NDG FF Small Teats Milking Woes

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by bwhomestead, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. bwhomestead

    bwhomestead New Member

    9
    Sep 14, 2017
    Hi All!
    Four weeks ago our NDG Doe gave birth for the first time. The wife and I started trying to milk her two weeks in and we're learning but her teats are uber small. I have done a lot of research and watched a lot of goat milking videos on youtube. Unfortunately, I haven't found a good video that shows the technique for milking a goat with small teats. Can anyone point me in the right direction for a good tutorial video (or other media) on milking a goat?

    I have built a homemade "Henry Milker" that uses a FoodSaver vacuum pump with 35mL (I've tried 12 and 20 mL as well) cups but that doesn't seem to work either. The milk starts coming out but then stops and no matter what I do it doesn't flow well. I'd love to get this to work in case we go out of town and need to have a family member milk her but I'm not sure where to continue troubleshooting the design. Anyone else had issues with Henry Milkers and NDGs?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
    capracreek likes this.
  2. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    US
    I milked my ND doe with only thumb, forefinger and middle finger.
     
    capracreek and catharina like this.

  3. bwhomestead

    bwhomestead New Member

    9
    Sep 14, 2017
    Suzanne,
    Thanks for the quick reply! Yes, I have read similar things on this forum and others, unfortunately, I'm not the type of learner that can read something like "use your thumb and forefinger" and translate it to my actions. What type of motion is used while doing this? Where do I place my thumb and forefinger? How high up on the udder do I start from?

    These are the types of conceptual questions I'm having (as a noob) and why I'm looking for a good video or tutorial. I can get milk to come out but not consistently and I want to make sure I'm doing it right and not harming our doe.

    Thoughts?
     
    capracreek and catharina like this.
  4. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Is there anyone nearby who can show you?

    The Henry milker and others like it usually don't work on small teats and teats with small orifices. The constant pressure doesn't work on them.
     
    capracreek likes this.
  5. bwhomestead

    bwhomestead New Member

    9
    Sep 14, 2017

    Ah! That makes sense as to why it initially works and then stops.

    I haven't found a good source for help in my area when it comes to goat advice, unfortunately. The breeder we initially bought from retired and most other goat dairy farms out this way are commercial and (understandably) don't have time to show the FNG how to do things. LoL... But I'll continue looking for a resource in my area. Just thought I'd try the forum as you guys have been super helpful with other questions I've had.
     
    capracreek likes this.
  6. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Could the retired goat person help you? I just don't know of any videos for small teat milking.
     
    capracreek likes this.
  7. bwhomestead

    bwhomestead New Member

    9
    Sep 14, 2017
    You and me both!:( If I ever figure it out I'll make sure to make a video for others and share it here.

    Yeah, I'll try and get hold of our breeder and see if he can help. Again, just thought I'd check here for some help.
     
    capracreek likes this.
  8. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    If I was close, I would come and help. I am in South Central KY. Is that near you?

    As it probably is not, I'll give you the advice I can. It will anger some people here.

    Use a long lasting food safe lubricant. I use bag balm and I think it is the best.

    Put the lubricant on the teat (this is after cleaning and drying) use as many fingers as will fit on the teat to close it toward the top of the teat, under the udder, and strip the milk down. Use the other hand to continually massage the udder. this encourages the milk to continually let down into the teat as you close, strip, and release the teat you are milking.

    Using a pulling, or stripping motion is really frowned on as causing damage. It is vital that you use a good lubricant so that your milking fingers are sliding across the skin, not pulling the skin down.

    You can completely empty 1 side of the udder before moving to the other, but I prefer working 1 side for a while then working the other side for a while. I think going back and forth is helpful in keeping milk production high and flowing.

    Good luck.
     
    capracreek, bwhomestead and catharina like this.
  9. IHEARTGOATS

    IHEARTGOATS Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2016
    Zebulon, NC
    I don't know about the Henry milker, but with the udderly ez after you pump up and the milk starts to flow you stop pumping.

    After a few minutes the pressure will decrease and the flow will slow down.

    As the milk flow slows down you pump it up a few more pumps to get it going again.

    We use it particularly for some of ours with smaller teats that make it difficult to milk by hand.
     
    capracreek and mariarose like this.
  10. bwhomestead

    bwhomestead New Member

    9
    Sep 14, 2017
    Thanks for the offer! Unfortunately, I'm in northern Illinois so it would be quite a drive :truck:.

    I tried your method this morning and it worked the best so far but I'm still getting inconsistent results. Maybe I'll post a video to help troubleshoot.
     
    capracreek likes this.
  11. bwhomestead

    bwhomestead New Member

    9
    Sep 14, 2017
    My only concern would be that if the DIY Henry Style Milker isn't working that the Udderly EZ would have the same issue because it is based on the same principle of constant suction.

