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Topic: easiest way for non milking people to milk  (Read 1711 times)
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« on: November 22, 2015, 10:39:25 PM »

Thinking ahead here,  I am wondering what is easiest for your helpers, when you can't milk the goats yourself.  I am very rarely out of town, but if it does happen, is it easier to train your goat sitter to use one of the hand pumps or electric pumps?  What kind of pumps do you guys like?  I do have one neighbor who says I can bring my girls to her house, but somehow I think that is not the best idea.  It seems like that would stress out my goats.  She has Boers, so she doesn't  milk very often, but when she does, she has a tube/syringe/jar thing she uses.  Have you guys ever used a handmade contraption like the that?
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imalilbirdie
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2015, 02:42:44 AM »

Oh yes, there are numerous members here that does use the homemade ones.  Let me find the links and I'll get back to you with it.

The worst thing I've found (with milking our cows especially), that when a stranger milks them, they tend to not want to let the milk down to them or won't let them milk at all.  So, my advice to you is, make sure you use what ever milking device you're going to substitute with as often as possible, or have someone hand milking them along with you so that you can associate this stranger with "common" routines.  Goats are very picky that way.  I have a senior goat out here (12 and 1/2 yrs old), that won't let anyone but me feed him his breakfast/supper meals.  He will take treats from a stranger, but that's it.  I can't leave him more than a few days and he totally stops eating, and even punishes me for being gone a few days after I come back.  I left for a week to go to see the grandkids and the same neighbor that plays with him and sees him frequently tends to my goats.  Two days after we left he stopped eating for her.  Since she's never owned goats before this does upset her greatly.  He did this before when I went to see the grand kids and left her and my hubby tending to them.  Nope he wouldn't eat for no one, no matter what we gave him to eat.  Even after I came home he still didn't want to eat, not even with all the medications I was shoving down him and into him.  So I figured it was his time to go, as he seemed to have lost his will to live.  When I told him "Prince, you have to want to live, I can't do that for you."  It was about a day to a day and a half and he was back eating again with gusto.  So see my point?  Goats hate change, be it food, pastures, homes, or humans that tend to them...they just hate change.  So make sure your neighbor or whom ever tends them for you, does it daily, along side of you, for a week or so, to allow the goats time to realize they are good people with good food and belong there. 
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imalilbirdie
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2015, 02:44:25 AM »

Here's that link for the hand milker.

http://goatbeat.net/index.php?topic=13604.0

Tracy (happyjunker) still uses this I do believe.
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Oregoats
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2015, 11:15:53 PM »

 If your goats are anything like mine, it would be best to milk
the same way you do. Goats like routine and any changes
cause them distress. I completely agree with birdie about
having having any "helper" or temporary milker meet your
goats.The goats will be more comfortable with someone
they have met before.  Mine only see me and any new
person makes them nervous.

 It is good you are planning ahead. I haven"t been able
to go anywhere for more than a day trip in several years.
I milk year round and since I have no substitute milker,
that means I have to be here.
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dragonlair
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2015, 02:56:54 PM »

My goats will not allow anyone else to milk them, or handle them for that matter. They run away.

I have one of those home made milker things. It works well but it can cause damage if the person doesn't know how to milk and how an empty udder feels.
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DragonLair Farm and Kennel in Central Maine with Nubians, Lamanchas and Oberhasli. Of course, combinations of 2 or more breeds happens also.
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2015, 08:19:18 PM »

Most of the time we stay home, but there is one family reunion a year we have to get to.  It's  hard when the family is all in different states, so we meet in a central location for a week... Of course it will be right in the middle of milking season.  I have exelent neighbors at this time though so I hope they will bear with me, and play goats laugh  I also am planning not to milk year round.  I hope I can make it work.

I have one of those home made milker things. It works well but it can cause damage if the person doesn't know how to milk and how an empty udder feels.

With these home made contraptions, do you have to milk by hand when you Finnish?  What are the ways you can damage an udder?  How does an empty udder feel?  (Sorry that might be hard to describe)  Also, can you switch off hand milking, and machine milking on a regular basis, or is it best just to do one thing and stick to it?  I am thinking of my hubby and his huge hands, and my kids with smaller hands and me who likes to use her hands.  I wonder if it would be easier for some of the family  (ie. Hubby) to use a pump, but I prefer to do everything by hand.   Any thoughts?
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imalilbirdie
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2015, 03:44:02 AM »

Now grant you I am not a dairy goat breeder...however, I have milked goats many times (for one reason or another), and over my life span milked too many cows to count by hand.  A full udder will feel full and hard, the teats will even show she needs to be milked.  An udder that is empty will feel soft and supple, even the teats will feel softer.

