Today I’m welcoming Heather from Green Eggs and Goats! She’s sharing her expertise on training a goat to cooperate on the milking stand–something which, I can attest, can be a bit of a challenge sometimes!
I’ll be honest, training a new goat to the milk stand is not the easiest homesteading task I’ve ever set out to do. Some goats are an absolute dream, they hop trustingly onto the stand and stand politely until you finish. Most of the time, however, you leave your first few milkings feeling like you have just completed a triathalon!
9 Tips for Training a Goat on the Milking Stand
1. Give them what they want, food! All goats come with different personalities and appetites. When I’m training, I will allow them to eat more sweet feed (or even put some molasses on the feed) if they have a sweet tooth. I have one goat who loves alfalfa, so I let her have extra at the start of milking season. If you can distract your goat with something yummy while you are training them, things are much easier. Once she gets the hang of things, then I slowly change out her feed for more hay or her regular ration.
2. Talk sweetly and keep a calm atmosphere. A kicking goat can really bring out my frustration, but I try not to show it. Talk calmly and sweetly to the goat, and try to keep a peaceful environment. Sometimes I even diffuse a little lavender when I’m training a goat. I’m not sure if it calms her or me, but either way, it seems to help.
3. Hobbles. I hate to use them, but I will strap goat hobbles to the back legs if I have a kicker on the stand. It isn’t foolproof, but it does help calm the kicking down a little bit.… [Continue Reading]