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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, it has been about a year since I first got goats, and it has been a crazy year for a lot of reasons. As much as I like my goats, I'm thinking maybe I made a mistake by getting them.

Right now I have a mini lamancha doe (4 years old) and her two three month old kids (one boy and one girl). I feel like I have learned a lot, but my husband's work changed, and his new schedule isn't working out great for us. I have a toddler too.

I got goats for the milk, and this mama does not want to be milked. It doesn't help that I have never milked an animal before. I have a milk stand and I have watched a lot of videos, but she bucks and kicks no matter what I do. I have held a back leg up, I have strapped both back legs down, and nothing works. If she is totally strapped down, she makes the milking stand hop. Even when I have gotten some milk, she either spills it for me or puts a foot in it.

I got very worn out with this and gave up. My husband has to be in the shower at 5:30 in the morning in order to go to work on time, so I have to be up very early to try to milk so I can be back in the house with our sleeping toddler, and I thought I could get it done in 15 minutes or so, with some practice, but one weekend I was down there for an hour plus trying to calm her and get milk from her. I really don't want to go out there at 4 so I can fight with her for an hour and go back with one poopy cup of milk that I end up dumping.

They have cost a lot of money, and are still costing money, and I was really expecting to get something out of them, but honestly, I'm tired. My toddler wears me out, my goats are wearing me out, and I feel like a total failure. I wanted this so bad, but it just isn't working, and now I feel like they are taking time and money I don't have.

I thought maybe someone on here could relate. My toddler loves to go help me with them, but he needs watching over still, so I can't really take him out there just the two of us if I need to get some work done. He gets into everything and since our goats are on a hill, he always ends up tumbling down the hill and getting goat poop and chicken poop all over him and them he gets upset and I have to take him in to calm him down and clean him up. He wants so badly to help, and I think in a few more years he will be able to, but he's just too young right now.

I do care for my goats, so I worry about selling them. How do you know what kind of home they will go to? Any advice on my situation or on how to sell goats? The mama is actually very friendly and she's a great mother too, she just doesn't want to be milked, and I'm not experienced enough to know what to do with her. But that worries me too. I think it could be hard to find them a good home. Arg...I just don't know what to do.
 

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Sounds like maybe the timing is not right just now...But if you really want the milk then you could find a doe who is milk table trained and boy oh boy the difference that can make...Its hard when your first go at it is with a stubborn gal...if you decide selling your goats is what needs to be done then do not sell cheap...this will weed out the ones looking to resell for fast profit, check craigs list and news papers to see what a family set like your goats are bringing so you dont loose money too..list her for a family milker and really talk the ear off the person who wants her...let your heart guide you...you will know if it feel right....dont be in a hurry..be picky...if you like the feel of a family..let them know you will talk it over witih your husband ( buying you some thinking time) and will get back with them...also insist on proper transportation..
there is plenty of time to restart if you miss them...: ) best wishes
 

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7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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I can attest to the difference milking manners makes. My Busy Bee is SO well behaved ... I could tie her to a fence and milk her. I hum milking her out and rest my head on her stomach. It's enjoyable. Then there is Gypsy (who now is also well behaved, actually). At first, though, she bucked and make SUCH a fit I loathed milking her. Ended up that whenever she did that, I'd rip her food bowl away and say "NO!" she soon learned that good behavior=food. She can still be a turkey sometimes, but is better than before. Hobbles never fixed her either.

It sounds like you need a rest. Maybe in the future, you can look at starting fresh with maybe a better fit. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the advice. I am going back and forth a lot right now. I think you are right that maybe it is just a bad time for this right now. I like the idea of getting a goat that already knows how to be milked. I really think that would help me learn how to milk better too. I know I am slow and clumsy, but I can't get any better with this goat. If I could get better, I might be able to handle this one better.

I'm also thinking if I kept them, I could try again when her daughter is ready to be bred. Maybe since her daughter has known me since birth she would be more open to me milking her.

The advice on selling is very helpful. They are wonderful goats and I don't want something bad to happen to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ThreeHavens, I read about (and saw videos of) wonderful milking sessions that did look enjoyable. I'd love to have that experience! Maybe it is just a bad fit. I'm not experienced enough to handle her. She really needs someone who already knows how to do some of this stuff. I thought she had been used as a dairy goat before I got her, so I'm confused by this. Could she be taking advantage of my inexperience? Or maybe they used a machine to milk? I didn't think to ask if she had been hand milked.
 

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7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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My doe who was machine milked HATED hand-milking at first, but she got used to it. Takes a lot of persistance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe that's it then. I know she came from a place with a lot of goats, so I really am wondering if she was machine milked. Ok...I wonder if I could use my old breast pump and give it a try? Would that work on a goat? Lol, it would be a new use for old breast pumps.
 

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finding the right Doe makes a huge difference...I love the one on one with my girls..I hum to them brush them and just enjoy that time...they love it too..
 

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i agree, i love milking my girl. no matter how tired i am in the morning, sick or hungover (lets' be honest, that can happen...lol), i love spending the time with her like that. she was NOT willing to let me milk her when we first started - i was new at milking, she was new at being milked. it was the blind leading the blind with us.

i think it just sounds like you're tired with baby and other home responsibilities, that having this trouble goat is just adding to your frustration and stress. maybe in the future, when you baby is older and you've had some more sleep (don't we all need more sleep), and with an easier to milk goat, that it won't be so frustrating.

also, sounds like hubby needs to let you have a spa weekend just to relax and regroup! if that's not feasible, then maybe a LONG bubble bath!
 

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I have heard of folks using breast pumps on them..its regualted to be gentle for human moms so should be safe I would think..but do watch for the nipple to be over stretched or if she is uncomforable..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you, my internet has been on and off all week. I tried to respond many times but my posts wouldn't go through! So frustrating!

Yes, a spa weekend would be great! But I would certainly take a bubble bath too. And time to read a book or watch a movie. That would be nice! I'm sure I can talk him into that :)

One of my neighbors offered to try milking her for me. I might let her try. She's pretty good with animals and has horses and has done a fair bit of training. I'm still really thinking I need to sell because, as you all said, this just isn't the right time in my life for this. But if she can be trained to be milked, I think it will be easier to find her a good new home. Part of my worry in selling is because she is hard to milk and will be hard to sell as a dairly animal.
 

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and maybe if you give your goats to the neighbours, you can get a mini break from them and regroup? time it with the bubble bath spa weekend...come back refreshed!
 

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Getting the neighbors help is a great idea. It is great to have "animal" friends. I have a friend that I talk to almost everyday and we talk about goats, goat kids, human kids, goats, husbands, goats, LGDs and mainly goats. It is great to have someone to bounce ideas off of and share experiences with that knows what you are going through.
 
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