I myself prefer to milk by hand, but over the years this has ruined my wrists and made it hard for me to last out the lengthy milking process (especially cows-who gives way more milk than goats do), when you have more than one to be milked out.  Remember milking is a twice a day thing.  It is a huge commitment. 

You may find that your goats will prefer a certain touch, when being milked.  The grasp of your children may be too tender, and tickle a tad.  The grasp of your husband may be too hard, and hurt a little.  Yet the grasp of your hand might be just right, and they'll stand and drop their milk down better (a story much like The 3 Bears).  However it could be the vise versa too.  You never know with goats or even cows.  You may find one might like the kids hands better, and the other will like your husbands hands better, or they may not like any one of you milking them.  Strange as it sounds, goats and cows are picky milkers.  Once they select someone to milk them, it's usually a done deal.  It's like they select you to be their baby that they will raise, and no other baby will nurse from them.  Watch them in the wild, this is exactly what they do...they will not allow another cow/goats baby to nurse them, only their own...and you will see, that's the way it will be with you as well.

I've never used one of these milking contraptions, but those with serious wrist problems need them to milk with.  I'd say if you start one way, then stay that way unless the goat refuses it, then of course you have to change ways, but once that goat excepts it, don't change it.
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Julie H
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2015, 01:11:10 PM »

I have only milked a couple of goats in m y time, but I do know that people who have goats to milk either use a real milking machine ( surge or belly milker converted ,for example) or do it by hand.  The pump hand milkers will do much damage and should not be used.

I have milked several cows by hand and I can tell you one thing in my experience.  They like consistency and they like everything to go the same way every. single. time.
 Can you not share milk with the kids?  That way they still nurse and they can be your relief milkers when you go away.  This worked wonderful with my calves, but I know goats are a whole different story.

Whatever you do have your neighbors milking way before you go on vacation. That way they know your routine, they know your goats and your goats are comfortable with them handling them.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2015, 01:13:18 PM by Julie H » Logged
imalilbirdie
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2015, 06:02:34 AM »

Ya know something just came to my mind while reading Julie's post.

Goats and Cows alike go by smell.  The smell of you and the smell of their milk "on" you or emitted through your skin, tells them that "you're" theirs. 

Now, this is displayed by the goats and cows if you watch them with their babies.  They will smell the calf or the Kid and realize that baby isn't their baby and will shove it away.  The reason they can tell who's kid is who's or who's calf is who's, is through the smell of their milk being emitted either on the skin of the baby or emitted through the rump of the baby. 

So here's an idea, maybe if your neighbors either drink the milk prior to milking, or rub some on their clothing or wear an old coat/jacket of yours that smells like you, they'd be quicker to except a new milker to the stand.  Their touch will be nothing like yours so they will need to come and milk prior to your leaving so that you are there to calm the goat and make sure all goes well.
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2015, 01:30:58 PM »

Maybe there is no right or wrong answer, just opinions on this, but can you milk 50/50 with the kids?  I have heard that kids can ruin the udders too?  If you do use the kids, how long do they actually drink milk before they just eat grass? (I guess that would be the same whether they drink off the mom or use a bottle.)  Also, if you used the kids as your milking partners, could you just leave them we with the mom for a week and then come back to the 50/50 routine?  I like that smell idea by the way.  It sounds really logical.  Smiley
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dragonlair
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2015, 03:35:56 PM »

I've been milking goats for 35 + years.

You can do a variety of things, adapt to what works best for you.

You can leave the kids on the dam and milk out the extra once a day. (this is how I do it with my CAE- does)

You can leave the kids with the dam and seperate them at night, milk her in the morning and then turn the kids out with her for the day.

You can pull the kids and bottle raise them, milking the does twice (or even once) a day. (this is how I do it with my CAE+ does)

You can use a regular milking machine, hand milk or use one of the hand pump things. I hand milk but do use the hand pump on First freshening does with small teats. You have to watch the pressure, to make sure it doesn't get too strong. It can cause damage if left on too long or if it is pumped up with too high of a pressure. If used right, it is a handy tool.

Even with a machine, you may need to hand milk out the remaining bit of milk that the machine does not get. The last bit of milk is highest in fat.

If you are going to have other people milk your goats for you, have them come over a couple of weeks in advance and help you do chores. Let the goats get to know them and have them milk the goats while you are with them. After they are comfortable with the others doing the milk chores with you there, have them do it with you not there.

