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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.


Time for Milk Stand Training at Gullringstorp


After being sick for so long, many of my daily chores here at Gullringstorp have been passed on to my husband. I have been taking care of all the animals in the house and small tasks. I am happy to know that the goats have been so well taken care of by my husband, in my absence.

Last night I struggled with the fact that my pregnant ladies should have already started their Milk Stand training. I could not decide if I should start this morning or wait till Monday . Well I decided that this would be the morning I would start.

We bred 5 does but I have a big question mark over one young lady, Peanut. shortly after she was bred, I did witness what I thought was a heat.   We just need to keep an eye on her. I think I may start her on the stand as well.

My first doe was Pumpkin. She was not so happy , but I expected that. She is a strong goat and it took both of us to get her up on the stand.

Pumpkin, finally on the Milk Stand, and not very happy. She is shedding her winer wool; not so sure that's a good idea because we are still quite cold here at Gullringstorp

Pumpkin, finally on the Milk Stand. She was not so happy and  had a few words for me. She is shedding her winter wool; not so sure that’s a good idea because we are still quite cold here at Gullringstorp

Pumpkin looked aroud while on the stand. She had her daughter Rose to keep her company, along with me of course

Pumpkin looked around while on the stand. She had her daughter Rose , who is also loosing her winter wool, to keep her company

Pumpkin is a lot calmer even though she is looking around

Pumpkin is a lot calmer even though she is looking around

My next twi does are Pansy and Poppy. These are Frieda’s last babies born here at Gullringstorp. Their mother Frida passed away  just about a year ago. I still miss her terribly but thankfully, I have 4 of her children and one granddaughter. I see her in all of them.

Pansy got on the stand with very little effore. Her Sister Poppy who is always with her , joined her at the grain tray

Pansy got on the stand with very little effort. Her Sister Poppy who is always with her , joined her at the grain tray

Pansy's sister Poppy is finding the grain

Pansy’s sister Poppy having fun on the grain tray

IWe are able to see Poppy's tiny baby bump. She will either have a single kid or 2 tiny ones

We are able to see Poppy’s tiny baby bump. Looks like she will either have a single kid or 2 tiny ones

 Pansy found the grain

Pansy and Poppy are always talking to each other. I think they learned that from their mother, Frida who always talked to them

Not so easy to see Pansy's little baby bump, but it's there

Not so easy to see Pansy’s little baby bump, but it’s there

Pansy and Poppy are  always together

Pansy and Poppy are sisters and are never seperated

Yummy grain !

Yummy grain !

Poppy's turn on the Milk Stand

Poppy’s turn on the Milk Stand

Pansy walked away for a minute and Poppy was not so happy

Pansy walked away for a minute and Poppy was not so happy

Pansy returned and joined her sister on the stand

Pansy returned and joined her sister on the stand

Here is the last doe of the morning, Iris. She gave us the most trouble. She was not having it! She refused to walk up the ramp and when she did move up, it was inch by inch. Iris is a Pygmy goat and is quite a bit smaller than my Nigerians Dwarf goats.

Iris was not happy with this , at all!

Iris was not happy with this , at all!

Once Iris made it up onto the Milk Stand, she was more comfortable like this.

Once Iris made it up onto the Milk Stand, she was more comfortable like this.

Iris may look uncomfortable, believe me she is not. She is just fine.

Iris may look uncomfortable, believe me she is not. She is just fine.

It didn't take Iris long to find and tuck into the grain .

It didn’t take Iris long to find and tuck into the grain .

Unfortunately, this is the best way to show off Iris' baby bump

Unfortunately, this is the best way to show off Iris’ baby bump. Nanna was allowed out to keep Iris company. I think it helped.

Baby bump!

Baby bump!

Overall, the first experience for my does was pretty good. They will soon come to learn that  the Milk Stand will be the only place to get their breakfast and dinner. The process works. I have several does who have been through the Milk Stand training and are very comfortable on the stand. It takes time and patience and lots of love. You can never just yank and pull a doe up on a stand. You must take as long as she needs to walk that ramp and then to actually place her head in to be locked in. It takes time. This is nothing to be rushed.

My does will not be milked for some time, but when the time is right, they will be ready. As with my other does, these new mothers-to-be will have their babies with them when they are on the Milk Stand. This way they will help with any possible separation issues that may come up. It’s always fun for the babies to run and play and get used to the ramp and stand.

Oh I love being back with my goats. I have missed them terribly. It’s like being away from your young children. So much happens and you miss so much. I know they are my goats and not my children, but in a sense they are and I am the goat mommy. This has to be the relationship when you own goats. they need all that you can give them, not just hay, straw, grain and water. They need and require your love and attention, individually.