Pygmy goats aren’t typically associated with milking, however, if you want to get milk from your goat, it is possible. This video does a great job of explaining a few tips and tricks on how to make your milking experience smooth and easy.
Here are the steps you can take to milk your pygmy goats.
1. Start Training Them to Get in the Harness
One of the problems you’ll encounter when milking your goat is that they’ll want to run from your hands. While milking doesn’t hurt them, it can cause them some concern initially. Goats are skittish.
To avoid having them run around the pen to avoid you, you should first train them to step into the holder that you’ll be using to restrain their head during the milking process. As with any kind of training, it’s best that you start making them feel comfortable when they’re young.
Even if you aren’t milking them yet, making them comfortable in the holder is a great benefit.
To train them, you’ll want to encourage their use of the holder with food. Begin by having them skip a meal in the morning. Fill a feeder with some good food and perhaps a few treats to entice them into the holder. They’ll be able to fill their bellies and eat a few treats while they slowly become used to having their head restrained.
Once your goat goes to the hold voluntarily, you know that you have a happy goat on your hands.
2. Wash Down Udders
Once it finally comes time to milk your goat, you’ll need to first wash their udders. Goats love to lay on their bellies in the pen. That means their udders may be covered in dirt and feces. You don’t want either of those things falling into your milk.
To avoid it, simply take some diluted dish soap and a rag. Then gently wash their udders and belly. Not only does this help ensure that there won’t be anything that falls into your milk, but you can also help remove bacteria that may be clinging to their udders.
3. Wear Optional Gloves
One mini-step is to wear gloves. If you’re concerned about accidentally introducing bacteria to your goat’s udders, then you may want to wear disposable gloves. This ensures that your goat’s udders remain bacteria-free. As a result, they’re less likely to develop urinary tract infections or other infections.
4. Take the Time to Check for Worms
While your goat is in the holder, it’s a good time to check for signs of worms. If your goat has worms, then you should throw the milk out. You can tell your goat has worms by checking their eyes. If they’re a pink color, then they’re healthy and can be milked safely. You may also notice a smell if they have worms.
If your goat isn’t healthy-looking, then take the time to add some de-wormer pellets into their feed. You should still milk the goat, but you shouldn’t use it for consumption.
5. Choose the Right Bucket and Take Position
To make milking comfier, you’ll want to use a milking bench. This bench sits close to the ground and makes sitting next to the goat more comfortable. You may grow tired on your knees or have a backache without the use of a milking bench.
You’ll also want to use the right bucket. A bucket with a large rim ensures that you can easily squirt milk into the bucket while keeping the bucket away from the goat’s hooves.
No one wants a goat hoof stepping into their freshly made milk.
6. Grab the Udder and Start Squeezing
Grabbing the udder at the base, you’ll want to squeeze downwards on the udder. Make sure that you’re aiming the tip at the bucket. Start with one udder at a time. This will allow you to hold the bucket and keep the goat from knocking it over or stepping into it.
7. Clean the Udder Again
Once the goat is milked, take a fresh rag and clean off their udder again. This is just one more step to ensure no bad bacteria or anything else clings to their udders afterward.
With that step done, you can release your goat and enjoy your fresh bucket of milk.
Are Pygmy Goats Good For Milk?
Like dwarf goats, pygmy goats aren’t known for milking because they aren’t dairy breeds. However, many do still use them for milk. This is because they don’t have that goat flavor that turns many people off from goat milk. Instead, their milk is actually sweeter.
Because they’re not dairy, you actually have an advantage, too. Dairy breeds can only produce milk at certain times of the year. Pygmy goats, on the other hand, produce milk whenever they’re bred. In this case, it’s possible to have ongoing milk production throughout the year.
How To Increase Milk Production?
You can increase the milk production of your pygmy goat by making sure that you let the goat have a few months to build up its supply before breeding it again. Because these goats only produce milk after having kids, they need some time between each baby to regain their health.
If you continuously breed them, then your goat may become sick or produce less milk the next time. Allowing them time to recover will ensure you have a good quantity of milk the next time it’s bred.
How To Have Ongoing Milk Production?
If you want to ensure you have milk throughout the year, then you’ll want to buy several female goats. This allows you to stagger their breeding. By the time one has expended its milk, another will be ready to go for a fresh supply. Because pygmy goats tend to produce a little less than dwarves and other breeds, you’ll want to have a large number of them.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have enough to give the mothers a break between breeding sessions.