My does won't let my daughter milk them.. is that normal?

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by Cinder, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Cinder

    Cinder New Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    My 13 yr. old daughter would like to be more involved with my goats. I also want to have someone in the house as a back-up goat milker for those times when I can't do it for whatever reason.

    I've been having my daughter help me and even milk each of the does so that she can learn, obviously. My does don't want her milking them! They start kicking their back feet and my daughter can't milk them unless she ties their feet down. Is this normal? Shouldn't they let anyone milk them? They let me milk them when I got them from their previous owners with never a problem.

    My daughter had to milk them for me about 3 weeks ago at night because I was gone; it was the first and only time thus far. The next several days the does were all afraid of getting on the milk stand and were just more skittish than normal. I don't believe my daughter did anything to them but she probably did get frustrated.

    I don't want to get into it but just because it may be important... my daughter is adopted and does have some mental health issues (not aggression), could the goats be feeling something different from her? What can I do to get my goats to let her milk them?
  2. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    The only thing that I can think of is 1.) they feel dominant over her or 2.) she is doing something "different" that they are not used to and it is urking them off. maybe her grasp on the teats or position or something.

  3. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Animals can sense when something isn't "right", I would suggest getting them on the stand while you are with them, have your daughter brush them and give treats...they will learn that you are ok with her doing "your" job.
  4. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I know before I learned the right way...they seemed to jump and kick my hand away.. but it was because I must of been pinching their teat wrong ...and it was uncomfortable and may of hurt....It discouraged me for quite a while..I was telling my DH that he is going to have to be the one to milk them........and at those times... I would slap them on their side ....disciplining them for something that.... "I was doing in the wrong".....and that is why .....I believe now ...they were nervous .... until one day my DH came out and watched me....He did show me how along time ago...but it seemed like.... I was trying to just squeeze the teat itself and with all my fingers and pull down at the same time.....not doing it proper....he showed me take my thumb and index finger lightly pinch off.....the teat trapping the milk......gently squeeze with the remaining fingers.....he watch some more ....and I tried and almost gave up I couldn't seem to get it right :doh: ...he moved me away and said ,"watch again it this way...see how easy that is?"
    I said yea right easy for you".....we switched places.... and he slowly talked me through it..... low and behold I was milking...and the doe wasn't kicking and moving around...But I did find after that they did kick slightly until I tapped them on their side........then I milked them with no problem.... maybe..... she still isn't doing the technique quite proper may need to keep trying to teach her ......and one day.... just as I did.... she will "MILK"

    good luck
  5. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    My mom and I share our goats, so sometimes they never know who to expect. If your daughter hasn't been around the goats too much, I would definenently start out with having her sit near, and just talk about whatever, so they get used to her presence and voice. Gradually have her help, have her start feeding them their grain when they get on the milking stand, and eventually doing other things with the goats. After a while have her sit at the milking stand and pet the goats, and eventually have her start milking. Teach her the proper way to milk, and care for the goats.

    I highly doubt that your daughters disabilities make them dislike her. My mom does care for a mentally disabled girl, and our goats love her, and she loves them. Goats are great influences for disalbes and special needs persons. Especially if your daughter is a kind soul, they will soon learn to love her as much as they love you, although the whole process could take a couple weeks. Don't give up, it all takes time. Obviously each goat is different, one goat might not care if someone new, outta the blue, starts milking them, but another goat might.
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    you are lucky they were good for you. IT is normal for them to be jittery around a new person and act out like that.

    I recomend like the others said for your daughter to hang with the goats as well as have you around with she does milk till they get use to it. Have her give the treats when they get off the stand and they will associate her voice and her with good things.
  7. heavenlyhaven

    heavenlyhaven Senior Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Belmont, NY
    i, my husband, and one daughter can milk my goats
    anyone else even comes near the milk stand and they start kicking and fussing
    goats are an animal of routine
    and if you break that routine they get upset
  8. Crissa

    Crissa New Member

    Oct 7, 2007
    Cashion, Oklahoma
    I had that problem with Lyrae once too. First she hadn't been trained to even be milked in the first place, I found the secret though......BREAD! lol Lyrae is addicted to bread. So when my sister had problems milking her when I had to go to a sheep show I told her to give her bread to get her on the stand and now she's GREAT! Might be worth it for your daughter to try. :shrug:
  9. Amy Goatress

    Amy Goatress New Member

    Oct 1, 2008
    I know one of my friend's tried to milk one of our goats and the goat wouldn't let her but we only milk one handed though and this girl milked with both hands and the goat tried to kick over the bucket since she wasn't used to the girl since this girl hadn't milked this particular doe in a long time.
  10. Firestone Creek Farm

    Firestone Creek Farm New Member

    Jul 11, 2008
    NC, USA
    I am one of those people that believes that animals have a sixth sense of sorts, too, and that they can sense when someone is insecure with them. Horses are definitely like that; they will overreact and toss off someone who is afraid of them. So, she needs to feel secure with them, and the best way to do that is to get her to spend LOTS of time with them until she is super relaxed around them. Then they should relax around her.

    Your daughter's mental health issues shouldn't be a problem as long as there is no aggression being displayed. Loudness, anxiety, or hyperactivity MIGHT create some problems though, if she makes the goats nervous with her actions. I have an adopted son who is 3 and into everything. He frightens my goats, because he's so active. He loves to play with them, and a couple of them are real people goats [they like his hugs and kisses], but at the same time, a couple of the others are very afraid of him, too. So sometimes I think it depends on the goat, too. Perhaps you could try treats and one on one time with each goat, because they do tend to "follow the crowd" when other goats are around, and if one overreacts, sometimes they all will.