First time Mom, one kid, udder trouble : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread

My Saanen Twinkle kidded on Thursday with one single doeling. It's my first kid, and her's too. We need advice.

The kid was only nursing on one side of her udder, and I discovered this on Saturday. I milked out as much as I could from the unused side, but there wasn't as much as I thought there would be. I also taught the baby to drink from both sides. The mother didn't tolerate this very well as she was sore, but I held her collar and her back foot so she couldn't run away and couldn't kick the kid away either. She stood, and baby drank. Now I think it's less sore for her.

Last night I let the kid drink, then I put her on the milk stand for the first time. She let me milk as long as there was grain, but her teats are tiny compared to my Alpine milker, and there was not much milk.

Questions, Should I be milking her twice a day now? Her kid is 3 days old. Will her milk increase? Her udder feels hard, is that because there is milk that won't come down, or because she doesn't have much milk in there to start with? I rubbed her udder and kept trying to milk her, but it's not easy as her teats are small. Will the teats get bigger? Will her udder get bigger and softer as more milk is produced in there, like, does it stretch from this point?

I think this little baby might have come a bit early, but she seems healthy and strong. I wasn't expecting her until March, but I've only had this doe for a couple of months and the lady I bought her from must have been wrong on the dates. Her buck jumped the fence, so he may have done that more than once.

This is my first time starting a doe on her milking career, and I'm not sure what I'm looking for. All advice is appreciated.

-- Bobbi (, January 20, 2002


First question is regarding the hard udder, is she negative for CAE? Either way, massage, moist warm towels, vicks vapor rub, and very frequent milking will help to relieve the soreness and the hardness.

Milk her two or three times a day. The teats will get larger very quickly and the nursing from the doeling will help that to happen even more quickly. It is hard to get a handle on those teeny weeny teats! And yes, it will soften and enlarge some more.

As long as the baby seems to be thriving, since you already have her nursing, I would continue to let her nurse as she desires for the first week, still putting her on the milk stand and getting what you can two or three times per day, then I'd pen the kid at night and milk the doe out in the morning. Hope some of that helps!!

-- Doreen (, January 20, 2002.

I have also, sometimes, on those difficult first days, put the doe on the milkstand, and held the kid up there to nurse. Easier than trying to hold her still on the ground. I'm betting the udder will get better with time and patience(and those warm cloths). Sometimes the teats get bigger, and sometimes, I'm afraid, they don't. Hopefully, they will for you.

-- mary (, January 20, 2002.

Thank you for the advice. I put her on the milk stand and massaged her udder with warm wet towels. I milked her, though I'm sure it hurt a lot because she was about climbing the walls. The teats are already bigger than they were the first time, but she's way engorged. I milked her until no more milk would come, then rubbed and rubbed more with the warm towels and milked some more. Poor thing, she was hurting. It was softer after the milking, there was a bit of slack. Is it possible the hardness of the udder is really just because it's a new udder that was not even there a week ago?

Now if I do this three times a day, and it doesn't get better in a few days, I'll call in a vet.

I don't know for sure about CAE. I did ask the lady I bought her from and she said she always takes the babies and feeds them pasturised milk, so I thought she would not have it. This is also what the man I got my other doe from said. He always takes the babies and bottle feeds them heated milk. So I figured both my does would be negative. Perhaps I was wrong, but I had read that this measure stops the spread of CAE. The does both went to the fair though, with 4H youth. They could have caught it there. What do you do about fairs? How do you keep it out of your herd?

Thank you again.

-- Bobbi (, January 20, 2002.

Bobbie, her udder is hard and sore because she was absorbing the colostrum that the single baby didn't drink. Now you are milking her and trying to get the milk supply larger. From now on start milking her the first day, just emptying both sides once a day, every day until the single kid gives you no more to take. If you let a single kid nurse from day one, the udder becomes lopsided, he will increase the size of your does teats for you, and so will milking her, they also enlarge from maturing. You will be much happier with her milk production as she ages, and especially when she has more than one kid. I really think that its logical that the does body knows she had one kid, and though with milking early you can trick the doe into producing more, nothing like she would have produced had she had twins or triplets. Just make sure that her once a day trip to the milk stand is calm and enjoyable, this will make for an eaiser to milk doe for life. I like the does who nurse wethers for me to go to the milk stand at least once a day, so I can look at them, but also to get the extra grain they need. Don't forget to worm her! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, January 20, 2002.

Regarding the nursing solely on one side, when my doe delivered a single kid last year, he only ever nursed on one side.

-- Lynn (, January 21, 2002.

Most new kids have a favorite side and will nurse on it exclusively unless there is not enough milk there. I milk out my does with kids on them twice a day to maintain milk and a fairly even udder development.

-- diane (, January 21, 2002.

You can milk the doe out entirely on the kid's favorite side, leaving some milk in the side the kid doesn't like ( but don't leave it full, just leave about a third of the milk in there.) Then bring the kid up on the stand to nurse- this will keep it friendly and socialized, the time to start taming it is before it gets afraid of you!- and let it try to nurse. Most kids will try and try to nurse on their favorite side, then they panic and decide there's a famine going on here and nurse on the other side! It works best if you get the doe before the kid wakes up, so that he's a little hungry.

-- Rebekah (, January 21, 2002.

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