HELP!!! Milking my goat

mike-n-loriMarch 6, 2009

Help! My wife is out of town at a funeral and our goat gave birth to twins. No matter how hard I try to milk her I can't get any milk out. Her milk sack is huf=ge and rock hard but I still can't get any milk out. My step son has had experience in milking goats in the past and he can't get anything out either. Please does any one have any suggestions??

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When did she kid?

First things first. Did you dip the umbilical cords in iodine? We tie ours off with dental flooss-Very little bit hanging though as mamma's like to chew it off & it can become too short. Clean their mouths & nose of any goo if you havn't already.

Were you able to get the plug out? Little black plug on the end of each teat, sometimes can be as long as 1/8 inch, but usually much smaller. If normal squeezing doesn't work try rolling the end of the teat to loosen it, not too hard though but be firm.

If still no luck, use warm compresses and try again.

When you say hard, is it normal hard as in full (which is normal) or do you mean mastitis? (unlikely but possible)

Use the warm compresses & keep trying, sometimes that colustrum is very thick, almost like condensed milk.

If mastitis don't feed the kids the cholostrum, but find another source or maybe your wife has some frozen from last year, or there is a local dairy? The kids will need the colostrum asap, the longer you wait the weaker they will become. Get some mastitis treatment asap from either your vet or a local goat breeder if it's indeed mastitis.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 9:29PM
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Correction/clarification to dental floos/umbilical cord statement:
Very little dental floss hanging as mamma's chew it. The umbilical cord should be about an inch long.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 9:33PM
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The twins were born last night (03/05/2009) at about 10:00 pm. I did give the babies some colostum oral gel right a way. As far as the mother I haven't seen a plug. I think it is probably "normal" hard but I'm worried that the goat might be uncomfortable. I will try again first thing in the morning and I will have warm compresses close by. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 10:13PM
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The best thing is to get the kids nursing, sounds like normal edema to me?? The kids butting the udder wil help loosen things up. A lot of first fresheners get some really hard edema. try just stripping with 2 fingers to get some flow going. Bag balm massaged into the udder is good too. hold the grain for a while, you dont want her trying to increas production yet.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 10:57PM
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How did you make out, Mike? Are the kids nursing?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 10:03AM
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Mike, I've found that if the kidding went fine it's best to just observe but keep your hands out. They kids will nurse on their own and the doe will take care of the umbilical cords. Why are you messing around trying to milk the doe? The kids will take care of that. Hope it goes well. Tom

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 9:27PM
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I agree with you Tom.

Occasionally though the colustrum is very thick or the doe hasn't come into milk yet. If the kids suck & don't receive nurishment, because it's not flowing yet, they will give up or become chilled and weak. Ensuring milk flow is a cheap insurance, and normally only takes a few seconds to check. Large farms are unable to check every doe, and expect losses, but smaller farms can check, and many do as the kid crop can't absorb those losses.

This has nothing to do with survivability of the kids, but instead a basic necessity sometimes needed if those kids are expected to survive. Sometimes I think it has something to do with genetic selection with alters milk yeilds & whatnot, but that is only my opinion & I have nothing to base it on.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 8:02AM
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Thank you for all of your help!! I have been able to milk the doe and have given the kids the colustrum.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 3:01PM
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I'm glad it worked out! I'm curious, was it just thick colustrum or another issue?

By the way, welcome to the Forum!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 5:13PM
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how long do we let the kid feed before we can milk our goat?
and do we need to keep the male away from the kid?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 3:01PM
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Hi Katie,

The doe has made the colustrum and is not making any more after birth. The colustrum in the udder is used up and replaced by milk. Typically by day 3 the flow is all milk, depending on udder size & # of kids, or you should see the change in color/thickness.

The doe will keep the male away from the kid, however, the buck will be smelling the doe & chasing her, the kids can get hurt, so it is not a good idea to keep him with them when they are that young.

Also, it is possible for the doe to get bred soon after kidding (one of mine got bred 4 weeks post kidding), but normally seasonal breeders cycle at 2-3 months post kidding. If you are milking this is not a good idea-too much stress on the doe.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 7:51PM
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