how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) agh!!

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by farmergal, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    519
    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    :hair: I am going CRAZY. I brought home a bottle baby yesterday, and figured this would be the perfect time to start milking my Nigi doe who kidded in late February... separate the kids at night in a stall with the new kid (so she'd have some friends who weren't big and scary grown goats) and then milk mom out in the morning so I'd have plenty to feed the new kid.

    Unfortunately I did not realize that my doe is in fact a MULE. I tried milking her last night and literally after half an hour of struggling I got 2 squirts, which I had to catch in a mug, because no way in heck was a pail getting any where near her. So, I had to go to the store to buy goat's milk, which felt somewhat embarrassing. :oops: I tried again this morning, thinking that maybe her really full udder would convince her that milking might be a good thing... after 45 minutes I got 1/8 of a mug. IF THAT. I tried putting Hoeggar's humane goat hobble on her, but this doesn't really seem to help at all... then, instead of just kicking one leg, she kicks them both together. And no matter how tight I strap the hobble on she somehow manages to kick it off. And of course she does her absolute best to ensure that her muddy hooves get poopy mud all over the mug, milk, and of course ME.

    And she doesn't just kick. She wiggles off the stand so that I have to catch her before she hangs herself (neck in stanchion, legs completely off to the side). She arches her back in weird ways to try and prevent me from getting anywhere near her udder. In fact, she is THE DOE FROM HELL. I tried punching her udder. I tried lifting up her entire back end so she couldn't kick, but she somehow kicks. The most frustrating thing is she has a beautiful, gorgeous udder FULL of milk, really nice soft teats, and the milk just streams out... when I can get close enough to press down my thumb and forefinger on the teat because that's all the time I have before she KICKS again.

    Oh, did I mention, this goat LITERALLY broke the door to my barn with one of her kicks last night?! Like not all the way through, just made a nice shatter-mark in the paint and top surface of the wood. :veryangry:

    I am going crazy... help. (btw, this is not a FF, and the previous owner did warn me that she doesn't like being milked... silly me, I just thought, well I'll take the time to train her...) Is there anything I can do to convince this doe that being milked by a human isn't the worst thing in the world?!
     
  2. Lawanda

    Lawanda New Member

    694
    Jun 11, 2009
    West Virginia
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    Wow!! I am hoping I do not have that problem!! But your title/post about the MULE made me giggle.
     

  3. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    815
    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    All I can say is good luck, sometimes they come around and sometimes they don't. I had a doe alot like this but add biting as well as the kicking. To milk her I had to take her off the stand tie her up next to the fence and when I hobbled her, I tied the back feet to the fence as well. So she was kinda stretched out a little bit, needless to say I sold her to someone that was not going to milk.

    But I do know someone who had a doe that finally calmed down, but it took her a long time. She put her on the stand every day, feed her there, let her stand, touched her teats, it did not matter is she was in milk or not.
     
  4. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    tie her legs to the stand -- thats what we did or have someone hold her legs down.

    I give them a good WACK when they act up like that -- I dont tollerate bad behavior on the milking stand
     
  5. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    519
    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    Tying the legs to the stand sounds like a good idea. Stacey, where do you whack them? I tried hitting her udder like a kid would do, and I gave her a knock on the nose too... she is just one stubborn old pain in the you-know-what and didn't seem to mind at all..

    If she keeps this up she may have to move into the sheep pasture and ONLY be fed on the milk stand... what's even more :hair: is then she pulls this "poor me" routine because I took her kids away overnight... making these pitiful noises...
     
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    I wack them on the butt -- its teh closest thing to me when I am milking :p I also wont let go of the teats even when they jump around.

    So first off dont try and actually catch the milk - use both hands and grab those teats and hold on for dear life and keep milking her (yes ti will go onto the milking stand, ground, floor or whatever (spray it off later). She will learn that carrying on wont get you to stop. And eventually she will have to settle down because the effort is to much.
     
  7. bheila

    bheila New Member

    644
    Jan 9, 2009
    Kent, Wa
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    I totally agree with Stacey on everything! Tie that mule of a doe to the stanchion. Do you give her grain too when she's locked up on the stanchion?
    I have a doe right now I'm working on before she kids. She must be the sister to your doe. Within 2 weeks I've made tremendous progress though.
     
  8. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    519
    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    I will try that tonight and let you know how it goes!! I think that not trying to catch the milk is a good idea... it was like I was one hand short when I was doing that because I couldn't catch and milk and fight her at the same time.

    And yeah, she is getting grain... but of course she refuses to eat it when I'm trying to milk her and she's trying to kick... as soon as I stop she goes back to eating it nice as can be!
     
  9. LuvmyGoaties

    LuvmyGoaties Member

    412
    Mar 8, 2010
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    Ok, So I am new to goats and have never tried to milk a goat but I would think that this is something that Clicker training would work great for. I have used clicker trining for a horse that acted that way about having her feet handled and within a week she was 100% better. If you are not familiar with clicker training then do a google search and you will find TONS of info - mostly about dogs but it can be used on any animal.

