I am a tad envious of those raised on a farm. They don’t have to text random people that have goats to ask stupid questions. Like, how the heck do we stop her milk? I know this should seem like an obvious one but there is an art to all this dairy farming. Goodness, we don’t want to send our goat into pain, discomfort, mastitis, and who knows what else! Our dear Isabelle trusts us.
I first started by looking up on the internet how to dry off a goat. Easy. Just start milking once a day, then every other day, then every third day, et cetera. We easily got her down to once a day. That was great for weeks but we don’t have any CSA’s anymore and I stopped making cheese for the season so five cups of milk a day is a little overkill. It certainly fills the fridge up quickly. I have been avidly making eggnog, but even then, I still have a lot of milk in there. The freezer is full of milk and neither of us want to go out in the freezing cold to milk so even though we could wait until her third month of pregnancy to dry her off, we have opted to give us all a much needed respite.
We then waited a day before milking her. Her udder was hard as a rock and Doug’s hands were getting tired getting all the milk out. You think I am sappy and sensitive? My husband is worse. He loves these creatures and wants them to experience zero discomfort. So we were back to once a day again.
I finally asked a random goat person how to dry off a goat. She told me the same thing we had already learned so we just went for it. Every other day. Check, less milk. Every third day. The next time we milk will be Friday which is the fourth day. She has not been engorged since that first time. All it took was that first bit of pressure to send the message to her body to ease up on the milk production.
On Sunday, Isabelle has a hot date. We ought to put a nice red flower in her hair or something. You know, distract from the beard. She is going to his house because we are having trouble figuring out when she is in heat and the hour and a half drive the second we find out she is in heat would be difficult. So instead she is having a slumber party until she gets pregnant. Don’t judge. She makes really cute babies. Her own baby, Elsa, could be bred this year but we have heard enough folks recommend that we wait a year to give her a chance to fully grow. Since goats are pack animals, Elsa will chaperone her mother. A few weeks without goats, that will be strange! We’ll miss them.
Lots of exciting gossip over here in the goat sector. We’ll keep you posted!