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Thursday, May 13 2010

I've always wanted a milk goat.  Although I'm not a big milk drinker anyway, I've clung to the belief that anything I raise is probably cleaner and healthier than most commercial products.  Besides, even though I LIKE the convenience of grocery stores, I don't like the fact that big industry and government is in complete control of my food.  (Egaads!  I've become that crazy old person who rants about the government and I'm only 47!  What happened to me???)

But I digress . . .

I don't raise milk goats.  I raise meat goats.  But I've been told . . .

(This is always the part where Other Half hunkers down and waits for whatever harebrained idea that I managed to gather from the internet on whatever subject catches my fancy.)

 . . .  I've been told that Boer goats give really creamy milk and can be really good milk goats!  (an idea is born!)

Now realistically I don't have time for a proper milk goat (Other Half vigorously nods his head in agreement!) but there is no reason why I can't start teaching one or two of my Boer does to allow me to milk them.  (Other Half hangs his head in despair.)

The perfect opportunity arrived when one of the babies was only nursing from one teat.  I called Dear Friend With Vet Husband (who is often my partner in crime) and we decided that we needed to start miilking that teat.  (just for practice!)  Vet Husband agreed.  Other Half, who is the only one with actual milking experience (cows!) argued that we were opening up a can of worms. 

     "Milking is something that has to be done EVERY DAY!  Y'all understand that?"

We assured him that we were up to the task. He agreed to teach us how to milk, take pictures, and minimize the laughing.

Step One: catch the goat

Eva can be petted on her back, but was not all wild about the idea of being milked.  She did however, like the idea of being fed. 

Step Two: feed the goat

We decided that we would feed Eva on a large wooden bed-size stand so she'd be easier to milk.  No, we didn't have a milking stand. No, we didn't separate the other goats.

  It was a group effort.  Dolly wanted some of Eva's feed.  Eva stood relatively still while she gobbled.  Our attempts to milk were pitifully unproductive.  Other Half was forced to put down the camera and show us how to properly milk out a teat.

  Ahhhhh haaaaa!


Milk was flowing!  We were excited! We were milking a goat!  Day one of milking was a success!

Day Two of Milking:

     We were better prepared this time. We separated goats. We had the feed ready. We started milking. The goat knocked the pail over.  No sense crying over spilled milk.  Now we know where the saying came from.

By the next day of milking the goat was easier to handle, but the baby was using that teat on his own. We had another pow-wow.  Other Half STRONGLY urged us to abandon our daily attempts at group milking. Since everyone had to go back to work and the baby was nursing that teat on his own anyway, we agreed - but ONLY because we decided that we needed to get a milking stand, and tame the goat to the point where only one person was required to milk the goat rather than three.

So . . .  until then, we're back to milking goats the old fashion way  . . .



Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:04 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
You CAN do this! I got my daughter French Alpine dairy goats for her birthday last fall. One was a 3 year old bred one that had been previously milked, and was fairly handleable. The other was a 6 mo old doeling. Last night even I took a shot at milking Elle, who now has one 3 month old using one teat, and my daughter is mainly milking the other teat twice daily. This goat is providing 6 adults with all of our milk, plus enough extra to experiment making cheese and next - yogurt! I can't emphasize enough how fabulous the milk is. It is clean, raw, and FANTASTIC. TRY AGAIN!!!
Posted by sue on 05/13/2010 - 01:57 PM
Oh TRUST ME, I haven't given up the idea. I've just tabled it until I get a milking/trim stand. I'm still in full support of the idea that we utilize the farm for as much food as possible!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 05/14/2010 - 09:37 AM

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