Truly, not all milking does are the same. Especially when you’ve got one with ATTITUDE!
We have two milking does, Molly and Flake. We have had them for 4 years now and this is the first year we’ve been devoting solely to acquiring milk
Flake is our Alpine. She has proven to produce 1 kid/freshening with a much smaller and thick walled udder. Flake has 3 teats. It takes a minute or so in simulating milking before she let’s down.
These are their physical characteristics. Now let’s couple that with ATTITUDE!
Moll gladly goes to the milk stand when she’s called. I milk her first and with good reason. She stands well and is not overly anxious. Molly let’s down well and fills the pail with very little effort on my part. We talk and laugh while milking. Heck, I can even milk with one hand free. We are finished in about 15 minutes or so, she’s washed up and placed back in the pen to continue her morning meal.
Next up! Flake. I joyfully call her and we dance around the pen promenade style (she has her morning routine). Then she’s ready for the milk stand. She’s all secured on the stand and the other part of her routine is her “daily constitution”, defecating 2 or 3 times. Flake is a bit anxious and high wired. I hang onto my “cool”, clean it up and now she’s good to go.
Applying a warm wash to the udder helps to relax the muscles for milk let down. I select the side of the udder with 2 teats first. My nails are clipped short so as not to pinch her. The finger position is a bit different than that used for Molly, making sure the unused appendage does not get in the way and that I am actually getting the milk to travel down the canal. I work both sides of the udder even though the other single teat does not get used. This keeps the milk production more balanced. Not all lop-sided udders are an indication of a medical issue. It could very well be that only one side is used so the production is greater. So long as the udder is not hot and inflamed it may just need more stimulation on the lesser side.
Should you see milking goats in your future don’t be alarmed when you fall in love with a goat who has 3 teats and ATTITUDE!!!! It is so worth the dance.