First freshener hates being milked

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by carrie307, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. carrie307

    carrie307 New Member

    Apr 1, 2014
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Our two-year-old Nigerian Dwarf doe gave birth about a month ago. We are relatively new to goat keeping. It is our first time milking and her's as well.

    Soon after getting her and her sister when they were kids, we built our milking stand and that is where we have fed them every day. We thought this would help them get used to the stand.

    She hates to be milked, though. She will barely even touch the grains in front of her because she's so distracted.

    I don't believe she is in pain, because her udder looks fine and she allows her babies to nurse freely. (And she can get upset at her udder being touched at all, even lightly. It's not just the milking itself.) We've also done a mastitis test and it has come out fine.

    We've tried goat hobbles (first on the ankles, and later above the hocks) and they help a little bit, but she still manages to jump and buck around wildly. She broke the cup we were milking into today.

    We’ve been milking her for about three weeks now. We were wondering when others’ first fresheners calmed down in the milking stand. How many weeks does it take? Will it improve after her kids go to their new homes in a month or two because she’ll be glad to be relieved of the milk? Could there be another problem? Any ideas to calm her down or restrain her more effectively?

    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  2. janeen128

    janeen128 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2012
    Edgewood, WA
    Mine took about 3 to 4 weeks... No problems now though... You wouldn't know it was the same goats..

  3. farmchick897

    farmchick897 New Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Maybe it's your technique? If it hurts she would act like that. I know my one doe I didn't shave and sometimes I accidentally pull the hair and that's the only time I notice she gets irritated with me. If that was to happen every time I squeezed she would turn into a nightmare. I have also heard if you have music playing or you sing while milking it helps them relax. :)

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  4. carrie307

    carrie307 New Member

    Apr 1, 2014
    Pittsburgh, PA
    We milk by squeezing thumb and forefinger together to close the teat off, then middle finger against thumb to expel the milk. She has fairly small teats but we are only squeezing as hard as we have to.

    She doesn't like anything about being milked though, not just the actual milking. As soon as her head is locked in the stanchion she stops eating, and then any touch of her udder makes her stomp or buck.

    Hopefully she'll grow out of it!
  5. canyontrailgoats

    canyontrailgoats New Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    western montana
    If she's still nursing kids she might think you're stealing the milk from them.
    After they're weaned and gone she might calm down and accept you as her new baby.
  6. janeen128

    janeen128 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2012
    Edgewood, WA
    You know I have a doe she freshened in March of last year before I purchased her, and I got her in June. She would do the very same thing, she kicked, she sat down etc... This went on for a month, I almost gave up ever milking her, then one day I just hooked her onto the stanchion, without her head going into it, I just hooked her to a leash. I milked one side peacefully in amazement, went to the other side she sniffed me and turned around... Um okay I'll play along so I put her food dish at the bottom of the milk stand, I again milked in peace, no kicking nothing... It's weird, but to this day that's how I milk her, she just hates her head being locked up... Maybe something to try;-)
  7. carrie307

    carrie307 New Member

    Apr 1, 2014
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Thanks for the suggestion!
  8. rssgnl27

    rssgnl27 Member

    May 8, 2012
    Upstate New York
    I find a weird correlation between how nurturing the does are as mothers to how agreeable they are on the stand. I have one doe who is the friendliest creature when you're in the pen, runs right to the stand but is kind of a wench when you milk her. She always squats and squirms, and it's her third year. I had to use hobbles on her most of the first year. She's actually a pretty bad mom too, not really ever calling to her kids, rejected a few before too.

    Then again I have a doe I can't even touch in the pen, but when I finally get a lead on her to go to the stand she's an angel. This is her fist year too. The most timid goat turns into a sweetheart on the stand, and she's the best mother too.

    I know this is more of a personal story but I thought I'd share anyways.

    Keep trying at it! Go slow, try just rubbing her udder and speaking softly. When she kicks and freaks out it's important to not take your hand away from her, that will only teach her that when she flails that you'll stop touching her.

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  9. rosebayridgefarm

    rosebayridgefarm Rosebay Ridge Nigerian Dwarf Goats

    Hi Carrie :D
    I'm having some issues milking our FF doe too. I learned a technique to calm her, which I'll have to change at some piont, but for now, it works well. I begin by putting some grain in front of her just in case she wants it, then I climb on the milk stanchion behind her, and, after giving my hands a good rub for wamth, I cleanse her with my soapy wet paper towels, dry her, and hugging her from above, give her a good udder massage, gently. My weight on her keeps her from bucking and it calms her a lot. After her udder has softened, I grab my small mixing bowl & hold with one hand, then read around her other side with the other hand and work one one teat. At this time she's usually munching her grain, or chewing cud.
    After a few minutes, I switch teats, reaching down from above on the other side. This works on the principles of Temple Grandin, the humane techniques livestock management woman from Colorado who invented the pressure giving machinery to calm cattle. My doe initially broke through all hobbles & restraints, but this holding method helps her a lot. I am essentially milking in reverse with my hands. It's not too comfortable, and might look goofy, but gradually I've been able to move downward onto the stanchion after a few minutes.
    Of course, I haven't been doing this too long, but I've had to milk her for one kid she rejected for 2 weeks, and after several days of being kicked in the head, I just got on top of her and she calmed down. I hope this works for your goat as well.
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  10. Silvery_moontears

    Silvery_moontears New Member

    Apr 25, 2014
    My Nubian took three months to finally calm down. What I do is when she starts kicking even if she is tied to the stand I just keep my hand on her tummy right next to her utter until she calms down. It takes time but once she realized that I wasn't there to hurt her she started behaving. Just letting her know that no matter how many times she kicks you off or tries to get away you are still going to milk her. Good luck and be patient

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  11. lottsagoats1

    lottsagoats1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Middle Maine
    The first time one of my FF acts up on the stand, I take the grain away from them. When they stand, I give it back. Act up, it goes away. I will tell them firmly "no" and give them a slap on the side if they kick or jump around. If I have to, I hold a leg up in the air. I have several goats to milk, a farm to run (alone) and a full time job to go to. I don't have time to mess around with a pain in the butt milker.
  12. bboyd1

    bboyd1 New Member

    Mar 22, 2014
    I just milked for keeps for the first time on my FF who is 2 weeks fresh. Before I'd just milk her some throughout the day while baby was free with her in order to increase supply. She was a complete turd. It's also the first time she'd been separated at night from her doling. They spent the entire time screaming for each other, and Rosie was kicking up a storm, I lost half the milk...Lol. I have no clue how to calm her down, but I won't give up!! Hope there's more good advice coming to this thread, cause I'll be reading it all myself.also wanna note, her first and repeated reaction to me putting grain in front of her was to toss the bucket. Lol. She had no interest in food
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  13. carrie307

    carrie307 New Member

    Apr 1, 2014
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Update - She continued to get better and better, and once the babies left for their new home, she was perfect. She now jumps right up on the milk stand, happy to be milked and get her food!
  14. lovinglife

    lovinglife Active Member

    Jun 6, 2013
    Southern Idaho
    Glad she got better, I always find the more you fight the worse they get, so I just milk with the least amount of fight but don't give up, they always get over the fight.
  15. cw-goat

    cw-goat New Member

    Mar 25, 2017
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I literally tried everything I could think of and then some to get my FF Nubian to stand still for me to milk - no go! But the after one milking with the "slap and no" method, she straightened up and milking has actually become a fun thing for us. So thank you!!