Pages

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day Three: Milking the Goat

It is 22 degrees at 6:30 this morning when I trudge out the door toward the barn.  In my right hand I have udder wash.  My left hand holds grain that is pre measured, while my left arm is wrapped securely around my milk pail.  On my head is a head lamp.  Behind me, this morning, are my two, very curious, younger children.  We have one goal in mind...Milk that goat!

The dark barn smells of sweet hay and sounds of bawling kids and hungry mom.  I quickly plug up the overhead light letting the neighbors know that we are in the race for milk.  Sadie, like a professional milk goat, jumps up on the milk stand and puts her head in the slot.  She waits patiently.  I dump in the grain and lock her in.  The battle has begun!
I wash her udder as my son questions why I have to do that.  So I explain that I do it for cleanliness.  Place my bowl under Sadie and off I go.  She is already ahead of me but I am confident that I will get some milk this morning.  Start on Sadie's left side(where I have been starting).  After a few squeezes I get milk.  Maybe five squeezes later my son starts talking.  When he does, Sadie stops milking.  I keep trying with no success.
I decide to try the right side(her least favorite) because I know I have little time before she finishes her grain and I am determined to get some milk.  Much to my surprise, she lets me milk her on the right side.  She is not leaned up against the wall as in mornings past.  She lets me milk her without even kicking.  I am thrilled!  Everything is going so good.  My son moves from behind me to beside me and she still lets me milk her.  I can't believe how well she is doing this morning.  I can feel some muscles tighten up in my fore arm from the constant squeezing but I pay it little attention.
Squirming!  She is squirming like crazy!  You guessed it, Sadie is out of grain.  The race is over but this morning I believe I gained some ground.  I would maybe call it a tie.
After measuring the milk, I had about 4 ounces(same as yesterday) but I did get to milk on the other side.  Therefore, I feel the morning was a success even though I didn't get more milk.
I have some questions if anyone can help me:  Will she ever let me milk her without grain?  How much grain should I give her because I don't know that I am giving her enough to ever get her fully milked?  From what I have read, I can give too much grain. Is this true?  What type of grain is best?  Right now I give her sweet feed but I don't feel like she needs too much?  Any other ways you can help would gladly be appreciated!

2 comments:

  1. I don't have your answers, only the same questions. Looking forward to the answers. If you haven't already, you might check out Leigh over at http://www.5acresandadream.com/. She has a whole section on goats. I am enjoying you sharing this, as it will give me some frame of reference when I am ready (in a couple of years).

    I'll bet before long, you will be in & out likity split with a lot more milk to boot.

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'll check it out. I wanted to document my learning experiences so that others may know that we are all pretty much in the same boat!

      Delete