[attachment=2:2959069k]IMG_1171.jpg[/attachment:2959069k]I have an alpine goat, 6 years old, never bred, that has a very large, firm udder. I'm hoping one of you can tell me what this might be and whether I should be concerned or not. I've had her for 5 years, living with an old wether, and am sure she is not pregnant. So if this is not milk related, what is it? The wether was getting grain in the evening with his medicine, so I was giving her some too, and she got very fat. I thought the udder was just fat, but the wether has died, and she's off the grain and has lost most of the weight, but the udder is still fat. It feels very firm and looks like it's about to pop. It doesn't really feel warm. She hates to have it touched, but has always been like that. Is this something to worry about? Could it just be fat? Thanks.
Thanks for the quick reply! Did some reading on precocious udder and get some conflicting info, but it seems like I should not try to milk her unless I plan to keep milking her because I'll make her vulnerable to mastitis. I am milking another goat right now, and could be milking the alpine except that she really doesn't want me near her udder. She's been this way for a long time, at least several months, with no change. I've never seen milk leaking out of her. Should I milk her or just let it go longer and see if it gets better? Is there any other way to diagnose it? Separate question: as I said, this goat is 6 and has never been bred. Is she too old to safely breed?
I would get a mastitis test kit....or have a vet look at her...if you can't get a vet...fight with her and test it... Tie up her back leg if you have to..so ....you will know what your are dealing with.... If she has been that way for a very long time...she is definitely in need for relief somehow...test her first to see and then we can go on from there.... Is the udder hot?
The vet confirmed precocious udder. Milked out thin milky liquid. Said I could milk her or not milk her, my choice. So we tried milking her tonight. I expected a huge argument, but she was surprisingly compliant on the stand with grain in front of her (although she's never been on a stand or had her udder touched for more than a second). The problem was that I had a terrible time getting the milk out. Was only able to milk out about a tablespoon. The opening seems no bigger than a pinhole, and the teats are huge and soft; they feel like water balloons. I had a hard time trapping the milk in the teat then being able to force it out the pinhole. My other doe has teats the size of hotdogs and are much fleshier feeling. I guess tomorrow I'll try the hand pump milker. I would like to keep milking her, for her relief, and possibly for extra milk for us. I'm brand new to this milking business; anyone know something that could make this easier?
Milked her with the pump this morning and filled a quart jar with this strangely colored liquid. It has no smell except slightly milky smell. I'm so glad the pump worked well because one teat is so short with such a wide base that I am unable to get any milk out of it by hand. She was quite cooperative with the pump and grain to eat. We'll keep milking her in hopes that it will turn into real milk.
Just a follow-up. It's been a month, and the doe's udder hasn't refilled to the extent it had before. It doesn't have that flaccid look it did after we milked her, but it looks like a normal udder and doesn't seem to be changing, so we're leaving it alone. Disappointing that she didn't start volunteering real milk, but a relief that she's back to normal. Thanks so much for your help!