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Milk Stand Training Day 2, March 23rd at Gullringstorp


March 22nd was the first day of Milk Stand training for my does who are expecting. It went exactly as I had expected.  I expected that Pumpkin would resist when she realized she wasn’t leading the herd out to the enclosure. She did just that.

Our sisters Pansy and Poppy can never be separated, this was no exception. As long as they were together and could see each other, they were fine.

Iris was the biggest surprise. She has a bit of history that needs to be explained. She was born at the same farm as our other Pygmy goats. At this particular farm , they do not believe in hands on especially with the babies, so they are not socialized at all. They all arrive at Gullringstorp very timid and it has taken a couple of years to gain their trust. Iris is a bit of a special case. Someone bought her mother at the same time that Iris was nursing. This meant that Iris had to move with her mother until she was ready to come to us at Gullringstorp. Her second mother absolutely spoiled her. Not so sure what she did, but Iris is pushy and expects to be first all the time. It has taken us nearly 2 years to try to calm her down. She will rush in front of the others for grain or even jump into the bucket of hay when I bring hay in her box. She is learning  to be a bit more kind and not so pushy. I love Iris , but oh my goodness, sometimes she can be a handful.

Our problem with Iris is the leash. When she is on it she decided  she would crawl through the stable , past 5 boxes toward the Milk Stand. Once we arrive at the Milk Stand, she decides to crawl up. I look forward to the day Iris actually walks up the ramp on all 4 cute little feet. Once she is on the stand she is just fine.

Since I am still getting stronger every day from the flu, I had our ladies on the stand just inn the mornings, for now. I will soon be up to full speed and then the ladies will have both breakfast and dinner on the Milk Stand. Because they are not really that comfortable on the Milk Stand yet, I do put grain in their boxes after they have been on the Stand. As they become more accustomed to the routine, they will only have grain on the Milk Stand. It takes time and I will give them the time they need.

We have one young lady  who was bred the same time the others were, but went into heat the very next month. I have been under the assumption that her breeding was not successful. With all that down time in bed with the flu, it occurred to me that I hadn’t heard her in heat again after that. So….Peanut went on the Milk Stand this morning. She was accompanied for a short while by her mother Hilda.

You probably never imagined that someone could write so much about Milk Stand training. Well it might just be me , but then again, I don’t think so. Goat owners are always so fanatical about their beloved goats. I am just no different.

Here is Day 2  March 23rd of Milk Stand training:

Pumpkin had her daughter there again for reassurance. I think, or was it just for the grain?

Pumpkin had her daughter there again for reassurance. I think, or was it just for the grain?

Pumpkin was comfortable enoh to actually start eating her breakfast.

Pumpkin was comfortable enough to actually start eating her breakfast. She had fun with her daughter Rose playing with her.

As you can see, Pumpkin was much more relaxed on her second day on the Milk Stand

As you can see, Pumpkin was much more relaxed on her second day on the Milk Stand

Pansy was first on the stand yesterday. Her sisiter Poppy joined her and enjoyed some grain also

Pansy was first on the stand yesterday. Her sister Poppy joined her and enjoyed some grain also

Here we can see Pansy's baby bump.

Here we can see Pansy’s baby bump.

My sweet Pansy still has saddness in her eyes since she lost her mother Frida, one years ago. I give her lots of love.

My sweet Pansy, I can  still see sadness in her eyes since she lost her mother Frida, one year ago. I give her lots of love.

Here is a great way to see Poppy's baby bump

Here is a great way to see Poppy’s baby bump

Pansy stays close to her sister  Poppy while she is on the Milk Stand.

Pansy stays close to her sister Poppy while she is on the Milk Stand.

Pansy walked away for a moment and Poppy was not too happy

Pansy walked away for a moment and Poppy was not too happy

Poppy was not happy at all when here sister Pansy was not nearby

Poppy was not happy at all when here sister Pansy was not nearby

This is Peanut. We bred her with all the other ladies, but she did come back into heat on month after the breeding. We just assumed that her breeding was not successful. Now I am rethinking that. She seems to be growing and I have not heard her in heat since.

This is Peanut. We bred her with all the other ladies, but she did come back into heat on month after the breeding. We just assumed that her breeding was not successful. Now I am rethinking that. She seems to be growing and I have not heard her in heat since.

Penut was not talking to me, she was talking to her mother Hilda who was in the grain room eating hay

Peanut was not talking to me, she was talking to her mother Hilda who was in the grain room eating hay

Peanut did very well for her first time on the Milk Stand. She ssettled down and ate her breakfast

Peanut did very well for her first time on the Milk Stand. She settled down and ate her breakfast

Peanut is a gentle and very sweet goat , just like her mother.

Peanut is a gentle and very sweet goat , just like her mother.

Peanut has such beautiful eyes and a sweet expression. Can you see it?

Peanut has such beautiful eyes and a sweet expression. Can you see it?

