Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hello,

It's been almost 4 months ever since we started milking one of our does. We've been milking her by using our hands only. But today, we decided to use our milking machine (Henry Milker)..which is a very simple machine that comprises a pump, two medium size bottles and fine hoses attached to them on one end and the other end two syringe-like cylindrical tubes with an opening that serve as sort of suction cups.. 

The today's problem was that our doe would not let us milk her with this device as she would kick frequently, at times in a frantic manner. We gave up a lot sooner than we wanted to. We thought that the best thing we could do was just to give ourselves some time to do some research, including

to ask you all about this unfortunate issue.

Any suggestions or recommendations ?

Thanks,

Ruben.

Views: 293

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It sounds like you're hurting her. I know some people have had success with that pump, but there is a lot of room for error and to damage a doe's teats with it, as it is VERY simple. It is just a vacuum. An actual milking machine has a pulsator, which mimics a kid nursing (suck, release; suck, release). If you know how to milk by hand, you should continue to do so. Those little pumps don't do a good job of emptying the udder, so really should only be used as a temporary measure. Even if you could get it work without hurting the doe, it's unlikely that you could keep up a supply long term with no kid nursing unless you were doing a really good job of milking her out by hand at the end of each milking, which you might find makes the pump kind of pointless.

Ditto everything Deborah said, especially the end part about the pump being kind of pointless. :/  It does have it's place if it works on the doe in question.  I have one doe who actually prefers to be milked with the milker, and I used to use it on her all the time because her teats are so close to the ground that it's hard to get anything under her to milk into.  However, it is important to finish milking by hand to get all the milk.  It doesn't take any longer to milk by hand once you've got it down, and you don't have to wash anything. :)

I've had some does that it just plain doesn't work on.  Either they hate it and kick it off (maybe it was hurting them), or it just never works to get the milk out at all.  I've found that it doesn't make it any easier to milk a doe who doesn't want to be milked.  If I'm milking with the proper amount of pressure (not too much), the device is easily kicked or knocked off of the teat by a doe who doesn't want it on.

Best wishes to you. :)

I forgot to add some tips to help you if you want to try it again.  Make sure to strip a few squirts out first, and massage the udder before you begin.  Make sure the teat fits well and is centered in the cup when you begin;  no udder being pulled into the cup, and no wrinkles.  Don't go above the amount of pressure suggested in the instructions, and usually less pressure will result in a better flow of milk.  Use the least amount necessary to get the milk to flow.  Let the pressure drop down and then build it back up, instead of trying to keep it at a high level.  It gives the doe's teat a break from the suction, which is better for her.  Massage the udder as she is being milked too.  It helps the milk continue to flow.

As you just stated, these little pumps do not do a good job in terms of emptying the udder. That's probably true. The problem is that there's no other person available here to help with milking this goat, except for my wife and I, and she has to go to work for ten days in a row, then she takes a week off (this is basically the routine). This is the time when both of us do the goat milking job.The other fact is that when I have milked our doe, I don't usually achieve the success that we get when the doe has been milked by the 2 of us...as you can guess, this is a 2-people job. Our doe is a genuine kicker. One person feeds her by slowly putting the food in the feeding cup while the other milks her. That's it. No alternative except when (alone) I've had to grab one of doe's back legs to stop her kicking behaviour, but it is very difficult to get the amount of milk I want.

We live at the edge of nowhere here in the bushes. Even a friend would have to think twice before coming over to give me a hand. Thus, the necessity for us to get a pump machine to milk the goat. And there are two more does that are going to give birth at the end of August!

Not sure if you can give us a specific name of a pump machine that could do a better job (I tell you this because there are other forums out there that have policies preventing users from doing so). But I also have to tell you : this pump machine is really overpriced. Its price in the market just sucks!

Thanks a lot for your response,

Ruben.



Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

It sounds like you're hurting her. I know some people have had success with that pump, but there is a lot of room for error and to damage a doe's teats with it, as it is VERY simple. It is just a vacuum. An actual milking machine has a pulsator, which mimics a kid nursing (suck, release; suck, release). If you know how to milk by hand, you should continue to do so. Those little pumps don't do a good job of emptying the udder, so really should only be used as a temporary measure. Even if you could get it work without hurting the doe, it's unlikely that you could keep up a supply long term with no kid nursing unless you were doing a really good job of milking her out by hand at the end of each milking, which you might find makes the pump kind of pointless.



Patty Meyer said:

Ditto everything Deborah said, especially the end part about the pump being kind of pointless. :/  It does have it's place if it works on the doe in question.  I have one doe who actually prefers to be milked with the milker, and I used to use it on her all the time because her teats are so close to the ground that it's hard to get anything under her to milk into.  However, it is important to finish milking by hand to get all the milk.  It doesn't take any longer to milk by hand once you've got it down, and you don't have to wash anything. :)

I've had some does that it just plain doesn't work on.  Either they hate it and kick it off (maybe it was hurting them), or it just never works to get the milk out at all.  I've found that it doesn't make it any easier to milk a doe who doesn't want to be milked.  If I'm milking with the proper amount of pressure (not too much), the device is easily kicked or knocked off of the teat by a doe who doesn't want it on.

