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If you're thinking about getting dairy goats... - Random babblings of a fiber-obsessed nutcase

About If you're thinking about getting dairy goats...

Previous Entry If you're thinking about getting dairy goats... Mar. 16th, 2010 @ 08:33 am Next Entry
there's a few things I'd like to advise you about/on. I have most of the books (I probably have ALL the books dedicated to Dairy Goats; I'm on the fence about Homeopathic treatments for goats in general, but if it's a book on dairy goats, I've got it!), and....they assume you are an intelligent person.

I thought I was....until I got these last 2 goats! :lol:

1. Build a milkstand. Build it when you FIRST start thinking about dairy goats; that way you'll have it when you take the plunge. This is a very important item to have - I'll even go so far as to say it's the MOST important item to have! It doesn't have to be fancy - heck, it doesn't even need to have the neck stanchtion! It just needs to raise the goat up so you're not killing your knees/back to reach the tiny l'il teats under the belly. If you don't use a stanchtion, put an upright with an eyebolt on it to leash the goat to - otherwise, it'll take 2 people to milk (1 to hold the goat, 1 to milk).

2. From day 1, start training the doe to the stand. FEED her on it - that's the fastest way. Our original 3 will hop up there happily (well, except poor LaDew, who is SO pregnant right now she can't get her back-end up the steps (yes, we have steps at the back of the stand. Why not?), so she's being fed on the base. She'll hop up once she's a little more...slim. :giggle:) - the new 2? Have to be picked up and PUT on the stand. They're getting used to it...but....:shakes head:

3. Put a side rail on 1 side of the stand - the side you WON'T be milking from. Put one at the base, one about belly high, and 1 about back-height. This way, you won't have to put it up against a wall, and the doe won't try to fall off as she's fighting your milking technique.

4. Figure out the treats your goats can't live without. Use that to entice them up on the stand. Trust me on this one....

It wasn't so bad last night or this AM. Last night went well - we got about 1/2 gallon between the 2. The other 3 (except LaDew - see #2 above) hopped up on the stands to eat dinner...they'll be NO Problem when milking time comes (I hope, anyway!). Dewey tried to hop up, but her heavy back-end just couldn't make it up the steps. :snicker: She's too heavy to try and pick her up (plus we didn't want to hurt her/the kids), so she gets a pass. I've given up completly on the milkers - Sweet Geek wants to keep trying (but then, his hands are really too big for the Nubians - they have teeny-tiny teats!), but it's easier on my hands to just hand-milk.

This AM, it went OK. Miss Mocha gave us 23.5 oz BY HERSELF, with no problems. I used the milker at first - got about 15.5 oz that way; the other 8 I hand-milked into the strip cup. Annie Rose stood better than Mocha...but the milker just will NOT work on her. (I think the teat cup is a little small...Sweet Geek wants to try the bigger one I ordered at the same time). I had gotten about 8 oz out of her....when she decided to kick the cup over. :bangs head: I got another 8 oz later before she was "empty"....so Calvin got clean, fresh milk for his lunch. :grin:

We're down to about 20 minutes in the AM....it would have been 15 (for BOTH!!), but when Sweet Geek went to get Annie out, the other 3 ran out to mob the stand. :sigh: Getting that sorted took time....we need to get this down to a science. :lol: Of course, we got up at 4:30.....:sigh:

Calvin is doing well - he figured out how to run. He's up to a FULL bottle, 4x a day. He's a sweetie...but I can't wait to get him out of my house. :grin: Having a goat indoors has been fun....but he belongs in the barn. Once it warms up a bit. And he gets a buddy. :lol:
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spin a yarn
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 16th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
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those teats will get bigger. Give them a few weeks. Then the nubians will be pouring the milk out. You are doing GREAT!
~ali
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From:fiberaddict
Date:March 16th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!

I know that part of it is that they are in a new place, with people they've really never seen before. They've never been up on a stand, either....so for them to stand there this AM was *epic*. If we could just get them to *jump* up there....:lol:
(spin a yarn)
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