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Hello! This is my first year doing dairy goats (my second year keeping goats). I have three does: Patience is my mama goat, Stability is her kid (born May this year), and Bunny is the unrelated companion goat.

I've been doing the first pull method where I separate the kid at night, and milk mama out in the morning, and then put them together for the rest of the day. My pen is made of electric netting, which I move about once/week. My separation method is to put the kid in a kennel that sits in the pen with the other goats.

I'm planning to keep all three goats long term, and I'd like to continue milking my mama as long as she'll keep producing milk. My concern is that the kid will never get weaned. She's already getting big for the kennel, and I can only keep using it for so long before she outgrows it. I don't have a very good setup for a separate pen either.

I also feel all kinds of guilty about separating mama and kid, especially as we get into winter when it's cold and wet and they just want to cuddle together.

I'm wondering if anyone has advice on how I might be able to wean the kid while still milking?

A thought I had last night was finding some way to block off mama's udder, so they can still cuddle but not nurse. Is that a thing that exists? I'm planning to do more research this week, but thought I'd ask if anyone has done anything similar.

Thanks so much for any thoughts/advice you have!
 

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A few thoughts/options:

  • Buy a 16' welded wire panel at your local Tractor Supply and either cut it into small sections or just curl it into a circle to use as a night pen for Stability. Then her & mama can cuddle on either side of the wire.
  • Let Stability continue nursing longer if she is a keeper doe and you plan to use her for breeding & milking in the future. This will ensure better growth. Unless Patience is bred, then Stability really does need to be weaned.
  • "Teat Tape" is a thing, some folks have luck applying a gentle tape and folding the teats up to deny kids from nursing.
  • "Udder Bra", I'm not sure if there are any commercially available, but people rig up their own.
 

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You can milk Patience and let Stability continue nursing. That’s what we did. And because the milk is supply-in-demand you can still get enough for yourself.

Now, though we’ve run into a different issue. We are drying the does off and the silly 8mo old doelings are still nursing!
 
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