Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Today was my first attempt at milking after seperating momma and babies last night for about 9 hrs. The kids are 5 weeks today. I only got a couple tablespoons. Now I'm worried I will do more harm than good by not letting kids nurse all night and getting such a small amount. She was dont eating and ready to get off the stand! Can this hurt her from not relieving her of enough milk??? Or will the kids make up for not eating all night? 

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Kristen we use a large wired dog kennel/cage (bought at a yard sale) and cover it with a couple of blankets at night. The darkness seems to settle them and they don't yell or cry so the does are not bothered. 

Does your doe have have small teats? Do you massage the udder before you start to milk? Some does are easier to milk than others. So it might not be you.

I have over two years culled out those who were not easy milkers and good mothers. We have been blessed with a doe we bought who gave us triplets last year and filled our milk pail daily with 3 quarts of milk and this year she had quads and it looks like she will produce even more milk. Her daughter, FF looks like she will produce well, too.  This morning (first night separation) gave me an easy quart, no issues milking her . The other sister is due this weekend. I can hardly wait to see what she does. 

I couldn't tell you if her teats are small. My two does are the only 2 I've had and they are sisters. I've never been around any others to know what small is :)  I think she did fine with my first attempt. No kicking or anything. We will get the kinks worked out eventually I hope! Just when we have a routine down we bring kids and milking into it and we all gotta figure it out!  I just worry about the kids not getting enough or hurting her cuz I separate them and then don't get enough milk out. And I don't want to keep shoving grain at her to keep her happy.
 
 Jan said:

Kristen we use a large wired dog kennel/cage (bought at a yard sale) and cover it with a couple of blankets at night. The darkness seems to settle them and they don't yell or cry so the does are not bothered. 

Does your doe have have small teats? Do you massage the udder before you start to milk? Some does are easier to milk than others. So it might not be you.

I have over two years culled out those who were not easy milkers and good mothers. We have been blessed with a doe we bought who gave us triplets last year and filled our milk pail daily with 3 quarts of milk and this year she had quads and it looks like she will produce even more milk. Her daughter, FF looks like she will produce well, too.  This morning (first night separation) gave me an easy quart, no issues milking her . The other sister is due this weekend. I can hardly wait to see what she does. 

I separated them this morning and got just a dribble of milk. Maybe a teaspoon. I'm assuming this is ok since its the 2nd time i've tried and they were only separated 3 1/2 hrs. I don't know whats normal for a FF still nursing. I can get a pretty good stream going just seemed like she just didn't have alot to give. Or she was holding back for the kids? It also seems to work better for me to separate them in the dark than middle of the day. So I will continue that working up to all night.

Feeling a bit frustrated :/

I'm not clear on what happened. If you got a pretty good stream going, it would have been more than a teaspoon. A teaspoon would not have even covered the bottom of the bucket. How long did you try? Did you put a warm washcloth on her udder and massage it gently for 30 seconds or so before you started? Assuming she is making 2-3 pounds a day, which she would need for two kids to survive, that means she is producing 4-6 ounces in three hours, and even if she is trying to hold back, you could get at least a couple of ounces.

When you milk, you need to firmly press your thumb against your index finger, then squeeze the middle finger, and if the teats are long enough, the ring finger and pinkie. If you don't firmly press your thumb against your index finger, you will simply be pushing the milk back up into the udder when you squeeze the teat. When I teach people to milk, I first show them how to do it on their finger (pretending their finger is a teat), so they can feel what they need to do, then I have them practice on my finger, so I can give them feedback.

There just isn't enough room for me to use more than my thumb and index finger. So I must be doing it wrong. I watched videos about sqeezing the top of the teat off then squeeze rest of teat but her teats aren't big enough or my hands are too big for me to do that. I may need to find a diff angle to get a better handle on things?

I did use a warm washcloth she even spread her legs like when shes nursing.

 

If they're that short, you need to use a different technique. You basically milk with your thumb against the teat, which is against your index finger -- but you do it in sort of a rolling motion from the tip of your thumb down. Just be careful not to dig your thumbnail into her teat at the start of each motion. At the start of each squeeze, your thumb is at about a 45 degree angle to the teat, and by the end of each squeeze, the thumb is parallel to it.

Don't let those kids emotionally blackmail you with their loud yelling or pathetic cries.  Do they look scrawny? Are they apathetic? If not they are learning how to manipulate a human! Go to it and milk mama out. She will just make more. Remember your the human, she's the goat. That means you are a lot smarter than any of them and you are the "boss".

No the kids look perfect to me. I just was thinking by momma getting stressed cuz her babies were yelling for her that she wouldn't relax on the milk stand. I think its how i'm working the teat thats the problem tho. I understand how Deborah explained it and will try that.

Do I just keep giving her food when she's done with initial feeding and wants to get down? I hate to do that and make her sick.  Otherwise there is no way she will stay still for me to milk her out.

 

I will post a pic today of her teats and you can see their size.

I mix alfalfa pellets in with the grain to make it last longer if I need more time milking a doe. It works well and I'm not over-graining her:-)

kristen leu said:

No the kids look perfect to me. I just was thinking by momma getting stressed cuz her babies were yelling for her that she wouldn't relax on the milk stand. I think its how i'm working the teat thats the problem tho. I understand how Deborah explained it and will try that.

Do I just keep giving her food when she's done with initial feeding and wants to get down? I hate to do that and make her sick.  Otherwise there is no way she will stay still for me to milk her out.

 

I will post a pic today of her teats and you can see their size.

She won't get sick on alfalfa pellets. I think I had said earlier to mix it 50/50. You could do more alfalfa pellets except that she might not be that excited about eating it. And if she's only been separated for three or four hours, she won't have as much milk as she would if she'd been separated for 12 hours.

Those teats are fine for the thumb technique of milking that I explained earlier. If you are really having trouble with it, they will get a little longer as the kids nurse more, so it might be easier in a month.

You guys are definately building my confidence up !!! Thank you! 

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