Goat nursing off herself?

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by Realfoodmama, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Realfoodmama

    Realfoodmama New Member

    Apr 12, 2010
    Santa Fe, NM
    So I walked down to the pen earlier than usual this morning to milk my girl as we had a day trip planned, and I noticed that as she lay there she was suckling from her own teat.

    I was wondering if this was a common occurrence, and especially if it could be harmful to her? I am not prepared to dry her off as she has only been in milk for about 5 months.

    I am almost inclined to simply ignore the behavior as she produces a ton and has had a hard time maintaining her weight. I figure she might as well benefit from all that production! :laugh:

    However if it is considered a "no-no" as far as her health is concerned I'd like to know.

  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Won't affect her health but it is definately a "no no" as far as a desired behavior. I had a doe that did that, I was so frustrated with her that I literally had to get her away from me...I sent her to my moms for a few months, brought her home, had her bred and had a serious "talk" with her as I wanted ALL of the quart and a half she produced...even made a special collar to prevent her from "self nursing"...I found out later that a doe I had sold from the same parents also had this habit which makes me wonder if it's a "genetic" behavior.
    If you can ignore it, good for you...I couldn't and had to try and remedy the situation.
    ANNIEJULIEB likes this.

  3. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    here are some suggestions.... never experienced it with my goats.....so unsure if these methods work or not but ...I thought I'd try to help remedy with suggestions...

    How about a elizabethean collar? like they use on dogs.... after surgery....
    but they say that goats can tear them up easily...

    these other 2 homemade methods that are suppose to be stronger...
    You can also use... a small soft bucket with the bottom cut out... and cut open 1 side ...put over goats neck and duct tape it together....
    Please Note.. make sure she can eat and drink with any ....elizabethean collar types...hand made or other...

    Or, take a plastic coffee can....cut out the bottom. Cut down one side, slip on the goat's neck, duct tape to attach it back together.

    Elizabethan collars.... There's a new cloth version with Velcro closures which is supposed to be more comfortable for the animal and equally as effective ....called the Comfy Cone...

    she may be lacking calcium... do you have loose minerals, Alfalfa is a good source of calcium....too.... there is also some stuff called Calc-carb... that can help if calcium deficient...

    Shock collar....watch her for a while and zap her when she tries... maybe that would curb the urge... doing it a few times.. I know it is harsh but...

    Some say ...wet down some Alum put on teats...they are suppose to hate the taste...

    How about a goat bra?

    http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g241/ ... G_0599.jpg
    http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g241/ ... G_0601.jpg

    some places to get them
    http://www.hoeggergoatsupply.com/xcart/ ... =63&page=1
  4. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    I've heard of the "Goat Bra" before, that'd be the best way to go in my opinion
  5. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    The "collar" I made for Tilly was a "neck wrap" that went from shoulder to base of ear, she could browse and drink, just couldn't extend her neck sideways to latch on. Tilly was not calcium deficient, they all have minerals, feed and alfalfa hay, this was just a bad habit with her. What drew the last straw for me was when she started taking from her 2 week old kids, she's stand to let them nurse but not until she'd had hers first...did not set well with me.
  6. Realfoodmama

    Realfoodmama New Member

    Apr 12, 2010
    Santa Fe, NM
    Hi guys! Thanks for the replies.

    My girls do have access to loose minerals (this doe loves them) and they get alfalfa hay. As I mentioned she is a heavy producer and has a hard time keeping her weight up, so she may just want the fat!

    This definitely explains why one side of her udder is typically more empty than the other when I milk, so I imagine she has been doing it for a while.

    If I go the collar route, how long do you think she will need to be in it before she kicks the habit? A few days? A month?
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I would of been ticked to Liz....taking from her own kids mouths....not good ....not right for sure.... :hug:
  8. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    With my doe, she never did "kick" the habit, she passed in June of 09 and had freshened 4 times . Twin does in 05, twin bucks 06, twin does 07 and triplet does in 08. She started the habit with her 2nd freshening and continued til her last, only way to stop her was to prevent it. Once the collar was off, she was on her chubby pygmy butt draining herself every chance she got. :veryangry:
  9. Hidden Waters Farm

    Hidden Waters Farm New Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    I know of someone on CL who posted a milking doe for sale, I was all ready to purchase her until I read she was a self milker and has to wear a homeade "Goat bra". It might not be a bad thing but, what about her kids? they would probably starve.

    I have a 7 month Nubian doe who I fear will be a self milker because she will try and suck on your fingers every chance she gets, she acts like she just cant get enough food and its the end of the world even though she has free choice hay, minerals and a balanced grain for a main diet as well as browse.
  10. Realfoodmama

    Realfoodmama New Member

    Apr 12, 2010
    Santa Fe, NM
    Well, this girl never seemed to steal milk from her kids. She was a FF this last spring and ALWAYS stood for her kids to nurse. They were fat and happy and HUGE. This seems to be something that has happened since they left.

    Given how I breed my girls, she will be dry for about a year before she kids again, so maybe that will be enough time for her to "forget" about it?
  11. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    I had a doe that did that when she was a FF. I think she had no idea what was going on and was in pain. She kidded like a day later, then she did it again after I weaned the babies, so I gave her fresh Sage and it dried her up really quick so she only did it like one day then also.

    It is called Self Suckeling
  12. Goatie Mama

    Goatie Mama New Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    I haven't found my goats milking themselves but they will drain the bucket if I let them. They don't care whose milk it is. I would not mind them self-milking if only they would get the milk in the bucket!! :cool:
    ANNIEJULIEB likes this.
  13. Lexibot

    Lexibot New Member

    Jul 27, 2010
    If you were a craft inventor, I bet something could be built where she does milk for you :D