    IHEARTGOATS, have you tried both and find that the Udderly EZ works better on small teats?

    Thanks!
     
    capracreek likes this.
  12. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    I think that @IHEARTGOATS is saying what most of us don't know about how to properly operate constant suction systems may be the issue.

    I thought the very same thing, but decided to take a different tack in my suggestion.

    In Constant Suction systems, which are all cheaper systems, once the flow starts, stop the pump. When the flow stops, start the pump. And keep massaging the udder no matter what.

    IHEARTGOATS was explaining using the system familiar to him/her, but it certainly is correct to the method.
     
    capracreek likes this.
  13. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Are you completely inexperienced in any milking? This is not an insult. Just troubleshooting. In my experience, if we know something about how milking is "supposed" to go, then we can see a start and adjust from there. But when we are completely inexperienced, we hit a problem, then full stop....

    If my method gave you a base of some success, then, please build on that and go from there. In less than a year, you will be laughing at your fears now. Go with what works, even a little, and work with that. You use my technigue, you don't use my technique. Go with what works and work to improve it.

    My fear is you will use a failure to work perfectly as an excuse to ignore what works at all. When in truth, you should not be buying a dairy animal without leaning how to milk beforehand. Learning how to milk one animal, even not your animal, should have been a prerequisite for buying dairy in the first place. Because a successful milking is the basis of all successful dairy milkings.
     
    capracreek likes this.
  14. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    If I, or any of my family, are ever in Northern IL, I will certainly let you know, in order to help. Can you reach Northern IN? Next Spring, I know we'll be in Northern IN
     
    capracreek likes this.
  15. bwhomestead

    bwhomestead New Member

    9
    Sep 14, 2017
    No offense taken. When it comes to goats I am a completely inexperienced milker. Because I have milked cows before I feel like I'm misunderstanding the anatomy here. When I used your method I noticed that if I went up into where the teat meets what I consider the bag I had more success. So I guess my follow-up would be how high is too high?

    In the videos of milking goats on youtube, all of the goats have larger teats and the experience looks very similar to milking a cow (Trap the milk with your thumb and pointer and guide the milk down with your other fingers in a massaging motion). Because our doe has 1" teats this motion seems impossible.

    As for the constant suction milker, that is exactly how I try to operate it. I apply suction until flow then stop. When flow stops I reapply suction but no milk flows and I apply more suction. The only problem is I get into the red zone on the amount of suction that should be safely applied and the milk never flows again. Did I build my system too airtight? Should it be slowly losing suction? I'm not being arrogant here just trying to figure out if my design is wrong.

    Thanks for all the replies by the way! Reading forums and having a dialog on them are two completely separate experiences. I'm learning a lot!
     
    capracreek and mariarose like this.
  16. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    You are not misunderstanding the anatomy. You don't want to pull the udder tissue into the teat canal. I believe if you are not doing that, you are not causing harm. So that is the "too High" dividing line, and only you can feel that. We can't feel it for you.

    My sincere suggestion is to keep practicing with the lubricated teat and stripping technique. And once you start separating the kids at night, you will see a stretching and elongation of the teats that will make your job much easier. But be sure to lubricate those teats. Pulling on dry teats is something even rough kids don't do. And keep massaging that udder. I think if you don't lose heart, you will find that 2nd freshening much easier to deal with. If you give up now, you won't make any headway toward developing a milkable udder, you'll end up right here again. Keep going, and breed your girls to a buck with good teats behind him!!!!
     
    goatblessings and capracreek like this.
  17. IHEARTGOATS

    IHEARTGOATS Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2016
    Zebulon, NC
    Yep that's what I meant
    Constant suction milkers are not really constant suction they just don't pulse
    When you are pumping the suction is increasing
    As soon as you stop the suction is decreasing
     
    capracreek and mariarose like this.
  18. IHEARTGOATS

    IHEARTGOATS Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2016
    Zebulon, NC
    I'll see if I can make a short video
    You can certainly grasp the udder above the teat when they are smaller
     
  19. bwhomestead

    bwhomestead New Member

    9
    Sep 14, 2017
    I would certainly appreciate it! Maybe I'll try and make a video of how I'm doing it as well and you guys can help troubleshoot where I'm going wrong. Seems like I'll get a few good squirts and then nothing. Also because of her small size, I have to "reset" my hands every time. Also she's a dancer...LoL... Got a lot of things working against me on this one but we've had her for two years so this will happen.
     
    mariarose likes this.