sweetheart and I'm persistent, so we'll figure it out. In the interest of making things easier, though, what can I start doing now? We built our milking stand today and set up a little milking stall in the pole barn -- just some cattle panels to keep the other goats out, and I may get a rubber floor mat because it's dusty (and can get muddy) in there. Maybe even set it over a couple of pallets to keep it dry. Tonight I fed her on the stand, brushed her, and trimmed her hooves. I was thinking I can start feeding her on the stand twice a day, brushing and generally handling her, so that it's not an entirely new routine when it's time to start milking. Does that actually help? And if it does, is there anything specific I should be doing? Maybe using something like bag balm just for the sake of getting her used to my handling her udder?
     
  2. Jan 13, 2018
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses True BYH Addict

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    All that is good to get her used to the new digs, you two to bond. Re-read the books/articles. Handle her udder for both of you to get the feel of things. Her having been milked will make it so much easier for you.

    As for yourself, a farm close with milking does would be a great place to ask if you could come by and milk a few times. It would give you some confidence. Some farms won't do this & some will. Maybe where you bought is close & they still have does being milked??
     
  3. Jan 13, 2018
    Goat Whisperer

    Goat Whisperer Herd Master

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    Sounds like you have a good plan :thumbsup

    I am doing the same thing with a few of our lamanchas. I try not to do a whole lot with the udder until the doe kids. But occasionally I will test the doe and see her reaction.

    Milking is very easy, as long as you don’t have arthritis or carpal tunnel. Sounds like she is a pretty tame doe so I think you’ll do great :)
     
  4. Jan 13, 2018
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    If she was milked before there shouldn't be any issues.
    Although we do bring goats up sometimes prior the handling of the udder is not something we do.
    I do not want to stimulate an udder before the doe kids.

    Are you going to let her dam raise? Bottle feed?
     
  5. Jan 13, 2018
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Loving the herd life

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    I've done the "milk a cow" things for farm tours and I'm comfortable with the mechanics for a few squeezes, at least, but have never fully milked an animal. I bought her from a couple who was going on the road in an RV, so not somewhere I could go by and try milking... but I figured I'd get a better goat buying someone's personal milk goat they couldn't keep anymore rather than someone's culls.

    I'll leave her udder alone and stick to feeding, brushing, hoof trimming as needed (I suspect we'll need a few rounds to get her hooves in good shape), and conversation.

    I'm still doing my research on the dam raising vs. bottle feeding. On the whole I think I'd prefer to let her dam raise if bottle feeding isn't significantly better. Less work for me, and we probably don't need top production for just family use (I assume you get a little more milk when she's not holding back for kids to nurse). But, I'm open to advice!
     
  6. Jan 13, 2018
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Keep in mind the way you milk cows is not how you milk goats.
    I'm sure there are youtube videos out there.

    We've done dam, co-parent, bottle. All have their advantages and disadvantages.
    If you dam raise you can separate for 8 hours after several weeks as long as kid is growing well. Milk then put kid on (leave some for kid)... supply and demand.
    Just keep in mind if the doe is looking taxed then you need to adjust.
    On our dam raised we wait a long time before milking . LOL

    Also, ugh dairy goats hooves! :th Seriously you will be doing them all the time. Because their diet is generally so good because they need that protein and calcium etc and they eat a good bit to make all that milk- their hooves grow super fast. I kid you not we have some that after 3-4 weeks may look like they haven't been done in many months. Crazy!
    The kikos... never needed their hooves done... well not never but goodness once a year maybe. Totally different.
     
  7. Jan 13, 2018
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Loving the herd life

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    I'll watch some YouTube videos. Actually, thinking about it, I have a friend who raises NDs, so maybe she can give me some pointers or let me come milk if the timing is right. I'll check with her.

    I'll make sure to keep an eye on her condition and the kid's and try to keep a good balance.

    I'm kind of glad to hear that about hooves! Hers were long enough that they'd folded under and it was kind of hard to trim off the excess. I wondered if that meant her feet had been really neglected, but maybe her previous owners were just busy preparing for their move and didn't get around to hooves for a few weeks. They didn't strike me as people who would really neglect something like that, so it's encouraging to think maybe it didn't take too long to get that way. Aside from the part where it means I'll have to stay on top of it, anyway. ;)
     
  8. Jan 13, 2018
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Yes, it is surprising on some does... exactly what you describe- the side will grow and fold right over.

    This goat's hooves were done just one month prior. Some were worse than this. 1 MONTH. that's all. Crazy!
    This was one of our Kids - all the yummy milk, feed, good hay... trimming before a show.
    085.JPG