Most goats are happy to be milked. Sometimes first fresheners kick a little bit before they get used to the process. But what do I do with the one that kicks all the time? I have to tie her legs every time.
I have one goat that will stand perfectly still as long as her legs are tied, but kicks the bucket when I try to milk without the ropes. It is frustrating to me. But it is now her choice.
Having to continually tie her legs makes it essential that I have a system that I do not have to mess with. Here is what I do.
I have a two part system, one for each leg. The main rope is tied to the milking stand and has a loop in the other end which slips around her leg and tightens. The second part of the system is an adjustment loop so if I have another goat on that stand that needs training, I can adjust the length of the restraint. I made a system last night so that I can show you how I do it.
The first part is making a small permanent loop in the rope so that there is a slipping loop to go around the legs. I do that so that I don’t have to mess with buckles or snaps. This is easily put on and taken off. Having a rope this size also eliminates the possibility of cutting off blood circulation if one of the girls gets to really fighting. In making the permanent loop, the “twine” must be small enough to really get a grip on the rope. You don’t want this to come lose.
The second part is making the circle which will become the adjustment loop. This is usually a smaller rope also. It will get a better grip on the bigger rope than one of the same size and will keep the system from getting too bulky. As I made this last night, I could not remember the names of these knots, but I knew how to make them. A little research this morning fixed that problem. This knot is called a fishermans knot.
The third part is attaching the loop to the main rope with a Prusik. This is a very handy little knot. If you put your hands on either side of the Prusik it slips easily up or down the rope. If you pull on the loop it grips very tightly and is immoveable. Climbers use this knot in their safety rigging.
When you put the system on the milk stand there are several ways to do that. I tied it onto a stand leg with the end of the main rope, but it could be attached just by the Prusik with a fence staple or a hook. The pressure will be on the Prusik so the far end of the rope can be loose. This system is almost infinitely adjustable. With multiple goats, tying legs will be something that has to be done on occasion. Or like with my girl, she has to be reminded all the time…..or I lose my milk.
I have used a variation of this when I took goats to the fair to show. I made a long line that I could snap to the fence on both ends and made about 6 loops with Prusik knots and snaps. This way I could manage a bunch of goats at a time and separate them if necessary. It worked great!
If there are any questions, I would be happy to answer them. If you have goats, what creative ways have you used to stop this problem?