for people who love the littlest dairy goats
Hello, my name is Shirlene. I will be receiving my first two little does Friday. I am busy making them a play area and can't wait for them to arrive. I look forward to meeting you all. I live in TX not too far from Waco. This is our first year her so have lots to learn. Any wisdom is welcome. I plan to offer my girls hay, baking soda and lose minerals.
Welcome to the group! Ning totally failed in emailing that you'd posted, so I'm just now seeing this. How old are your does?
I realize that you probably picked them up last Friday. We love photos on here! How is it going?
Years ago when we started to have a few too many kids and didn't give them enough attention, we got a crash course in this subject! I'd suggest putting them in the smallest space you have in your barn. Our smallest stalls back then were 10 x 10, so I put two does in there, and I'd go in there and just sit with them. They're curious creatures and will want to check you out at some point. You could just take your phone and check email or something like that. You can also go in there with a pan of grain and/or alfalfa pellets, although the grain might be more tempting to them. Set it on the ground about a foot in front of you. When they start eating it, reach out very slowly and pull it towards you very slowly. Then over the course of a few days -- or faster if they'll go for it -- pull the pan of grain into your lap, then put your hand on their shoulder while they're eating, then start petting them, etc. Just remember that they're prey animals, so the first thing on their mind is that you are going to eat them. They just have to get over that idea.
The other thing to remember is that once they kid, they tend to get friendlier when the oxytocin is initially flowing right after birth. So, that's a great time to spend more time with them and also start to handle their udder. Don't even try to touch the udder before they kid, but definitely start handling it right after they kid. When I have first fresheners, the ideal is to start milking them on day 1. You can usually do it right there in the middle of the stall (again because of those hormones). You're not going for volume. You're just practicing.
If you can get them friendly enough before kidding to jump on the milk stand for you, do that every day and give them just a handful of grain so that they'll want to jump up there for you afterwards. It's not the best idea to do a bunch of painful stuff on them right now since they don't trust you yet. Some people make the mistake of only putting does on the milk stand for things like hoof trimming and shots before they kid so they think the milk stand is a horrible place.