for people who love the littlest dairy goats
We are about to have our first experience separating a doe from her kids. Our 3 does kidded for the first time this spring and we sold one with her bucklings, are keeping the 2nd ones kids, and now at almost 4 months the 3rd does kids are about to go to their new home...
We are not milking and hadn't thought much about drying her off because we had assumed they'd be weaned by now. But they are still nursing and she still has a nice round udder. Yesterday we got advice to separate them for the next few days and let them nurse once a day till they go to their new home on thursday. They are now on the other side of a fence from there dam and i will let them in together once a day 3 days. I'm concerned about the next steps because she is not milk stand trained, and i will be out of town, so my husband will be trying to milk her out by himself. He is planning to do it once a day at the same time we've been letting them in together. I've heard that some herbs help with drying off but am having trouble finding much information about that and all the drying off info i'm seeing is for people who have been milking and are drying off a pregnant doe.
Please share and tips about separating kids and drying off a doe in this situation (and anything else about comforting her during this transition).
The idea of letting her kids be with her only once a day sounds like a bad idea. Kids can be very rough, and when the udder is very full, it is easy to damage it. The last thing you want is a damaged udder when drying up because that could lead straight to the worst kind of mastitis that can kill a goat. I'd leave the kid with her until they leave.
To get her accustomed to the milk stand, start now by simply feeding her on the milk stand and touching her udder while she in on there.
Sage is often used in women to reduce milk production, but I have never used it in my goats, so I don't know anything about doses. I always want them to produce more. :)
Personally, if you know how to milk, I would ask the buyer to pick up the kids when you are home and available to milk the doe at least once a day for awhile.
Hoegger supply sells diluted sage oil and peppermint oil to help with drying off does. I have never personally done it (yet) but they seemed to have several products for that on their website, you could check that out.