Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 2 - Milking the Goat

Goat milk!
The early bird gets the worm, so the old saying goes.  As for me, the early mom gets the milk.  Day two of milking the goat finds me better prepared.  I have fixed the hanging light in the barn so that even the neighbors should be able to see.  And just in case it isn't working correctly, I have one of those handy flashlights that go on your head.  I am definitely going to be able to see what I am doing this morning.  I have the grain pre measured so Sadie won't have to get anxious before I ever get started.

Warm clothes on. Flash light on head. Udder wash in one hand. Grain in the other hand. Arm wrapped around my milk bowl. All set to go!  Open the door to a great surprise....snow!  Now this I wasn't prepared for.  Change boots to some that are more snow proof and head to the barn.
Just like yesterday, the kids are bawling and Sadie immediately jumps up on the milk stand. She again is looking at me like "can't your hurry up?".  I fumble around and get the light on and sure enough I can see great!  Put the grain in the dish for Sadie, and the race is on!
Quickly I wipe her udder clean. She kicks around in disagreement but I am determined to milk her.  After wiping the udder I place my bowl on the stand and proceed to milk, remembering to close the  teat with the thumb and fore finger while squeezing out the milk with my other fingers.  Several squeezes and I get nothing.  But I continue on and after about 10 squeezes or so, I get wonderfully white milk!  I am so excited!  This has been a little better experience than yesterday already.
After milking for a while, I am beginning to feel a little more confident so I decide to move to the "other" side (the side where Sadie is so comfortably leaned up against the wall).  Sadie doesn't want me to touch her but I am determined.  I continue trying to get her away from the wall so I can get to her teat, unaware that she is eating grain as fast as she possibly can.  Finally I get some milk squeezed out, all over my hand.  I squeeze milk on my hand several more times and realize that I am going to have to get Sadie away from that wall so that I can get to the teat a little better.  I try to move her a little but she is as stubborn as a mule.  Finally she decides to move a little and I get some milk in the bowl.  I am thrilled!
Suddenly out of nowhere she squats down almost in the bowl.  My first thought is that she is "going to use the bathroom on me." I quickly jerk the bowl out of the way.  Then I notice that she is out of grain.   I guess this is her way of saying, " no grain-no milk".  I try a few more times to milk her but she continues to squat every time I touch her teats.  Once again she has won the race.
" And thou shalt have goats' milk
enough for thy food, for the food
of thy household, and for the
maintenance for thy maidens"
Proverbs 27:27
I let her out of the stand and let the kids have breakfast.  I do not leave the barn undefeated.  I have some milk and plan to measure it.  Once I get into the house I strain the milk and my husband lets me know that there was a hair in it (the reason why I strain it).  I measure and find I have almost 4 ounces.  That may not seem like much to some but it is better than yesterday.  I have accomplished to milk both sides and came in with fairly clean milk.
Sadie may have won the battle but I am still in the fight!


  1. Would you have any recommendations on books about goats? Or perhaps an informative blog or website?
    Congrats to Sadie and the kids...and y'all!

    1. Thank you so much! We are very excited. A book that has helped a lot is "Storey's Guide Guide to Raising Dairy Goats" by Jerry Belanger. A favorite website/blog is The Prairie Homestead (it's on our Blog List on the right-hand side). Jill's got a section called Goat 101 that has a lot of good and encouraging articles.