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Goats/cloged goat utter


what is the best way to unclog a goats utter  the baby feeding from just one side. Will a warm compress help to unclog the utter and get the milk flowing?

HI Nicole-

First of all I have no idea  if you are a new goat owner or a seasoned goat owner so I will go in the direction of new owner just in case - please do not be offended if you are a seasoned owner.

Is there no milk coming from this side of the udder? Has this doe  been  in milk previously with both teats working?  Warm compresses as well as peppermint oil massaged on  the side that is  congested will help but you also need to make sure of a couple of things :

Is the teat actually clogged?
Is the teat  a "blind" teat  (meaning there is NO opening IN the teat)
Is the udder  congested? (feeling over full)
Is the udder hot? (hard and lumpy) this may possibly be mastitis on this side
Had the udder become discolored? (turning red then dark) IF so Call a vet - necrotic mastitis may be beginning (gangrene mastitis)  

So many things to consider when  udder/teat issues arise-

When a goat freshens (has a baby and comes into milk) - her teats have a natural waxy plug - some are  more plugged than others.. most of the time the new baby is able to suck on the teat removing the plug (which is there to protect the teat from  bacteria from entering the teat BTW) - there are times  when the  owner needs to "unplug" the teats by milking a few squirts of milk  or actually colostrum (first milk) from each side and then immediately putting baby to the teat to nurse. When a baby nurses and is finished  the teat  will close on it's own unlike when we milk the teats.    THIS being said - colostrum is a yellowish thicker than milk  first milk filled with antibodies the doe has created in her system  to  pass on to her babies..  as they have no defense antibodies in their system when first born.. Sometimes this first milk (colostrum) can be VERY thick.. almost glue like and nearly solid. Most babies  can 'drink' this easily (how is beyond me) but once it begins to thin out a little it gets easier for them - this all happens in the first 24 hours of  kidding.

I wonder if this is what you may be dealing with ?

If not then  you must think of other things..  possibly a congested udder.. possibly actual mastitis..  (which is more difficult to deal with )

This is an Excellent article on mastitis and congested udders -  please read-

IN addition -here is my article on colostrum:

and milking:

This article  shows you how to use the CMT home mastitis test in case you need to find out if this doe has mastitis-

This shows you how to Treat  IF you have mastitis:

If you have  sufficiently milked her  on this side and removed the waxy plug -  things should go nicely.. make sure you  get the baby/babies on this side to eat - sticking your finger int he babie's mouth and then onto the udder will help them smell that  their mouth  may have been there before and this is OK to eat from..  this will take some patience to stand and insist the baby or babies  nurse from this side..  once they get it all should be ok - If this side of the udder is swollen and hard form being too full due to lack of nursing..  you  may have to milk he r out some to make this side more pliable.. so it is easier for the newborns to nurse..

THIS being said.. if there is absolutely NO opening in the  teat.. or if the udder is getting cool and discolored..  you will need to call a vet  to  save the doe..  in all probability..

If you are a new goat owner or have not dealt with these things before..   a vet is always a good choice to make after  the  initial warm compresses, massage, milking   and observation of babies eating have been  tried..  as mastitis is always a possibility  when there is  issues with  a non milking udder half..

I hope I have covered everything for you..  


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Specializing in New Goat Owner understanding of goat physiology, goat anatomy, goat care and herd management. *I am not a veterinarian, any advice and information should be verified by your veterinarian before administering to your goats. (! During times of severe weather in the Midwest, I may experience a delay in internet service due to the interference of the satellite reception - but will answer your questions as soon as service is restored. !) Note: Keep in mind, the goat expert is volunteering her time to help other goat owners, she also runs her farm with her own herd of 100 goats and may not be at her computer at all hours. Questions are answered as soon as she can possibly read and answer them, usually within 24 hours.


23 years experience of raising goats and herd management. Active hands on experience with goat herd and research with various Caprine University Research and Extension Centers nationwide. 15 years dedicated to helping other goat breeders/owners with goat anatomy, goat disease and goat health care issues via phone, published goat care articles and internet interaction. The information I have to offer is not only from personal experience and years of research updated often as new information is made available to me, but supported by many Veterinary Research colleges and all medications and information I have to offer on how the medications work and what dosages "I" use, is information I have acquired by discussing directly with the company's veterinarians and staff research experts.

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United Caprine News, Homesteaders Magazine, Columnist for Goat Magazine, Owner and Author of GoatPedia™

Graduate Programs in Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University

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