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By: "Linda Carlson - Little Critters Farm"
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At what age to start training? What proccess you use to train?I have one doe that wouldnt for love nor money get on the stand.Iam want to start with two 6 month olds.Thanks Pam

In a perfect world I would work daily with my doelings to have the milk stand feeding thing going great by the time they freshen. But with my crazy life I wait until my does freshen then I bring them out to the milk stand by themselves stanchion them with their very own serving of grain and start milking. Some are quite cooperative the first time. Others it may take 3-4 milkings before they stop trying to lay down as I milk. But so far with my goats I have never had one that has not come around with only a couple of days of the milking routine.I guess you call my way the procrastination way of breaking in a milker. Dalice

Some of you may remember that I had a similar question several months ago. I had been milking one of our LaMancha does the old fashioned way - me bent down over her working upside down. I'd get the bucket halfway full and she'd either kick it or step in it. When she wasn't eating the generous amount of grain I had placed in front of her, she be biting at my arm or hair. As you can imagine, it got to be old very fast. But remembering back to my dairy goat neighbors many, many years ago, they had built milk stands with a grain feeder in front where the goats would stick their head through and then a bar that came down so it kept them in there if they decided to get unruly during the process. I don't remember any problems with them doing it this way. I had a chance to talk to some other people about a similar setup and they told me they start their goats very young - 30 days. They will train them as such that the milk stand is where they get the most attention and feed. And like Nat said in her post, they come a runnin' for that stand when let out. For some reason, when I built my first milkstand, they would not stand on the stand - instead they would go around to the front where the grain was. I did get a few to learn to stand there but it wasn't easy (for me). Unfortunately, the milk stand I built got turned into a chicken shelter by my wife - turn it on its side and put some corrugated tin on it and there you go. So any milking I've been doing has been the lean over the goat and hope for the best method. Not fun let me tell you. Train em' young and save your back (and clothes that they nip at from time to time). Best regards, Gary Pfalzbot

When my kids are being weaned, and are eating grain well, I'll put their feed in the pan on the milk stand - after a few tries, these hungary little buggars will run out of the pen all the way to the milkstand, hop on and devour the grain. I made my vet laugh when she came to do my health papers for last show season. Usually they expect to wait while you go catch the right kids, ect. Well, I opened the door, the two kids I wanted ran out of the pen, hopped onto the milkstand and she was laughing, very amused that I had them "so well trained." I'll get them useto having their feet and legs touched, and placed when their nursing. You see such an improvement when you do any showing on a kid that was handled alot at birth, and during nursing. Getting them useto the milkstand when the're 20lbs is much easier then 150lbs when you have to practically airlift that big doe into place. good luck! -Nat's Little Bit

I started when my doe was a few months old to get her used to me touching her on the legs and under her belly. I rub her all over so she's used to it and is not nervous. She is pregnant now and is expecting for March. But reading the other entries I think I'm going to build a milking stand and get her used to that. It will definately be more comfortable. Does anyone have a plan for a milkstand. Gary I built the hay feeder from your plans and I love it, so does my goat. A milkstand plan would make my day.

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