Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hand Milking Goats

Oh my hands!

I'm milking three goats twice a day - trying for between 7/8 am and then 6/7 pm. I only started on Sunday morning doing two-a-days; I started getting them on the stand at night the week before.

Fiona, the oldest mixed Saanen/Nigerian Dwarf is getting a little persnickety. This is her third year of being milked. She comes to the gate when she's called, but wants to take her own sweet time about walking to the stand. She has been producing a good half-gallon of milk for the past three mornings but she loses patience being on the stand for as long as it's taking me to get her completely milked out. I think she's turning into a diva.

It's Franny's second year of being milked, and she's actually the most well-behaved. She's at the gate when I come back with Fiona, and walks fine to the stand. She hops right up and starts munching. She's producing about a quart a day total but milking her tiny teats takes some time.

Now, Feisty is a first-freshener and she's just wild. I have to trick her with a bucket of food to catch her so I can drag... er lead her to the stand. She hops right up and starts eating her sweet feed treat, but getting her to and from the stand is a giant pain in the ass. She's fine while being milked. I couldn't catch her this morning. She's going to have one sore udder tonight. I hope I can catch her for the evening's milking session.

I've got five babies that are being fed on a caprine bucket feeder. The girls have caught on quite well, The one mixed buckling, I'm calling him Splotches, is doing much better than his half-brother, Big Nose. I have to catch him in order to get him on the feeder whereas the other babies see me, know what's coming, and run right over when I set it on the stand. Stupid boys.

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