Best wishes to you. :)

I'll certainly take your tips into consideration.. Although, and in referring to what you stated concerning the suction syringe and the proper pumping pressure applied, I have to confess that today in the morning things did not go as well as desired. Upon realizing that pressure was not enough (a little below 10mm) which was making it easy for the doe to kick it off of her teats, I decided to increase the pressure above 12mm. That way, the suction syringe would get firmly attached to the teat and it would not be easy for the doe to detach it when kicking. I screwed up. Milk with a little bit of blood started flowing... a tiny bit of blood, frankly. Immediately, by performing a quick move, I released the pressure, stopped the milking, and decided to do another milking late in the day by using my hands only.

I also have to say that I keep using the best of my brain to come up with a fruitful method for kickers. There's got to be a way to get this job done to a full completion with this kind of animals..whose kicking behaviour increases once you stop putting food in the feeding cup (attached to the milk staunchion), even for just a few seconds. It is an exchanging thing. Food (comprises 16% protein, sweet feed, oil sunflower seeds and calf manna..all of them mixed accordingly) in exchange for milk.

Thanks for your advice,

Ruben.

I wish I had some idea for you, but other than stick to it and show her you're not giving up, I don't know.  I had a doe like her.  Eventually she gave up, after I started to just milk her no matter how she kicked, into a dish pan, on myself, the milk stand;  I just stopped caring where the milk went as long as I got it out of the doe.  She must have decided she couldn't win. :)

I have a first freshener doe now who just plain lays down, and won't get up when she'd done letting me milk her.  I hope that she will stand longer as we continue on, because she's too big to force up.  She's a mini-Nubian, so not as easy to "persuade" as a Nigerian Dwarf.

Best wishes, anyway. :)

You can add some alfalfa pellets to the grain mix if she finishes eating before you finish milking. 

However, if you got any blood at all, that means there is a problem with that pump and/or the way you're using it. You shouldn't see even a drop of blood. 

When did this doe freshen? Is she still nursing kids? When did you start milking her in relation to when her kids were born and/or weaned?

Today is July 29th. Sorry it took quite a while to send a reply to your last post, but the problem is just summer time that somehow has increased tasks in our farm which makes it difficult for me to get a chance to go online.

I have kept grabbing one of the doe's back legs while I use my other hand to milk her. No other alternative so far. As for the alfalfa pellets that you're recommending, I think I can do that. Question is how much alfalfa I should give her once she's finished the grain mix. As for the blood that came out of the doe's teats, actually that was basically a mistake I made by applying too much pressure on the pump... It hasn't happened again at all.. maybe because I definitely stopped using the pump and decided to use the old fashion method which consists of me grabbing one of the goat's back legs.

It's not clear to me what you mean by "freshen". Is the goat still nursing kids ? Yes, she is. These kids are almost five months old, and should have been weaned around two months ago. My wife and I believe that if we wean them, then we will have to milk the doe twice a day (which we do not currently do because of lack of time, I mean we milk her only in the first hours of every morning). We believe that the weaning process will have to occur by nature..we mean the kids will stop

"milking" the mother progressively (although I could be wrong).

We started milking the doe two weeks after the kids were born, just to answer your last question.

Thanks,

Ruben.


Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

You can add some alfalfa pellets to the grain mix if she finishes eating before you finish milking. 

However, if you got any blood at all, that means there is a problem with that pump and/or the way you're using it. You shouldn't see even a drop of blood. 

When did this doe freshen? Is she still nursing kids? When did you start milking her in relation to when her kids were born and/or weaned?

"Freshen" is just another way of asking when she gave birth, but freshen refers to the process of starting to produce milk rather than give birth. They do happen on the same day, so it's basically the same question. It's just the term that people use when talking about dairy animals because they're more focused on the milk than the baby.

There is no reason to randomly wean kids, and personally I never wean does that are staying on our farm. They grow faster and are healthier, and I can usually breed them to kid as yearlings. Also, I only have to milk the does once a day -- in the morning after having separated them from their kids overnight, and then they spend the day with their kids. I asked the questions because I'm trying to figure out why the doe is acting like she is.

If she is only kicking when she runs out of grain, you can mix in some alfalfa pellets. She can have as many alfalfa pellets as she wants because it's just alfalfa hay that's been turned into pellets. Most does are not crazy about the pellets, so I usually start out mixing in a small amount and gradually increase it. Some does, however, are very good about eating around the pellets, but that still slows them down.

There are really two reasons why a doe kicks continually: (1) because she thinks that the milk is only for her kids, or (2) it's painful. Since you've been milking her for so long, she should be fine on that one. I've never had a doe give me trouble for more than a week. I wish I could actually see you milk and milk the doe myself. I'm thinking that something isn't working quite right, but it's probably unique to you and/or your doe. Does the doe respond the same way to both you and your wife milking her?

I bought one of those pumps because of my arthritis - my does hated it and so did I.  We then converted a Babson cow milker into a milker for the does.   They don't mind it all - prefer it to being milked by hand.    On my web page I have pictures and prices of how it was converted.  Windingrvrfarm.com   It was more reasonable for us to do than to put out the larger amount of money on a new milking machine.  I think we spend 700. on it - most of that was on the pressure pump. (If you don't need that it is very inexpensive)   Expensive still but I really like it - it is easy to clean up and best of all my does don't mind it at all.

Reply to Discussion

RSS


Order this book on Kindle!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Need goat equipment?

Yogurt Maker

2-quart milk pail


Mineral feeder (put minerals in one side and baking soda in the other!)

© 2019   Created by Deborah Niemann-Boehle.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service