Those of you that milk multiple goats..how do you do it? Do you put them all in stantions at once or one at a time? If one at a time, where are the other does when you are milking the one in the stantion?
they bring 4 goats in at a time.. first two get on the stand (plywood between) and they eat and are milked. the other two wait patiently in a nearby stall also used as a kidding stall and munch on alfalfa until they switch places after the others are done!
That would be cool. I bring mine in one at a time and milk them on my back porch, I take the milk in usually between each one, she waits on the stand until I take her back. I only have one milking stand and there is just me also. It gets the milk in ice water really fast. I'm milking five in the morning and three at night. I guess I could milk two at a time with a milking machine, but I don't want to go there until I have to.
I hand milk, one at a time and currently have 2 in milk...I go in the main area with Binkey and Penny..Bink is on the stand waiting til Penny gets fed, Bink is tended to then she's out the door and Bailey is on the stand waiting til I get Penny out( she thinks she needs fed twice!), Bailey milked, All girls get a cookie, Boys feed is readied and I'm out the door after Bailey, milk goes to the fridge then I'm back out to feed boys.( all this takes me 15 minutes)
If I bring mine in together, the girls who are waiting for their turn try to jump up on the stand and steal the grain from the one who's being milked. So, I have to bring mine in one at a time. They know the order, and when I open the door after milking Jitterbug (who's always first), Seven hears the door and comes running. Then, when I release Seven, Che's waiting. And they definitely don't like any deviation from that order. They're VERY routine-oriented.
I saw that someone said they bring them in in order of priority in the herd (Queen first, and so on down the line)
Does it matter? I can see doing a specific order, but frankly since Bailey (lowest on the totem pole) lost her baby, and has to be milked now, and will still have to be milked twice a day when i start milking the others, I was thinking I would continue doing her first, the other two can wait. Will that upset Queen Mink and her lady in waiting Chara?
I choose an order that works for me and then they come when called - sometimes they are standing by the door when I open it. I do get the occasional two goats at once through the door (or three) but thats not common they learn.
So no it doesnt have to be the herd queen first. My herd queen sometimes is middle years she is first other years she is last. It depends on what works for me and how and in what order they they freshened too. Lots of variables in there to determine what works best.
You need to find what works for the goats and works for you. I rarely let the goats rule me so they learn quickly I am herd queen! thats the most important part of anything to do with goats.
The order is like Stacey said, in my case though it tends to be the doe that freshened first or whichever one is the quickest to milk out.
Since your Bailey has been the only one milked so far she should stay the first as it does cause them a bit of confusion when the order is changed after starting a routine.
I think order is important for milking because those who are milked first seem to hold a status symbol in the herd. I milk our herdqueen Molly first, because otherwise if I milk somebody else before her Molly will just beat the crap out of that doe all day long just because she was milked before Molly was. If I have a doe that is lower on the totem pole, I'll move her up in the milking line and her status in the herd improves. Goats are just weird like that.
Anyway, we're milking 12 goats right now once a day, and 4 of those are being milked twice a day(the others have kids with them during the day, the 4 were milked through and have no kids) We have two milking stands, sitting side by side; a right-sided stand and a left-sided stand. We chain all of our girls up so that there's less chaos in the barn at milking time and so we can feed everybody faster. Girls that don't get milked get fed, then we feed the milkers on the stand and they get to finish their food on their chain after we're done milking them. My mom milks on one side and I milk on the other. Even when I milk by myself, having two stands is really nice because if I have my dad helping me(who doesn't know how to milk) he can bring a doe up to the stand and give her food while I'm finishing up a doe and then I just keep switching sides. When I milk by myself, I can put two does up, wash them both, milk the first doe, then just go and milk the second doe then reload the stands and repeat the process.
How I work it is I try to have an order so they get used to - oh I am behind Janine so I will wait my turn. Mostly it works. I have made mistakes when closing the gate and I will end up with all the does getting on the milkstand - but for the most part I have found if you work out a routine the girls will wait their turn. Now my pushier does do get put at the head of the milking order as it makes milking go more smoothly but then we stick to that order.
Thats alot of milk what do u ladies do with all this milk i have boars so i dont have to deal with this i probley be lost if i did lol do u sell it or drink it specially the lady with the 12 goats that milks twice what can u do with lots of milk...
Our barn is currently set up to bring in three at a time on a long wooden stanchion with a ramp for them to go up on. We also have three grain feeders spaced accordingly and hooked sideways on a wooden board nailed to the wall. We have a chain witha hook to hook their collars to-although most of the older ones are just fine without having to be hitched up. Most take a whole grain scoop full of grain-although we are currently on a new grain untill we get more grain and some do not like it. As for who comes in the barn when-well that's a battle of whoever slips through the gait first which is mostly 3 yearlings in the first batch this year and then the older does last-but normally it's the older does first and the young ones last. I like the yearlings first since they tend to milk less and go through the barn faster.We did have a metal fold up stand set up at the beginning of the year and were having 4 come in the barn at once, but we reduced the herd down and now only need to have three come in at at time. A friend of mine has an old dairy barn as a milk barn and can bring in quite a few milkers at one time-but then again she has quite a few does to milk.
We feed our extra milk to pigs, calves, baby goats, lambs, sometimes the chickens. And we also drink it and make cheese and soap with it to. My neices dont like it though-mainly the older one. Although she drank it quite a bit when she was little, thought it was cows milk. Personally i'm not a huge milk drinker-but the milk we are bringing in this year is really yummy. No goaty taste at all.
We drink a lot of the milk. Daughter and I both have serious food allergies and having the milk is important. I also make cheese. Whey and excess milk goes to the dogs, cat and poultry. Next spring I plan to get a couple of steer calves to raise so they'll get some of the milk for a couple of months. The main reason I plan to have all 9 does milking is because I can feed it to the poultry and not have to spend so much on feed. I have a LOT of poultry. The goats don't need much bought feed since they free range on my farm. I'll be growing comfrey, nettles, corn, and such for adding to both the goats and the poultry diets. I raise all our meat, dairy and eggs, but am buying way too much feed to do it. The goats really improve our self sufficiency here.
I have 6 Alpine/Ober crosses. We are licensed to sell cheese so we have to have a separate building just for that purpose. We have a milking machine and take them one at a time. They have a pecking order. The Queen goes first. I open the gate and she goes running to the building and will tap on the door looking very put out because I am not walking fast enough. The next goat is usually pacing back and forth at the gate impatiently waiting her turn. They all know where to go and who is next. It is quite amazing to watch.
One day a neighbor came over while I was milking. I finished Glennis and went to speak to him. He was astonished to see Lisle (who was next in the line up) come dashing past us, into the shed, jump up on the stand and put her head in the stanchion. He didn't know goats were that smart and would learn the routine.