Milking question???

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by MilkandMeatgoats, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. MilkandMeatgoats

    MilkandMeatgoats Member

    83
    Jan 21, 2017
    Virginia
    What am I doing wrong? I purchased two registered nubian does from a lady who claimed she had never had a minutes trouble with either of them...she was just reducing her milk herd. They are beautiful, now 4 and 7 years old. The seven year old did not get bred last year (our buck was young) but the other did. She kidded a single doeling and immediately got mastitis which I battled until July when I decided to dry her up before more damage was done. Her udder softened again and I had high hopes for this year.

    Both girls were bred this year and kidded a day apart...both kidded singles. With the kids only nursing on one side I began milking the other udder on both girls and the doe that had mastitis last year tested positive immediately again...udder felt congested but not hot, no fever so I got aggressive treating her, still am today.

    The other doe seems to be doing okay. Milk is not testing positive doing the CMT test but there does seem to be a "hard" or less soft area in one side of her udder also. She hasn't been on a milk stand since I brought her home so she's still fighting me a little but with a bucket under her belly I have been able to milk her.

    My question is, after milking both does, their udders are never empty although I can't get another drop. I have massaged the udder, took a break and brushed them, I talk to them, anything I can do to try and make them relax and "let down their milk" but I always feel like they are holding back on me. The doe without mastitis has one side that is wrinkled and flat by the time the kid gets what she wants and there is seldom anything for me to milk out on that side so I now know what an empty udder should look and feel like but I can never get there on her other side or on either side of the other doe!

    Could it be that she just sold me does with bad udders or does she had had trouble with or am I doing something wrong...or are my girls just stubborn. Just so it's out there, I am letting the kids nurse all they want right now, haven't separated them as they are just now 2 weeks old and yesterday I got 40ml of milk from the doe with mastitis (I know this because I'm feeding it back to her in hopes of her building antibodies to fight the mastitis) and about a cup of milk from the other doe. Last year in between the mastitis infections I was getting nearly 1/2 gallon from that doe so milk production is way down from that and feed rations are the same.

    If anyone has any suggestions or advice please chime in!
     
  2. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    They may be congested. Have you tried warm compresses ect?

    You may of been sold bad udders from that breeder, it seems fishy, but mastitis can happen at anytime too, it is hard to say for sure. :(
     

  3. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    CMT test is made for cows. It will work on goats, but..... The CMT is really sensitive to goat milk. I have a herd of between 50-70 does that I milk and ship Grade A in Ohio. I used it and spent a ton of money on mastitis medications and lost milk checks due to milk with holding, before finally sending in quite a few samples of milk to the vet (really expensive) just to find out that out of 15 CMT positive (gelled pretty good) only ONE doe actually had a mild case of sub clinical mastitis on one side.

    I am not saying the California Mastitis Test does not work for goats, only that you need to follow up with a lab test before you panic. Oh, incidentally, the positive doe was Nubian, but that might be circumstantial. Did your milk taste or look "off"?

    My barn is super clean, udders are clipped and our milk always tested low in bacteria numbers, so the mastitis threw me. It was a case of being too worried, I guess!
     
  4. MilkandMeatgoats

    MilkandMeatgoats Member

    83
    Jan 21, 2017
    Virginia

    Last year her milk tasted fine for a few days then I started getting little clumps. I tested her here (CMT was positive) so the vet recommended we treat her with today. Did that and waited 72 hours (milk going down the drain) then sent off samples and got a clear bill of health, CMT negative. Milk was fine for a couple of weeks and her udder became hard again, this time a fever accompanied. Long story short she kidded in April and every couple of weeks we'd have trouble with her right side or see signs of mastitis then her left side also became contested so we dried her up in July.

    This year her right was congested from day one again and yesterday her milk from that side (2-3 tbsp) was pink tinged. I have treated her and there was no pink tinge tonight so I am crossing my fingers that my more aggressive treatment is working this year.

    Like you my milking area is super clean and so is their shelter (I only have two in milk and they have their own building all to themselves). We turned an old farm house that was no longer being rented into our milk house. Replaced all the plumbing, and have a fully functional kitchen with hot water and my old fridge plugged up right beside the stanchion. Makes keeping everything clean and sanitized a snap so even our vet was scratching his head. Said he would only expect to see mastitis issues under less sanitary conditions.

    At this point her udder is feeling much better and less congested but I am getting enough milk to cover the bottom of a milk pail from her. Her kid is still freely nursing but then she was last year also I I was bringing in anywhere from 1-1/2 to 2 quarts daily from her. I just feed what I get from her directly back to her with little or nothing going down the drain. Her udder still feels un-emptied when we're done milking on both sides but I can't get any more milk from her. I am only getting a cup and a half from my other doe. One side of her udder also feels "un-emptied" when I am done milking but her milk has no clumps and taste and smells fine. The left side of her udder is completely empty when we're done. Can't tell whether she has had some trouble in the past or if she's just not letting her milk down on the right side.

    Sorry for being so long winded but we have no one in this area that we know off with a lot of experience with milk goats. Even the local vets admit to not knowing a lot about most issues. Just trying to figure these girls out. Sure would be nice if someone would develop a mastitis test for goats that was accurate :)
     
  5. MilkandMeatgoats

    MilkandMeatgoats Member

    83
    Jan 21, 2017
    Virginia
    I've been treating her now for a week. Garlic cloves everyday, vitamin c for the last three, feeding her her own milk everyday, warm compresses and peppermint udder cream massages everyday, and two today treatments 12 hours apart followed by two more 24 hours apart. Going to keep the vitamin c and garlic going and give her through the weekend and try to send a sample to the lab Monday to see if there's any bacteria. Now I've just gotta figure out how to get both girls production up...They're getting free choice hay, plus 6-8 cups of chaffhaye, 3 cups of grain and 1/4 cup of calf manna which I was told was outstanding for increasing milk production. Calf manna made a huge difference last year, so much so that I took her off of it because I was trying to keep her "bad side" milked out but this year I'm not getting enough milk for me let alone to share with my family (or my begging great pyrs ).
     
  6. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Getting a sample and sending it in will help determine what type of bacteria ect it may be and what is needed to treat it.
    Some strains will not be killed off by today.

    It must be a nightmare without resolution. :(
     
  7. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    Excenal RTU EZ is one of the only antibiotics without a milk withholding that some milk producers swear gets rid of mastitis. ( for shipping purposes) 1 cc sq for 3 days. Unfortunately, it is Vet RX and pricey! Good luck with your mastitis! No vets here know anything either. But, boy are they quick to dismiss the Internet and goat forums, too. Grrrr