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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that we have the kids and they are with the mom we need to do the dreaded "separate and listen to them all cry". Is there a best time of day? Is it best to separate at night or first thing in the morning. I like morning because then I can go to work and they have all day to cry and then hopefully they'll sleep good.

How would milking fit in to that? Do I separate first thing in the morning and then milk the moms right away AND then start bottles that morning with the milk from the mom's?

What if I separate at night, would it be before bed time and then in the morning feed bottles and milk the mom first thing when I get up?

I'm trying to think through of when the kids will eat from mom, when will the udder fill up and I don't need to worry about her going to long without a milking.

Tonia
 

· Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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I like to leave em on their moms for at least the first two days as long as they are eating well. It will be 5-7 days typically before they understand the difference between a teat and a nipple. This way the get the colostrum they need as they need it and you dont risk causing the mom to come down with milk fever by over milking her to soon. Milk fever if I am not mistaken is the body over producing calcium in response to taking to much milk to soon. But its deadly if not caught and treated. Taffy I think can testify to that. I think it was one of her does that came down with it and the vet had to come out and give her an IV.

Not to mention it will be at least a week before you wanna be taking any milk for yourselves as colostrum milk is well, nasty tasting. And it sounds like your plan is to pull kids, milk and then put the kids back on. If so then I would suggest doing it this way:

Pull the kids at night. If you can manage it, you can put a little pen next to the mom (I like a 5 x 5 x 4 tall chain link dog kennel. This way they can talk to each other but cant get to the milk. They will spend most of the night sleeping anyways so its not to hard on the mom or the kids. Kids dont eat as much in the morning as they do at night (long days of playing makes em hungry :) so you will get more milk in the morning. Now in case you dont know, the key to good tasking milk is when you feed the mom. The longer it is between the last time the doe ate to when you milk, the better the milk will taste. If you cant really do this you can try to offset this with baking soda as it increases butter fat and cleans up the taste of the milk. But a minimum of 4 hours should be the goal between the does last bite to when you milk. So the morning milking kinda falls in line with this easier. This doesnt however work to well with early to workers like myself. But its my opinion an extra half an hour in the morning to milk is worth it. And then the babies get to spend the day with mom.
 

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May I ask why you are separating mom and kids at this point? I agree with Dave about not taking milk from mom for a while. Dave said a week, personally, I wait two weeks. I assume you are not pasteurizing the milk for CAE precautions since your letting the kids also have time with mom. Is it because you want to bottle feed so they will bond to you for pack goats? I have read that kids need all the milk they want from mom early on. If you are milking already for the table, I'd stop for now. You might even end up waiting longer than 2 weeks. I had a doe that must have still had colostrum until about 3 1/2 weeks "Blech!!!" Tasted awful! The exception would be if you do have a doe with one kid who only drinks off of one side, then I would milk mom on the side the kid does not drink off of, to relieve the pressure. From what I understand, if you don't your asking for mastitis. If her milk tastes bad right now, it probable still got colostrum, give it to the dog or chickens if you have them, they will love it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I want to separate the single buck from the mom so we can bottle feed and bond better.

The other mom has two girls and I'm thinking of leaving them with mom. However, one side of her udder is very full and the other side baggy. The kids are always going to the same side - isn't that the reason why one side is full and one side is not so full?

Tonia
 

· Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Yep thats exactly why one side is more full. It can take upwards of a month before the kids are taking enough to start evening out the udder. As with most things in life, teats are not created equal :) One will always be easier for the kids to get milk outta. Then you add on top of that once the other side is to full, it gets even more difficult for babies to get milk outta it so they will go back to the easy teat more and more often. So if you leave the kids on the mom, just milk the fuller side to even up the halves. It will take some work but an even udder is a productive udder later on. NEVER tape the teat they are eating off of to make them eat from other side. You have a very good chance to cause mastitis in the taped teat. Location and climate are also other factors in this. But more or less you are closing off the teat surrounding it in a cold moist area which is perfect for bacteria to grow.

As for the bonding thing, am just not a big believer in that. I have raised hundreds of bottle babies and I can say for a fact that its not the bottle but the interaction that creates the bond and that interaction can come in any form just as long as you are spending time with the kid. Here is an example of this year. I have bottle babies that only get milk from me. I have others that are taken off their moms at night for the night feeding and are then turned back out after their morning feeding to spend the day with mom. I have kids that are just socialized and have never gotten a drop of milk from me. When I walk out into the pen and call for the babies who need to come in at night, I get rushed and pounced on by all the kids. The only difference is, the kids I am feeding milk to are crying and frantic (not really but you would sometimes think so by the way they sound and rush the door) to get fed. While the ones who never come in for milk come to play, be petted and scratched. So although the ones I am feeding see me as the mama, the other ones see me as their buddy. Just my 2 cents.
 
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