Has anyone ever sedated a goat to milk?????

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by milk and honey, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. milk and honey

    milk and honey Senior Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    Everett, WA
    This has been one of the most trying... frustrating... difficult... frustrating..
    things I have ever attempted. My doe totally stresses out as soon as I start to touch her udders... twice a day... and I feel like I'v tried everything!
    Music, nice soft petting to warm her up, treats, harsh commands, a couple of swats...having her baby on the stand with her, allowing baby to nurse some... Yesterday, I finally had to hobble her legs.. she REALLY hates that too. It's been the longest 10 days of my life!!!
    Oh Well, more goat torture tomorrow....(or is it owner torture???)
  2. Robynlynn

    Robynlynn New Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    NW Iowa
    I feel for you that is so frustrating. I have one who is giving me fit too and it's hard when you are alone out there with no one to help.
    I always had better luck when my hubby could help. I would have him put pressure on her back and hold up one leg. the hobbles are not always the answere either...really makes them mad!
    I have no other advice...some are just harder to handle than other in my humble opinion! :shrug:

  3. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    One of my best does was horrible to train to be milked, it must have taken a month or six weeks. My mother stood at her head and squirted her face with water every time she kicked, and we hollered "no" at her. She got a couple swats too, I hate to admit. It gets to a point it is a reflex, unfortunately. Usually when the foot goes in the milk and all that hard work is wasted. I did a lot of one handed milking, holding a leg down with the other hand. She slowly got better and is a wonderful goat. It sure is hard, though. I have one who will be really hard to train this year, and I am going to try a sling, so she can't go down on me, and a hobble. I have heard of a technique of tying one leg in the air (tied to the front of the stand) so they are on three legs. I guess if they go over the whole thing goes over, and the woman who does this says they usually don't do it more than once. A goat that refuses to be milked gets culled. I haven't tried this tying technique and haven't seen it either, I hope to avoid having to try it. But she has a lot of experience and can do this alone. She has big nubians.

    I wouldn't sedate a goat, though, you would have to keep them that way so often.

  4. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    No, don't sedated her. They don't have memory of when they were sedated, so it wont help her remember any good times on the milk stand when she is sedated.

    I've had some terrible milkers... to me it sounds like she is just being a brat, so she probably needs a firm hand or two on her butt when she does try to kick or spill the milk.
  5. milkmaid

    milkmaid I'm not addicted - I'm in love!

    If you have someone to hold her legs down, it REALLY helps - better than hobbling. If not, try what lissablack says, milk with one hand while holding one leg with the other. Even after my doe calmed down some, I had to do this for weeks or months before she finally resigned herself to standing nicely.
    Keep trying. Do not give up! I know, oh so well, how frustrated you are getting. Training a goat to milk is a character builder. :) Try not to get too frustrated, because that makes her worse. Stay on top of the situation. Stay calm and firm - impossible, I know, but do your best! :hug:
  6. SweetSaanens

    SweetSaanens New Member

    Mar 6, 2011
    I got to learn to milk on a very stubborn milker! Here are some things that worked for me.

    Separate the kids long enough for her udder to get really full before milking everyday for at least a week, This way by the time she gets on the stand she is painfully full and wants the relief of being milked.

    I also found putting a variety of food up on the milk stand really helped keep her focus away from her udder. I would put her grain up there along with some hay, some alfalfa pellets and I even went out before hand and cut some of her favorite fresh browse that is not accessible from her pasture into a bowl for her. at the very least it buys you more time and you can stop doing it when she gets better......Blackberry leaves are high in calcium and good for lactating does.

    And I had my husband build my milk stand quite high so I could milk comfortably while standing, this really helped because while standing it is easier to respond to any movement she makes and I only have a rail on the front where I tie her and put her feed so she is afraid to move around too much in fear of falling off. This set up also works really well for hoof trimming. I also find that milking while standing was easier on my back.

    If you have someone to help my milking goat always relaxed while somebody brushed her.
  7. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    It is very frustrating when you have a dancer/kicker. Don't give up...I milked one handed for quite awhile with a few of my does...when they started to dance or kick I would very gruffly tell them to "QUIT!" If they continued I'd still have hold of the teat even as they tried to kick me away, I wouldn't let go, they soon learned that the harder they pulled away from me the worse it hurt, once they stood still I would tell them Good Girl and proceed gently to finish. A few times I've had to hold a leg up or firmly planted on the stand while trying to hit a bowl while milking with one hand...I never let them know they got to me, kept it up and never let them off the stand till I was done, they finally realized that they were getting milked regardless.

    This may sound cruel or funny...my old doe Bootsie was a dream to milk, always waiting on the stand for her grain and would even stand and chew cud if she finished her grain before I was done...well even as good as she was Boots would try my patience when she was in heat and would squat so low that she would pin my hands between her belly and the milk bucket...I'd keep my hands where they were and would bite her , literally! Her hide was loose enough that I would grab a pinch in my teeth and bite, never broke skin but she would stand up straight in a hurry :laugh:
  8. ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl New Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    *IDEA* when my parents had a small herd i had to milk sometimes. one doe loved to try and put her foot in the bucket, which was terrible because she was second to last to be milked (after 4 does) so it was a real spoiler. some days i had to milk her out with my left hand and hold her leg with my right hand. this usually kept her from getting a hoof in the bucket because its hard to kick with the leg your standing on.
    good luck!!!
  9. Bellafire Farm

    Bellafire Farm New Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    NW Oregon
    @ milk and honey - I SO SO SO feel for you... We must be milking the same goat... cause my doe is such an incredible pain...

