How to fix uneven udder on doe with single kid

Briarwood Cottage

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We have a first-time freshener dam-raising a single kid. The buckling is 10 days old and we have not started milking the doe yet because I wanted to wait to be sure she was no longer producing colostrum, but now she is definitely lop-sided. I know this is going to sound like a crazy question, but how exactly do we correct this? I mean, are we supposed to milk from the smaller side several times a day to increase production or from the full side to balance it? I guess I'm unsure if the smaller side is smaller because he is not using it and so it is drying up and needs to be milked more often to increase the milk supply, or if it's smaller because he is emptying it and leaving the other side full, so the full side needs to be emptied. I don't feel like we should be emptying completely yet because the buckling is still so young and I want him to get all he needs. My children and I are still pretty new to milking, so we would really appreciate any tips or advice.
 

Mini Horses

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This is a frequent issue with single kids...at least for a few weeks.

So you need to empty the full side. It may be sore for her now due to overfill. Take a washrag and some warm water to gently wash that side, then express milk. She may not like but, must be done or she could develop mastitis. There is usually a plug at first, so maybe hard to get started ... The warm water helps to soothe all. Then milk it out. Yes. You'll get some heavier milk, partially colostrum. Won't hurt the kid but, less tasty for you.

She's only making milk with heavier cream now. Colostrum stops about day 3. You can put the kid up to that side once its flowing...if you haven't milked at all it may be easier for you. But you have to keep that side emptying. She'll make enough!

Once the kid realizes there are two spigots, he will use both. If overfull and sore, she'll push him off of that side. Also.

If you plan to milk her, I suggest you take some each day....they produce for demand. If only one, she'll reduce production and almost dry at weaning. It's why many pull kids and bottle them...even with does own milk.

Hope this helps you. 😊

What kind is she? When I kid share, the amount I take depends on the doe and #of kids. I have full sized so, a lot there...mine can produce 2 gal a day per goat. So with twins I can take close to a qt. I do have a couple mini Nubians, & take less. They may be in the 1-1.5 gal per day production. But do wean and begin milking at once if you plan to milk her. The production will be up & down for a week or so until she gets into 2x day routine. Yes milk her out fully at each milking....production by demand, to her capacity limits, of course.
 

Briarwood Cottage

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Thanks for your reply. She is a Nigerian dwarf. Tonight, when my daughter milked her, she behaved perfectly on the stand but gave very little milk. Can they deliberately hold back for their kid? Also, I noticed the buckling nursing on the full side. Could the small side already be drying up? Can that be corrected if we try to milk from it a few times a day?
 

Alaskan

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Thanks for your reply. She is a Nigerian dwarf. Tonight, when my daughter milked her, she behaved perfectly on the stand but gave very little milk. Can they deliberately hold back for their kid? Also, I noticed the buckling nursing on the full side. Could the small side already be drying up? Can that be corrected if we try to milk from it a few times a day?
It can be hard to get them to let down the milk, if the doe isn't used to being hand milked. Often the pre-milking ritual helps with getting the doe ready to let down the milk.

For pre-milking ritual.. I mean, lock up doe on stand, then do a quick brush to remove anything that could fall into the bucket, then a quick soft rub of the udder, then a squirt on the ground, and the rest in the bucket.

Some people do a full udder wash, but we never bothered.

I would milk from both sides and try to figure out what is going on.

Since it isn't clear as to what is going on... hard to guess how to correct it.

See if the milk from one side is different than the other side.

And... maybe with the doe in the stand, see if you can get the kid to nurse from one side and then the other.

Hopefully after doing all of that, we will have more clues to figure out what is going on.
 

Mini Horses

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Agree. Alaskan kept milk goats for years. Lots of hands on there and pre milk needs to happen. Goats DO have personality and preferences, not just a milk spigot. Not all will deal well with different people even. Milking is a learned handling. Also not all NDs are from milking lines and they do produce less.

Bumping the udder, like the kid does, is a signal to her for let down. 😊. Yes, they can slow let down. I do a few squirts, then bump her between next with hands in place, then continue. Routine is paramount for most milk goats. Think stubborn child who didn't get their way🤣
 

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