    Jen
     
  10. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    I do exactly as Stacey said - whack 'em on the butt whenever they act up. It also helps (and I know this is very hard) to be CALM while trying to milk her. I use a soft voice and just talk to them really nicely (even though I really just want to rip my hair out and scream ;) )

    Don't give up because then she has got you and knows it. Just hold on tight to her teats no matter how hard she kicks and carries on. I also give "rewards" - treat when she gets on the stand and right after milking.
     
  11. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    I have a feisty doe that will try and get as far from me as possible on the stand....she has kicked as well, a good thump on the thigh and not giving up your grip on those teats will teach her that she must stand still....persistance and not letting her win will pay off. Take her grain from her too...since she won't eat it while your hands are on her udder but eats when you release her, have someone with you to take her grain away while you milk, once she stands nicely, reward her, she'll learn. And, you are not being mean at all, goats are stubborn and the actions used to correct bad behavior differ from animal to animal, they are as smart as they are stubborn so they catch on pretty quick.

    When I first started milking my late pygmy Dolly, I used to have to straddle her, face her butt, wedge my knees in her flanks and literally hold her off the ground with my knees, hold the milk cup in one hand and milk with the other. She caught on PDQ to the milkstand once it was built, and her reward was keeping her feet on the ground and her grain in front of her.
     
  12. Gumtree

    Gumtree Lurking Aussie

    585
    Aug 15, 2009
    S.E. Qld Australia
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    if none of the above works...try tying her up (not on the stand) really tight...and then put her head between your knees and lean over her and get a hold the udder....(keep your chin out of the way of her hips....otherwise when she bucks ''ouch" ) :p
     
  13. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a


    TIE THE LEGS DOWN. no grain either except on the stand, and if they act terrible, i keep it away until they behave.

    I don't do bad behavior, and i've found it's kind of hereditary.. but anything can be broken, just takes time. or sell her and get something that behaves
     
  14. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    519
    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    Thanks for all the advice. It was pouring down rain and hailing tonight and I decided between the rain and being tired that I didn't have it in me to fight her... so I separated the kids from her for the night and will see what I can do with a full udder in the morning! Wish me luck!!
     
  15. Lawanda

    Lawanda New Member

    694
    Jun 11, 2009
    West Virginia
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    Good Luck!!! :D
     
  16. CrossCreekTX

    CrossCreekTX New Member

    356
    Aug 10, 2009
    Central East Texas
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    I have had to hog tie one to milk her. She HAD to be milked for her own health, never mind the milk. I milked her onto the ground. She straightened up to be a fine milker, but she had a very close call with the .22 first. I do not tolerate bad behavior.

    With one that dances around the milkstand to the point she falls off, get her into a corner. Tie her head tight and high. Have something immovable behind her so she is pretty much forced to stay there. Sit on a bucket or stool. If she is still kicking, tie both hind legs. Tie them low so she can't move them sideways or front. If she tries to lie down, you may need a rope around her middle that is tied from a rafter.

    If she is persistent about refusing to milk, get shed of her. There are too many fine goats in the world to put up with obnoxious behavior. I'm always willing to give one a reasonable chance to change, after all, it is something new, but none of us needs a goat that continues to give trouble.
     
  17. luvbug*diapers

    luvbug*diapers New Member

    89
    Feb 22, 2010
    sunny california
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    wow this is the reason i came to write to you all about. :GAAH:
    thank you also for all the great advice.


    renee
     
  18. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    519
    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    Well yesterday morning 2 other people helped me milk my mule... we got about 1 cup for about 20 min or 1/2 hour of milking... and of course we were all wearing plenty of milk too, and we left most of it in her udder. One person held her legs down and the other two were on milking/teat-grabbing/butt-whacking duty. We didn't let go when she kicked, and we whacked her when she tried to buck.

    So... limited success... it was much better than the first time though (where she broke the door, and I was fighting her all by myself) and we will try again tomorrow morning!

    In the meantime I am going to buy whole cow milk from the grocery store for the doeling, because I don't think I'll be getting enough from Mrs. Pain In the Butt for a while still... :sigh:
     
  19. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    well the more you work with her the better it will go -- (well thats the idea anyway, each goat will be different). So hopefully next time goes even better. :hug:
     
  20. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    Re: how to milk a mule (or milk train the worst goat ever) a

    One more thing that might help and reduce the need for as much brute force, is a little spray bottle of water. I had one that was determined to be a pill, although not this bad, and she settled down after a few weeks of getting squirted in the face every time she kicked. She turned good on the stand. I tied her feet to the stand too. This year I did that to a first timer, and it only took the one time for her to stop kicking. Now I can do it alone. Usually I haven't got any help. You need a person to stand at her head with the spray bottle and yell No! and squirt whenever she kicks. Then you don't have to let go of her teats. And a very frail person can do this if it is all you have for help.

    And the milkers only get grain on the milking stand.

    Jan