    last year I TRULY thought she was going to break her neck or her leg(s) because she fought SO HARD in the stand. My poor daughter and I ended up with SO MANY bruises and smashed fingers...she even kicked my daughter square in the eye, giving her a big shiner (for a teenage girl thats BAD embarassing!! :roll: ) We fought her for a few months and she never got any better... it was our first experience with a cranky goat. She just kidded again and thanks to some persuasion from another breeder I am still trying... although it is definitely a two person job (my daughter is NOT happy about this!) and the doe actually spends most of her time with only ONE foot on the milkstand. She thrashes so badly the she gets one front leg up onto the wall to the front and another front leg thru the spot where her neck/head got in, while I hold one back leg waaaaayyyyyy back and up so that her body is waaaayyy stretched out...and even in this tangled mess she still thrashes 90% of the time... although in the last week she has actually stopped a few times during her struggle to take a quick nip of the grain. It's definitely crazy!!
    But I am determined to get her to her first ADGA show...after that, if she's not better on the milkstand she'll probably go down the road....she'll have to finish VERY WELL at her first show to stick around & continue her milkstand education w/me! I try to tell her that I'll send her for sausage, but she knows I'm a softy :p
  10. heavenlyhaven

    heavenlyhaven Senior Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Belmont, NY
    my husband is an old cattle man - dairy not meat
    he showed me a trick that works
    i had a doe that would not, no matter what, stand still
    it worked
    and after a week i no longer needed it
    take a piece of baling twine
    a complete piece not a cut/broken one
    (a complete circle not a straight piece)
    put it around her just behind her front legs
    put one end thru the loop of the other end and tighten down
    not too much but enough...
    it seems horrible
    i know i absolutely hated doing it
    it pinches a nerve or something and they cant kick
    if you have any dairy farms around ask an old farmer
    they may know what i am talking about
    Good Luck
    God Bless
  11. cercyonis

    cercyonis New Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    I can sympathize. Although Crystal isn't horrible, I can't trust her enough to milk two-handed with a pail underneath. I hobbled her yesterday, and when she finished her grain and figured out what was going on, she bit my back! No one warned me that goats will bite! :shocked: (I know, pretty much anything will, but I just never imagined it.)

    Anyway, back to one-handed milking, which takes forever and my hand gets cramped.
  12. Steve

    Steve New Member

    Mar 12, 2011
    Central Ky
    This is some good reading,informative as well as entertaining.

    I have a alpine who does not like to be handled unless you have feed.She is still a few weeks away from kidding and i am going to start her on the stand,her first time kidding,so i hope all goes well.The baleing twine trick might be something i will have to use on her and glad i read this.It has to be better than what my Grandma told us of her milk cows.When one would kick while she was milking she would take her hard soled shoe and grind it down the cows shin every time she kicked.
  13. fcnubian

    fcnubian New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    I don't have that problem....my problem is convincing the darn doe to get on the milk stand...once she's on the milk stand she won't move her feet while I milk....it's just getting on the stand.....And that's a 140lb goat I have to fight with to get on the milk stand every day twice a day....she only has a few weeks before she's put up for sale if this continues. My back simply can't take the fighting every day. *sighs* GAH! :hair: :hair: :hair: :hair: :hair:
  14. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    I know its expensive, but a machine made our lives so much easier. The girls barely even have time to get angry(not that they do any more) and its over. usually we end up waiting on THEM to finish their grain. And they cant step in the bucket just on a hose and you can just stick it right back on.

    Although at first I ended up making a medevil goat rack. it had sides so she couldnt kick or swing sideways, a rear door so no backing up and a belly bar so no laying down. I shoulda made the one side to come off as goats HATE to go backwards. I wish you luck.
  15. naturalgoats

    naturalgoats New Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    fcnubian... if you're having trouble getting the doe on the milk stand here are some things that might work..... Try putting down just any board tarp etc. on the ground will she go on that? start raising it a bit once she will get on. Then when you ask her to get on the milk stand only ask for a bit at a time. get her to put her front feet up then before she tries to get off again tell her to get off. It will amaze her! keep doing two feet then off until she's geed at it. then maybe see if she'll put all four feet up. I think the main thing is taking it slowly and not getting so frustrated that you think "she's almost one I'll just shove her the last little bit."

    Hope this gives an idea... note that I do not have any dairy goats.. I do have two lovely working wethers.

  16. PznIvyFarm

    PznIvyFarm New Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    I can sympathize. I had NO IDEA what I was doing when I started, I thought I could start slow, but my FF lost her baby and I had to milk her right away. She danced around for a couple weeks at least, but settled after awhile (I'd have to look back on my posts in August to figure out when she settled. Doesn't seem like it was all that long, but at the time seemed like it would last forever)

    As for the other two, one had triplets, one had quads, so I wasn't getting much from them for awhile. The one that had quads was fairly easy to milk, but the other one - she is the herd queen - and she said 'I'll be damned if I submit to her and let myself be milked' and still give me a little trouble every morning (I separate at night and leave the "babies" with mom during the day, and they still must nurse - I never catch them, but both moms are pretty empty at the end of the day) I just started milking both at night about a month ago when the first boys started going to their new homes.

    I sometimes wonder why I keep milking her, but she is my best producer and the milk lets down easy. I still have to hold her right rear leg up when milking the left side, but she lets me milk the right side w/o trouble - usually anyway, sometimes she tries to kick over the bucket. A few times recently I have not had to hold her leg up, and even when I do, it is a light hold, nothing like the struggles I had at the beginning.

    So from my first timer experience, I would tell you to persist and it will get better.