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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to the forum and have very much enjoyed reading through the posts. So, I have an embarrassing question. I have tried to milk my 2 ND does in the past. My older doe refused to let down to me. She stood nicely on the stand, but I could not get a drop of milk from her. My husband could get a quart at a time from her (hand milking). Last summer I tried to milk her daughter. I got no milk from her. She had her kids with her all the time, but I couldn't even get a drop. Has anyone else been a failure at milking? I plan to freshen 3 does in the spring, but hesitate to make plans for what to do with the milk since I have technically not gotten milk from my goats...ever...grrr. Most goats eventually let down, right? Has anyone had a goat that just won't let down? Any tips? My girls have been well behaved, apparently I'm just a loser at milking and my confidence is way down.
 

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Well my daughter was away for a sleepover, and I got her doe on the stand, she refused to let down for me as well.... we just waited a while , she was eating her grain, I started massaging her udder, and then she let down-- not a whole lot, but enough so I felt she could make it thru til next day and we got my daugther for the AM milking...
Not sure what to do in the future. but if it helps it took my daughter about 10 days to really hit stride with the milking, so I would say, just keep trying and you and your goats will settle into a rhythm?...
 

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I feel your pain...it's not easy to learn. It takes persistence and patience. And NDs can be difficult with the small teats. You want to massage the udder for a little while to try to get the momma to let down. Talk to her and try to relax her. Then you close off the top of the udder with the thumb and fore finger and then use the other fingers to squeeze the milk out. If you have someone to help you, have them hold the baby near to mom, and she may let down easier thinking it's for the babe. It has taken me quite a while to get the hang of hand milking . I started with hand pumps, then a milking machine...then I just determined that I would master it!
Good luck! You can do it!
It also takes the goat a while to learn too- so you're not alone in this!
 

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Time and patience. I have one here who is an awesome mom, capacious producer and a devil when it comes to emptying her udder :)
I use a bump and massage technique as I milk... once the teats are in your hands, bump upward as a kid would and as I do this I use the three fingers on each hand to rub the back of the udder, having a pail with hot water and a dishtowel helps too...wrap that wrung out very warm towel around her udder and massage before you start milking. The doe I have mentioned that I have will also hold her milk until she gets an added cup of alfalfa pellets :)

I also will separate kids at night at around 3-4 weeks, I use a large dog crate to bed them in with plenty hay, after 8-10 hours I milk mama's but leave just enough for the kids breakfast.
 

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set the mood lol...play a bit of soft music...brush her while talking softly to her..relax,,, she will pick up on it if you are tense..she will come around : )
 

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If the kids are on them 24/7 they likely don't have much extra milk and don't want to give you any if they do. If you want to leave the kids on the moms, I would be there when she kids and handle her udder right after she kids, let her lick you and make her think you are also one of her kids. I would then go out at least once a day, put her on the stand and feed her and massage her udder. If she feels really full milk out a little, if not just massage her udder. Once the kids are 2-3 weeks old, start separating them at night so you can milk mom in the morning. By this time she should be used to you handling her udder and should hopefully think you are also one of her kids and will let her milk down for you.
 

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Then you close off the top of the udder with the thumb and fore finger and then use the other fingers to squeeze the milk out.
The TEAT, not the udder! LOL I'm betting that was a typo!! It does take practice to get the hang of it. I had a friend that called me so frustrated cause her goat just wouldn't let out any milk. I get there and it was the easiest milking goat I'd EVER seen!! Found out she was just pulling on the teat, tried mashing it between her hands, etc. We had a good laugh over it. So, nope, you are NOT alone! Those smaller teats are so hard to get ahold of and milk properly that it takes a lot of practice and patience. You may only get a drop or 2 the first few times you get it all together...don't give up. We milk our goats once a day and never take the kids off them. We don't "strip" them either since they are nursing 24/7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the encouragement guys!! I really appreciate it and will keep your suggestions in mind this spring. Those kids will be here before know it!:)
 

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I am in s.c. so maybe close and could help you too. I had trouble too but finally got the hang of it. Got one due in a few days so I will be milking again. Cannot wait. Do not give up bits worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's so nice Sandra! We are in central NC, quite a ways from NW NC, or SC.
 

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I've been in the same boat, but not sure if the same fix is required. Words I read somewhere on the net: "don't overthink it, just go out and milk the goat!" Somehow that worked for me. It was a matter of letting my doe, who has seen many owners and knows a bit about psyching out humans, know that I was boss; that she would give me milk in exchange for grain, and then she would be allowed off the milking stand once she had given milk. It was an attitude change with me; I had been feeling like a dweeb, and telegraphing that to the doe, and she worked with that to her own end. Approaching with confidence, let's just say "knowledge" that things would go my way, made the difference. True, late in the milking season she would withhold some milk for her kid, who definitely didn't need it, but we had long since worked out that agreement that I would certainly be getting a good share.
 
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