Iris was still a bit unhappy on the leash I had to use to direct her  to the Milk Stand. She took her time as she crawed on her front legs and finally made her way onto the Milk Stand. She is fine once she gets ther, it's just getting her there.

Iris was still a bit unhappy on the leash I had to use to direct her to the Milk Stand. She took her time as she crawled on her front legs and finally made her way onto the Milk Stand. She is fine once she gets to the Milk Stand,  it’s just getting her there.

I must tell you that when my goats are out of their boxes for indoor activities due to weather conditions, each and every one of them finds their way onto the Milk Stand. The difference here is that they are being directed there. they are all familiar with it and know that there is grain in the bucket. They willingly slip their heads through the opening and enjoy the grain at their leisure.

To have me come into their box with a leash is not acceptable to any of the goats except Pumpkin who leads our herd our to the enclosure. She is quite comfortable with the leash; in fact, she has her very own leash, a powder blue one and that’s the one she expects.

It’s all about repetition and consistency. Goats thrive on consistency ,  so it is up to me to continue with them.

I will post Day 3 then I will return when they have mastered the Milk Stand. the idea is that I will one day not need to use a leash. I will only need to open t heir box and they will run straight to the Milk Stand and place their head in to be secured in place. This will happen. I have done it before so I know it will happen. I will return when  they are at that point. It will be a pleasure to post on their success.

4 responses

  1. Diana

    So…. the milk stand is where you milk them ? They have to be restrained by the head to do this ? They will only stand still if they are eating ?

    March 24, 2013 at 16:40

    • Hej Dina !
      Yes, we milk our goats in a special place, on the Milk Stand. And yes the head is restrained so that they stay put. On the other side where their head pokes through is the goodie bowl. It can have grain or chopped fruit or veggies. Yes it is the preferred way to hold a goat still in one place while you milk her by hand, hand pump or commercial milking machine. They learn to relax, once they have become accustomed to the routine and they will enjoy what is on offer as you go about your business which is milking them. they learn to stand on the stand even without food in the tray.Please know Dina that the head restraint is not tight nor does it hurt in any way. As you can see from the photos, they can turn their heads and chat with me or other goats if they decide to. I don’t know of any culture in the world that does not restrain their goat in some way to be able to milk them.
      Thank you for your questions and if you have any others, please ask me.I have not had goats all my life as I am a new country gal. I rely on books and goat forums where I can chat with people who know a lot more than I do. As with my soap making , I am continually learning about about my goats. Especially now that I am to have babies again, I need to know of all the possibilities that can arise so I am prepared to help when needed. I have not had any problems with any of my does in the past, but one never knows.
      There are discussions on the forum I am a member of udder size. clogged teats, mastitis and much more to do with milking. Some people hobble their goats to make them stand still on the stand. That’s tying their back legs together. Personally I don’t like that idea and will never do that, but it is common. So I read, listen and learn and then do what”s best for my ladies. They come first here at Gullringstorp.

      March 24, 2013 at 17:21

  2. Hi hope you are feeling better. Our goats are 4 years old this year we have never had a collar or a leash on them I call them and they usually follow me every where. One of my favorite times is when I call them out of there outside pen and take a walk with them around our 5 acre field. My boys are big sucks and I an pet and handle them but the female has always been skittish. It has taken three years and she will only let me rub her nose when she’s out. In the barn in the pen I am lucky if I can touch her back and when I am successful she moves away immediately. I am amazed after all this time she doesn’t trust me enough to touch her. I would love to do the leash and collar scenario do you think they are too old to learn how would I go about intro ducing them to a leash and collare? Any advise would be helpful.

    March 24, 2013 at 22:34

    • Hej godspoetbychoice!
      Thanks I am feeling a lot better. I am still taking my goat chores a bit slow, Just getting the girls on the stand can be arduous, they are much stronger than they look, even the small ones. I do envy you to be able to walk with your goats and have them just follow along. I could do that also at one time when my herd was still small. Now with 22 it’s a bit more of a challenge. They require a herd leader to folly into the enclosure and that is now Pumpkin since we lost our dear Frida. She leads me out and sometimes drags me out, again stronger than they look. Once she is through the gate, I let go of the leash , she runs in and I go bak out to round up any stragglers. There is always one or two who make a quick left for the lawn and bushes or to the right to explore down the driveway, the one leading back into our property, thankfully. Pumpkin is proud of her new position in the herd and knows and prefers her blue leash which we keep on her box railing. Collars: I start all my goats on collars as soon as they are up and walking. If for any reason I needed to grab hold of anyone, I always have a collar. I often walk with my goats with them by my side just holding their collars. As they grow, w just get larger collars. We have quite a collection now and will not need to buy baby collars any more. For the leash, that takes a bit more time. I start when they are babies and hope they get used to it. I put it on and let the babies walk around the box with it on. I stay and supervise. Some remember and others do not. Again, patience. I don’t think your goats are too old for either a collar or leash.
      Good luck!

      March 25, 2013 at 12:02

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