Who Knows How To Milk A Goat?!

Uh, I probably should have inquired about milking lessons prior to this.  I have read many homesteading books which outline how to milk a goat.  I milked a goat at the animal shelter I worked at.  A large goat.  Every morning.  Twenty years ago.

SAM_0386

Yesterday we moved the milking station into the goat yard.  We put sweet feed in the tray and enticed Katrina to get up on the wooden structure, stick her head through, and enjoy the treats.  We didn’t touch her,  just let her get used to the station.  It became a fabulous game and playground the remainder of the day with goats jumping in high twirls off of the platform.

We locked the baby goat into a kennel in the igloo late last night.  We cleaned a shiny metal bucket and the two quart canning jar we would use to store our delicious goat’s milk. Chocolate milk on my mind, I placed a funnel, topped with a sieve, topped with a coffee filter on top of the jar.  We were ready!

This morning we got up with the sun.  We distracted Loretta out of the goat yard.  Enticed with some help (me trying in vain to lift her back end onto the stanchion) and sweet feed we got Katrina into place, latched the short leash to her collar, and set the bucket beneath her.  It barely fit under her large belly.  I never thought to bring out the bucket and see if it was too big!  I could barely fit it under her, but I tried to grab a hold of her very swollen teats and milk.  I tried to close my fingers around her, but she was too swollen, and I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing, I realized.  She placed her foot in the bucket.  A few very cold, frustrated minutes later, we let the baby out of the kennel to nurse.

Emergency early morning texts were sent to our farming friends.  Today I need a milking lesson!

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Wendy Hiserote says:

    And no one was filming this??!

    1. Farmgirl says:

      I brought out Doug’s Itouch to take pictures of my fabulous success.

  2. Janice says:

    Small goats, with small teats are definitely more difficult to milk – so don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep in mind that it takes a lot of pressure, near the top of the teat, between your thumb and first finger. It seems as though you are going to hurt the poor goat, but you need to be very firm in your grasp, or the milk just sneaks back into the udder when you squeeze. No pulling of the teat is required. Just pinch off at the top of the teat and then close your hand, one finger at a time, against the palm of your hand. It definitely takes some practice, but you’ll do just fine 🙂

    1. Farmgirl says:

      Thank you, we are starting to get it!

    1. Farmgirl says:

      We’ll get it!!

  3. If you let a kid “nurse” on your finger, you can tell how hard they press. You aren’t likely to be any harder on their momma.

    1. Farmgirl says:

      I think that is what we had to get through, we are not hurting her. At least we aren’t head butting her as hard as we can before we milk. Her baby is crazy! We LOVE the milking stand. Thank you so much.

  4. jamescf4 says:

    I use a metal bowl to milk my nigerians. A hobble works well to restrain kicking/stepping in the bucket.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s