I wouldn't rely on having them drink the milk to get them used to the strangers. Most kids will steal drinks form other does and still their mothers accept them as their own. If a doe has triplets or more, I leave them with the doe but supplement with a bottle using pooled milk from all the other does.

Yes, kids can ruin a does udder. You should always monitor the udders. Even with twins, most of my does need to be milked once or twice a day to keep the udder even and empty. As they get older, the kids get rough and their teeth will rub the udder/teat top raw so that it bleeds and is painful to the doe.
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DragonLair Farm and Kennel in Central Maine with Nubians, Lamanchas and Oberhasli. Of course, combinations of 2 or more breeds happens also.
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2015, 03:52:38 PM »

I wean my "for sale" kids at 8 weeks of age. If I am keeping them I leave the does with mom until I dry her off for the year. (so the kids can be 7 or 8 months old!) If I am bottle raising them, I keep them on the bottle until the does are dry because I have soooooo much milk that would go to waste if I didn't give it to the kids. Some people wean at 12 weeks.  Again, you can do what you feel is best for you. Just make sure the kids are eating grain, hay (or browse) and drinking water before you wean.

All bucklings are removed from contact with does between 8-10 weeks of age to prevent unwanted breedings!

I set up a creep feeder for my dam rasied kids so they can always have grain to nibble on and the adults cannot get at. The bottle kids who are raised in a seperate area get grain 4 times a day after they get their bottles. I am working on building a lamb bar for this coming spring when I am going to be up to my arm pits in bottle kids.
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DragonLair Farm and Kennel in Central Maine with Nubians, Lamanchas and Oberhasli. Of course, combinations of 2 or more breeds happens also.
imalilbirdie
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2015, 05:04:08 AM »

I agree with Dragon on many ways of doing things.

I personally leave my babies with their mothers (I'm a meat breeder though), for a full 4 months if possible (sometimes you have to pull the intact bucklings before 4 months of age, but I try to leave them as long as possible, as I believe 8 weeks of age is too young to pull a baby), if I am keeping them or selling them.....except my dairy cows...the calves are pulled from moms and only supplemented a mid day bottle...the calves nurse one side of the udder while I'm milking the other side of the udder morning and night.   

I have bottle fed thousands of baby goats, and I know the ones I've raised were a few months behind the dam raised kids regarding learning to eat grass, hay, grain and so forth.  I leave my kids on the bottle (keeping or selling makes no difference to me) for 4 to 6 months depending on how well they learn to eat and drink water.  Weaning a bottle kid before it's drinking water real good on it's own is a receipt for disaster.

I agree monitoring the udders to make sure they are in good condition is a must, but from my past, I've never known a kid or calf to "ruin" a cows/goats udder...to me if that happens it would have happened any way, hand milking or baby nursing.  Those udders are designed to be nursed on.  If a baby doesn't have to be pulled from it's momma, I say leave it with it's momma...God created it that way ya know?  If you don't need the milk, then leave the babies to nurse and be raised by momma...they'll do 100% better if you do.  If you're going to use the milk, then allowing them to nurse a few times a day won't hurt...but you need to consider, if you're pulling the kids, what milk will you be giving them?  To buy kid milk these days is expensive and some have terrible reactions to it, to buy Vit D Whole milk will cost an arm and a leg to raise one properly, and to feed Mom's milk, then they might as well be nursing and save yourself the trouble of bottle feeding. 

Which ever way you go, I'm sure you'll choose the right way that fits what you need in your life style. 

 

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dragonlair
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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2015, 08:43:41 PM »

Nature did not intend for does to produce 1-2+ gallons of milk either. A high producing doe can make her kids sick by overeating, especially the piggy little bucklings! They just don't know when to stop eating.

Yes, dairy kids will ruin udders, especially the bucks. They cut the teats and udder where the teats attach with their teeth because they are so nasty and demanding. Uneven drinking will deform an udder to where you can't get it back even again. Even if you do milk the doe twice a day, there will be some uneveness, that's why show people pull the kids and milk the does.

My bottle kids grow better and faster than my dam raised kids. They start eating solids and drinking water at about the same age. I have yet have one that is not 100+ pounds at 7 months of age, almost all of them are the size of their dams by the first fall, some are even bigger.
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DragonLair Farm and Kennel in Central Maine with Nubians, Lamanchas and Oberhasli. Of course, combinations of 2 or more breeds happens also.
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